Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

Quite a few things have changed since I last posted. I’ve started doing some Medieval Recreation stuff again (yay!), I’m no longer working in #science, and currently I’m on a 3 month contract in an office where the dress code is a LOT more business than I’m used to! I’ve also started working on a Capsule Wardrobe for work, so I can always look professional and put-together, with minimal effort and thought. Partially born from not having enough clothes for work, and partially born because I’m lazy.

So Me Made May is going to be a bit different this year. I can’t wear all Me Made stuff all the time, as I haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and fit/sew stuff that suits the business vibe in the office. That being said, I do have some things that I wear regularly that I’ve made – a Moneta dress (omg I need more of these), a cardigan, a couple t-shirts. Other than that, everything is altered. A friend gave me suit jacket that needs to be altered, all my purchased (second hand!) skirts need to be altered, and I have a couple pairs of trousers that, yep, need to be altered.

I think my goal will be to wear Me-Mades/Altereds every day. This will be do-able if I actually make it to my sewing machine and sew up my test blouse today, and finish putting together the t-shirt I cut out 3 weeks ago. And make another Moneta, now that I’ve figured out the fit.

Another bit on the list is definitely – NEW BIKE SHORTS. You know, to wear under skirts for modesty and to prevent chaffing. But that’s another pattern I haven’t worked out yet, so it might not happen at all in May.


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I’m still thinking about the Mashup Dress. I have enough fabric, so I might re-cut the bodice starting with an XL and doing the 1″ (2″ total) FBA, as it just doesn’t feel right on. The skirt will also be re-cut so it doesn’t have the gathers at the waist and is instead more of a circle from the waist. It’s about 2/3 circle, I think. Really swishy and nice on its own.

But! That will have to wait, as I am working on making a 15th century-ish short sleeved kirtle with a waist seam! Yes, I know. Not really the modern clothes I’ve been trying to work on. But I have 2 weeks to make the kirtle, and then 1 more week to make a viking overdress for another event I might be going to. I will also need to find a lap table or something for my camping stove at that event, as I’m not sure if a kitchen will be going and I shouldn’t have my stove right on the ground. But that will be simple enough. The trick will be actually making the clothing items I need!

I’ve been doing a lot of research, and it looks like the short sleeved kirtle or cotehardie might not be exactly period, but it will be a lot more comfortable in the summer, and also easier to wear layered under things in the winter. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The part I’m most concerned about is hand sewing the button holes for the lacing. I haven’t done that in AGES, and don’t have a source for silk buttonhole twist. So I’ll be using regular top-stitching thread, doubled and waxed, for the button holes.

Ok. Got to get ironing. The bodice has been worked out based on a ’50s dress I made ages ago. I closed up the darts and did shaped panels under the arm. For a more early period option, I’d extend the skirt from those panels, but as I’m working with a cotton linen blend, I’m just going to chuck in a waist seam and attach a gored skirt there. If it works for me, I’ll make a more accurate one with long sleeves and shaped full length side panels out of wool. And as an underdress, the one with a waist seam should work for multiple periods. Maybe I’ll make a Mary of Hapsburg overdress one day!

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Yes! I’m already making another one.

I used the size L, and did a 1″ (on one side, so 2″ total) FBA and spun the dart out to make it a princess seam bodice, with the seam laying off to the side of my bust. I also pieced the back. Then I sewed it all together and tried it on! Actually pretty darn good. I just needed to take in the princess seams where they meet the arm hole, due to a tiny rib cage and a fairly high bust. The extra length is really good, but there’s still space for a black waistband should I so choose.

It’s a really pretty jewel tone teal ponte, with black sides, and other black trim I haven’t decided on. You see, I’m stuck! I’m not sure if I should line it with powernet, or just leave it and add a black neck binding and teal sleeves with black trim, or if it should be sleeveless, or if I should do a Tiramisu skirt or a full circle skirt, or what.

So indecisive.

But me, a non-dress-wearing-person actually LOVES the dress she wore today and wants more. So, uhh, I’m gonna listen to myself.

I probably could have finished it today, but I’d rather take my time and think about it, and not use too many spoons sewing. I’m so SO thankful that this knit dress has worked so well with minimal changes.

(I still have plans for more wide leg trousers, and more skirts, and more blouses, and even some woven dresses. But! Knit!! Dresses!!!)

