Tag Archives: pdf patterns

The Tapton Skirt – Now Available as a PDF Pattern

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MIY Collection Winter Layering PDF Pattern Bundle

PDF pattern bundle

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A Free MIY Collection PDF Pattern – the Pomona Shrug

Free PDF sewing pattern

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(Almost) 31 Days of Me Made May

I thought it would be good for me to write an end of the month post to summarise my experience of taking part in Me Made May for the first time, so here goes……

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OK so I missed 2 days, I didn’t think it was a bad effort for my first Me Made May! Have you been taking part? Have you enjoyed it? Did you manage every single day? I’ve really enjoyed taking part and it’s made me really think about the clothes I make, the fabrics I use, the clothes I actually want to wear and putting together outfits. All of which is good for me as I’m usually a very habitual dresser; I have a few things that I know work and I leave very little time for getting dressed everyday.

What I learned and did I meet my pledge?

  • the first part of my pledge was to wear samples I’d made from my patterns everyday, which I’m please to say I managed easily and they all fitted seamlessly into my everyday wardrobe, including some nights out
  • I have an enduring fondness for: black, grey, blue, comfort, knitted fabrics, denim and stripes
  • I don’t sew much other than for “work” i.e. developing new patterns and making samples
  • I used to sew just for me, just for the hell of it, but for the past 3 years I haven’t had space for a sewing machine at home (hence my foray into the scary world of knitting – see week 1)
  • as I can only sew in MIY Workshop I think that makes me subconsciously only sew for work and my making tends to centre around developing new patterns and making new samples for existing patterns
  • taking photos of myself – I inflict this a lot on my students and I know how they feel as I hate having my photo taken, however, I’ve learned all that’s required is to move around a bit, laugh a bit, have a willing person to hold the camera straight and push the button and if you take 40+ there will be one or two good ones!!

MY TOP 3  GARMENTS (based on number of times worn):

  • the Wisewood dress (5 wears)
  • closely followed by the Fulwood dress (4 wears, 6 if you include just tops made from the pattern)
  • and the oversized t-shirt / dress that is a pattern in development (4 wears).

The other half of my pledge was to “….plan a completely selfish sewing project and get it started as a treat for finishing my book!” Hmmmm well, the book is oh-so close to the finish line and I’ve had a lot of ideas rattling round my head;

  • I’ve been meaning to make the jumpsuit or dungarees from Marilla Walker’s Roberts Collection since Christmas
  • I then toyed with jumping on the pant-making band wagon (pants of the underwear variety for US readers – i.e. knickers), but doubted my motivation to see it through perfecting an old pattern I wanted to use (I may still give it a try as I was encouraged by Kerry Green and I like the idea of a wearable project that can use up my leftover fabrics)
  • after week 4 I realised that I really want to make more one-piece Fulwood dresses for my own use as they’re just so comfy and versatile and I might try lowering the front neck slightly on a collarless version
  • then I remembered….. the Refashioners, I’ve been invited to take part in Portia Lawrie’s fabulous Refashioners again this year and really should get cracking on my project. Surely I can justify that as a nice combination of work and pleasure?!

What did you learn from taking part in Me Made May this year and did you meet your pledge…..?!

Me Made May Week 4

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I spent most of week 4 up in Sheffield enjoying a (sort-of) week off, hence the new background wall!

Yes, it’s yet again more of the same, but nice to know that I can even put together a good travelling wardrobe for a week away of varied activities from my samples.

Here’s what I’m wearing from left to right:

TOP ROW:

  1. stripey ponte roma Fulwood dress in a one piece version without the waist seam (sooooooo super comfy, especially for the long drive to Sheffield)
  2. sleeved shift dress from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in denim with contrast denim patch pocket and the zip jacket also from the book in lovely bouclé wool
  3. sample of the new t-shirt pattern in development, this time as a stripey dress in viscose jersey and my own pattern leggings (used in my Make Your Own Leggings classes and available to use in weekly classes at MIY Workshop).

MIDDLE ROW:

  1. a-line version of the Tapton skirt in that elusive of fabrics – a denim effect jersey, nice and comfy for the long drive back to Brighton from Sheffield
  2. a stripey Walkley vest in viscose jersey with RTW jeans (Cos)
  3. sleeveless Wisewood dress in denim effect jersey worn for a night out

BOTTOM ROW:

  1. the same Wisewood dress worn for another night out!
  2. that stripey ponte roma one-piece Fulwood dress again
  3. cosy pyjama trousers in Art Gallery fabrics super soft cotton jersey (the pattern is used in my Make Pyjama Trousers classes and is available to use in weekly classes at MIY Workshop).

