An old Beignet skirt and a new pair of glasses

Size: size 10.

Alterations: omitted the fabric belt.

Fabric: the same black cotton canvas I used for my first Kelly skirt and some flowery lining material , both from my stash.

Last week I found this UFO skirt under a pile of muslins and stuff to throw away in a corner of my room. I'm ashamed to say I didn't even remember of its existence. I'm not usually an UFO kind of girl: when I start a project, I always try to finish it before I start another one.

But the reason why this Beignet defeated me is because it features one of my greatest sewing enemies: buttonholes, and 12 of them nonetheless. Just the word "buttonholes" makes me instantly lazy. It's completely irrational, since I include them in my favorite projects (like my Bleuet dresses) and my machine even has a "memory" function for buttonholes that makes sewing multiple one much easier.

Sweater: ASOS - Shoes: Pimkie (old) - Glasses: c/o Bonlook
Anyway, when I found this skirt everything else was finished except for buttons and buttonholes, so I just sat down, grinned my teeth and half an hour later I had a perfectly wearable skirt.

The combination of black and Beignet means lots of wearability for me. I made this skirt two more times (appearances here and here) and they're still the most worn separates in my wardrobe. This skirt will join them soon.

I'm wearing the Peacock frame in Dark Chocolate.
And because I didn't have a lot to say about this skirt, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and show off my new glasses.
I was contacted by Bonlook a while ago to try one of their frames and to offer a pair to my readers, and as much as I try to keep this blog strictly sewing-related, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
I mean, if I could afford it, I would probably own at least a dozen pairs of frames; I've been wearing glasses since I was 8 and have learnt to appreciate them as style accessories, so why deprive myself and one of you guys of this chance?
Moreover, Bonlook offers some awesome looking frames, and I had the pleasure to experience they are great quality and come with excellent customer service.

I hope you'll appreciate this giveaway even though it's not sewing related.

To win one pair of BonLook glasses of your choosing (prescription, non-prescription, sunglasses... anything!) valued at $99 (shipping is not included) just click here.
The giveaway is open to everyone for a week.

Good luck!

Me-Made-May 2013 - Week 4

Top: Pimkie
Skirt: Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen (kinda), never blogged
Shoes: Pimkie

At the beginning of May, I stored away my winter clothes and replaced them with summery stuff. This is always a great chance for spring cleaning and some clothes don't survive the passage.
This year, it was with a heavy heart that I realized that I hadn't worn my two Darling Ranges dresses (one and two) in a very long time. They both didn't fit me correctly, the first is too low in the front and the buttons are too heavy; the second, I just don't like the fabric, it creases too easily and it doesn't go with anything in my wardrobe.
But I couldn't just throw them away. So I tok the fabric of the first and the buttons of the second and made a Kelly skirt. I had just barely enough fabric, the waistband is pieced and the buttons are too close together, but I made it work and now I have a super cute new skirt. Yay for recycling!

Top: Banksia top by Megan Nielsen (never blogged, worn here, here and here)
Cardigan: Stefanel
Jeans: second hand
Shoes: Converse

This outfit was way cuter in my head, I was a bit disappointed while editing the photos. I don't know exactly what went wrong with it...
Anyway, my lace sleeveless Banksia is still very much loved and I liked the idea of pairing it with a mint cardigan.

Top: Pimkie
Skirt: Beignet skirt by Colette Patterns (never blogged, worn here)
Coat: borrowed stolen from my mother

We had such horrible weather on Saturday, I woke up to pouring rain and a very low temperature. I also had 5 hours of sleep, so I basically grabbed whatever I found scattered in my room. I'm more than satisfied with the result.

And I'm afraid that's it for me and Me-Made-May, this week I'm staying at my boyfriend and I've packed stuff that you've already seen or that I've very recently blogged about.
Between the weather requiring me to choose comfort over style and the fact that I'd have to take photos in a pretty dark apartment, I decided that I prefer no content at all than bad content. Not everybody thinks like that and that's absolutely fine, but I do.

I think I'll do a recap of MMM at the end of the week so that I have to regroup my thoughts on this experience.
Good luck to everybody on your last days of MMM!

Me-Made-May 2013 - Week 2

BlouseDatura blouse by Deer and Doe (originally blogged here)
Cardigan: Zara (old)
Jeans: second hand
Shoes: Converse

I was a bit under the weather the first half of the week, so taking pictures of myself was the last thing I wanted.
I still wasn't 100% on Thursday, so my Datura blouse was the perfect compromise of style and comfort.
I really need to make the bust darts shorter if I make this blouse again, because they look like nipples right now. I wasn't very noticeable on a print, but it bothers me a bit in this chambray version. 

Shirt: Pimkie
Skirt: Beignet skirt by Colette Patterns (first seen here)
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Pimkie

I can't believe this skirt already has almost three years. It's still one of my most worn makes, and I get to wear it all year round. It also appeared in last year's me-made-may.
Everyone raves about this pattern, and it's totally deserved.

T-Shirt: Pimkie
Skirt: Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen (originally blogged here)
Flats: Les Lolitas

This isn't exactly the most exciting outfit ever, but it was one of those days when I spend too much time getting ready on hair and makeup and then I end up having less than 5 minutes to get dressed. I didn't even have the time to put on a necklace.
Anyways, I told you multiple times how much I love the Kelly skirt, so I won't spend any more time on that. Although I'll say that I definitely prefer this skirt in a stiffer material (such as my black version), rather than this denim, that has a bit more drape to it.

