Unloved skirt transformed

Me Made May Day 29 – my new top

It’s a bit crumpled after a long day’s wear but it’s set to become a favourite, I think.

It was this skirt:

Me Made May Day 8

It was ok but I’d rather have something I can wear more often.

I cut off the waistband and opened the back seam.

I cut the fabric into two equal pieces – a back and a front.

I cut the front into two and made a button band.

I narrowed the back by making tucks from the top to the waist.

I added waist tucks to the front  to give a bit of shape.

I drew around a dinner plate to get the neckline.

I made this the same way, but had a lot more fabric to work with:

Made from a charity shop skirt.

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Refashion a Dress into a Tunic

I don’t wear dresses very often so I’m always looking for new ways to use them up.  I think this is one of the simplest ways to refashion a dress.

I started with this dress.

I used the measuring guide on my sewing machine to get a straight line of stitching. 

 I cut the dress just under the stitching.

I tried it on for length and did the same again to get the best length for me.

Next, I marked and machined the hem.

  Finished tunic.

The dress becomes useful at last.

William Morris and Me

Quilt made from William Morris prints.

I love William Morris. Not just the famous prints, but his writings too.  Remember that famous quote?

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” (Hopes and Fears for Art).

I would love to live up to that in my everyday life.

Every so often, I start looking around the house with that saying in mind and getting rid of things.  I don’t get very far. I class as useful things that make me smile, or give me a warm feeling, or at least brighten up an otherwise dull room.  One day I shall do it and my house will be transformed. One day…

Anyway, the Me Made May challenge has really got me thinking about my wardrobe rather than my house. Some pieces I would class as beautiful, but they are usually evening wear and I don’t get to wear them very often.  I need more useful clothes.

Dress form modelling evening clothes.

It’s pretty scarey to see yourself in a photograph everyday. Those trousers are too baggy, that colour is too dull or those pieces don’t go together. Some of my clothes are neither useful nor beautiful so something had to be done – I need more useful clothes.

So, last week it was wide leg trousers to narrow leg:

Me Made May Day 14

This week I’m having a dyeing frenzy.  A grey linen shirt, however beautifully made, just doesn’t look good on me.  So now it’s blue and looking much better.

A “natural” cardigan just doesn’t suit me.  I didn’t make it, but in the right colour it could make some of my me mades look more pulled together. So now it’s terracotta.  When spring really arrives it will be another way of wearing this refashioned skirt.

These pale grey trousers are way too smart for my life; I’ve worn them twice, perhaps three times in a year.

 It’s a pity to put in all that effort and still have nothing to wear, so now they are navy and I’m wearing  them.  Hooray!

Me Made May Day 16

So, I’ve thought about my wardrobe, put in a bit of effort and I’ve got a few more clothes to wear for Me Made May and, I hope, for future months.

No Pattern Required?

A few things made without patterns or using a shop bought item to get the size right.

Skirts and brown top made using commercial garments as a size and shape guide. The original skirt was a pencil skirt.

Sometimes I can’t find a pattern for what I want to wear, or it uses more fabric than I have.

I’ve often made things from patterns that don’t fit (I hardly ever make a toile because I am too impatient) or maybe they don’t look like I hoped.

For all these reasons I’ve been experimenting with making clothes without commercial patterns. It doesn’t always work but it is fun and I intend to do more of it.

Me Made May Day 7

A top made without any pattern at all – just fitted using tucks.

Me Made shoes too

Day 8

Brown wool jersey top made using an old tee shirt for a size guide.

Cotton lawn skirt – no pattern

Cardigan – charity shop

Me Made May Days 4 and 5

I love this challenge, it makes me look for new ways to wear my “me mades”.  Wish the weather was better though, I’d love to wear the shoes I made again but I’m trying to take good care of them.  Maybe I’m too careful???

Day 4

Blouse is Simplicity 3684.

I made it with sleeves but I thought they looked very odd on me so chopped them off.

Ready to go out.

Top – wool jersey – I drew around my favourite old teeshirt to get the pattern.

Skirt – same pattern as day 1. Made from 1980s wool tweed.

Corsage – crocheted flower with fabric backing. I got obsessed with crochet and made lots of these.

Cardigan – charity shop.

Tights M & S

Boots – Russell & Bromley several years old.

Day 5

Trousers – Vogue 8090

Blouse – Charity shop – mended & altered to fit.

Scarf – present

Green socks – alpaca from Green Fibres

Me Made May 2012 Days 1,2 and 3

Day 1

Me mades: jeans bag, self-drafted skirt and shoes made by me at Green shoes.

There are several variations of this skirt.  I made the pattern by drawing around an old pencil skirt & adjusted it to have a button front.  I don’t know how to make a pattern from scratch.

Day 2

Scruffy jeans for mucking out with Vogue 2634 blouse.

I have to wear lots of layers with these sleeveless blouses but I don’t have any me-made long sleeved ones – I bought most of them from charity shops.

Day 3

Even scruffier jeans today with another Vogue 2634 – this one made from an old linen skirt.

I had to make a dash for my cardigan after this – I hope the weather warms up soon.  I’ll be wearing versions of these blouses every day for walking the dog and for mucking out.  I like them better than tee shirts because it’s much easier to get the inevitable stains out of the fabric.

Me-Made-May 2012

I’ve made my pledge, joined the Flickr group & I’m very excited to be part of Me-Made-May’12.

Here’s my pledge: “I, Norma, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May’12. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made or refashioned item for the duration of May 2012.”

As well as my me-made clothes, I’m going to be wearing me-made shoes this May thanks to a course I’m taking on Friday at Green Shoes.

I’m looking forward to the challenge.