The Change From Store Brought To Me Made

I have a small problem now that I have really caught the clothing sewing bug one half of my brain is saying “I want to sew heaps and heaps of patterns for myself” but the other half of my brain is saying “you already have a heap of clothing do you need anymore?” I’m a long term clothing person by that I mean if I truly like something I will wear it for years until it falls apart. I still have a store brought top that I wear to work regularly from like 2000. My favourite go to summer skirt I brought in 2001. Instead of making drastic changes and tossing out all my clothing I think from now on I would like to start replacing store brought items with Me Made as they wear out.
I love wearing my Me Made skirts and think it might be time to pass on all my store brought ones. To be honest these days I probably only wear one store brought skirt the rest are my own. There is nothing wrong with the skirts I just don’t wear them anymore. Is there such thing as too many skirts? I want to set myself the challenge of sewing all the 8 basic skirts from A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts, so far I have made one.
I mentioned my store brought top from 2000 which is a stylish knit t-shirt, I have the same style in various colours which I brought between 2000 – 2008. I wear one every day to work matching it to my skirt or pants. Now that they don’t make this style anymore I am going to need to make my own. I can either trace a pattern from the top or find a pattern similar. To be honest the kimono tops I have made so far I don’t like wearing to work as I can’t wear them comfortably under a jacket or jumper. I really want to make the Concord shirt as I think the sleeves on that I should be able to wear under things. Top making has always seemed scary to me as I didn’t know how to deal with my larger front area. After doing the retreats with Cashmerette tops don’t seem so scary anymore.
Last year I needed to buy new jeans after my favourite pair became indecent (I could see the bathroom floor through them) I found it really difficult to find pants that fitted. I managed to find 2 black pairs for work which are elastic waisted which served the purpose but I would like to make my own pants. I want some casual looking pants, I don’t mind if they are drawstring or elastic wasited I just don’t want them looking like pj’s. I have heaps of patterns and fabric in my stash it is just a matter of getting off my butt and making them for my butt.
At this point jacket making still seems daunting but I would like to try a simple one. I have a few cardigan patterns maybe I’ll start with those to sink my teeth into it. I want a longer cardigan as I want the lower back coverage. I have the Claire Cardigan among many other patterns so I might start with that one.

I wrote all of the above back in February as a draft blog post. Since then a couple of things have changed. I have now made 2 skirts from a Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts, instead of making the Claire Cardigan I became obsessed with the Kinder Cardigan and I have made a pair of pants (still yet to be blogged) The way I feeling back then is still how I am feeling now particularly after doing Me Made May.

I think I want to be more mindful with my sewing and clothing making. Part of my brain is trying to justify the clothing I want to make. Some of my RTW items are falling apart so I can easily justify making those. From doing the challenge in May I found a gap in my wardrobe so again I know need those but it is the new patterns that I am seeing and starting to take an interest in that my mind is questioning. The York Pinafore is a newly released pattern that I have taking a liking too but my brain struggled to justify buying the pattern. It is a style I don’t normally wear but I can see it in my wardrobe in both summer and winter (and the pockets look useful) From my stash I should have enough fabrics already to make it. Originally I thought I could try a FBA (full bust adjustment) for the first time as it is designed for a B cup so it may be a simple pattern to practice doing one on for the first time but reading the pattern in look like you only need to adjust the shoulder straps length to accommodate the larger bust which sounds very simple to do. Does it sound like I am still trying to convince myself for justifying the pattern purchase? I generally wear the same items of clothing over and over again. I am a classic 80/20 rule, 80% of the time I only wear 20% of my wardrobe. I have never really had a lot of clothes and I am ok with that. I am not a girly girl who gets dressed up every day in a different outfit with hair, make up and accessories, I put on whatever clothing is still clean and appropriate for the weather conditions that day and go to work. The only accessories is a scarf or beret if it is cold. I do want to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone with styles but my brain is thinking well seriously how often are you going to actually wear them.

