Honeycomb and Me Made May confessions

Hi everyone,

I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve really tailed off at the end of Me Made May. It’s the end of another busy half term, I wasn’t too well at weekend (my most hated online moan but it’s true!) and I think I’m just in need of a little online switch off.

I have used that time to get stuck in with my sewing machine and I’ve been making lots of holiday makes (not the easiest to model). I thought I was losing my sewjo a little, which wasn’t helped by the most recent make I’m about to share but I think I’m back on my game!

Anyway, I’m not usually overly enamoured by Cocowawa patterns, I feel they are definitely made for a slimmer frame but I thought the tie sides of the most recent Honeycomb dress would flatter me so I wanted to give it a go. I will just have one more moan though (sorry, last one I promise) – I was really disappointed to find that most of the pattern testers for this were significantly smaller than the size 20 the pattern claims to go up to… which doesn’t seem very inclusive.

Anyway, undeterred, I carried on with it. I made a few changes, obviously I made the chest pieces bigger (possibly should have been even bigger and also longer as you will see), I also omitted the collar and created a bias binding instead and I lengthened it to create a maxi. Also, contrary to my instincts, I made it sleeveless, in acceptance that not all of my summer clothes can have sleeves.

I used the lovely birdy viscose from Adam Ross fabrics. Whilst, I’m really happy with the neat finish on my dress and I’m loving the self covered buttons, I’m just not sure it is quite me. What does everyone think? I’m wondering if it’s the sleeves, the fit on the chest or the colour. I may dye it. Any thoughts?

In the meantime, I’m making a very promising Datura hack dress which should be lovely.

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Me Made May Week 3

Day 1 – I made another shortened version of the Florence Dress last year, which has been a nightmare to photograph – it just seems that it has never worked out. I made it using a bed sheet so it gives it more structure, which is great for work. I do think the pattern lends itself to floaty fabrics more thought.

Day 2 – Today I wore my gingham hacked Orla Dress, I love wearing this dress, it’s such a cool and relaxed style and after making a few, I’m really happy with the fit of these. It’s a free pattern by French Navy Now and I really recommend it.

Day 3 – I wore a previously unblogged, simple gathered skirt. This is my favourite way to make self-drafted skirt as you can add lots of volume and swish to a skirt. I am currently writing a tutorial for Sew Me Sunshine using their beautiful crepe on how to create your own.

Day 4 – This is my first repeat and I wore my Emma brushed jersey Moneta dress. This is my most recent Moneta and every time I make one, I’m reminded why this pattern is my favourite – it’s super flattering and comfy. I haven’t blogged this one, as there are only so many Monetas a girl can blog!

Day 5 – This was a slightly different make for me, I decided to test my hand embroidery skills slightly. Bees seem to be everywhere at the minute so I downloaded myself a Bee Happy template and embroidered it on to a ready to wear T-shirt. I tucked this in to a self-drafted skirt and it was a perfect, cheerful outfit for a Royal Wedding Street Party!

Day 6 – Another day, another Orla hack. This is a long sleeved version. I used to Orla bodice as a block and extended it and lowered the neckline and created two ties for a tie back detail. I forgot to take pictures so I pinched a couple from my holiday last year (I wish I could go back!)

Day 7 – I wore RTW to work. If I’m completely honest, my work wardrobe is definitely not 100% me made and as the last week of term approaches I’m struggling to wear me made everyday. I had family round for tea though and slipped on my original galaxy moneta.

Thoughts for this week: I don’t automatically wear Me Made every day, which is OK because I don’t want to get rid of anything just because, but there’s definitely still room for more me mades in my wardrobe. (yay!)

I need to make more work basics, which are smart and appropriate.

Maxi Apples

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been missing for a while, I’m extremely busy at the minute and when me and hubby have been stripping walls and garden sorting, I can’t bring myself to replace my scruffs for my lovely new makes and insist he takes photos!!!

The Appleton dress was made for me by the lovely Lhizz from New Zealand last year as part of the hand-made dress swap. As she didn’t feel the pattern would suit her, she kindly sent the pattern with the dress she had made and I have made it since for my sister’s baby shower last year.

As the pattern is tailored for curvy, chestier girls, I couldn’t leave it there as I feel it had a great fit and it’s super flattering. I have seen a few people hack the dress in to the a maxi, so I decide to do the same thing. I was also inspired by the Sew Together for Summer wrap dress challenge, which is always great for inspiration!

From making it before I know that it uses a lot of fabric and, in a very unlike me move, I decided that patterned fabric would be too much in a real shoulder to toe dress so I chose a plain, purple jersey for this make. My inner pattern lover struggled with this decision!!

The construction of the dress is a real joy (usually) – for some reason, I had lots of problems with this, the jersey is super stretchy (though I have worked with the same make before) and it just seemed that if it could pucker or snap or anything else to go wrong then it did. This was increased by the fact that there was so much fabric and it actually made it a bit more difficult to work with on the whole.

Anyway, due to my absolute frustration with this dress, I expected to get it on and hate it because it wasn’t really a pleasure to make in the end. However… I absolutely love it. This amazing pattern has done it again, I think it fits a treat (no gaping at all across the chest, which means no strategic safety pin!) and it is super flattering. I would really recommend this pattern for anyone who has a large pair of boobs to accommodate and for anyone who wants to up their jersey making game but still doesn’t want to deal with buttonholes or fastenings.

I

‘m not sure I can get away with another, but I’m thinking of making a sleeveless one (in a brighter print) for over my swimsuit – what do you think? Would that work?

Me Made May Week 2

Day 1 – I wore my Sew Over It Nancy Dress which I made last year and although I wasn’t entirely convinced with the shape, I still wear it often as its bright and fun and cheers me up (that and I needed a bit of a looser shape after an indulgent bank holiday weekend!)

Day 2- I wore my much worn Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This was my first make in Ponte Roma and it has really stood the test if time.

Day 3 – Having felt a bit sluggish this week I decided to brighten myself up a little so I wore a green RTW t-shirt with a self-drafted skirt. The fabric is a vintage buy from my favourite shop up in Northumberland.

Day 4 – This is where Me Made May has stepped my game up a little and made me dive in my wardrobe. The is the Rebecca Page Arabella Skirt skit which I made last year and i have to admit, I haven’t worn it since. I love this retro tapes fabric from Flamingo fabrics and I really don’t know why I haven’t worn it much. Teamed with a RTW white blouse it was perfect for work and added a bit of colour to my day. This one is definitely being brought to the front of the wardrobe now!

Day 5- I wore two outfits today. I wore my hacked Datura blouse with RTW jeans to have my hair cut. (I haven’t blogged this but I love it!)

I then wore my Joni dress out for tea for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday meal. I absolutely love this dress!!

Day 6- my husband and I had a drive out and I wore my super comfy Peak T-shirt which I made from Wendy Ward’s book Sewing with Knitted Fabrics for Minerva Crafts.

Day 7 – today I thought outside the box and wore my Style Arc Italia Shirt Dress which I made for Sew Me Sunshine, tucked in to a plan black self-drafted circle skirt.

Thoughts for this week:

  • I am still very much in need of blouses for work.
  • I wear too much blue!

Joni Dress

Hi everyone,

Thanks for votyung earlier last month for my make for The Monthly Stitch. It’s complete and my post is also over on their blog.

I approached the Joni with some trepidation as it has a twist at the front, which looks quite complex… I love makes like this though, when you feel like sewing magic has happened! The instructions made it seem super easy and it came together really well. You attach the pieces at the shoulder, then turn one of the pieces fully and then sew up the front. It truly is sewing magic. I haven’t got masses of experience working with Jersey but I found this worked out really well.

I find it sits higher than the picture as suggest but looking at others, I think this is about right even though I usually have to FBA.

The fit of the skirt is quite flared and because the bodice finishes quite high, it makes for a really flattering fit and everyone I’ve seen in it looks great! I’m really pleased with mine.

This is a really satisfying pattern, which has something a bit different but still comes together really quickly. I love attaching sleeves on the flat! Best, quickest sewing ever!

You will notice that I didn’t ask voters to chose the fabric for this one and that’s because I just had to use this amazing Parrot Jersey from Sew Me Sunshine for it and I’m so glad I did. It’s so different and bright and I absolutely love it!

I wore it for a family meal and felt really bright and cheerful in it.

Me Made May 2018 Week 1

Hi everyone,

It’s going well so far and I’m posting daily over on Instagram. I did Me Made May last year and was surprised how much I actually managed to wear me made garments. I loved how much it helped me to think. However, I’ve learnt so much in a year and many of those garments are just not the same quality as I produce now. So… If I pull it out and pull a face, it’s either being donated, being mended or going in the fabric bin. I’m hoping it’ll help me to re-assess and get a bit more clarity in my wardrobe. So, let’s have a look.

Day 1. I wore my Sew Over It Ella Blouse in a chiffon which I bought from my local market. The was the second time I made the blouse and I hacked it to use ribbons instead of the ties. The facing on my first one (see here) never quite sat right and it is a little tight on my arms so that is being removed from the wardrobe! This one is staying though!

Day 2. I wore my Paisley Moneta, anyone who knows me, knows I love a good Moneta and this one, which I ran together before my holiday last year. I always get lots of compliments when I wear it.

