Me Made May ’14 so far

I can’t believe we’re 13 days into May already! Time’s going so quickly…

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If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you may not have seen my updates from Me Made May so far, so here’s a quick collage of what’s gone on outfit-wise.

What have I learnt so far? Despite saying it almost every year, I really don’t own a great deal of me-made basics. Most of my basic items were either bought before I began the pledge or are second-hand. It’s partly because basic items don’t feel as fun to sew, perhaps? If anyone can recommend some great basic sewing patterns in the comments below, that would be great!

Also finished a new skirt today, hurrah! Though I did manage to stab myself with the seam ripper. Boo.

How’s Me Made May going for everyone else? And in case you missed it, I wrote a blog post for work about the challenge. You can check it out here.

Me Made May ’14 – bring it on

OH HELLO LONG TIME NO SEE

So remember how 2014 was going to be this super productive year of sewing and blogging? So much for that! Turns out moving to London takes a bit more adjustment than I’d thought. But hey, there’s nothing better than a cheeky challenge to get back in the saddle…

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I, Elena of Seamless, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear only me-made and second-hand clothing (excluding underwear and coats) each day for the duration of May 2014.

It’s not too different from my Me Made May challenge way back in 2012 – being as I didn’t do too well last year, I thought going back to the basics would work best. I’m not adding any extra sewing challenges on top this time because I’ve got quite a big project in the works which needs finishing this month. More on that later…

Want to follow my updates? I’ll be tweeting, instagramming and all that lark using the hashtag #mmmay14. Make sure you check out the Flickr group for everyone’s updates. Happy Me-Made-May!

Happy New Year, folks!

Can you believe it’s 2014 already?

I’m feeling quite a bit worse for wear today after one too many glasses of champagne yesterday, but I’m extremely excited about this year. 2013 was a bit of a mixed bag in all – and when it comes to sewing, it slowed down a little by the end.

Hopefully, that won’t be the case this year. I’ve got a few challenges going for 2014, which you can find full details of here. But the most important one you guys should know about is as follows:

Earlier this year I popped a list of all those projects I’ve passed up into a fancy jar, which currently gathers dust on my bedside table. For each month of 2014, I’ll take a Can’t out of the jar and get it done, once and for all. Some things, like a coat for example, will take up the whole month with just one project while others can comprise of lots of different ones. I want to push the boundaries of what I can sew by getting out of my comfort zone. Should be fun!

This month, it’s all about sequins. I’ve never sewn sequinned embellishments and I’ve never used sequin fabric – so this could either be an awesome new skill or a recipe for disaster. I’ll be posting some inspiration for sequinned projects this month – hopefully ones which can travel, as I’ll be moving to London in a week and I’ll need something I can stitch on the move!

For now, I’ve got a pair of trousers almost finished and I’m in dire need of a long snooze…

And of course, if you’re stuck for a New Year’s resolution – you can always take on the Seamless Pledge!

The Refashioning Checklist, or, six garments I need to chop up

One of the great benefits of sewing is being able to take a pair of scissors to an unwanted garment and create something worth wearing.

That’s the logic, anyway. But more often than not, I’ll buy or adopt something second-hand with the best refashioning intentions – yet it ends up at the bottom of my wardrobe all the same. Usually, it’s discarded in favour of a sewing project with new and shiny fabric. As Zoe pointed out recently, adding to the stash is not that much different to buying new.

To remedy this, I’ve rummaged in the deepest depths of my darkest drawers to find six items I need to refashion, pronto, lest they be banished to the wardrobe whirlpool until they get eaten by moths or something.

They include second-hand purchases I’ve since had second thought about, donated items, found items and even a very recent me-made. The main thing is, I can’t just leave these unworn in my wardrobe much longer – otherwise, what’s the point of having them at all?

The 80s hangover blouse

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Me Made May ’13 – A celebration of all things refashioning

Last minute to the party, as per usual. Count me in for Me Made May ’13! Woohoo!

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Now, as many of you know, last year I was a scatty student who could justifiably spend all day indoors “revising” in some of my more questionable makes. These days, I’m an actual grown-up who needs to look somewhat presentable.

Why oh why is past Len such a slapdash sewist? Last year, I found myself rummaging in my drawers for makes I had long since written off because they were a bit rubbish. I’m sure the same will happen again this year.

For the sake of maintaining a professional wardrobe in the office, I plan on including refashioned and second-hand items along with my me-mades – I was lucky enough to get a good haul of office-appropriate garments in Guildford, which means I shan’t be caught short in the mad morning rush for work.

