Summer has finally begun


Yes, it’s official.  Today is the first day of summer holidays for my DDs.  And it’s a wrap on Me Made June.  I must say I’m not sorry to see the end of trying to decide what me-mades I’m wearing today, and then taking (postable)pictures.  At some point I may post an overview, but let me catch up on outfits first.

MMJ Day 29 – Outfit:  RTW top and me made capris from Vogue 8094, worn several times this month!   Stuart Weitzmann clogs, picked up for a song (almost literally), and extremely comfortable.

MMJ Day 30 – Outfit: Susannah dress, blogged here

MMJ 30

Until the next post….

After slacking comes diligence….

N1 dressAnd diligence produces results…. in an evening.  Yesterday evening, to be precise.  Well, it helps that the dress is an “easy” dress and that I’ve made it before!!!  Ah, yes…. the first dress for Niece 1 is complete!  Yay!  I used Vogue 8380, and made some changes to accommodate growth over the next year or so.

The fabric is a vivid purple cotton voile with a crazy multi-coloured cotton print in a flowery sketchy sort of design.  I used the multi-coloured cotton for the neckline tie and the armhole and waistband facings.  The tie is intended to sit in a bow at the left shoulder, but because the purple fabric is so plain, I moved the bow to the front.

Pattern alterations:  At the CF of the casing I added a buttonhole so that IN1 neckline could tie the bow there.  I just thought it would look nicer than off to the side.  Besides, I didn’t quite have enough fabric, so I had to piece the bodice at the CB and the CF.  The tie at the centre camouflages the piecing seam.

I also added about 12 inches of width in the back waistband and bodice to match the width of the back skirt.  Then I sewed two channels for 3/4” wide elastic and threaded that through to bring fit to the waistline.  It will accommodate her growth over the next year or so, I hope.

I omitted the side zipper because of the elastic waist.  It should go over DN’s head easily enough.  I shortened the bodice by about 1 N1 backinch, and the skirt by about 4 inches, as she’s only 8 years old.  The only other change I made was to tack the centre of the tie at the CB through all layers of the casing so that it will not move around.

Thoughts:  This is a really cute pattern, and easy enough to put together.  The instructions are well written, and although I made a lot of changes, it was helpful to refer to them for the basic construction of the dress.

In Me Made June news….MMJ 28

Day 28 outfit:  Yesterday was a 3H (hot, hazy & humid) day here in Toronto, V2864so I dressed simply and coolly (temperature wise, that is).  Dress is a red cotton pique version of OOP Vogue 2864 lined in bemberg.  It’s comfortable and washes well.  The only thing I don’t like about it particularly is that it does stretch out of shape as I wear it because the fabric has no lycra.  Whatever.  It’s casual for a casual day.

And the cherries are almost ready for picking.  We’ve two – TWO – trees of black cherries in our back yard.  I do not like cherries.  Sad, but true.



in the sewing department, that is.  I haven’t stitched a thing since my last post, which is going to result in a rush for the finish line this weekend.  My dear nieces’ dresses are due. But I’ve been dutifully documenting my me-mades, though.  Only two days left and then I can stop fussing with pictures so much.   Taking a daily picture of what I’m wearing gets easier with the doing, but it does take up time that I would probably use for, um….. sewing!

MMJ Day 27

MMJ 27

This is probably not the best photo, but I couldn’t resist posting it, since Nuggett is all interested in what (the heck?) I’m doing.

Outfit: Dress is Vogue 2902, cardigan by Olsen.   I’m trying to drum up the energy to actually do something this morning, but that didn’t happen. It was a particularly useless Monday.


Happy Monday!

A Happy Monday to all of you!  I trust your weekend was good, whether lazy or busy.  It’s definitely a happy Monday in our house today, as this is the last week of school for the summer.  And a happy Monday, too, because I can finally sew again after not being able to sew much last week.  I did post a review for Vogue 1220, but in all honesty, I’d written it weeks ago and it was just waiting for photos, which I just added thanks to the MMJ project.  But today I can sew again.  And what’s on my sewing table?  A lot.

image courtesy

First, my niece’s birthday dress, which is Vogue 8380.  She saw Hannah wearing her version from purple dresslast summer and wanted one…. in purple.  I would have started on it today, but I don’t have threa to match in my stash.  It’s all cut and ready to sew, though.

Second, I’m making up the capris from Vogue 2396 – again, and the skirt from Vogue 1093 – again – in the green stretch denim above.  Neither one will take long, I’m sure, as they’ve both become at TNT sort of deal.

image courtesy

Third, Vogue 1152 from a crinkly lightweight denim-coloured chambray for DD1.  It’s part of her summer wardrobe project, and I thought I’d better get going on it since it looks a little involved, and I’m looking to sink my teeth into a rewarding project with a little thinking involved.  I cut it out yesterday, so I’ve just got to get the first three projects off my table and I can start it!

B 2-2011-108

Lastly, two jackets.  These have been cut and waiting for me since the end of May, I believe.  I’m going to to make two versions of Burda 2-2011-108 from their Mamma Mia! collection.  I’m making one for me in the olive green linen on the left, and one for Hannah out of the same stretch poplin as herjacket fabrics utility pants.  I’m intending mine to be a working muslin.  I’d like to see how the jacket works on me, and if my alterations will be bang-on.  Hannah’s version should be straight forward as she requires no pattern alterations at this point.  I’m actually hoping it will be one size too big so she’ll get a couple years’ wear out of it.

And in Me Made June….

MMJ 25Day 25 – Outfit:  This is the second outfit of the day, through no intent of mine.  I had to change after spilling coffee on my skirt and jacket while driving. The first outfit was all me-made, too!  boo hoo…

Vogue 2923, Simplicity 4076, and Vogue 2165

Activities:  the monthly Costco run and then down to my MIL’s to celebrate Isabella & Hannah’s birthdays with my DH’s side of the family.

Day 26 – Outfit:  My Liberty of London Hurren dress

Activities:  church in the morning and family time for the remainder of the day.

Thoughts:  I do not particularly like this MMJ 26Simplicity pattern (S3877).  It’s a mock wrap style, with the skirt attached to the wrapped bodice and a side zipper.  I prefer a real wrap dress, and find this one annoying at times because of the way the bodice wraps.  It doesn’t wrap across the CF properly, and, although I used the cup sizing in the pattern (it’s one of those multi cup-sized patterns) it doesn’t work for me.  I had to fell stitch the overlap of the bodice to keep it from gaping.  Stupid me, I didn’t bother doing a tissue fit or a muslin.  I simply assumed that the pre-packaged FBA’s would do the trick.  However, it’s sewn up, wearable and pretty, so I’m just being super picky about the fit.

Me Made June: A week in review

It’s been a busy week with no time for writing a blog post, so here’s my week in review.

I fell off the me-made bandwagon on June 18.  It was hot and we celebrated my niece’s 8th birthday outdoors, so I threw a RTW tank and skirt on.  No pics, sorry!

MMJ 19 – Sunday – Happy Father’s Day!

MMJ 19

Outfit:  Nine West top; Vogue 8295 silk linen skirt; BCBG shoes

Activities:  Dance recital for my girls, and a picnic with daddy for Father’s Day.  No, I did not play Frisbee and traipse through a woodland path down to the Humber River in my stilettos!

Thoughts:  This is one of my favourite skirts.  I’ve made it twice – once in this chocolate silk linen and Harris Tweed.  It’s a lovely cut and very swishy!

MMJ 20 – Monday – Happy 8th Birthday, DD3!

MMJ 20Outfit:  RTW tank top with capris from OOP Vogue 8094; Joseph Siebel shoes

Activities:  Making DD3’s birthday dinner (she requested a roast ham!) and generally working through a list of of household responsibilities (nicer word than, say, chores)

Thoughts:  This is the second time I’ve made up these capris, and although they don’t have a waistband, I find them comfortable and flattering.  You can read my original post about this pattern for all my thoughts and tweakings.

