Tag Archives: sewing

Me Made May – or, finally joining in.

*fanfare*….ta daaaaa…..Me-Made-May 2014

YAY!!!!!!….I’ve made my pledge, I’m doing it! I can’t remember when I first came across this project and decided that next year would be the year that I’d do it and every next year it turned out that I was no further forward with my me made projects and May would roll along and another year would pass me by.

Well, this year, I decided to just do it. I’ve pledged something that is 100% achievable and yet will still be a challenge for me (when you consider that I work full time and about 40% of my evenings are already spoken for across May, not to mention that (seriously) about 80% of my weekend time is already booked). So, here’s my pledge:

‘I, Susie of Sosusie: The Midlife Ramblings of a Teenage Mother sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least two me made items (clothing and accessories) each week for the duration of May 2014’

As a part of this, I plan to: 
Finish off at least one of my knitting projects that I’ve started for myself.
Make one of the four items that I have on my list of makes:
The By Hand London Elisalex dress, Gertie’s Pencil Skirt or Sultry Sheath, or the idea that I’m formulating in my head for a dress.
This is definitely a challenge for me.

Tee hee…I’m too excited. I’ve printed off the final page of the Miette pattern (the cardigan is finished, and has been for at least a year, except for the button band and buttons!) and I’ve sorted through my stash of fabric. I’ve been wanting to get sewing ‘everyday’ wear for myself for ages and this is the kickstart that I need. I also want to do more knitting for myself – it’s not that I haven’t produced anything in the past couple of years, it’s just that none of it has been for me. So, here goes a month of selfishness (and long may it last).

Though I did promise D that his would be the next knitting project that I took on. I don’t think finishing things off counts as breaking that promise though..does it?





So I’ve decided to join a sewalong. I think I’m being a bit silly clothing wise at the moment, I’m doing what one should never do which is buying clothes that don’t quite fit because I’m losing weight (well…slowly putting it back on but that’s just failing to get out of my Christmas over-indulging) and I’m going to do the same with the skirt I’m going to make as part of the sewalong. I’ve been kind of keeping my eye on knitalongs and sewalongs and there are blogs that I absolutely love that have initiated them but they’ve seemed always to choose projects I’m not in love with. I am in love with this project – http://shop.byhandlondon.com/product/charlotte-skirt and I’m really looking forward to making it and have to admit I kind of just want to charge on with it but…the whole reason I decided to join a sewalong was to make sure that I do this properly and learn more about making adjustments etc. I’ve already learned something – you should never cut the pattern printed on the tissue paper you should always trace it out to something else! Makes perfect sense…particularly for someone like me whose size and to a lesser extent shape is on the move. Anyway, I haven’t even got any fabric for this project yet so I can’t really get too ahead of myself.

This isn’t a well thought out blog – this is definitely a ramble. I’ve been working on my tax return all day and my stall accounts and meant to get to this earlier but I am snowed under! Anyway, I plan to make more things for myself this year, and to spruce up my look a bit so here’s to that!Charlotte_Peplum_New_BC

Sewing class

So this week saw me do the first of three sewing classes at the sickeningly gorgeous Ray Stitch on Essex Road. I met Mrs Ray, not her real name, at a Selvedge Magazine Craft fair in June 2010 – I’m not quite as stalker-y as I sound I just remember because the fair was held across the road from a friend of mine and having not seen her for a while I thought it an opportune time to pop in on her too only she had buggered off to Glastonbury Festival (a distant memory for me now, expect I won’t go there again). Anyway, Mrs Ray and I got to talking about selling wool amongst other things and she said she was looking for premises for a shop but had recently lost out on somewhere.

Jump forward a year, and my not having made any purchases from the Ray Stitch online store whilst still lusting after the just so Ray Stitch lifestyle or even just style, and my friend J (a very cute hip young slip of a girl) knowing that I liked all things sew-y and knitty told me about this shop she’d noticed that was due to open soon that she thought I’d like. Well, even though I was excited about the prospect of Ray Stitch in the flesh it still took me a couple of months to visit the shop – all I can say is I need a new better paid job because it’s like fabric porn in there and the little café is pretty good too with a lovely and very friendly young man behind the counter – their flat white was even, dare I think it, better than the one I get from Shoreditch Grind!