Without further ado, here is the pledge:

 I, Elena of seamlessblog.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made, refashioned or second hand item each day for the duration of May 2013. To document my challenge, I shall tweet/instagram/flickr/facebook the bejeezus out of my daily outfits, even if it means taking mirror pics in work’s loos. I will also endeavour to make my way and finish all of the refashions I haven’t quite got around to and document how I did so, even if I mess it up.

It’s no blogging every day for May, but I’ll sure as hell be tweeting. You can follow me on Instagram or Flickr too for daily outfit posts and I’ll collate them each Sunday here on the blog.

And did you spot the little extra I popped in there? That’s right, I’ve got a whole bundle of refashions to get through. They’re mostly things I’ve bought or have been given with the best intentions of refashioning, yet haven’t quite got around to it just yet. Here’s a sneak peek at one, as modelled by my lovely new mannequin (who will have an introduction post soon, promise!)

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Isn’t it just delightfully HIDEOUS?! It used to have shoulder pads. I was one perm away from being an ’80s throwback when I tried this bad boy on.

Alright, hands up – who’s doing Me Made May this year?

Two challenges to see Spring through

It may not feel like Spring what with all this BLOODY SNOW but there’s nothing like a sewing challenge or two to pep you up for some warmer months.

Sew For Victory



The first comes courtesy of the lovely Rochelle of Lucky Lucille, who has challenged the blogosphere to a trip back to the ’40s – when fabric was scarce, fashion took a back seat to the war effort and everyone was encouraged to make do and mend.

She’s already provided a plethora of inspiration to get us going over on her blog since the challenge was announced, which means I should really get my skates on! I have a pattern picked out but have yet to actually get cracking on a muslin or even choosing fabric, erk!

I was in two minds about this challenge – with dreams of making a pair of high-waisted trousers and pairing it up with the Mathilde blouse from Tilly and the Buttons, which would have been more 40s-inspired than an accurate reproduction.

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But then I found this great Butterick repro pattern (Butterick B5281) from 1946 which has remained in my sewing box unmade for a number of years now. The pattern looks absolutely beautiful on the envelope, but then I saw Butterick’s version, which just looks AWFUL.

I’m starting to worry a little bit, even more so because i haven’t started work on it at all! 

Being a post-war pattern, I feel I can plump for a brighter colour like purple, but I may still keep it to a darker shade. At this stage, anything could happen!

Mad Men challenge

Secondly, we’ve got Julia’s Mad Men challenge. How did I miss this last year?!

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As it happens, this challenge is far simpler for me! I’ll let you all know a bit later which particular dress I’m hoping to emulate, but it’s definitely a Joan make, for sure. I may not be as bombastically curvy, but I’m sure I can rock a good wiggle dress…

Those of you who have signed up for the super-fun-cool project for Seamless – THANK YOU! I’ll be sending out the top-secret instructions ASAP. There’s still time to register your interest – head to the post here to find out a bit more.

Seamless needs YOU

Things are looking a little different around here! My good friend and all-round talented lady Martha Moreno kindly donated some of her time and waved her wand of creativity to spruce Seamless up a little. Doesn’t it look great? I love how the blog has a real retro feel to it now.

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If you want to update the button on your blog, the new code is:

[a href=”https://seamlessblog.wordpress.com/the-pledge/&#8221; target=”_blank”>[img src=”https://seamlessblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/button.png&#8221; alt=”The Seamless Pledge” /]</a] (replace the [ ] with < >)

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She also created this schnazzy little card you can download and print off to fit in your wallet. The brainchild of fellow blogger Gillian, it’s a gentle reminder in your purse just in case you get tempted while out shopping.

It seemed right to go for a little redesign now – when I started the pledge as a baby journalist a little more than a year ago, I didn’t really expect anyone to pay any attention. 100 posts, 901 comments, 55,200 views and an amazing 150 pledgers later (give or take!), I think it’s safe to say I was mistaken.

I definitely don’t plan on quitting anytime soon – and here’s where you come in. I’ve got an idea for a little project to get people thinking about the pledge once more, but I need your help to get this ball rolling.

All I need are some willing volunteers who aren’t camera-shy. You don’t have to be from the UK, no siree. In fact, the more people from across the world, the better. You also don’t have to be pledging  right now. Perhaps you’ve done it in the past or you’re planning to. As I said, the more the merrier.

While I’m calling for volunteers, I may as well mention that if you’re interested in doing any guest posts, do let me know.

You can probably tell I’m wanting to keep this project under wraps until I get it off the ground! For more details (only if you can keep a secret!) just shoot me an email on elenamcresci at gmail dot com with the subject “Seamless project”.