MMJ 21 – Tuesday – Garden Day

MMJ 21 (2)

Outfit:  Tee: RTW; skirt: Vogue 1093 repeated; sunhat: San Diego Hats; shoes: Joseph Siebel

Activities:  weeding my garden and household administrative paperwork

Thoughts:  No interesting thoughts.  This skirt is a stretch-cotton that goes with everything.  It’s a very casual fabric, and if it hadn’t been MMJ, quite frankly, I would have thrown on a pair of RTW capris instead!  HA!

MMJ 22 – Wednesday – Play date with a friend

MMJ 22Outfit:  Shirt & capris from Vogue 2396.  Both are repeats this me-made month.

Activities:  Meeting with a dear friend that I haven’t seen for a long time to window shop and catch up…  You can never be too old for a play date!

Thoughts:  I lengthened these capris to the design length from my very short version that I wasn’t so crazy about after wearing for a day.  There was enough yardage to add the missing length, so I added a horizontal seam about 2” (5 cm) above the knee and pressed a crease down the pants as per the pattern.  I’m liking them way better this way.  They’re a little long in the front, so wearing the shirt tucked in à la 50’s doesn’t look so hot.  The shirt is one of my favourites, though.   I’d like more shirts – they’re just so much dressier than a tee.

MMJ 23 – Thursday – DD2 graduates from primary school today

MMJ 23Outfit:  Vogue 1220, reviewed here

Activities:  Running kids to their annual check-ups and then celebrating dear Sarah’s grade 5 graduation.

Thoughts:  I’m so proud of my daughter, Sarah!  She’s just plugged along, daily doing what needs to be done, working hard to acquire the knowledge and skills that other children just pick up so easily.  She is a chatty, charming and friendly girl, and we are so darn proud of how she’s growing into a lovely young lady.  Not to make it all roses, though.  There are daily challenges, which seem to be getting more persistent as she gets closer to those dratted teenage years.  So we’ll just keep praying, looking at the silver lining and striving to keep her engaged in a supportive community.

MMJ 24 – Friday

P6240006Outfit:  Hmmm…. it’s pouring today…. and I’ve already worn these capris this week…  But what did I tell you?  If it wasn’t MMJ, I’d not be wearing so many dresses on a daily “schlepping” around basis.  And it’s a testament to just how much laundry I do in a week around here…

RTW tee and Vogue 8094 capris

Activities:  meeting with DH’s accountant and bookkeeper to introduce them to each other.  I used to do his company’s administrative work (which, although I am very good at it and very organized, I may say) I loathe with every cell of my being.  Numbers are not my forte, and neither is being married to DH’s company 24/7!  So…. in celebration of this final act of divorce, I’m spending the afternoon down at MacFab, which is new to my sewing world.  I’m sure most of you living in the GTA (greater Toronto area) already know about this place, but I’ve never been there, and am very much looking forward to prowling around.  I called early last week inquiring for spiral steel boning, which I need to repair a bustier, and so am off to buy 25 yards of it for my stash.  Yep.  Twenty-five yards.  That’s the length they sell it in.  On a roll…. cheap, too, apparently.  I’ll let you know!

Oh!  And today’s MMJ picture theme was with an animal.  Well, my little mini poodle, Nuggett, is my animal for the day.  I had thought of taking a pic with the DH….. Winking smileMMJ 24

I hate trashing projects…

Yesterday, while sewing, cooking and cutting new garments, my green dress split – SPLIT!!!!! – down the centre front.  Remember I thought it had shrunk after my last (fall’s) wearing/washing?  I was right.  There was the lining in all of it’s lovely fitting ease, trying to skim around underneath the shell, and to no avail.  I had forgotten that I’d pieced the centre front of the dress – neckline to hem! – and under the strain of sitting, standing, bending over a cutting table, getting in and out of a car, well, the lovely fragile fabric just split along the piecing seamline.  I won’t shock you with pictures of the destruction. Sad smile

So here’s my RTW outfit for the latter part of Me Made June Day 16.MMJ 16 2  I could have pulled out something me-made, but honestly, I just felt like wearing capris instead of a dress.  You might think the dresses are the way I usually do my glamourous SAHM role on a daily basis, but not so!  Most of my me-made garments are dresses, or winter separates.  I’ve really not done that much in terms of summer tops and bottoms.  If it wasn’t MMJ, where the goal is to wear self-stitched garments, I’d be wearing more RTW capris and tees as I haven’t any me-made capris.  I’m working on that!  Yesterday I cut out two pairs with the goal of having one pair done so that I could wear them for MMJ.  Et voila!

