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Me Made Made, and a competition!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wearing - an unblogged Wool Felicity Skirt

Happy Me Made May 2016 everyone!! It has officially started and I completely neglected to even write down what my challenge was going to be, er, oops...

'I, Jen of and @jenniferlaurenvintage, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one me made garment for everyday during the month of May, document my daily outfits on instagram and do a weekly round up on my blog. I also endeavour to finally finish my Belfast Cardigan and start a second knitting project for the duration of May 2016'

Phew, done! And above, is my very first outfit for the month, wearing an unblogged Felicity Dress Skirt.

Zoe also has the first official Me Made May competition up and running on her blog right now!

The Fabric Godmother are giving away an amazing prize -  a one month subscription to the Dream Wardrobe project kit! To enter, head on over to the Fabric Godmother website, check out their indie pattern selection and let her know, via Zoe's blog, who else you would love to see her stock. So easy and such a fabulous prize. 

I'm so looking forward to seeing what everyone is doing during May, I can't wait to see how your challenges pan out. My knitting goal for April was rather unsuccessful, maybe having it a part of my challenge will finally get me to the finish line on that one...


Coming Soon, The Hunter Tank Sewing Pattern...

Friday, April 29, 2016

NEW - The Felicity Skirt Pattern, A Free Expansion Pack!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

After wearing my Felicity Skirts all throughout summer, and stitching up many more ready for winter, I finally found the time to update the pattern, and today I'm releasing the skirt as a FREE PATTERN EXPANSION PACK! Yay!

I firmly believe in getting as much out of a pattern as possible, and now you can get even more out of your Felicity Dress Pattern with the option of turing your dress into a skirt.

Last year I realised that my go-to wardrobe staples, my circle skirts, just weren't going to cut it on a day to day basis anymore due to no-pocket-syndrome (when you have a baby, pockets really are a must, I don't know what I'd do without them right now), I glanced over at my Felicity dresses hanging in the wardrobe and on went the light bulb.

Felicity has the perfect pockets already incorporated into both skirt options and it meant I wouldn't need to do any pfaffing around to get the perfect pocket. Plus, Felicity's pockets are a design feature in themselves, taking an ordinary skirt and making it that much better.  I've put contrast piping into my pink gathered skirt pockets, and in another version (which you can just see here) I've used the underside of the fabric for a lovely little contrast inner pocket detail.

You can make the circle skirt out of pretty much anything, from light floaty fabrics to lush wools (I've made both!) and the gathered skirt is best made up in a lighter weight woven fabric with some drape. The green skirt in these photos is made from a vintage wool and the gathered skirt from a cotton lawn (or voile, I can't remember, but they're both pretty much the same thing...).

They really are the perfect skirt. I don't think I've taken mine off to be honest (except when I've opted for an Afternoon Shift, I have a flannel one in the works right now - I know, it sounds like it's turning into a nighty, but it's gorgeous and will definitely be acceptable day wear!!), and I wanted to share the love with you guys too. Y'know, just in case you are circle skirt fanatics too.

You'll need your original Felicity Dress Pattern to make the skirt, and if you purchase Felicity now, the pack is already included.

If you've bought a Felicity Dress Pattern already, you can download your new pattern piece and instructions here.

I hope you like this wee addition! I'm excited to see lots of Felicity Skirts popping up.


PS) Would you like to be the first to know when my brand spanking new pattern is here? Well why not sign up for my newsletter here. Hint - next week :)

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A Knitting Goal & Me Made May...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I feel like the White Rabbit right now, rushing around and hurriedly glancing at my pocket watch realising that if I don't get my A into G I'm going to be late - late for a very important date.

I started knitting a cardigan a while back, feeling really excited about how I'd wear it with all-of-the-things. I got past the ribbing, I knitted the body, and then, I got to the arms and stopped. For some reason, I have the same mental block I did when I started the ribbing. I don't want to use double pointed needles because, well, that's just way too confusing for my poor, tired little brain, but beginning the Magic Loop is also causing me some issues. It's fiddly. So I've been stalling.

But, it's nearly winter here again, and I've started getting excited about wearing it with all-of-the things once more, and lucky for me, the little push I need is right around the corner. Hello Me Made May!!

My goal is to have my cardigan finished before the beginning of May. That gives me 28 days of full on evening knitting, and being a slow knitter, it's going to be a challenge, but I'm putting it out there. It's official.

So, Me Made May, are you going to be participating? Zoe has just announced the sign up details here. You have plenty of time to think about your Me Made pledge, so don't feel like you need to do it right away, just make sure you come up with something before the beginning of May. No panic sewing allowed!

We have a flicker group set up, a pinterest board and will be using the hashtag #MMMay16 on social media. Head on over to Zoe's blog for all-the-details!

I haven't quite figured out my challenge yet, but I'll be thinking about it over the next few weeks. I'm thinking about changing my pledge up a little from my previous ones by maybe adding a knitting project into it. Once my Belfast cardigan is done, I need to start on this one. I bought the pattern and wool for it at the same time as the cardigan, well over a year ago... eep.

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Grey Bronte Days...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Brrrrr, it's cold you guys!

I finished this grey merino Bronte top a few weeks ago - I've been stitching up my winter wardrobe for a little while now, because, did I mention it was cold?  Winter isn't just coming, it's most definitely here... 