I still want to sew my way through both the Beginner’s Guide to Skirts and Knitted fabrics. All those items will be to replace garments in my wardrobe. As mentioned in one of my Me Made May posts I am going to cull a lot of RTW items from my wardrobe if I have me made ones to replace them now. My clothes are in good condition if I waited for them to wear out it may be another 5-10 years before I get rid of things. I think by doing the cull it will also help me see what I actually have in my wardrobe and if I am wearing it or not so I know whether or not I need to bother making a me made to replace things I don’t wear. I am also putting myself on a bit of a fabric hiatus, I’m not calling it a ban or diet. From now on I only want to add to my stash if it is for something I know I need to make and I don’t have suitable fabric in my current stash. As much as I would love to making all the wonderful items of clothing I see and fabric I like if it is just sitting in my cupboard doing nothing it is a waste.




K3881 Undies – First Attempt

I don’t know why but I seem to have an obsession with collecting patterns for undies. I use the term undies as I can’t stand the word panties it just makes me cringe. I have patterns I’ve purchased, some I have downloaded for free, I have read how to make them using a pair of your own to make a pattern but until this pair I hadn’t actually dived into the world of making some even though they seem to be popular to make.

I am very particular about they style of undies I like. I have been wearing the same style but not the same brand for like the last 20 something years. It is like a bikini style with a high cut leg opening. I can still buy the style I like and that is why I haven’t ventured into making some but I am getting to the point where soon I need to replace some pairs so I thought maybe it is time to try making some as everyone who makes their own loves them. Even though as mentioned I already had heaps of patterns in my stash I went and purchased the Kwik Sew K3881 pattern. The reason I purchased this pattern was I found a youtube clip showing how to make them using this exact same pattern. I have watched other youtube clips but they were all using other patterns.

I measured my waist 44″ and my hips 46″ so according to the pattern I should be a L or XL as I was tracing out the pattern pieces I though the XL looks massive. I held placed a pair of RTW wear and I knew they would be too big. In the end I traced out every size.

Strangely the XS seemed to be the best match to my RTW pair and that is the size I went with.

I was very excited to learn how to the gusset. All your gusset seams are enclosed as you do the burrito method to make them. I found Melly Sew’s youtube clip showing the burrito method very clear to understand. She also has a free pattern which I might try sometime.

These were made on the sewing machine. I set my machine to a stretch stitch of a length of 2.5. This was the first time I have played around with the length of this stitch.

I used some knit fabric from my stash. I made what the pattern calls the bikini version but to me are not what I know as bikini. The sides are wider than what I am used to therefore the leg openings aren’t as high. I have scars on my hips and avoid anything with a narrower leg opening. I have worn these to sleep in and they are comfortable but I would prefer the higher leg opening.

I like the back of these, there was no creeping of fabric into areas you didn’t want. They are a little bit snug so maybe I need to grade between the XS and the S but they may stretch after a few washes. They aren’t uncomfortable snug.

For the elastic on the legs and top I used fold over elastic. I have played around with FOE before but I can’t remember on what. Anne has a great clip showing how to sew with it. I need to work on my finishing technique with it as it just looks messy on these. I also has sections when I fold the elastic over and stitched down I missed so had to go back and redo these.

My overall first attempt wasn’t a complete disaster. It hasn’t given me the undie making bug but at the same time it hasn’t put me off making them again. This is a good basic pattern and the instructions were good but the sizing was off. I know different fabrics can make a difference but surely not by that much. As for the style even though it wasn’t what I would call my normal style they were comfortable. I don’t know if I would use FOE again, I think it will irritate my scars particular in hotter times. I may make this pattern again but using regular elastic, I might even try the size S to see if there is much difference in the finished size.

Even if I never make another pair I can tick undie making off my virtual to sew list.