Me Made June Day 17 – Outfit:  Vogue 2396 capris (shortened); RTW tee.  As today’s is Friday, all of us in the Flickr pool are taking pics with a loved one.  Here’s mine, strolling after dinner.  His shirt is me-made from a few years ago.MMJ 17 (2)

Activities: SAHM mom stuff with a dinner party tonightv2396 capri front

Thoughts:  I’ve been rather surprised with this OOP pattern.  I’ve made up the dress, which I’m really not crazy about despite the fringe; the shirt, which I really like; and these capris which have yet to be worn for the day prior to making a “like” decision.  I’m really happy that they’re more of a 50’s style with the waistband at my natural waist instead of the below-waist modern cuts of garments.  Maybe if I was shaped like celery I’d like lower waists, but I much prefer having definition through my waistline.

v2396 capri backI made these up in a a poly/cotton twill from Old Navy, if you can believe it.  Who knew Fabricland stocks Old Navy twill?  My pattern is actually one size too small, so I graded up, added about 4 inches of width to the bottom hem and shortened them by 4 inches.  And I’m on a binding kick waistbands.  It just adds that extra dimension to the garment – who cares if it’s only meV 2396 capris or whoever’s folding the laundry that gets to see it? It makes the construction process more creative and enjoyable.  Besides, it’s a great way to use up all the cutting remnants in my “I’ll-keep-this-to-make-doll-clothes” box.

Me Made June: Days 15 & 16

V1027_thumbDay 15 – Outfit: Vogue 1027 in a rayon knit

Activities: Meeting with friends and appointments in the afternoon. No dance classes today, can you believe it?!

Thoughts: I like this dress. It’s got that full swingy skirt that’s my favourite thing (besides chocolate). The fabric is a rayon knit that I purchased off EBay years ago. I think the seller’s description indicated it was silk. Not so. But it’s very cool and very lightweight. So lightweight that it feels remarkably fragile. I added a tricot lining to the skirt this spring, it’s that light.

MMJ 16Day 16 – Outfit:  Simplicity 2865 (oops – should be Simplicity 2846 – thanks, Susan!), salvaged from a sewing disaster.

Activities:  Mom things, including a dance dress rehearsal tonight.

Thoughts:  I originally sewed this up last year, wore it once, and put it in my closet. I thought I’d wear it today for MMJ, but I think the fabric shrunk when I washed it – by hand – in the length! It’s a lot shorter than I remember, and it’s so lightweight that I’m feeling like this is not a dress for wearing in public.  Here’s a close-up of the fabric, which is silk and lurex woven in about 6 different ways. It’s just such beautiful fabric that I really wanted to make something out of it. You can read the original story, if you like. (By the way, don’t you love photography?  It can make you look anyway you like…. the truth, worse, or better….)


Today’s MMJ is actually a double-duty day.  My good friend, Lisa, made my necklace, so I’m wearing two things that are “made” in honour of artisanal craftsmanship.murano glass by lisa

Pockets of all sorts

DD3 requested a pair of utility pants this summer.  Actually, it was my idea.  “You need a decent pair of khaki’s that go with everything.  It’s just a wardrobe staple you should have,” I told her when she was making her list of clothes for the summer.  This is what she chose:


I was sort of hoping for something more classic, if you know what I mean, but hey!  She has to wear them!  Anyways, after getting into the sewing of them today, they’ll be fun to put together, anyway.  The front pockets went together brilliantly, and then I started on the double-welt pockets for the back.

I do not like welt pockets, let alone double-welt pockets.  Ah well…. slowly, carefully, meticulously, I said to myself.  And then I read the instructions:  Do not use lining fabric for the pocket bags.  Huh?  Oh, great!  I don’t have anymore fashion fabric.  What to do?  After panicking for a minute or two, I cheated.Instead of a double welt pocket, I made a single welt and used the two extra pieces cut for the double welts as the facing on the upper half of the pocket bag.

