Me Made May 2018

Me Made May logo: I've signed up for #MMMay18!

How is it May already? I feel like it comes around quicker every year. And every May, I think, next year… next year I will be prepared with a closet full of fabulous makes I have no qualms about whatsoever. Yet by the time May comes around, due to life in general and my sewing revolving around special occasions rather than day-to-day necessities, I’m never nearly as prepared as I want to be.

So this year, I want my pledge to be a little different. Yes, I will aim to wear at least one me-made thing a day. I’d love to be going the full gamut by now but, between a charity boxing match and making the decision to go freelance, I haven’t quite had the time to create that dream me-made closet.

But perhaps with my amended pledge, I can get a little closer. So yes, as always, I’ll be trying to wear things I’ve made. Outfit documentation depends on how much time I have/how willing I am to put on make up that day… But my key focuses will be to:

  1. Get making those basics I’ve been afraid of. Namely, by the end of this month I want to have made at least 5 basics I can slot into my wardrobe.
  2. One of these garments has to be a pair of trousers!! I am TERRIFIED of making trousers because I feel like I’m going to mess up. So by the end of this month, I hope to have a pair of me-made trousers. Maybe two? Erk!
  3. I want to refashion at least one me-made I no longer wear. Whether that’s fixing a zipper or completely ripping the whole thing apart. There’s no point in them hanging in my wardrobe, unworn and unloved.

Happy May Day everyone! Are you signing up for Me Made May this year? (Check out Zoe’s post on it here if you don’t know what I’m on about)

Pattern review: Aomori twist top by Papercut Patterns

PATTERN: Aomori Twist top by Papercut Patterns

DIFFICULTY: Says skilled, but I think a beginner wanting a challenge could manage it

SEWING TIME: Around 5/6 hours (minus taping pattern pieces together)

FABRIC: Metallic lightweight jersey (from Rolls & Rems in Islington.

ADJUSTMENTS: I took it in a little at the waist because I wanted it a little more fitted. It’s very baggy.

DOES IT LOOK LIKE THE DRAWINGS?: Yup!

This was so much fun to sew! What a start to 2018’s sewing. Because it’s very baggy, I didn’t bother making a muslin. I was initially nervous about the twist bit, but the instructions turned out extremely straightforward. Also this fabric was so easy to sew with – the glittery parts of the jersey give it stability when sewing, which meant it didn’t slip around so much. On the inside, it’s smoother, and it’s not itchy to wear at all.

Normally, I wear a vintage/retro style but I’m enjoying wearing more modern styles. Papercut Patterns have a tonne of really cute patterns – I’m definitely up for trying one of theirs again.

The Seamless Pledge 2018

Happy New Year, friends! And what’s new year without a resolution?

That’s right, it’s time for the return of the Seamless Pledge. If you’re new here, the Seamless Pledge is simple: no buying new clothes, just stuff you’ve made and items you’ve scored from your local charity shop.

Those of you who’ve read my blog before will know I first did the pledge back when I was a student. Back then, I had a bit more free time on my hands. You know, being a broke student and all. But since that pledge finished, I’ve steadily become more and more lax with my sewing. It’s true, full-time jobs do sap a lot more energy than your average university course, but if I have time to binge repeat watch the Good Wife, then I think I have time to sew.

More than anything, I’m conscious of how wasteful I’ve become since dropping the pledge. With expendable income and, er, a credit card, I’m more likely to to do that cheeky online shopping haul. And it’s particularly bad when I’m at my lowest. Decades of advertising, plus the recent commoditisation of “self care” has taught us we should buy things to make ourselves feel better.

I know, for me at least, sewing and learning new skills is generally better than a quick fix with the wallet. I’m honestly fully anticipating I’ll fail this time round, but I think it’s worth putting the effort in. Also I made like, two things in 2017 – 2018 needs to be much better!

So, the plan is: no new clothes for a year. Daunting! Exceptions will be made for the usual (foundation garments and tights, because I doubt I will master making bras anytime soon).My priorities for the next couple of months are:

  • to finish some abandoned projects
  • refashion stuff I don’t wear, including me-made items
  • use up my fabric stash
  • try out some more difficult projects like trousers and coats
  • master stretch fabrics because dear god I’m so bad at them right now.

Even if I do fail miserably, I think those are some solid goals for the start of 2018, no?

Back in the day, some people were up for joining me in the pledge so I’ve redesigned the little button for those who want to join in again! Details can be found here. Tag me on Instagram if you decide to join in!

At a glance: Sew Over It’s City Break capsule wardrobe

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I found myself thinking about capsule wardrobes the other day.

As you do.

The concept is simple: it’s a mini-wardrobe of basic clothing you wear again and again. Everything’s versatile, so you can mix and match most pieces with each other. How practical! And how unlike me. My wardrobe is full of colourful florals – if my travels through capsule wardrobe Pinterest boards have taught me anything, this is block colour country.

I’m not the type to buy into Pinterest-able concepts, truth be told. Isn’t it funny how most of the blogs you’ll find on capsule wardrobes specify at least 40 items? I thought this was meant to be a mini wardrobe!

But anyway, there I was, thinking about capsule wardrobes, as you do, and up pops an email from Sew Over It – would I like to take a look at their new e-book offering? ER, yes please!

This was last month, mind you, and it’s taken me a little while to get around to actually writing up my review. I’ve just this week moved to Germany (more on that another time), so everything’s been a whirlwind of packing. I haven’t even had a chance to actually make any of it yet, sob. But once I’m reunited with my sewing machine, I’ll be straight on it.

The e-Book comes with five patterns – the Erin skirt, the Molly top and dress, the Alex shirt and shirt dress, the Mia jeans and, my favourite, the Lola coat. Each item is designed to slot in with the others.

As a result, you have an entire wardrobe of six to seven items for your city break explorations. After traipsing around Paris during Me Made May in a giant princessy pleated skirt, the idea of having some me-made jeans at the ready is particularly appealing.

I’m not one for printed patterns these days. I much rather books or PDFs, even if tracing or taping together can be a pain. And this is both in one!

Each pattern comes with beautifully photographed instructions, which we’ve come to expect from the Sew Over It line. And the pictures of Lisa out and about in Paris in her patterns are just lovely.

So, if you’re anything like me, making stuff without thinking about how it fits in with the rest of your wardrobe – then this could be the e-book for you.

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First on my to-make list, as you may have guessed, is the Lola. Dear god, I am obsessed. I want it, I need it, why can’t I have it nowwwwww…

(As you can probably tell, I’m trying to ~ease~ myself back into blogging. So hello again! And hopefully I’ll see you again soon…)

Me Made May 2016


Oh well hi there, long time no see!

The wonderful Zoe is helming Me Made May again this year, and I’m signing up for the challenge.

For the uninitiated, this is the deal: for the entirety of May, I am to wear stuff I’ve made every day. 

Now, this time last year I was convinced I’d definitely be able to go the whole month wearing just me made stuff. Sadly, I still lack motivation when it comes to making basics, and I’m also going on a holiday in… Ooo 8 hours or so, which may well involve kayaking (I know, poor me). Somehow I don’t fancy a sun dress’ chances in a kayak. 

So! I HAVE MADE MYSELF A POINTS SYSTEM. My pledge is as follows:

“I, Elena Cresci, of Seamless and @elenacresci, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear only me-made clothing (with the exception of underwear, coats and jackets) each day for the duration of May 2016. Each me-made day gets me 10 points, but if I wear a non me-made garment, that’s minus 5 points, unless said garment has been altered by me.”

THERE WE HAVE IT. And why did I leave this so last minute?! I’ve got to go to bed so I get up in time for my flight… Follow me on Instagram for outfit updates (if you follow me already, then you’ll have seen my holiday sewing already…), though they may be a little sporadic this first week. Can’t wait to see everyone’s makes!

My 2015 in sewing

Ok: so I didn’t blog that much last year. It happens! And 2015 has been kind of weird.

And I have to say, I’m pretty happy to be leaving 2015 behind. That said, 2015 wasn’t all bad. As those  of you who follow me on Instagram will know, I’ve definitely been sewing plenty. Given I’m so completely behind on blogging these, here’s a rundown of some of my favourite projects from this year.