Me Made May 18 – Week 5

Today marked the last day of Me Made May for 2018. The month has gone really quickly (hasn’t this whole year!) This is what I have worn this week


Monday – I wore a new pair of pants that I have recently made but finished the hem on last Sunday. They are made from a quilting cotton and despite my look in this photo I actually do like them. I also wore my crocheted headband.

Tuesday – It was only a single item worn that day of my Granville Wrap skirt. As this is lined and a little bit thicker and heavier due to a linen fabric used on the outer layer it is actually nice for winter. I still am in shock that I like a white skirt. Me and white never go together.

Wednesday – My feather skirt got another repeat wear for the last time this month. I made an amazing discovery that I have a pen in the same colour as the feathers on the skirt! My skirt fetish and pen fetish collided. I do like the length of this skirt and think I may need to make a few more longer skirts.

Thursday – Finally for the last day my Lego skirt had one last outing as did my vest and beret. The day never really warmed up so I worn the beret most of my work day. I did move it up to just at the top of my hairline so my forehead didn’t get hot and itchy but the top of my head remained warm.

So my pledge was to wear at least one Me Made item each day to work for May. Challenge complete I was able to do it. On the weekends I did have a few me made items on too but I wasn’t counting those, they were items like my pj tops or my beret and cowls when I went away for the weekend. I was focusing on my daily work wear. I did wear a few new items this month that I didn’t intentionally make to wear for the challenge. In the last 6 or so weeks my sewjo returned and I just wanted to making myself clothes. While I wanted to sew I wasn’t to stop the urge. I didn’t panic make just for the challenge. I must admit the day before the challenge started I was a little anxious which is just silly because it is only wearing my own clothes. The challenge did make me stop and actually plan my outfit. For years I have been in the routine of putting out my clothing the night before but I have always just grabbed whatever skirt or pants that were still clean and then grabbed a top to match in with it. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to wear the same skirt every 2nd day of the week if it was still clean and warm enough to wear it so I might only have worn 2 pants/skirts and 5 tops for the week. Doing this challenge has certainly made me not repeat items (with the one exception) For me I am not sure if that works as I just seem to have more clothes out waiting to be worn another once or twice before wash time. I have a clothing rack which I place my worn clothes on and it just seems to have more on it this month. Looking back I do seem to be repeating the same items over and over again. I have clothing I haven’t worn this month that I guess I could have to change things up a bit but I already have so many other clothes out.

This challenge has given me the chance to look at my wardrobe and see what pieces are missing. Tops are probably my biggest item but I kind of already knew that from the start. I now have the Cashmerette Concord t-shirt pattern which I want to make with my end goal of possibly replacing all my RTW tops. The tops I have made just aren’t practical to go under my work jumper which I wear for around 90% of the year as I work inside an office with air conditioning and I sit below a vent. Without doubt I know I need a new winter coat as my current jacket is on its last winter. I’m investigating patterns for one and hoping possibly to use the zip off my current one which means I can’t start the new one until after winter. Another gap I have is pants. I now have a pair that are me made the other couple in my wardrobe are store brought but I only really wear only one pair. I want to try pants and leggings.

Another thing this challenge has done is made me focus on attributes I like and don’t like of clothing. I have decided I don’t like cuffs and my new winter jacket won’t be having cuffs on it. I don’t like ¾ sleeve length but prefer a long sleeve without a cuff that I can pull up to ¾ if I need too. Pockets are amazing and all things should come with pockets but only good size pockets no small ones. A big thank you to Zoe for creating this challenge. I have had fun with it.

Will I do Me Made May again next year? I think I will. I have no idea what I will set my challenge as. Maybe it will be to do the entire 31 days I’m not sure I have until mid April next year to think about it.


Lego Skirt

I am part of a few Facebook sewing and craft groups. I find them a great place to find inspiration but my bank balance may disagree as it tends to lead to online shopping at times. Recently in 2 separate groups I saw an idea for a skirt style which I instantly wanted to make at some point and in another group I saw a piece of fabric that I knew I had to have so I immediately went and purchased some. The two have come together to form my Lego skirt.