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OMG, it’s May! That is, it’s Me Made May and I FINALLY have enough me-mades to participate!

I’ll have to do phone selfies (woo!) in mirrors at work as I have nothing set up here at home and the tripod attachment thing I ordered for my phone has not yet arrived.

This should be fun. I wear me-mades pretty much every day as it is. My 2 pants and 1 skirt are me-mades. The other skirt I wear I altered to fit, but if I wear it with me-made leggings I’m sure it will count.

Hopefully documenting this (maybe weekly posts? I’m not sure) will prompt me to fill some gaps in my wardrobe. Some items need replacing, and I have the fabric for at least 3 more t-shirts and a couple more pairs of leggings. I also need more bottoms. Then there’s also the Brightest Hiking Gear Ever. I need to get on that.

My colour palette is black, grey, maroon/burgundy-ish, purple, and coral. Pretty much all shades of these colours are accepted, as long as they are harmonious with other shades I already have.

In fact, I just made some maroon/purpleish dress pants from my Style Arc Barb’s something something pattern. I just pivoted at the crotch point and made them 4″ bigger at the ankle (1″ on the inside, 1″ on the outside) and they’re pretty much perfect. The fabric I used is a different kind of drapey stretch from the denim, so they’re a little big. But with the elastic waist no one knows. And they’re comfy like PJs, but look like dress pants. The Best. I hope to score more fabric for a narrow legged pair as well as a skirt.

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I went to another fabric sale today, and have come away with a bolt of BLINDING CORAL RED softshell fabric. They also had a bunch of sample sizes of bonded waterproof fabric that I managed to snag. These, plus the (ugh, beige) quickdry nylon-lycra stretch I got over the summer, mean I need to start considering sewing my own outdoor gear. And by considering, I mean actually doing it. I’ve been thinking about it for years at this point!

Red Softshell

Red Softshell

First of all, I live on the Wet err, West Coast of Canada. It rains a lot here, and I like to be outside. Not only do I take the bus everywhere, but I also try to hike as much as possible. So I’ve been looking at sewing patterns and doing some research. There’s, well, not a lot of info out there!

Caroline of Little Package wrote a guest blog on Sewaholic.net about sewing waterproof jackets. She also has a blog I’m looking through for more tips and info.

Bicitoro has some great tutorials about sewing for cycling. Unfortunately some of the older ones no longer have pictures, but the site is still a great resource. I’m going to look for some neoprene to make some spats! Such a great idea.

I love the shaping in this softshell jacket. It looks like the seams are pressed open and topstitched, and the hems are bound. I have plenty of fold over elastic for that option!

This Bushwalking site has a discussion on seam sealing. I’m not sure I’ll do that on a softshell jacket, but it could be useful knowledge if I do end up making a waterproof Minoru.

Bonded Waterproof Fabrics

Bonded Waterproof Fabrics

And after spending most of the evening looking for information about sewing softshell, I don’t have much! That’s pretty disappointing, Internet. So I suppose I’ll just treat it like it’s fleece, and not worry about the seams leaking or anything like that.

After looking through my stuff I’ve decided to go with McCall’s 4664, which has a jacket, top, bra, trouser and cap. It’s out of print, but Pattern Review has some old reviews of the pattern. I’ll be making pattern adjustments tomorrow, and maybe also a test jacket out of some old sweatshirt fleece. I’m pretty sure this pattern is missing some outdoorsy components I’ll be wanting to add! First up I was thinking of drafting a collar instead of the hood, and I’ll need some sort of a zipper cover for the top, so it doesn’t jab me in the chin. I’m also thinking about installing zippers for the pockets. I really do prefer that for security. I often have my phone and keys in my pockets, and I so don’t want to lose them!

The other pattern I was looking at is Jalie 2679, but I think I’ll test the McCall’s pattern first. The advantage of the Jalie pattern is that it has raglan sleeves, so there are fewer seams over the shoulder.

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This feels really odd, this sewing costumes and wanting to document everything again.

Ahh well. It will be good for me. I hope.

Today I’m making a Renaissance shirt – very generic, out of white linen, to wear with those navy plus fours (thank goodness they still fit perfectly!), some white socks, and boots. My BFF and I are going to an event this weekend, and since my boobs are too big for most of my old dresses (it’s been a while since I’ve made anything!), the shirt-with-existing-pants seems like a good, swift option for a costume. No, not really accurate, but -ish enough, and comfortable.

