MMM ’15 – Week 1

Me Made May started this Friday! Exiting right? Well, a couple of things went wrong in this first week. I had neglected performing laundry duty a little too much, and I had to work the entire weekend. Moreover, I couldn’t find my camera until Sunday night, where I found it lurking in the back of my chair. So the first couple of pictures were taken with my work-laptop’s webcam, still the vague outlines of the outfits are visible, right?!

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Friday May 1

Jeans and my grey knitted sweater. I also wore a self-knitted scarf as I was terribly cold, but that thing is so old that it predates the blog I think.

Saturday May 2

Saturday May 2

On the Saturday, I also had to work, and the laundry I’d done the day before wasn’t dry yet. This meant I wore the v-necked version of the stripy shirts that are a staple in my closet. With some linen pants and a yellow scarf.

Sunday May 3

Sunday May 3, day

Sunday May 3, night

Sunday May 3, night

On Sunday, I didn’t really want to wake up, as it was 23:30 when I got home from work the night before. So I grabbed another staple blue shirt and put it on. When I got home around 17:15 I was very cold, so I got my animal hoodie out to warm up. At night, I had derby practice and exam (I passed!) and wore the tester pants and shirt again (and had found the camera).

Monday May 4

Monday May 4

On Monday I wore my grey pants, these are still supremely comfortable.

Tuesday May 5

Tuesday May 5

On Tuesday I wore the other version of yesterday’s grey pants, the green pants. Also comfortable. Tuesday also marked the start of my almost two weeks of holiday, and at night I fought to finish my Alice skirt, which you haven’t seen yet.

Wednesday May 6

Wednesday May 6

Wednesday saw me pull out the queen’s top. I still like that one, even if I do not wear it that often because it hasn’t got sleeves. I should make myself a version of this with sleeves… I also finished two projects today, one set of bat earrings that just needed half an hour of oven time, and a present for someone at the larp I’m attending this weekend, which was 10 cm of sewing.

Thursday May 7

Thursday May 7

Thursday, time to test the Alice skirt. It does function reasonable well. I need to figure out the waistband situation a little, probably with a type of waist stay. I’ll probably post about it somewhere this week.

In bed.

In bed.

I also wore my owl pyjamas at night.

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Wearable Tester Pants, take 2!

So… I just found out that I’d lost my Wearable Tester Pants blog post from February 22 2015 completely. I wanted to put the finished project up on my Finished Projects page, but the link was broken. I managed to find the text hiding in a revision of my Laundry Bag Post, so I copied that here now, since I still want to link back to this awesome finished object! Now on to the original post..

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I’ve had this piece of pinstriped navy linen-type fabric in my stash for a while now. I’ve always wanted to make semi-formal pants from them. But I’ve never really found a pattern that I had enough faith in to cut into my nice fabric. At some point (2 weeks ago) I decided it had to be done. I had found a pattern that I liked, that also came in a ‘shorts’ version. Since the crotch is usually the biggest problem area for me, I decided to try it out in the shorts version first, I have enough fabric to make a long version later.

I decided to cut it out single layer, in order to do some attempt at stripe matching. What I did not know at first was that this fabric is mighty shifty.. Those stripes have to be manipulated to be straight. This is a problem when attempting line up things. Second, the distance between the stripes seems to differ along the fabric.. So in the middle they may be closer together than at the sides. This makes pattern matching even more challenging. You can also hardly see the first cut piece, see example below.

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In the end I did manage to cut all the pieces I needed. So I sewed it up, I did decide to put in a side zipper and not a center front zipper, mainly because I thought it would be easier. Tried it on and I was actually happy with the fit. The fabric flows so that might help too. After I’d sewn it up, I decided that I wouldn’t just dump it, but make it wearable so I serged the insides, as far as possible. And since the stripes are white I decided not to bother with changing the serger thread.

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I now wear these once a week during my new activity. I’ve started the fresh meat course of roller derby at the local group. It currently still involves learning how (and how not) to fall over, go forwards and backwards and stop. If, after 12 weeks I manage to pass the exam, I might have to start doing scarier stuff, but lets not think about that. Roller skating is really very active, and having long pants is not nice when wearing knee pads, that’s why I’m using these shorts over my leggings for some coverage. It works and I like it.

