Simple skirt in the sunshine! Meet Clemence.

I love wearing skirts in the summer, so this simple gathered cotton skirt seemed perfect for visiting the bluebells for an evening picnic.  The skirt is another from Tilly and the Buttons’ first book, Love at first Stitch and is a very beginner friendly gathered rectangle skirt called Clemence.  The book guides you though drafting this basic pattern for yourself, which is a good place to start with pattern drafting and alterations, because Tilly’s instructions are as always excellent.

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This is actually the second of these skirts that I made, and is actually another early make.  For this second skirt I got a little more ambitious and drafted an un-gathered lining, made from an old sheet because the main fabric is a little transparent!

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As always, I also needed pockets.  The book talks you through making changes to the all the patterns, like including pockets in the or restyling the patterns to get a couple of different looks.

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I also decided to experiment with some of the decorative stitches on my machine to create an attractive pattern at the hem.

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It even has an concealed zip.  I keep returning to Tilly’s instructions for reassurance when I need to insert one still!  This one is actually pretty invisible and well matched.

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While this skirt has been in my wardrobe for over two years now, and my skills have undoubtedly improved, I still enjoy wearing these earlier makes.  I enjoy seeing how much I have learned and developed, but also it is satisfying to know that I am contributing to a clothing ethic that doesn’t view an item of clothing as something to wear once and discard.  For every year that I keep wearing these simple early makes I can sit happy knowing that I am reducing my impact on the planet and the disposable fast fashion culture.

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As a little bonus, I did also manage to find a picture of my first Clemence skirt from Me Made May Last year!  It is made in a mint green chambray from Calico Laine I think.  This one did have a couple of issues including being a bit big at the waist.  Fortunately/unfortunately the zip broke pretty quickly, so when I replaced it, I also sorted out the waist sizing, so this one is also in spring/summer wardrobe rotation.

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MeMadeMay 2017- My Pledge

It’s a new year and new pledge for me.  Just in case you haven’t heard of Me Made May, it is the brainchild of Zoe at So Zo, what do you know, and involves dressmakers, knitters, and refashioners pledging to wear more of their handmade and altered clothing.  Everyone gets to set their own challenge for the month of May and if you like, you can share your progress on social media.  I’m hoping that quite a few of these beauties will be making an appearance.

I did participate in Me Made May for the first time last year and enjoyed it, but found it hard work getting pictures of what I had been up to.  This year I am going to be a bit more practical and pragmatic.  I wear a uniform to work, so it isn’t always practical to wear me-mades there (except perhaps some un-blogged underwear), so this is my pledge…

‘I, Naomi of Naomi Sews and @naomisewsnews, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item, at least two evenings a week and on weekends/bank holidays for the duration of May 2017.  I will also attempt to log my journey though may on Instagram.’

This month is also my submission date for my next unit from my PGCE so things may get a bit wonky mid-month, but I’m going to give it my best shot!  It might well be fun to have something else to think about and work on when I’m stressed and tired of reading academic papers!

Camisoles galore!

A shorter post today for you.  I wanted to share a free pattern that I have got a lot of use out of in the last couple of months- the So Zo Vest.  You can tell that it is a good one because I have 4½ versions to share!

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4 of my 5 are made from old oversized t-shirts.  This pattern really doesn’t require much fabric- half a metre of most jerseys should be more than enough so it is also great for using up little bits from your stash.  The advantage of using a t-shirt is that you don’t even need to sew the bottom hem, just use the one which is already there.

Taken with Lumia Selfie

This might seem a seasonally inappropriate post, but I wear this sort of thing all year round- under another shirt or a dress in winter, and just with a cardigan in the summer.  I don’t think I will ever need to buy another.

Taken with Lumia Selfie

The instructions include the option to use flat elastic or fold over elastic.  All of mine are made with Fold over (foe) purchased from various Etsy and eBay sellers.  There are so many colours, patterns and options.

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Sparkly chevron fold over elastic

The ½ is for one which is not quite finished- it still needs straps but I ran out of elastic,

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Such a simple pattern, but so useful!  If you have never sewn with knits before this is a good option to try with very little waste or expense if it doesn’t turn out quite as planned, and a good opportunity to practice a few skills like applying the elastic.  I made my first 3 on a regular sewing machine with a triple zigzag stitch and the last two on my new overlocker.

I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you haven’t before.  Simple, free and minimal fabric requirements. What do you have to lose?