#MMMay 2015

That was the fastest Me Made May I’ve ever encountered. Below are a few pieces on flickr.

What was different this year?

My main time commitment was the half marathon so I only committed to wear one me-made a day. Now I know how much time it takes to train and recover.

There are a couple of preview pieces in this year’s makes and my key learning is to keep adding colour to my basic pieces. Two bags of clothes went to charity as well.
Over 250 people took place in Me-Made-May this year on flickr (over 3,800 pics) and I’m guessing there participants on IG. It’s all fun really.

Satin ‘n lace

Here’s lace overlay dress I’ve been working on using White Tree Fabrics duchess satin and lace. McCalls 6028 seemed the best fit for the lace dress idea on my Pinterest board.
I do like this dress.
I enjoy working with lace and it seems to be everywhere these days. The duchess satin is firm enough and creates a defined shape without clinging to your body.

So the key to making this dress look great was to mirror the lace edges evenly, after getting a great dress fit.
This really shows how lovely lace is.
Balancing the curves is a key of this dress. The lace I used had a flower just inside the curve that I decided to use as the balance.

I’ve used blue lace on blue satin so it’s hard to see but it’s there.

Waistband and neckline
The waist band wasn’t my initial plan but I added the waistband so you can’t see the lace join. 
Before the waistband.
The waistband make the lace look consistent and continuous, especially for someone my height.
After adding the waistband and hand stitching the lace to the satin.
The neckline on the pattern is round so I’ve drafted it to a high v-neckline and adjusted the lining to suit is.

The sleeves were a small challenge too. A small change because I placed the lace flower on the same spot on both sleeves. 

I’ve used bias binding for the sleeve seams and then whip stitched them to the dress facing so from the outside you see more sleeve and less seam allowance.
Cutting the sleeve so the lace flowers mirror each other.
This lace is so impressive in real life. I think it deserves a light colour satin to really show the lace detailing. I’ll keep that in mind for the lace remnant I have.

I placed a sparkly buttons at the top of each sleeve, just for the effect.

Hand stitching
While this satin seams only needs overlocking, I did under stitch and hand stitch the neckline facing.

The sleeve seam is hand stitched to the bodice so you see more lace that seam allowance. The hems and sleeve seam allowances are bias bound.

I enjoyed the slow hand stitching of the skirt lace overlay to the skirt satin.
Basically I have a few formal dinners coming up and I now have a lovely dress I can wear and know it fits well.

See spot run

McCalls 4261 has a basic round neck tee pattern and I had some white knit fabric with huge silver spots on it, hence this post.

Melissa and Winnie recently ran the London Marathon. An awesome feat in itself. They both wore outfits that didn’t hinder their efforts but ensured they could be spotted in the crowd. Or at least that’s my take on their running outfits.

This month I’m ran my only half marathon and to distract my training and a dress I’ve working on, I played with this tee. 

The test top is a daywear basic made from this highly textured knit. There’s a matching skirt but that’s another story…

The test top showed me I needed to use the small size for the waist up and medium size for the waist down. The long sleeves are not long enough for me. I think this fabric is a piece I bought at Clear it in Melbourne some time ago. It has no wicking properties at all. It just looks good.

Here’s the short sleeve and long sleeve training versions.

I still have enough of this fabric for a panel on something. 

Before the run my estimated running time was over 2 hours and I finished in 2 hours 18 minutes. After running in the short sleeve top for over 2 hours on a cool day, I could do this again.

The whole time I ran my main concern was to finish and not fall or ‘hitting the wall’. Now to cheer on Kathy in her half marathon later this month.

Oh, while I was recovering this week, I made these three versions post-half marathon because these scrap fabrics were begging to be used. 

Check blue top, brown pleather top and basic blue top

 The blue version was comfy to wear to work this week.

Getting it right

McCalls 6028 has taken me a while to make this fit me. There’s a satin/lace dress I’m planning on making so I’ve tested this pattern three times because I want to ‘get it right’.

Version 1: Check cotton fabric

This version is a size 14 based on my current measurements and I used a green/white check cotton to test out my initial adjustments.
Forward shoulder adjustment and sway back adjustment were the two changes I made on the tissue. I did drop the bust apex by 2.5cm.
Once I made up the dress, it was too big from the waist up.

Currently unpicked and ready to be resized.

This print was a piece I bought in Portland 4 years ago so I was eager to see if this fabric was still a goer. I also practiced sewing in an invisible zipper on this finer cotton fabric.

Conclusion: Go down a size and raise the hemline.

Version 2: Heavy slub cotton fabric

This version is a size 12 using a heavier cotton fabric with the new adjustments from #1. 
The bodice back bodice needed taking in below the shoulders and the front bodice also needed taking in above the waist. 

You can just see the piping added along the front seam lines.
Once I tweaked the seams, I overlocked them. There wasn’t enough fabric for the facings so I used bias binding to finish the neckline and hem.

The back was very simple to construct – even the invisible zipper.
This is already a handy work dress.

This cotton fabric was a Spotlight find from a few years ago. I added a strange trim that I bought online to practice piping. This isn’t my best work so I’ll have to practice some more…

I’ve used the piping feature on the sleeve hem – again this is hard to see.

The invisible zipper sits really neatly on this fabric. I unpicked a RTW skirt and found the invisible zipper had two sets of stitching – one close to the zipper teeth and the other mid way along the zipper tape.

Conclusion: Try it again with the facing this time.

Version 3: Printed ponte knit

Size 12 using the facing pieces on ponte and making the sleeve ‘winter’ length.

The facing pieces added a bit of bulk and after wearing the dress, I’ve added a fine knit from the facing to skirt length to avoid the fabric clinging to me.

This pic shows the grey knit lining I’ve used inside the dress. This stops it from clinging.

I bought this printed ponte knit from Minerva Crafts UK when I visited their store last year.  Sam used the same printed ponte for her separates last year.

Everything lined up along the back.

The invisible zipper sat nicely on this version. I used a dark green thread so that I could see the thread when I had to unpick the seams.

Here’s a close up of the trim I added along the front seaming.

The sleeve pattern doesn’t extend to the wrist so I lengthened the pattern and rechecked the width of the sleeve. It took me a couple of goes at slimming the sleeves in. Otherwise I would have drowned in the print and I do like this print.

There are a lot of ways this dress can be made up and I think by trialling the pattern for fit, I’ve discovered a few ways this dress can become a favourite.

Here’s how this works together with my Quart coat for Winter.I’m hoping my chances of the satin/lace version works. I still need to adjust the neckline for the style that I want.
More soon.
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Cheese and spinach triangles

These are a family party-starter staple and I usually make these for everyone. That’s the only time I love cooking – for family and friends.

While making this recipe on a rainy, humid Saturday, I took went a bit IG crazy, and snapped each step. 
I think to be fair I should have put this recipe here before I got snap happy.

 Sometimes the construction is easier to show using pictures instead of writing it.

 And it can be hard to convince a novice cook to butt each piece together on the baking tray for a better result, hence these pics. My aunties taught me that you put the uneven folds underneath so the tops are all smooth looking.

As you can see, these triangles are all nicely tanned and there were no cheese break outs.

Traditionally these are a pure spinach and cheese filling with an egg and some herbs. This filling has frozen spinach, mint, shallots, an egg, 400gm ricotta cheese and 400gm fetta.
I was always taught to use unsalted butter for the folds and to brown the outside.

The pastry is fillo pastry and I always use Antoniou fillo because it’s consistent.

The oven is usually at 190C and these take 20 minutes to cook. 

PS: I have an uncooked batch in the freezer for the next family get-together.