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I did stripe matching along the front seam and it worked! Sadly the side with the zipper rides up more than the other side, but as I’m only wearing them once a week, I do not really care. They also have belt loops and pockets!

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So these were finished last Sunday, a minute before setting of for the first derby practice. They have since been in the wash and on the laundry rack, that’s why I forgot about them. Tomorrow you can enjoy my new laundry pin bag, made from Peruvian fabric!

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Ps. I managed to pass my derby exam yesterday! I’m now a Lamb Chop and not Fresh Meat anymore!

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Kiwi Presents

So what do you do when you seen an invite for a colourful party on your colleagues desk? You probably don’t offer to make a kiwi necktie. Well, I did, quite a while ago, but only recently did I manage to get my butt of the chair and get to work!

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Remember when I made my green pants? If you don’t, or have never seen it before, check the goodness out here! These pants have a belt/sash type thing made from a kiwi fabric, on the bias. While cutting out the sash,  I didn’t pay enough attention to how many pieces I needed. This meant that I have had the fabric for another sash in my stash, cut out and all, since August 2013. I’d just found the bit back again when I made the offer.

Then I postponed, and postponed and postponed.. Then I couldn’t find the fabric anymore. Then I found it again, and, vaguely remembering something about the party being in May, set out to create it.

You may know that we Dutchies celebrate the birth of our reigning monarch each year. This year this was on April 27 and I’d made arrangements to be with my parents that weekend. I brought along my sewing stuff and got to work. I started by finding a tutorial (this one) and simply cutting the sash ends to be straight angles. I fused interfacing to the thing and followed the tutorial by adding lining bits and sewing those on. Then I folded the sides to the middle, it turned out that the ‘thin’ end was too thick, so I thinned it somewhat. I sewed it all by hand and once the tie was tie shaped, I added a label that said handmade for you.

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Cute, right! It also holds the tie end, when the tie is knotted. The bottom lining piece is another kiwi, which I find a nice touch!

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My colleague was really quite happy with it, or so it seemed. He also got a lot of compliments from random people, which he found very interesting. He’s head of the financial department, so he’s a real permanent suit and tie kinda guy. Anyway, here is his smiley face!

Kiwi tie

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MMM ’15 – Sign Up

Prepare to be bored out of your brains again, it’s Me-Made-May Time!! I’ve done it before and I will do it again.

For those of you who do not know what MMM is, this post explains it all. You make a pledge to wear items of clothing, accessories or ‘other’ for a specified number of days in the month of May. My pledge is below:

MMM 15

The reason you will be bored is because I’m also planning on documenting all outfits every day. So you’ll be getting me in clothes in round-up posts for an entire month. I’m already sorry.. almost.

I participate in MMM for two reasons, one, it teaches me even more about what I do and don’t wear and why and two, I should challenge my sartorial choices more as I seem to live in jeans and a sweater, with the fur animal hoody over the top.

Wish me luck!

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Colours!

This will be a double feature involving two projects with a lot of colour! Let us start with the obligatory Easter eggs. As you may know, I have this ‘tradition’  of painting hard-boiled eggs for Easter, proof can be found here, here and here.

This year was a little different though. I was not at my parents house for Easter and I therefore couldn’t force my mum to hide eggs in the yard. I was also alone and would not be able (or willing) to eat an enormous amount of eggs to facility my painting habits. Moreover, I didn’t have time (or energy) on the Saturday to paint my eggs. So Sunday morning, when I woke up, I put my laundry in the machine and boiled two eggs. I let them cool in a pan with cold water and after 15 minutes or so, I took them out to paint.

What to paint on my two glorious eggs. I googled a bit and decided on the classics, polka dots and stripes. I used my (new-ish) watercolour paints and dotted the first egg with some nice colours. The second egg was made with different colour stripes. Tadaaa!

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I also ate them approximately 3 minutes after taking the picture.. Egg salad on pita bread (empty cupboard and shops closed for Easter), it was nice though!

—- Part 2! —-

The second project was based on a suggestion by my mother. She said that I should make a poppy (more information here and here) from my left over pyjama fabric. So I did. As the fabric is so differently coloured, the poppy is red on the from and blue on the back. I chose to make the little hat in green/yellow. I like it.

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Here it is sitting up.

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So these were my two colourful projects. I liked them, and I hope to keep the eggs tradition alive. Someone needs to paint for the Easter bunny, right?!

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Woolly Necklace

No, not a woolly jumper yet, although I’m getting there. I am slowly finishing up a green sweater with a side front closure and weird collar. However, in the mean time, I made a few necklaces. I have a colleague who owns a necklace made of a lot of rolled fabric strips in coordinating colours, all in hues of blue. I really liked that idea and when I found some interesting yarn on sale, I figured I’d try to recreate that necklace. This was the yarn and the first part of the necklace.

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I wanted to figure out a way to make the necklace without using any knots in the yarn. So I looked through my stash of jewellery equipment and found some bits that have a hole in the top and fold over to grip whatever you put in. I had about 20 of them. I made the first necklace, the red one and didn’t have enough bits to make another one. So I looked through all the shops I could think of to find bits to make more necklaces. Couldn’t find any, and I didn’t know what those things were called, so ordering them was difficult at first. Using some interesting methods I eventually found out that I was looking for “Fold Over Cord Crimp Beads”, and I got 3 packets of 150 bits in 3 colours.

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To make the necklaces, I put the yarn in the bits, fold over the sides and cut of the yarn that comes out the top. I do this for 8 or so strands and then I string them on a jump ring. Another jump ring is added and the other ends are strung on another jump ring, then the second jump ring with closure are added. This produced, in my opinion, a nice finish. You can also first braid part of the strings or add a metal chain or two. I personally really like the mixed media approach.

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I have made three so far. Of which I only took pictures of two. I sent the third one to a friend, I hope she likes it.

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This one has 5 red stands, one black and a doubled chain, the bits are silver coloured. This one was the first attempt and I really like it. The second one, below, used all the colours, two strands of each, one chain and old copper bits. I twisted this one a bit before I put it on. Which is an alternative method of wearing it.

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So this was my new project. I like it and I have still quite a lot of the yarn left over. This means that I can experiment and make all kinds of things, using this approach. Maybe even add large beads or knot, braid or twist strands. The options are endless!

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Laundry with Peru on the Mind

I have this wonderful friend, who seems to be the complete opposite of me in some ways. She loves to travel (I hate it), experience new cultures (center to corner of The Netherlands is a culture shock to me), eat local food (leave the guinea pigs to her) and live and work abroad. I still love her to bits and she’s absolutely wonderful to be around. However, she’s been in Peru for the past few years, luckily she comes home for Christmas every year. That’s always the time that we meet up, since I’m not yet over my fear of going to places where guinea pig is an acceptable food stuff. Nicest of all, the first year she came back, I got this present!

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It was about a meter of beautifully coloured Peruvian fabric, super bright and striped. Now, I didn’t really see an opportunity for this fabric as a wearable garment in my day-to-day life. However, last week, I realised that it would be perfect for that other thing I had been craving for a while. That was a clothespins bag. Up to now, my clothespins have been hanging out in an ugly green plastic bag. Time for an upgrade I thought.

I’d found the pattern for a retro bag or oval bag via pinterest, original was here. I printed the fabric and found it was much to big to serve my purposes, so I free-handed my own version based on the original. I did pockets on both front and back, because I thought that would be cool. For the contrast I used the same fabric as yesterdays pants, but with added interfacing.

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I learned that you should sew curved seams the same direction as it is horribly asymmetric. I will no either start at the top or the bottom, but not go in a continuous curve, as this stretches out the one half while the other half doesn’t stretch. Since this is a bag with a definite use, and it’s not very noticeable, I didn’t try to correct for that after the fact. Also the Peruvian fabric frayed like nobody’s business, so I had more interest in keeping my sanity than getting it perfect.

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I added a pipe cleaner along the top edge, since that helps to keep it open. It also provides a nice furry edge, which I thought was an added touch. Last but not least I used the handle from an old discarded sports bag, which means that it is adjustable and very sturdy. All pockets are functional and I took it out on its first assignment today and it did the job better than its plastic counterpart. I’m happy! Now on to find a use for the remainder of my Peruvian goodness.

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