Me-Made-May'13 Final Week

Friday, May 31, 2013

Well, I've made it through my first Me Made May challenge. I am actually feeling a little disappointed that it's over - it's been fun thinking of ways to incorporate my handmade items in my day to day wardrobe, but most of all I've enjoyed seeing so many creative people sharing their self made outfits on flickr. So here are my three outfits for the final week of the challenge:

My first outfit included my favourite me-made purple swing top, a me-made black scarf (I love how fluffy it is - so cozy and warm to wear), me-made purple court shoes and black cord jeans.

My next outfit included a me-made cotton voile top worn with jeans and a cardigan, and my me-made oxford shoes. I really like the leather these shoes are made from - it's got a lovely waxy finish. 

And my final outfit included a me-made self-drafted dress, me-made stretch cord jacket, me-made boots and a me-made linen and lace clutch. It's probably a bit difficult to see, but  I stitched a little wooden decoration with a cross-stitched butterfly on the front flap of the clutch - I think it helps to make it a bit more casual. 

Well, that's it for my Me-May-May'13 outfits. It's been a fun challenge - thanks again Zoe for organising it! And thanks to everyone who has taken part and shared their photos and comments on flickr. I look forward to doing it again next year! 

My first covered hat

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's true, I'm running a bit behind with my winter wardrobe sewing - I was hoping to have a finished Laurel top to show you by now, but I'm still working on some fitting issues with the toile. Something I have finished making this week though is my first covered hat, created for an assignment in my millinery class. 

The frame of the hat was made from paris net and 20/20 canvas (sometimes also called buckram) stretched and shaped over a hat block, and then trimmed to the appropriate depth. I then stitched a piece of rayon covered millinery wire around the base of the frame to help maintain the shape. The photo above shows part of the basic frame and you may also be able to see the wire stitched around the bottom of it. On top is a piece of pellon which provides a little padding and softness to the hat. 

In this photo you can see the completed hat base, fully covered with pellon. I then covered the hat with a fine black lace interlined with purple silk shantung, and added a lining, hat elastic and petersham ribbon to the inside. Although the hand stitching was pretty time consuming, I also found it quite relaxing and I really enjoyed seeing the hat coming together. I'm not sure that the finished hat is something I'll wear too often, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

Inspiration: Alabama Chanin

Saturday, May 25, 2013

One of the things I'd like to do on this blog is share some of my sources of inspiration for the creative activities that I engage in. Generally these will be artisans, bloggers and other creative people, but at times may also be places, experiences or works of art. I'm sure you will have heard of many of the creative people whose work I find inspiring, but perhaps this 'Inspiration' series will also introduce you to some new faces and ideas that might influence your own creative pursuits. So let's begin...

For my first post in this series, I'd like to talk about the founder of Alabama Chanin, Natalie Chanin. Quite simply, her work is stunning! She and her team of skilled artisans hand stitch truly beautiful garments made from organic cotton jersey embellished with paint, applique, reverse applique, beading and embroidery. You can see some examples of the detail in her work in the images throughout this post (all photos of her book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design).

Not only do I admire Natalie's creativity in crafting these beautiful garments, I am also inspired by the ethical and sustainable way she chooses to run her business. Based in Florence Alabama, Alabama Chanin uses locally produced cotton (on her blog Natalie even talks about how they are now working towards growing their own cotton). The business employs local artisans, many of whom work from their own homes, thereby providing valued employment in the local area. I also find it really interesting that Natalie shares detailed instructions for her stitching, beading and other embellishment techniques, along with patterns for many of the garments that her company sells in her books and through tutorials on her blog. Not only does this help to sustain traditional hand-sewing skills and techniques, it enables many of us who are unable to afford to buy a piece of Alabama Chanin's collection to make our own, while cleverly also opening up a new market for Alabama Chanin who now sell all the stencils, fabric and other materials needed to make these items. As someone who is very interested in the idea of socially responsible business, and someone that loves to sew, I find the work of Natalie Chanin inspiring.

How about you? Whose work do you find inspiring? 

Me-Made-May'13 Week 3

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The cooler weather has made putting together outfits for Me-Made-May a little more challenging this week - good motivation for getting to work on my winter wardrobe sewing! In the meantime, here's how I went this week:

This me-made cotton voile top was one of my summer favourites with the images of butterflies made up of tiny butterflies, and the fabric so soft to wear. I paired it with a navy cardigan and jeans, and my me-made lace-up shoes (the first pair of derbies I made when studying shoemaking). 

Yet another Cambie dress (yes, it was one of my most used patterns over summer). I wore this one with my aqua green cardigan and me-made purple court shoes.

Cotton voile seems to be another recurring theme in my Me-Made-May outfits. I wore this self-drafted top with jeans and my me-made court shoes. 

With one more week to go in the Me-Made-May'13 challenge, if you'd like to check out how everyone else is going, have a look at the flickr page - it really is inspiring seeing so many talented and creative people proudly wearing their self made clothes!

My winter wardrobe update

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

With my winter sewing plans in mind, I've been rummaging through my fabric stash and have decided on my first sewing project. I'm not sure of the actual composition of the fabric I've chosen as it's an off-cut I picked up from a local designer's clearance sale recently, but from the look and feel of it I'm guessing it's some kind of cotton polyester blend. It's a gorgeous magenta colour with a slight sheen when it catches the light, and although it creases quite a bit I think it will look lovely made up as a Colette Laurel top. I'm looking forward to getting started on it - if I can get it finished in the next few days I'll be able to wear it as part of the Me-Made-May'13 challenge. 

Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger