Saturday, 31 May 2014

Just A Minute In...May

So while it's been busy month and perhaps a bit of a "meh" couple of weeks, it's not all been bad.

Time for another Just A Minute post.

Watching: I'm still really enjoying Made in Chelsea and I've recently got back into Eastenders. You've got to love a bit of trash!

Reading: Harry Potter 4...the Triwizard Tournament is so exciting!

Listening to: Radio 2 during the day has played me Shania Twain, Supercalsupercalifragilisticexpialidocious and everything between. Perfect for a bit of report writing.

Eating: I'm cooking a three-course meal tonight. The exact dishes are top secret but if they look half decent I'll no doubt post on Instagram.

Working on: writing reports, writing reports and writing reports, sprinkled with a bit of knitting and dress fitting.

Looking forward to: a weekend in Devon mid-June.

I originally spotted the idea for Just A Minute on Helen Limbrick's blog.  Do feel free to give it a go and leave your link!

What have you been up to during May?

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Friday, 30 May 2014

May Projects

Birthday card for Becky // Flower brooches using fabric scraps // New Home card for our neighbours // Handmade Dress Number 1 // Knitted Miette Cardigan still needing buttons (more on this soon) // Handmade Dress Number 2 (again more on this soon)

The last few of weeks left me feeling a bit out of sorts. I was pretty stressed out and busy with work which meant I didn't really find time for doing some of the things I do just for me. I stopped blogging. I stopped running. I stopped Me Made May. I stopped reading Harry Potter. I even stopped filling in my one-line-a-day diary.

Half term came just in time. It's given me a chance to make peace with the loss of my first handmade dress as well as have a good old chill out and get ahead with work so that hopefully the next stretch can be a little easier. I even managed to run for 30 minutes without stopping today!

Saying all that, despite a few set backs and tricky times, craft-wise I've got a lot to show for this month. It's been a biggy! I finished my first AND second handmade dresses and hand-knitted (!) a *whole* cardigan.

What's been an achievement for you this month?

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Me Made May: Catastrophe!

I made the Me Made May 2014 pledge. I planned to wear at least 4 different handmade items each week in May. I was so excited. It all coincided beautifully with me finishing my first proper handmade dress.  A week in I started to flag, a couple of tricky weeks at work meant that I wasn't really in the mood for Instagramming outfits. My survival instinct kind of kicked in and my energies ended up going on work stuff. I pretty sure I probably carried on wearing a fair few handmade pieces but I just lost focus a bit.

A couple of weeks in and complete disaster struck. I put on my beautiful handmade dress for its second outing for a BBQ to Greenwich. With just a couple of minutes until out train, I bent down to put on my shoes and I saw it. A big, unsightly bleach mark. Noooooooo.

I honestly couldn't believe it. I was so cross with myself. Too cross to continue with Me Made May. Almost too cross to go to the BBQ. For someone that own's a Cath Kidston apron, there really is no excuse. I wanted to cry. I appreciate that in the scale of things, compared to some of the hardships people face, this is a fairly minor catastrophe. However, this was my first handmade dress. It was made with lovely John Lewis fabric that I bought with a birthday voucher. Even if the zip was a bit bumpy, I still loved it. It felt like it's life was cut short!

My Second Handmade Dress safely covered by my apron!

So what with this and a couple of stressy weeks at work I hadn't felt much like Me Made May-ing or blogging. However, you'll be pleased to know that now that I've had a few days half-term rest. I've now made another handmade dress that is better than the first (more on this soon). Plus I've sourced some of the lovely blue fabric so I can make My First Handmade Dress Version 2 at some point in the near future.

What craft mishaps have you had?

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Sunday, 11 May 2014

My First Handmade Dress

I did it everyone! I made my very first handmade dress... it took me pretty much two solid days of my Easter holiday and I did have to insert the zip three times before giving up and settling for the bumpy zip that you can see below. But, quite frankly, for a first attempt I'm more than happy to settle for a slightly bumpy zip. There are worst things in life, right?

I used fabric that I bought with a birthday voucher from John Lewis and although I did draft my own pattern, I had a lot of help from Dressmaking by Alison Smith. In true Dorling Kindersley style, it is full of lovely step-by-step photographs to help you on your way to dressmaking success.

I can't tell you how excited I am to be able around in a dress that I've made myself and I'm pretty sure this will be the first of many.

In the meantime, if anyone has any advice/tips for successful zips, please let me know!

Linking up with Handmade Monday to see what everyone else has been making. 

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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Me Made May: Week 1

Hello everyone! Is anyone else absolutely loving Me Made May? I have to say, I've really been enjoying a wee daily peruse on Instagram and having a peek at what everyone else is wearing. Do have a peek for the hashtags #mmmay14 and #memademay. Also I cannot express my excitement about my new handmade dress. I wore it to Birmingham on Bank holiday Monday and it really did make me so proud to be drinking cocktails with my sister at lunchtime wearing a dress I made myself. Ladies who lunch and make their own clothes...doesn't get much better than that, right?

This week I've worn my two crocheted chevron cardigans (pattern found here), my handmade dress (more on this coming soon) and my prepster jacket (pattern from Happy Hooker).

Have you managed to go out wearing anything homemade recently?

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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Fabric Flowers

One evening lovely evening last week was spent turning little scraps of fabric into these flower brooches. It's a really quick project and definitely one I can recommend for a busy week when your a tad pushed for time. 

I used instructions from Fabric Flowers: 20 to Make by Kate Haxell, which I previous reviewed here. I also used leftover fabric from previous projects. I love that these little flower brooches help remind me of some of my favourite projects from the last year. 

The picture above is of my first handmade dress. I'm actually wearing it as we speak and I'm so incredibly pleased with it. I'll have some photos ready to show you on the blog soon.

Do you have any good projects for using up leftover fabric?

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This post is linked up to Handmade go and take a little peek at what everyone else has made this week.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Me Made May 2014

May is here! It's time to hide away those thick black tights and embrace the summer. Throughout May hundreds of bloggers are also having a go at wearing handmade/upcycled garments each day. I'm sure you will all have come across Me Made May already but if not have a peek at "So, Zo...What Do You Know?" and find out all the details.

It was around about this time last year that I decided that I wanted to start my own craft blog. I looked on at the Me Made May posts from various bloggers with admiration and, I'm not going to lie, a wee bit of jealousy.

This year after 10 months of craft blogging and about four solid days of swearing at my sewing machine, unpicking, re-stitching and crossing my fingers I'm pleased to announce that I am going to give Me Made May a go too. 
'I, Emma of sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear something handmade four times a week for the duration of May 2014'
You can follow my progress on Instagram, Twitter or here on my blog.  If you want to see more of Me Made May on Twitter/Instagram have a look for #MeMadeMay of #MMMay14

Do let me know if you are taking part, I'd love to see how you are doing.

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