Day 3- After being suitably inspired and having found I was slightly ahead with my uni work, I ran together another Moneta, this time in this beautiful fabric of my name (Emma brushed Jersey) from Sew Me Sunshine. I added pockets and lengthened it. I also attempted to add a collar to find I hated it and I unpicked it!

Day 4- I am determined that it will be sunny so I wore my Frankendress which I made last year by hacking New Look 6483 t-shirt and the skirt from 6723. I widened the sleeves and pleated the skirt. I wear this a lot.

Day 5- I wore my new Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. They are perfect weekend wear and perfect for English summers, which never quite justify shorts for me! I wore these with a RTW t-shirt, something I seriously need to fix, as I discussed in my last Sewcialists post.

Day 6- I wore my Sew Over It Florence Dress which I made last year for breakfast with my hubby. It’s such a cool and super easy style to wear.

Day 7- hooray for sunny Bank Holiday weekends! I wore my Vanessa Pouzet Wanted Tee (which I have previously made a tutorial for if anyone needs a hand with that neckline!) This one I Refashioned out of a men’s polo t-shirt. I paired this (as I usually do) with my Sew This Pattern Velo Cullotes in peachskin from Sewisfaction. This outfit won a prize during last year’s Indie pattern month and I love it!

Thoughts for this week are that, I aparantly like Sew Over It patterns more than I realised and my summer wardrobe is looking a lot healthier than I thought!

I need to work on getting some camis made, as I’m my desperation to cover my arms, I’ve been left a little hot at times this week!

Me Made May 2018

I, Emma of Emma and her Machine vow to wear hand made clothes every day of Me Made May. Simple but thought provoking for me.

I’m hoping it will help me see what garments I’m definitely not wearing and clear out my wardrobe a bit.

Last year was my first year and I really didn’t know how much of a benefit it would be to me. It really helps to inspire and to direct my wardrobe in to the kind of clothes I need. It’s like a wardrobe audit!

Last year pointed out that I need basics, weekend tops and Pyjamas in my life. I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

See you there!

Buzzing about my Kalle Shirt

Not to sound like a broken record… but life is busy at the minute. I am determined that my blog will continue through all the business as it is my little bit of me. It does mean that I’m getting behind and I’m not able to keep up with the sewing challenges the same as I usually would… so on that note I give you Sew My Style’s March entry… in April!

The Kalle shirt dress is one of the reasons I wanted to try the Sew My Style challenge because I had my eye on the pattern anyway.

I wasn’t sure on the sizing as I have never made a Closet Case Pattern before so I decided to toile it first. I chose a denim look linen which I got from Sew Sew Sew last year. There are so many pieces to cut out for the Kalle, which is one of the reasons I took so long to make it. I thought putting together the PDF was never going to end! Anyway, once I had my million pieces, I chose the pop over placket and tunic length (it’s great that there’s so many variations). I’ll share my toile soon as I’m waiting on some poppers to finish it! My toile was a success so I decided to use the beautiful Kokka Trefle Bee Cotton Gauze I bought last year.

For this I chose the button front and the tunic length but I changed it a little. I’m not a facings lover at all so when I saw that it had facings for the hem (literally never seen anything like those before) I promptly completely ignored them. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get around it but in the end I overlocked the bottom and turn it over once. I find this is a really successful way of hemming curves and it looks really neat. It worked really well on my toile so I repeated it on my second version and even hacked it so I could have a high low hem.

Anyway, here she is, I’m really happy with the fit. The instructions were great! I’m happy with it and the buttons were from my stash; it’s amazing what a perfect match they are. The length is maybe a little short at the front but I love it!

Perfect buttons!

She has not disappointed AND… I think I have FINALLY found my ultimate go-to blouse pattern after I have made soooo many in my search for the one! Did I mention, I love it! See you soon with another!

Sew Me Sunshine Dalbury Doris

Hi everyone,

For my most recent make, I was definitely thinking spring. I love organising what I am going to wear and when the season has already changed in your head, what could be better than making clothes which suit it.

I chose this beautiful Dalbury Cotton Lawn for my make and wanted to make a floaty feminine dress to suit it. With this is mind, I chose the Sew Over It Doris Dress as it has a real feminine feel with skirt panels which add fullness at the skirt.

For more details on my dress please visit Sew Me Sunshine where the beautiful Ella has also written an amazing post.
I’m really happy with this super pretty dress. The fabric is a summery, floaty dream and I can’t wait for the sun to come out to wear it more!


This review in more detail was originally written for the Sew Me Sunshine blog, where Harriet at SMS gifted me this beautiful Cotton Lawn fabric to write about a sewing project and includes my own opinions about the pattern and fabric combination I chose.

I MADE TROUSERS!!