I found this how-to at the Renaissance Tailor. It’s a little confusing, so I will include the measurements, what you should add for ease, my sketch, and what I think of the final product. I wish I had time to fuss with a shaped collar, but I don’t really so a straight one will do. I think I might also do a ruffle at the wrist, with ties and elastic, instead of pleating into a buttoned cuff. I hope to be able to wear this under my Italian Ren dresses once I get new ones made.

Now to iron the linen. Linen that’s been sitting in a bin on my shelving unit for years and years. Wish me luck!

(PS. Still sorbetto-ing. On muslin #2. Need to transfer front markings to pattern and re-cut that again. Then I need someone to pin out the back for me, which will happen on June 15.)

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School has taken its toll. I haven’t been sewing much at all, and I also haven’t felt up to taking photos of the things I have finished. Which has been my Tiramisu dress, and a couple pairs of undies from the Lacey Thong pattern available at Fehr Trade. The undies go together amazingly well, and were super easy to grade up one size. The one thing? I really dislike low rise thongs. They have their place, and the two pairs I made will be very useful, but they’re not something I can wear regularly!

I had purchased some fabrics with the intent of making more things. Two more Tiramisu dresses, a couple t-shirts, more underwear, and activewear tanks. Sadly, it’s been a no-go. Especially since I was unable to sit for about 3 weeks there, due to damage to a disc in my neck. Oh yeah. Don’t do it, people. I’m doing physio and stuff now to help fix it, and it must be working as the level of pain has reduced dramatically. But unfortunately it’s left me struggling to catch up with my school work.

Anyways. Activewear. There is hiking happening this summer, no matter what’s up with my neck or work or anything. I need hiking pants, some comfortable knit tank tops, leggings (easy) or yoga pants (not so easy), and a long sleeved over blouse thing. Oh, and underwear! Everyone in my family swears by Icebreaker wool undies, but they do not fit me! So IDK what to do about undies. Obviously I can make my own, but what style? What fabric? I should probably cover the elastic as well so it doesn’t chafe. I also have a couple metres of nice Malden fleece that I was thinking of making a quarter zip top with pockets out of. I’ll trace a pattern off of something I already have for that, though.

Hiking pants should be good due to the amazing pants block that I did with Steph at 3 Hours Past. I just need to decide on a style and get some decent quickdry fabric for them. I’m hoping for a nylon with some stretch. I also want pockets that zip, a super stable waistband (possibly with some elastic), and a front fly. No belts, since they tend to bother me under the pack.

Knit tank tops should be loose and comfortable, with nice wide straps that cover my bra. A higher neck is also good, as my favourite sports bra is ridiculously high on my short torso. I was looking at McCall’s 6359, but would need to make modifications to the racerback. Mostly I don’t want anything clingy, but it has to work in a knit. I have so many amazing wicking knits available to me here for super cheap, and I want to play with them all! This pattern by Tanit-Isis could work really well, too. I wonder if I have enough of that lightweight knit to make one up. My bust is bigger than the biggest size, but with a bit of a FBA, I think it’d work really well.

Leggings are simple. I’m drafting my own based on my leg measurements. I’m using some info from Pattern School, and some from this Etsy Blog on how to sew leggings. I need a couple short pairs, and maybe a couple long pairs. I have the fabric picked out, and it’s amazing. Hopefully I can get my serger to cooperate and do flat seams.

Blouse: Possibly the most difficult thing to make, wow. It needs to be loose and have some mesh inserts for air flow. It needs to protect me from the sun. It needs to actually mostly fit me, unlike 99% of the sports blouses available. Why, Columbia, do you not ship your plus sizes into Canada? That would make this SO much easier! This one is also good, with the vents in the back. YES. (I fib a bit. I can get last season’s Silver Ridge long sleeve plaid shirt in Canada. Online only.)

Undies: I have a feeling I’ll be perfecting my old skool high waisted undies pattern for wicking knits. I’ll need to bind the legs or somehow hide the elastic, so it doesn’t chafe. I had hopes for the Fehr Trade thong pattern, but I’d have to make a lot of alterations to make it Hiking Safe. I might see if I can mush it together with my other undies pattern though, to get something that works well for me. A thong with coverage from the hips to the waist? Maybe. Maybe not.

Plans, I have them. Now to see if there’s any follow-through left in my school-weary self.

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