Dress: Lily dress by Colette Patterns (originally blogged here)
Cardigan: local market
Shoes: Pimkie

Oh, this dress. I love it so much... in theory. The colors are a bit too bold for my everyday life, and the material wrinkles so terribly (you can see it in the photos) that it gets worn very rarely. I also think the styling of these photos is not the most inspired choice: this dress begs for sandals and a more relaxed hairstyle.
However, I was surprised at how comfortable it actually is: I was afraid that this kind of skirt was going to be a bit too tight for everyday, but it's actually not at all. The kickpleat really makes your life easier. I really hope to make another version of Lily in a better material sooner than later.

So, I didn't make up for last week's fail, but I still kept up with my pledge of 4 me-made outfits. I can't believe we're almost at half!

Laurel dress (in the nick of time!)

Size: size 4 for the torso, graded up between a 6 and an 8 at the hips. The length is more or less of size 8.

Alterations: Lowered the bust dart by 1,5cm and shortened it by 1cm. Took the waist in slightly. Added in-seam pockets. Omitted the zipper.

(As you can see, I decided to add this quick list at the beginning of my posts, à la The Sew Weekly, House of Pinheiro, True Bias, etc. This is meant as a reference for those who are not interested in the rest of the post or are returning here looking for this information.)

If you follow me, on Twitter or Facebook, you might know that I started working on this dress just Saturday (which actually became Sunday night...). OOPS!

As every other seamstress on the Internet, I got incredibly excited when the Laurel dress contest was revealed over a month ago, so I purchased the pattern almost immediately, even though I wasn't completely in love with it.
I had planned to take my time with the muslin and had enough ideas for at least two versions.

But of course, I hadn't taken into account the fact that I SUCK at plans and that I'm the biggest procrastinator on Earth, so there I was, two days before the deadline with an ill-fitting muslin and not enough time to make the block printed fabric I would have wanted.

I couldn't just give up, so I made another muslin and went digging for fabric in my stash.

The first time around, I had cut a muslin for the blouse version, taking for granted it had the same fit as the dress.
Boy, was I wrong! The blouse has a weird armhole curve and was desperately calling for an FBA on me, while the dress fit me quite well since the beginning (I just had to move the bust dart slightly and adjust the side seams to my curves).
And at the muslin stage, I also noticed I could easily slip into and out of the dress without a zipper, so I happily omitted it.

If you add that the bottom and sleeves didn't need hemming because they were cut on a border print,  this dress took me little more than an hour to make, which is fantastic.

Actually, I couldn't cut one of the sleeves on the border, so i stitched as if it was a trim... Can you notice it? It's practically invisible!

This beautiful fabric is part of a precious gift my boyfriend's father made to me last year, he gave me these beautiful vintage batiks he had bought in Indonesia and kept for over 30 years. I used another piece to make a Hazel dress (again, from Colette patterns!) last summer.
These fabrics are even more dear to me now, since he passed away last winter, which still feels unbelievable to me. I know this is a great way to remember him.

Anyway, final thoughts on this dress: it was a surprise to me, but I really really love it! I was afraid this silhouette might look "nightgown-y" on me, and although it's probably not the most flattering for my body, I like it a lot. It's loose enough to be comfortable, but not as much as to be unflattering, and it's a great balance between casual and girly. I definitely understand why this pattern is getting so much love, now!
Who knows? This might not be the last Laurel I make...

Sew Colette 2.0.: My Third Macaron

The second pattern of the Sew Colette 2.0. sew along was the Macaron, one of my ultimate favorites. You don't believe it? I've already made it twice and the first one was one of my first successful projects, one of those that make you say: "Wow, I'm really learning something great here".
For my third version I wanted to try something a little different and I decided to add a peter pan collar. I think I won't stop until every garment in my wardrobe has a collar and I'll finally look undoubtedly  like a first toddler.
My plan was to make a pointy collar, but decided for a curved one in order not to clash too much with the sweetheart lines of the bodice.

I'm very happy I decided to make a muslin for this dress, not having touched this pattern for almost two years and being aware that my previous versions had some minor fit issues. I think I had idealized this pattern quite a bit, because it was less smooth to work with than I remembered.

First of all: the fit is kind of weird, definitely different than what I'm used with Colette Patterns. In particular, the waist is unbelievably small; I usually have to grade down at the waist or use the same size I use for the bust, but this time I went from a size 4 for the top part to a size 8 for the waist and skirt portion and it was still very snug. I also had quite a few pieces not aligning, which forced me to trim excess fabric here and there; the worst effect of this was that one of the side edges of the zipper ended up being slanted (if that makes sense), so my zipper is a bit wonky.
I don't know if the pattern has been revised since (I own the first "edition", with the old artwork that I much prefer to the new one), or if I'm the only one who had this kind of problems.
Another issue I had, also mentioned by Rochelle, is how snug the neck opening is. Adding a collar and finishing the edge with bias tape doesn't help, I assure you. If you decide to add a collar, consider making some kind of keyhole wither in the front or in the back, I certainly regret not doing so, since I can't put this dress on or off if I'm wearing my glasses or if my hair is tied.
I also forgot that this dress is quite short, so instead of hemming it I finished the skirt edge with bias tape.
One last thing: can anybody explain to me why the midriff pieces are curved? Even notching and clipping, I couldn't make the seams lie perfectly nice and flat, as you can see in the photos.

Although making this dress wasn't a walk in the park, I like my new Macaron quite a bit. I'm not 100% satisfied with my fabric choices, because the black chiffon isn't as sheer as I would have wanted it to be and the printed cotton I used for the rest of the dress looks a bit cheap (but the print looks like a bunch of teeny tiny balloons and that makes me happy.). This chiffon was the most tempered, difficult fabric I've ever worked with (you can see I had some problems with the sleeve edges).
But I know I love the style of this dress, the sweetheart neckline, the hidden pockets, the shape of the skirt, and this time I have a collar for added cuteness, so I'm sure I'll wear this a lot.