The caps above should say it all but I am so proud of myself! I finally made trousers! Thank you to everyone who’s voted for them in my April challenge because it pushed me to finally get round to them and I am so so glad that I did.

I’ve had the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers for a while now and kept avoiding making them… What a mistake. They come together so so easily, there’s only 4 pieces and because there is a side zip there’s no tricky fastenings to worry about. They’re absolutely perfect for a beginner trouser maker like me! Whilst I’m really not very excited at all by any of the more recent patterns from Sew Over It (I feel they are a lot of the same thing) you can’t go wrong with their classics and their directions, the construction is always seamless.

Anyway, I chose this beautiful gingham stretch cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and it’s a perfect fabric for these trousers. Like so many Sew Me Sunshine fabrics, it’s vibrant, cool and original. The better I’m getting at sewing the fussier I’m getting about my pattern matching but I’m glad the squares on this fabric were small enough for that not to matter because I don’t think I could pattern match and master trousers at the same time. I paid attention to the grain-line but otherwise I didn’t worry too much about matching the pattern.

These trousers are definitely a winner for me and I can’t wait to make more. They are a super fast staple and I’m going to try them in a block colour next. Has anyone else tried the Ultimate Trousers?

I needed a plain top for with these so this is a RTW number but I need to be addressing this gap in my wardrobe. I posted about it over on The Sewcialists this week if you’re interested. ☺

Sewing Freya

I know, I know, everyone’s making it but it’s another Tilly and The Buttons Freya (in fact it’s another two!) but until you try this pattern you will not realise how amazing it is to make and wear.

It has a soft mock roll neck, a roll neck or a cowl neck and comes with two lengths, multiple sleeve lengths and an optional frill at the chest, which I think really mixes it up but this will not be happening in my life as I have no need to more fullness across my chest!

I pre-ordered the book and I was so excited that I got to work straight away and had a dress version of the Freya sewn up before the book was even officially released! Obviously, the book is called Stretch so you can use jersey or ponte. I went straight for a red jersey I had in my stash which had been patiently waiting all along for a project like this.

I chose the mock roll neck and made the dress version. The instructions, as always, are super easy to follow and the construction is really quick, I can see this becoming an easy wardrobe staple, especially as roll necks are so great for layering.

I didn’t want to miss out of the chance to ruffle it up so I cut two 3 inch strips the length of the fabric, stitched them in to a loop and gathered like mad! I then attached this to the bottom of the dress to make a bit of a feature. I’m in love with it!

After this success I decided I needed another in my life. I ordered some amazing rainbow stripe jersey from Sew Me Sunshine and got to work on another – again with a mock roll but this time in a top version. This one did not come together as easily because I chose stripes, I needed to make sure that they matched up (well as much as I could anyway). I don’t sew with stripes much but it was nice to take extra care to get it right and I’m really pleased with it. I feel a little bit like a wannabe as Tilly herself has made one very similar but I don’t care because I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It’s the perfect, bright, pick-me-up t-shirt. It also goes with ALL of my Pink Coat Club pins!

One more thing, I have had problems with the fit of TATB patterns before but this fits an absolute dream, I haven’t had to take out for my chest and I feel that it isn’t too tight. The vote for my April challenge seems to be the Joni Dress too so you’ll soon see another Stretch make on the blog hopefully!

Help! April Challenge Vote!

Hi everyone,

I’m a bit late joining in this month’s Monthly Stitch challenge but the challenge is to ask readers to vote which unused, stashed pattern and which fabric to use out of three choices. What a great idea for a challenge because I love looking after people’s sewing options! This has come at the perfect time for me too as I have a lot going on with uni and moving house and I don’t have a lot of time for sewing at the minute so having just one project decided by you would really help me… So what do you think? Please vote by leaving a comment below or over on Instagram

1. I have some of this amazing gingham and floral stretch cotton from Sew Me Sunshine which I was going to use to make some Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. I fancy something nice and summery so I was going to aim for a cropped version. Those of you who read often will know this would be a huge challenge for me as I never sew trousers…

2. The second option is Cotton and Chalk’s Lily Dress. I’m trying to work on my summer wardrobe and I think a maxi version of this will be great for my holidays. I’m in two minds about the fabric. I can either use Pink flying birds viscose (the fabric is a really soft pink which doesn’t translate too well on photos) or Blue with Pink Flowers both from Adam Ross. What do you think?

3. I was going to attempt the Tilly and the Buttons Joni Dress from the New Book Stretch, another challenge as I’m not sure about the neckline (it looks a bit complicated) but a vote might just push me to attempt it! I planned to make it in this amazing Parrot jungle Jersey from Sew Me Sunshine.

Please let me know what you think and I’ll get moving with it and post it on The Monthly Stitch by the end of the month. ☺

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