Desperately wanting to take one of their new sewing courses, and yet able to sew from a commercial pattern already so definitely not a beginner and maybe not really an improver, I plumped for the make a blouse improvers course run over three weeks. I reasoned  that I lust after the Ray Stitch look because on the clothes and projects they feature the lines are so clean and simple and they only work because they are beautifully made. I can make more or less anything but I’m not the most careful crafter on the block so I thought that this lesson would get me back on neatness track.

I’d gone in to the shop the week before and bought some beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric from her Little Folks range so that I could pre-wash it (shown below at the cutting stage) and now I was ready for my class.

Cutting out the Anna Maria Horner fabric
Cutting out the Anna Maria Horner fabric

The lessons take place in the basement, a lovely space – though I found it not big enough for cutting out the paper pattern and the fabric, set up for six students one of whom turned out to be Mrs Ray!!…hehe. We were offered wine and there were nibbles including some delicious bruschetta topped with a sweet red onion relish and a generous couple of slices of meltingly soft goats cheese and smoked salmon and cream cheese.

We all introduced ourselves and got on with measuring ourselves, deciding which version of the blouse we wanted to make, cutting out the paper pattern, one of the cult Colette patterns, and cutting out the fabric. That’s as far as I got because there wasn’t quite enough space for us all to cut out at the same time and I’ve realised that I tend to think because I’m the biggest person in the room, usually, I need to try and make sure I take up as little room as possible so I preferred to let the slip of a woman sitting opposite me and the one to my side (both of whom seemed really pleasant) have first dibs at the space. In other words I didn’t finish everything we were meant to by the end of the night so I’ve got homework!!…Serves me right for being all – I do know how to sew you know.
I’m really looking forward to the next class and I promise I won’t leave my homework until the very last moment.

Absolutely loving this make do mend style blog

Have been following this blog for a while now, in so much as I regularly follow any blogs – KristenMakes – I spent ages catching up with it last night and what struck me was how many things Kristen has knitted for herself. I’m just coming to the end of the first full garment I’ve knitted for myself in ages and I feel inspired to hurry up and make something else now.

Kristen is taking part in something called Me-Made-March which is all about appreciating homemade things and wearing them and I believe that you pledge to wear at least one homemade, from scratch, sewn, knitted, crocheted, upcycled or refashioned, or whatever, piece every day in March. I wouldn’t be able to do it but maybe I’ll work towards that for next year.

There are also links to other making clothes-y blogs that are excellent and, again, that make me want to get on with clothes making.

Betty Glad wears her (space invaders) heart on her sleeve

This is a cardigan I’m making for my friends A and S who are having a baby any day now…..it’s been in the state that it is for a while now ie blocked and ready to finish being sewn up but I LOATHE sewing up my knitting…I don’t know why, you’d think I’d want to get things finished but the desire not to sew in loose threads etc is far far greater than the desire to finish things.

It’s from the same Debbie Bliss pattern as It’ll be all stripe on the night. Hopefully I’ll finish it by the weekend.

Anyway, normally I don’t think I’ll post unfinisehd pieces on here…I do that on ravelry.com (just started) but I think this looks quite interesting so here it is.

It’ll be all stripe on the night

I made this for a couple of friends of mine who had a baby about 10 days ago. They knew they were having a girl and I knitted it with their daughter in mind. I’m really pleased with it and think it’s got balls!

It’s knitted using Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino to a Debbie Bliss pattern (just for the shape) and is knitted in stocking stitch with a moss stich button band, neckline and cuffs. I’m obsessed with stripes and often end up doing stripey projects but this one was a little more complicated than normal because the button band was knitted at the same time but in a contrast colour.

It'll be all stripe on the night

I’m not keen on making up my knitted projects but I decided with this one to do everything properly and block out the pieces etc and sew them together using the most appropriate stitches. It took AGES but the end product does look better I have to admit.

I should add, I realise, that the buttons are not sewn onto the cardigan in that photo merely placed for the photoshoot. And actually if I make that pattern again, aside from the one I’ve already made entitled ‘Betty Glad wears her (space invaders) heart on her sleeve’ – more of which later, I think I’ll move the buttonholes as I think they look daft so far over.