Me-Made-May ’14

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 ‘I, Elizabeth Owen, thebespokeseamstress.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least one item of clothing that I made myself each day for the duration of May 2014’

This is a new idea to me which I love – I missed Dressember completely as I hadn’t heard of it, so feel it will be fun to give this one a go.  It is the creation of Zoe of So, Zo…What do you know?

The idea is simple – you wear something you have made each and every day in May.  I think I can do this, but there are likely to be repeats.  I will hopefully be posting a picture on here each day.  Wish me luck……

Day 11:2014-05-11 12.01.04

Day 10: 2014-05-09 11.12.26 

Day 8:  Another favourite of mine – this one will bDay 9:  2014-05-11 01.08.10e b`logged soon, along with earlier versionsDay 8

Day 7:This is a vintage Mordella pattern.   2014-05-07 08.26.29

Day 6:  The T-shiirt is a raglan sleeved Burda pattern – nothing vintage about it I’me afraid.2014-05-06 09.56.36

Day 5: My flower power dress (one of my favourites) 2014-05-05 016

Day 4:  My first Lutterloh dress 2014-05-04 017

Day 3: My red tulip dress 2014-05-03 18.08.00

Day 2:  Simple crossover warm top (it got cold) pattern from Burda magazine (11/2011). 2014-05-02 12.51.25

Day 1:  Simple A line skirt – plain and simple.2014-05-01 003

 

Flower power

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My next door neighbour bought me this original 1960’s pattern from a second hand shop (thanks Eleanor!). Supplement  It is a semi- fitted dress with various neckline variations -I have seen it for sale on e-bay relatively frequently, so I assume it was a very popular pattern when originally printed.  I know this sounds a bit odd, but I love the dart placement, just a bit more exciting than a couple at the side and vertically down the front.

I went for the wide, scooped out neck line.  The pattern is for a 38 inch chest, which is my measurement but it still seemed large, and had to be taken in pretty much all the way down.  I absolutely love this fabric, a flower patterned cotton from Abakhan’s oddments, and had been trying to decide what to make with it for some time.  I was delighted to just about manage to squeeze this little beauty out of it.

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I am so pleased with this dress, it is comfortable and makes me feel pretty – you cant really ask for more than that can you! Image

Red Tulip Dress

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I think this is the most flattering dress I have made recently.  It is a Butterick B5032 with the neckline and arm holes of Butterick B5603 (both vintage style patterns).

B5032b 2014-03-24 007B5603a      I love the fabric – really rich reds in a quilting cotton from Abakhan’s oddments.  The bodice is lined with a very light, plain red cotton, almost a shame it cant be seen.

I have never tried a tulip skirt before and was concerned about whether it would flatter my pear shape but I think it does beautifully, and the softness that it achieved by using pleats instead of darts also hides my mummy-tummy.  I think it is a lovely fit around the bust and gives real definition.

I narrowed the neckline slightly to prevent it gaping forward slightly – it was a small adjustment, but one that made all the difference and it was my first attempt at a proper toil!  I think I would slim the skirt down slightly towards the bottom if I made it again as it is a little straighter than I would have liked.

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Why do I sew vintage inspired clothes

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I have always loved the 50’s and early 60’s styles.  They are not the only styles I like, but they just don’t seem to date in the same way most other era’s fashion statements do in the great circle of fashion.  Not that I claim to be a fashion aficionado or anything – I am a great believer in making the best of what you have but trying to remain comfortable whilst doing it.   I didn’t even appreciate that they were ‘classic’ patterns when I was young, they were just nice patterns for frocks that we could get cheap from the charity shops.

That was my early teens and the patterns all got lost/gifted over the years and I stopped sewing and bought clothes instead.  The only sewing I did was curtains, cushions etc.

I am no longer a slip of a girl, and as I have got older my body has changed, and rightly so.  I did lose a lot of body confidence after having my son and couldn’t work out what suited me.  It took a lot of searching and bad clothes choices to finally stumble upon Pattern Review – how fabulous!  Real people showing how their versions of outfits turned out.  You can look through them and hopefully find someone with a similar body shape to you and see if a dress suits you, listen to their issues about fit, alterations etc and get general good tips on patterns.  This site has been invaluable to me when purchasing new patterns but also when choosing fabrics.

In short – I wear vintage inspired clothes because they give me confidence and make me feel happy, and that’s what its all about.

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My Librarian Dress – Butterick 6671

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I bought this pattern from e-bay and just love it.  Simple lines with top stitching details and raglan, batwing sleeves that I hoped would emphasise my waist.  I also loved the decorative dart details at the waist, something I had only just learned about and was eager to try.

Library dress copy

I wasn’t sure what fabric to use but felt it would work well with something quite dark and plain, especially as I wanted it as a winter dress.  I settled on some black and grey mottle-patterned cotton. Making the dress was not tricky.  The size worked well even though it was a 36 inch chest and I am a 38 – the shape of the top was very forgiving.  I lengthened the skirt and did take the fullness out of the lower skirt quite a lot as it was A lined but I wanted something a little more sleek and slender.  I do like an A line, but I thought straighter suite me better in this instance.  I basically took it in as far as I could without infringing on my ability to walk in it (I make clothes to wear and walk quite a lot) without the need to add a split.  The only other change I made was that I didn’t include a button at the collar.  When completed, I thought it made it look a bit severe.  So, minimal alterations from the original and I got this little beauty.  I absolutely love it and feel that it is both flattering and comfortable – a winning combination!

2014-03-24 021 amended copy