What I learned this week:

  • I need to make more one piece Fulwood dresses; so comfortable, so versatile. I have some gorgeous quality ponte roma languishing in MIY Workshop so maybe I’ll chop into that.
  • I’m such a neat freak that I like the consistency of a similar backdrop.
  • I do like the brick wall of my mum and dad’s house for photos; the colour, the texture, the lines……
  • Trying to get my dad to hold a camera straight tested my patience to its absolute limits….sorry dad!!

Me Made May Week 3

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I’m late posting this as I’ve been trying to take a week off, so, better late than never! I feel reassured that in summary week 3 was; “More of the Same”!

Here’s what I’m wearing from left to right:

TOP ROW

  1. sleeveless Wisewood dress (regular cowl depth version) in denim effect viscose jersey which I think was from Minerva and Brightside shrug in grey marl lightweight cotton loopback sweat from Ditto, plus leggings from my own pattern (not available to buy yet)
  2. sleeveless shift dress from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in lovely heavy denim with a bit of stretch from Ditto and those leggings again
  3. colour blocked wearable toile of that oversized t-shirt from weeks 1 and 2 in a dress version – pattern coming later this year

BOTTOM ROW

  1. black linen short sleeved shift dress from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking (worn to a publicity meeting for my next book!)
  2. full length version of the trousers from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in grey polyester crepe from Ditto
  3. short sleeved Wisewood dress (deep cowl version) in grey marl cotton jersey from Ditto and my trusty leggings again
  4. another full length version of the trousers from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in lightweight cotton denim from Ditto and long sleeved top from my own pattern (not available to buy).

Despite me summarising this week’s Me Made May as “More of the Same” I actually think that’s a good thing and I can honestly say I’m really enjoying wearing all these samples and documenting the outfits. I often wear my samples anyway, but would rarely photograph myself or put so much thought into the overall outfits.

I hope they’re providing the intended inspiration for the many ways to make my patterns, the variety of fabrics that you can use and ultimately how easily the styles can be incorporated into an everyday wardrobe.

I also included this photo in week 3 of my daily MMMay pics on Instagram, just to prove that I don’t take myself too seriously……!

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Me Made May Week 2

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I had a much better week of documenting my daily wearing of Me Mades this week and am mostly managing to stick to my pledge (hooray, pat on the back for me) and I’m really enjoying it!

My realisation after week 1 that I didn’t wear much colour or many prints hasn’t really altered, that’s obviously just what I like to wear. I obviously subconsciously made an effort though and broke up the grey, black and blue with some stripes! Got to love a good stripe even when they need matching at seams…..

So, here’s what I’m sporting in those pictures from left to right:

TOP ROW

  1. Gloriously comfy cuffed version of the trousers from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking in heavy drapey viscose jersey and t-shirt version of a new pattern coming later this year (see a dress version of it in week 1).
  2. A colour blocked wearable toile in denim effect jersey and grey marl jersey of another new pattern that’s currently in development that will have a lot of versions. The more I work on this pattern, the more ways I come up with to make it. As a designer I love to really fully explore the potential of one pattern rather than constantly churning out new styles. I think this is heavily influenced by my experiences of working in the two extremes of the fashion industry, I wrote a bit about that here.
  3. A good old striped Walkley vest – a versatile wardrobe basic, teamed with an a-line version of the Tapton skirt in a heavy denim effect jersey. This skirt is so comfy and just so flattering, I can’t believe I don’t wear it more. It was nice to give my legs an airing that day too.

BOTTOM ROW

  1. A half fail this day – I only managed a me-made long sleeved top and vintage Levi’s dungarees as I spent most of the day climbing around in the MIY Workshop window installing a new exhibition of thread art by Brighton artist Michelle Abbott.
  2. My beloved and well-worn refashioned shirt dress that I made for last year’s The Refashioners and me-made leggings.
  3. A hacked version of the Fulwood dress with lengthened sleeves and the CF and CB pleats moved to the side seams in double stripe viscose jersey, super comfy. And those leggings again.
  4. Finally, that striped Walkey vest again, this time teamed with those super comfy trousers again from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking. Oh and me-made head/alice band.

I was trying to be a bit more adventurous with my hair too last week and have started making some alice bands and pushed the boat out with a plait. I keep toying with the idea of a fringe, it happens occasionally. I find that if I don’t act on it the idea eventually goes away again! I’ve had one before and I do like them, but I’m just too hair-lazy to keep up with the maintenance they demand.

Anyway, enough about hair, here’s to week 3!