The fabric is from Rubyjam Fabric who I discovered after I made the purchase is a Sydney based company. The fabric print is officially called Building Brick Blocks and I got the boy colourway which is just a basic mix of colours, the fabric does come in a girl version which has more pinks and purple colours. As soon as I saw the fabric I thought I need Lego fabric!!!! Immediately I knew it would be a skirt, I am trying to get out of the habit of thinking every fabric will be a skirt but this fabric had to be a skirt. I ordered 1m… I think but when it arrived it looked larger than that so maybe I ordered more than 1m anyway it just gave me more to play with.

The pattern I used is a variation of the Cashmerette Turner dress. In the Cashmerette group someone had posted a photo of a skirt they made using the pattern. A lot of people do “pattern hacks” of the Cashmerette patterns turning the dress patterns into tops or the tops into dresses the Upton dress and Concord top are patterns that you see frequently done but I hadn’t seen anyone do a “Turner Skirt” before this and I thought it was brilliant idea. I asked the person further questions because I knew I wanted to make this skirt and I already had the pattern in my stash.

My original plans for my Lego skirt was to make like a basic tube skirt like the M664 pattern but my mind went into overdrive when I discovered my fabric was long enough to make this skirt.  For the skirt portion of the Turner the back and front of the skirt is the same pattern. Normally in cases like this I would just trace and cut the pattern once onto trace and toile. When I traced out the pattern and held it against the fabric that was folded to see if I would have enough fabric to make the skirt I realised it was going to be very close to not fitting so it was better to trace out 2 patterns and pin them at once. Instead of pulling out my paper pattern piece again I placed the piece I had cut out on my craft table and traced over that. I did it in a different pen colour so I could easily see that I had traced it all.

In the end it was very close with less than 2″ of fabric left over. I really pinned the two pieces as close as I could to fit and had I only used one pattern piece to cut out the 2 sides I know I would have been short for the second piece.

As a result of my lack of remaining fabric I had to be creative with my waistband. As the pattern is designed to be made as dress I had to make my own waistband pieces. In previous waistband pieces I have made I have cut my rectangle pieces across the grainline but in this case there wasn’t enough so I cut my rectangles from scraps running down the length of the grainline. To work out how long to cut the rectangles I measured around the top of the skirt pattern which was 12″ on fold so 24″ in total. As I was having to cut 2 pieces for the waistband and join them my initial thought was then to add in seam allowance forgetting that the pattern piece I had measured had already included the seam allowance. From previous experiences elastic waistband pieces have always been a little smaller than the item you were attaching them too so instead I cut my 2 rectangles 23″ x 3.5″ so I could use 1″ elastic inside it. I placed my waistband so the joins would be in the centre front and back. I was just easier for me to do this and no one gets that close to my waist anyway to see. For the gap I left to thread the elastic through I used a method I read on the Fringe Association blog.  It worked out really well, I just hand tacked the sides flat on both my join pieces and then removed the thread once my elastic was in. On the portion that was inside my skirt I did use some of the selvage fabric on the waistband. It was on the inside, it didn’t matter and most of it got cut off on the overlocker.

I’m happy with the finished waistband. I assembled the skirt on the overlocker. The fabric was a little heavy so to reinforce it even though I used a 4 thread overlocker I went and did a row of stitch on my sewing machine over ever seam using a stretch stitch. All my seams were pulling a little bit, I read afterwards elsewhere someone else had the same problem and it was suggested they tighten the left needle in their overlocker.


Looking at my pattern I believe I cut out the size 24 but I think I could have gotten away with the size 22 or at least graded in however I am super happy with this skirt. It is a little bit longer than most of my skirts but I really like that. The fabric is a cotton knit which you could wear in either summer or winter.

You can twirl in it however I think I might be too old to twirl without the aid of some alcoholic refreshments because when I tried I became really dizzy luckily I had the wall to hang on too. Next time maybe I need a bigger space as there isn’t much room in my bedroom.

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres

This skirt ticks all things on my list of things to consider when making clothes. With the elastic waist and cotton knit it is comfortable and I won’t get hot in it. The style is like classic circle skirt and it certainly is quirky. I work in a paediatric environment and I have had so many comments about my skirt at work. It is bright and cheery and fun. This is my most fun item I have ever made in terms of clothing.

I love the idea of “Turner skirts” and I will be making more. I am going to do a plain black one which I have actually brought fabric for since making this. It is a really nice style skirt. I will make a proper Turner dress at some point but I can see another skirt arriving first.

I am a big kid I love my skirt.



Me Made May 18 – Week 4

The last full week of Me Made May has ended (I have finished my work day for the week) This week a few items were on repeat

Monday – I started the week in my feather skirt, blue valiant cowl and crocheted headband. I’m not mentioning it but each day I am also wearing my work jumper, winter coat and a top which are all RTW items. The top I wore that day was actually choking me so I have decided once it is dry I will stick it in the opshop bag. From now on any RTW items that are uncomfortable are instantly gone

Tuesday – My Lego skirt made its second appearance. I also had on my beret and for the first time in 2018 my orange valiant cowl. I love the brightness of this skirt. I can wear so many tops with it due to all the colours in it.

Wednesday – So I don’t know what the fashion etiquette is relating to wearing clothing 2 days in a row if it is clean (I wear my work jumper 5 days in a row) I wore my Lego skirt again. I found out Tuesday that a work colleague’s funeral was the next day and had I known earlier I would have held off wearing my skirt until Wednesday. The person used to sew and l think would have loved my outfit. With my skirt I wore my black lou box top, orange cowl, my beret which stayed on for most of the day and I also had a black crochet bag to carry my things in. I don’t say it often but I looked good. I forget that some of the clothes I wear which are on the baggy side make me look larger than what I am. I love this RTW jacket but it is a little bit tight across the shoulders particularly if have a couple of layers under it. It has princess seams and a zip front, I would love to make a pattern like it. I was trying to find my mum’s plot at the cemetery where the funeral took place and I couldn’t find it but I didn’t care because I knew my mum could see what I was wearing and I know both her and Miss A were both looking at me clapping because I did good with my sewing and crafting

Thursday – Again it was a day of repeats this time my Granville skirt got a run with my blue cowl and beret. I still can’t believe I like wearing a white skirt. I am not as paranoid now that this will fall down. It is very thick as it lined so it is actually a good winter skirt as it feels a little heavier on me.

Friday – The last of my valiant cowls made its first 2018 appearance today. I also pulled out my navy vest for the first time in a long time. I don’t think I even wore it in 2017. It still fits however my mobile phone doesn’t fit in the pocket now that I have changed phones. The right shoulder seam on this one has always felt tight for some random reason but today both seemed a little snug. If I was to ever make this again or another vest I would narrow the shoulders to make the arm wider.

Only 4 work days of Me Made May to go. I haven’t thought about what I will wear next week. I’m sure it will be a week of repeats as many of the items are still clean and can get another wear or two before it is time to wash them.


Me Made May 18 – Week 3

I was away last weekend so I didn’t get to post my outfits for last week. Some new items appeared and other were repeated

Monday – Lots of me made items worn to work and at work. My outfit included my purple valiant cowl, my black lou box top, beret and teal kinder cardigan. The beret wasn’t really needed as it wasn’t as cold as I expected so I took it off when I got to work. The kinder I carried in my bag and put it on as the morning chill started to come in.

Tuesday – I had my first 3 items from 3 different crafts day. I wore my crocheted wide black headband for the first time ever to work as well as my blue cowl and blue kinder. Previously I had only ever worn this headband around the house. When my hair was longer I would always tie it half up but after I cut it back in January I only wear it tied up at the gym so in the wind I eat my hair as I walk to work so this headband was good. I should make more of these.

