Mint Green Wallpaper Blouse

DSC_0027Since realising that I didn’t have much me-made clothing I could wear on a regular basis, I had been feeling inspired to complete a UFO (unfinished object) that’s been hanging around for a while.  This would also give me another blouse to wear during May at work.

There isn’t too much to say about this project, as it’s the fourth time I’ve made this pattern.  I’m really pleased with the fabric choice on this one though.  It’s not a colour I’d usually choose, and although I thought the fabric pattern looked a little like flock wallpaper, I think it looks really striking made up as blouse.

I feel like I’m getting better at imagining fabric and patterns together, and my awareness of clothes around me is growing.  In the same way that playing music has improved my ear for listening to music, I think sewing is developing an interest in fashion that I haven’t had before.  I love flicking through blogs to see what other people are making, and browsing the web for inspiration for my future makes.

Once I figure it out, I’ll add a favourite blogs page to my site, so you can enjoy them too.


Me-Made-May ‘16

It has been a little while since I last posted, although I have been doing some sewing, I haven’t had too much time and energy due to the demands of my day job.  In the last few weeks I’ve been noticing mentions of Me-Made-May ’16 appearing on various blogs and, although I have several items to blog about I decided that this blog should be a look back at last year’s Me-Made-May blog post.

That post was made at the end of May and rued my lack of participation in 2015.  I had just got back to blogging, a year after my return to sewing in May 2014.  I didn’t have many items of clothing that I wore regularly at the time, and I planned to spend the next year creating an almost completely me-made wardrobe.  The best laid plans…

The items that I thought I needed to successfully complete this feat were:

  • two pairs of jeans (I made a white wearable toile of the Ginger Jeans pattern, followed by a denim version, both yet to be blogged – only the denim version is worn regularly),
  • two pairs of trousers (I have plans to try to make these using the Ginger Jeans pattern, but these have not been started yet),
  • one matching jacket (I have a pattern in mind for this, but I’m going to use it for the summer coat first and then decide if it’s appropriate),
  • fourteen new tops (I have made four gypsy style tops, one of which is more of a dress length, which are good for going out in, and I have another McCalls M6036 blouse in progress, which should be completed in the next couple of days and is suitable for work wear),
  • two pairs of pyjamas (I made two pairs of pyjama bottoms to replace some that had worn out and could be worn with the existing tops),
  • and a summer coat (I have all the fabric and notions required for this, and although it will be one of my next projects, but it will not be ready before the end of May.)

As you can tell, I am not in a position to make the pledge I was aiming for:

“…a challenge of wearing 100% me-mades during May 2016 (excluding underwear).”

Instead, my Me-Made-May ’16 pledge for this year, which should accommodate my lack of work and casual wear:

“I, Jan of Vivid Kitty’s Fascinating World of Sewing and Stuff, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear a me-made item 4 days a week for the duration of May 2016.”

I am also going to review what sewing would most help me to build a wearable wardrobe.  Maybe next year I can go 100% me-made…

…or maybe a year is much shorter than I think.


Me-Made-May 2015

After watching Me-Made-May 2014 from the side-lines, I had very good intentions to participate in Me-Made-May 2015.  Then, before I knew it, we were half way through May and I hadn’t even considered my pledge.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Me-Made-May, the official description on its creator’s blog (So Zo What Do You Know?) is “Me-Made-May’15 (#mmmay15 for social media interaction) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to actually wear and love them.”   The main types of pledges that people make include:

  • Wearing at least one (or two) me-made garment each day for the month of May 2015 – some people include jewellery, bags and pyjamas in the count
  • Wearing at least one handmade item five days a week during the month (or another number of days)
  • Wearing whole me-made outfits (sometimes even including undies)

Although the challenge is not designed to be about blogging or making new items, some people see it as a good opportunity to pledge specific new makes, finishing off their procrastinated projects, photographing each days outfit, more regular blogging and sorting out their wardrobes.  You can find some photos on the Official Flickr Group

Missing this year’s challenge was part of my motivation for re-igniting my blog. I have also decided to use it to document my preparation for MMM16 and a challenge of wearing 100% me-mades during May 2016 (excluding underwear).  This will require at least two pairs of jeans, two pairs of trousers, one matching jacket, fourteen new tops, two pairs of pyjamas and a summer coat.  Ideally, I’d also like to find some flattering, comfortable patterns for clothes I wouldn’t usually wear, such as a work dress, a work skirt and a casual dress.

Well that should keep me busy for the next year!

How do you decide what to make next?  Do you plan ahead or pick and choose on whim?


Back to Blogging

It has been several years since I last posted in the Vivid Kitty blog, but it feels more like several lifetimes. My previous posts were very personal and came at a time when my life felt out of my control. My enjoyment of sewing and the support that came from blogging both helped me through that difficult time.

When my life moved on I very quickly stopped sewing and blogging, mainly from a lack of inspiration. I was really only making tote bags and blogging about my woes at that time.

Now, over four years later, I have a very different life. I am settled and happy, and I have several hobbies that are beginning to stand the test of time. Sewing is one of my favourite ways to spend my time, especially now I’m expanding my skills and making clothes that I can wear. When I’m not in my sewing cave, I love reading the many sewing blogs that exist, whether written by professional or amateur sewers.

And now I have decided to add blogging back into my list of hobbies. Now that I’ve removed my old, embarrassingly personal, posts, I’ll provide a quick catch up of the sewing projects I have undertaken since the renewal of my hobby in April 2014 (all posts dated before this one). Then, I’ll just see how things develop.

This blog is mainly just a record for me of my projects and sewing thoughts, and I have the intention of posting on the completion of each new project and joining in with some of the community events that occur in the sewing bloggers’ world.

Unfortunately, I’ve just missed Me-Made-May, but I’ll probably still post on it anyway.


CSC Holiday Sewing Swap

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been reading quite a variety of sewing blogs since turning back to my sewing machine.  One of my favourites is the Curvy Sewing Collective.  They have some great posts about all aspects of sewing in plus sizes and encourage a very supportive sewing community, with posts from regular contributors and sharing of makes from many different blogs.  This month I came across a post about a Holiday Sewing Swap.  Simply, you register your interest and are then paired up with another participant to exchange gifts.  You exchange emails and get to know a little about each other, then send each other a pattern, and some fabric and/or notions from your stash that you think they would like.

perkinsCSC catI was paired up with Andie from Sew Pretty in Pink, who lives in Canada, and we exchanged some lovely emails.  We seemed to have quite a lot in common too.  Such as: cats (who help me to knit and to wrap Andie’s gifts); sci-fi; 50s fashion; Jane Eyre…

We both discussed our desire for a 1950s wiggle dress and I received a great pattern which will make a fabulous rockabilly dress (I have some perfect turquoise spotty fabric for this) and some lovely fabric that I’m intending to use for a gypsy style top, once I have perfected the pattern – the fabric is too nice to waste.

I’ll be looking out for more of these sewing swaps, as they are a great way to connect with people in the online sewing community.