Sew Over It 1940s tea dress

Sew Over It 1940s tea dress

I’m never not going to love a dress which makes me feel like Agent Peggy Carter. This was mostly an easy sew, save for the point in the centre connecting the bust and the skirt – which I don’t think I got completely perfect anyway. The fabric, also from Sew Over It, was a dream to sew. My only complaint is I sometimes feel this one’s just a touch too fancy for work… but who cares, I’m still going to wear it.

Patterns by Gertie: Butterick B5814

Patterns by Gertie B5814 dress

What do you do when you’re off to a wedding you know your ex is going to attend? You make the best goddamn wiggle dress of your life. Mind you, I wouldn’t want to give an ex any credit for this one, because it is goddamn glorious. It looks a lot more complicated than it actually is, thanks to the pleats and the draping. I think perhaps the bust is maybe a little big and I didn’t quite nail the sleeves, but who cares. The fabric is a drapey synthetic of some sort, lined with a cotton blend. This dress also requires the wearing of the funkiest bra I have ever owned. So now you know.

The red tulip Audrey dress

As I’ve said before, I love, love, love sewing books with loads of patterns for me to choose from. Famous Frocks: the Little Black Dress has a really lovely Audrey Hepburn-style pattern with a high neckline, which can either be paired with a circle or a pencil skirt. I made one with a gathered skirt in red tulip-patterned cotton. It’s so easy to put together, I think I may make another version with a slim skirt. I’ve got my eye on the Joan pattern from

The little black Georgia dress

This dress by By Hand London is sexy as hell. I sewed it in a black knit, so I didn’t need a zipper. I feel happy every time I wear this dress – so much so I made two this year, another in a glittery knit with wide straps.

Colette Patterns Macaron

I’ve had this pattern in my stash for years, ever since I lived in Germany. I don’t know why it took me so long to make it, but I’m glad I finally have. It’s deceptively easy to sew. For some reason I thought the top part would be difficult, but it was relatively simple in the end. The blue fabric is not the best quality – it even melted at one point when I was ironing it – but HEY what does it matter, no one can tell so I won’t tell if you won’t.

Colette Patterns Macaron

Comfy as hell Simplicity 2591

This one’s a re-do of a pattern I last used about four years ago. You can read more about it here because it’s one of the few I actually blogged about last year.

And what for 2016? Well I’ve got some plans, of course. Stay tuned for more. Happy New Year!

Review: Tefal Access Steam

Real talk: I hate ironing. IT’S SO BORING.

Unless I’m sewing something, that is. I always feel I’m getting more out of it. My mum prefers to do the ironing all in one batch. Me? I’m an iron as I go kinda girl. Or just not iron at all. Or I’ll even do that old trick where you hang up your dress in the bathroom as you have a shower.

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Given my general ironing laziness, I was pretty excited when Tefal got in touch to ask me to review a fancy pants garment steamer. Could this be the end of my ironing board?

First things first, here’s what you get. The Tefal Access Steam is handheld and comes with two attachments; one with a brush and a steam cover. You pop in some water via a removal tank at the bottom of the steamer and switch it on. It’s pretty quick to heat up – the instructions say about 45 seconds – so it’s pretty speedy. The idea is, you hang up your garment, press the switch and point the steamer at the thing what needs ironing.

So how did it match up to my iron? I tested it out on a few things in the wardrobe. First: a cotton Mathilde shirt which always gets creased really easily.

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I was a little disappointed on this front. It didn’t really get out the creases that well, which is a shame. The fabric’s a bit annoying on that front anyway, but I was hoping to get better results on this shirt given I’ve got a lot of garments in the same fabric.

I didn’t want to give up though, so I tried it on a homemade garment in a different fabric, a cotton viscose which creases like nothing else I own.

pic2

As you can see, this one had much better results!

Given this is a sewing blog, I was curious to see how it could help on that front. Now, I don’t think it can really replace my iron – I need it to iron seams and pieces as I go, and I don’t think this can quite replace that. But, where it does come in handy is with fabric prep. It’s a pain to iron a massive bit of a fabric, but if you hang it over a curtain rod and blast at it with this, it makes it a much smaller job.

Altogether: not too shabby! It won’t be replacing my ironing board anytime soon, but, given how lazy I am, I imagine I’ll be using it a fair bit as a quick fix.

A few other sewing bloggers have reviewed this too if you’d like to take a peek, I’ve added the links below.

Sew Scrumptious 
A Million Dresses