Wednesday – I wore a newly made skirt that I haven’t blogged about yet. I call it my Lego skirt for obvious reasons. It is a cotton knit skirt that I made the previous weekend after falling in love with the fabric. I teamed it up with an orange RTW top, my crocheted headband got another wear too. As soon as I got home from work I did my photo shoot for this skirt.

Thursday – As it was getting cooler I started to repeat my longer or thicker skirts wearing my feather skirt again which I have now blogged about. My beret also got worn as it was a little chilly that morning. Even though it is a light weight cotton just the extra length and the fact it doesn’t blow in the wind a lot means I can still wear it in the cooler temperatures.

Friday – Luckily it wasn’t as cold that morning. My outfit included my denim skirt, purple cowl and beret. I also had my regular winter coat and work jumper on. The cowl and beret kept me nice and snuggly which was fortunate as on the way to work I came across an elderly man who was in the street in his pajamas and needed assistance. I called the police and waited with him until the arrived. My me made items were keeping me nice and warm.

It was nice to wear a few new pieces to work, some newly created some I have had in my wardrobe for some time. The challenge is making me think of what I actually have in my wardrobe and what I need. On our weekend away Mr StitchNSew and I were chatting and agreed it is time we both went through our entire wardrobes and seriously looked at what we wear what we don’t, what is unrepairable, what I need to make us, what we need to buy.



Feather Skirt

I have a confession I have never worn a waistband that had elastic in only a portion of it. I don’t know why but in my mind it felt like cheating. I have no problem wearing a waistband that is fully elastic or one that is just a woven with a zipper closure but never the combination of just elastic in the back section and a woven band at the front. It is one of those silly little things that your mind makes up.

On the Cashmerette Facebook group someone posted a photo of the Elastic Back skirt. It is a free pattern that you can get if you sign up to receive the Cashmerette newsletter.  I had some fabric in my stash that I purchased last year just waiting to be made into something so I thought why not step outside my comfort zone and give it a try.

The pattern is tutorial to make the skirt to fit your body so it based on your measurements. I discovered at the Cashmerette retreats that Jenny are almost the same size when you do our measurements. To make this skirt you do need to do a few basic calculations but it fully explained how to work it out and Jenny does give you the example on how she calculated hers. For the hip measurements I was able to use that on the printed tutorial, for my waist front my piece was 23″x3″ and the elastic I cut was 15.25″

For the front you gather the fabric in slightly. I did my gather stitches by hand instead of machine. Hand stitching is something I enjoy so I just did 2 rows then pulled in it to fit. I tried to keep my gathers even and I pretty happy with how it ended up. It isn’t one of those skirts that has a lot of gathers at the front I think the pattern is written so it has a nice amount.

The back waistband I didn’t finish the neatest as my stitching is a little off track but I am not worried. If you haven’t realised by now I am not a sewing perfectionist. If it is in an area that no one is really going to see then I don’t bother fixing drunken sailor stitching unless it impacts the fit or construction of the piece. My waistbands are always covered so no one will see them and frankly who cares if they do.

This skirt is actually very comfortable. It didn’t feel weird having only the elastic in the back. It felt secure and didn’t feel like it was falling down. I wore it the day that I made it and then also to work that same week.

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres

This ticks everything off my list when it comes to choosing a pattern to make. It is fitted to my size and is comfortable and I don’t feel like I am cheating! It is a very simple and classic style skirt that won’t go out of style. As for quirky I have another crazy bird lady skirt! The fabric is a cotton I think a poplin, it isn’t a quilting fabric. This is a longer length than what I normally wear as it falls past my knees, the tutorial explains how to make it any length you want. If I make it again I might make it above knee length but I had no issues wearing this length.

It was fun to step outside my comfort zone. I think it is about time I start doing more of it.