B 3-2011-132B back weltB 3-2011-132B back welt inside

Left photo: basted voile and stitched fashion fabric on the outside of the pants.

Right photo:  turned to the inside.  You can see that I need to join the bottom of the voile to the bottom of the facing strip, which I’m holding.  It worked beautifully, and the lining is a pretty touch in an otherwise boring garment.

B 3-2011-132B back pocket finishedB 3-2011-132B back welt 2

In Me Made June news today…

MMJ 14 Day 14 – Outfit:  My first repeat this month:  the green linen skirt from MMJ Day 8, and a new top from Burda’s Mamma Mia collection (February 2011).  I’ll post the review tomorrow

Activities:  running errands, sewing, and dance classes – again.  Wow.  I had no idea how much time I spend at the dance studio for my kids until documenting my daily activities for MMJ.

Thoughts:  I like this skirt, and the top is in a very lovely print, but it’s really short!  It’s got a self-lined bodice, which is nice, and the fit is good, but it could use some tweaking.

Me Made June: Days 12 & 13

P6120013Me Made June Day 12 – Outfit: Vogue 8846 made up in Liberty of London tana lawn.  The print is called Bea.  With my mini poodle, Nuggy Baby.

Activities:  Nothing.  We went to church in the morning, ate fast food for lunch (DD2’s favourite – the Golden Arches), took about 20 pics trying to get this fabric to photograph nicely, finished up Barnaby Rudge by Dickens (I loooooove Dickens), and BBQ’d beef souvlaki for dinner. The 2nd picture accurately captures the richness of the Bea print. It’s hard to P6120020photograph this fabric because of the slight sheen to it.  And, no.  I did not wear this dress for the entire day, in case you’re wondering.  I schlepped around in my pajamas after our morning at church, but I thought I’d spare you the pictures of that, since my PJ’s are not me-made.

Thoughts:  I wore this dress with the sash today, wrapped around twice and tied in a very small bow at the centre back (not like the picture at the right – I changed it up after taking the pics).  It’s the first time I had the brains to try that, as I had tied  it with long tails at the side front like the pattern envelope.  It did not look nice.  I always feel so dressed up in this dress, but it’s really comfy to wear, and the style is so pretty.  I know in my review I mentioned wanting to make it up in a solid colour, but I haven’t done that yet… there’s just too many other projects on my sewing table!

MMJ 13Me Made June Day 13 – Outfit:  RTW capris and Simplicity 2603

Activities:  laundry, sewing, cooking and running kids to dance class

Thoughts:  It’s cool today – only about 14C, so this ensemble is perfect.  But the sweater is loooong, as you can see from the original post.  I’ve tied the ends together and put them around my neck to shorten the sweater for today.   It creates a sort of ruffle effect down the front, which is OK, I guess.  I like the colour, but this is not one of my favourite me-made items.

Me Made June: Day 11

MMJ 11Outfit:  Vogue 1179

Activities:  Feeding DD1’s sleepover buddies breakfast, dance class run, birthday cupcake pickup for DD3’s party this afternoon, and trying to decide whether to have her party at home or in the park as originally planned. 

Thoughts:  This dress is super comfortable.  I don’t think it’s particularly flattering on someone that requires an FBA on garments generally, as it hangs straight from the shoulders and neckline.  There’s no shaping through the waist, so it can look a little like a pleated sack with a cowl collar. I didn’t bother doing an FBA on this because it’s jersey and the pleats add about 15 inches of ease.  (There are very wide (3 – 4 inches wide) pleats at the centre front.) The outer two do pull a bit across the bust line, however, which I will remedy the next time I make this dress, and yes, I’ve another one on my sewing list in a sage/grey feather print jersey.   I really like the brick red colour, though.

Here’s the parting shot for the day.  Our not-in-the-park-due-to-the-rain tea party birthday was invaded by ants after all…

ants cupcakes

Have a restful Sunday, and I’ll see you next week!