I loved the silver colour of this grey merino as soon as I saw it, but I didn't realise how thin it was at the time. It wasn't until I put it on and you could see every detail of my bra straight through the fabric, that I realised this was a top I'd have to wear with a singlet underneath. A wee bit disappointing, but I can't complain since it was a major and unexpected score at Spotlight (NZ's version of Joanne's I do believe). They never stock merino and it was 40% off. Plus, I don't actually mind that I'll have to wear a singlet with it, because, did I mention it was cold here? And you know, layers.

I've made a second long-sleeved blue Bronte already that is just awaiting some buttons. Me Made May is coming and I'm so excited to participate (after my break last year) as well as help Zoe out with it again this year. Me Made May has definitely been giving my sewing mojo a boost lately, sign up details will be here at the beginning of April.

I'm wearing my Bronte with a Felicity Dress skirt - that free waistband pattern is a comin' folks! I just have a few final tweeks to make. I've been wearing mine non-stop, and can't quite seem to stop making them. I guess when something works, why stop right?

Oh yeah, and I got a hair cut - it was time. I hadn't had one since before Oscar was born.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter holiday, we are stocked up with chocolate eggs, hot cross buns, toasty roaring fires and a 10month old who's favourite thing to do is climb on us.  So cute, so happy.

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An Afternoon Tutorial - Inserting Back Gathers

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hey, hey!

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and emails on my last post! I've not managed to reply (or approve) all of them yet, but I'm getting there. I didn't realise it would hit such a note with all of you! 

Today I'm sharing the second Afternoon Tutorial - inserting the back gathering for View 4 of the Afternoon Shift dress

You'll need - 

1. To cut the correct length of bias binding, use your back paper pattern piece and measure the waistline all the way across using the waistline notch and the tailor's tack marks on the pattern to get a straight line. Double this measurement then cut that length in bias tape.

2. To cut the correct length of elastic, use your back paper pattern piece and measure the waistline from the waistline notch to the tailor's tack marking to get an accurate measurement. Double this measurement then cut that length in elastic.

3. Take your cut out back pattern piece with the pattern still attached and using your needle and contrasting thread, place a small tailors tack into your pattern. 

4. Open out your back piece, snip your tack in half and wrong side facing down, place your bias binding on top. Line up the ends of the binding with the waist line notches on either side and the centre with the tailor's tack notches to ensure a straight line.

5. Stitch the top and bottom of the bias binding down, as close to the edge as possible, leaving the ends on each side open. Back tack at each end and remove your tailor's tack.

6. Place a small safety pin at one end of your elastic and pull it carefully through the bias casing, lining up each end of elastic exactly to the side of your shift dress.

I've also pinned the end of my elastic to the side in the photos below so it doesn't pull all the way through.

7. Place a few small stitches, within the seam allowance, at each end of the elastic to secure it until the side seams are stitched up. These can be hand stitches or machine stitches.

And that's how you insert the back gathering! It's pretty easy and leaves you with a really nice finish on the outside of the dress.

Have you made an Afternoon Shift or Blouse? Leave me a link in the comments, I'd love to see them :)


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Feeling Chatty...

Friday, March 11, 2016

I was going to post the second of my Afternoon Tutorials, but today, I just felt like writing to you all instead and saying hello.


Autumn is apparently officially here in my neck o' the woods. We've literally just had the power turned back on. It's been down since yesterday evening - we've had gale force winds here which have knocked down powerlines, um, hello autumn or winter!? Thank goodness for our little wood burner and stove top kettle, oh how we take power for granted...

Autumn is technically my favourite season, but, I just want a bit more summer warmth. We've not had a great summer this year, so I'm feeling a little cheated and not quite ready to give up my long light days in exchange for dark mornings and cold nights.

No, not yet. I think we can wring a few more warm, flowery days out before the cold settles in and the garden goes to sleep though... I live in hope.

Anyway, what I actually wanted to talk about today... you know how sometimes you're in the mood to share, and other times you'd rather use that sharing time to just get more sewing done? Yeah, I've definitely been in that mood lately. I'd rather make stuff than share it at the moment, so, that back log of stuff-to-share most certainly isn't getting smaller. BUT we did take some time on Wednesday to take photos of a few of the things I've been making.

Photo sessions have to happen quickly and in bulk these days, between naps and on a sunny day, in the afternoon when the sun is streaming into my sewing room, when David is home. It definitely needs planning...

Which brings me to the topic of blogging regularly as a seamstress. It quite rightly pops up fairly often, because the reality is that if we want to blog our makes regularly, we have to actually make regularly. But most of the time, that need-to-make leads to less-than-wearable/usable makes, wasted time and an aversion to actually getting any sewing done, doesn't it?

I know that when I feel like I should be blogging but have nothing to share, I end up not doing any sewing because I start to feel resentful at the need to sew just because I feel like I should be blogging, and not sewing because I actually want to. It's a cycle. And not a terribly productive one at that.

So my advice? Ignore all those helpful 'blog 10 times a week for a super dazzlingly successful blog'. They might be trying to be helpful, but they really aren't actually all that helpful for your productivity. Blog when you have something you're really excited to share, I'm sure your readers won't mind. I doubt they realise that you've made a rule to post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am exactly.

Do you sew to blog? Or do you blog when you've got some sewing to share?


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