In the meantime, what do you all make of the new design? Do you love it as much as I do?

Me Made May ’12 – Blast from the past

Have you ever refashioned one of your own creations from when you were a beginner?

I’ve already written about one of mine and I’ve got a few others in the works, but I wondered what everyone thought about possibly doing a refashioning challenge of Me-Mades we’ve fallen out of love with?

Yesterday’s Me Made outfit is a case in point, when I wore a make from way back when I began sewing.

This little number happens to be the second dress I ever made, and oh boy, does it show. Well, on the inside that is. It’s funny how finishing seams didn’t really occur to me back then.

Using a mix of BurdaStyle’s Marie pattern and a contour bust tutorial on the site, I made the dress out of some vintage fabric I scored on eBay and some green polycotton fabric I found somewhere way back when. I have to say, I’m not sure entirely how much I like this dress nowadays.

I’m a big fan of the top (which happens to fit me a lot better now I’ve, er, filled out a bit, so to speak!) but the bottom half just isn’t as flattering as I’d like. It’s a little more tapered than I’d like it to be, but I’m not about to throw it out just yet!

If anything, it seems to be yet another contender for refashioning. In fact, it’s added to a long list of refashions I have by now, including my now-ripped leopard print Sorbetto.

With Me Made May and my journalism course coming to an end soon, I was thinking of running some sort of refashioning challenge this Summer. Would anyone be interested?

I’ve already got a few more Seamless features in the pipeline, so I’m thinking of doing it in perhaps July or August. Let me know what you think!

Apologies for the briefer blog posts of late – I still have a few hefty exams coming up. I actually don’t finish until June 13!

Me Made May ’12 – Jumping in at last orders!

I left this one to the very last minute, didn’t I?

Well, it’s that time of year again folks! Time to ditch the mass-made wardrobe and join Zoe for Me Made May 2012. Without further ado, here is my pledge for this year:

I,  Elena, from Seamless sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one item of me-made clothing for the duration of May. I will attempt to avoid repeating any outfits, but as it’s exam time, I won’t stress out too much! I will also blog daily for the duration of the month.”

I know what you’re thinking… only one garment! Seems like a bit of a cop out, I agree, but to avoid unnecessary panic-sewing, I decided this would be the best route to go for to ensure I see the challenge through this time!

Also, as mentioned in the pledge, May is more or less EXAM HELL, as the pressure ramps up towards the end of my journalism course. By middle-ish June, we’ll no longer be trainee journalists, how surreal is that?

The blogging challenge seems contrary to this, but I’m hoping blogging daily will keep Seamless updated even while I’m neck-deep in revision. They’re likely to be short and succinct posts, mind you!

My plan is to focus on one garment each day, whether it’s me-made or not.

Zoe said it best when she explained how this challenge is all about achieving a better relationship with your handmade creations. For many people, clothes nowadays go beyond just a necessity – they make a statement about you, they have history.

Whether you’ve made something or not, most of you favourite items in your wardrobe have some sort of story behind them.  My only pair of jeans have been to Germany and back, I still treasure the very first scarf I bought as an employee at Lush and I’m still refusing to get rid of the jacket I bought especially for my Cardiff interview, despite having mended it about five times by now.

These clothes don’t exactly make my memories, but they play a fairly big part in some of them. Even before the pledge, I was the kind of person who would wear clothes to death and keep them for as long as possible, holes or no holes. If part of Me Made May is reevaluating your relationship with your wardrobe, I can’t think of a better compromise without panic-sewing!

Starting May 1 (gah! Tomorrow!), I’ll get going on my wardrobe’s story. I already know where most of it came from, maybe it’s time I let you know what they’ve done since arriving in the U.K.

So, who’s taking part this year? Do let me know, I want to make sure I keep track of the pledgers taking part. If you’re on Twitter, I’ll be tweeting from @elenacresci using the hashtag #MMMay12 (seems concise enough!) so do join in!

Three useful sewing links for beginners

It’s easier than you think to teach yourself to sew, especially with a few handy resources at your fingertips.

Like I said in my previous post, I taught myself how to sew through various tools available online. While there are so many sewing courses you can take or sewing books you can buy, if you’re a student like me, then cost can sometimes be a barrier. Getting to grips with a needle and thread needn’t be as stressful as your textiles class in school!

So if perhaps you’re thinking of taking up a Seamless style challenge, here are some sites to get you started:

BurdaStyle

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BurdaStyle is like Facebook for sewing boffins. An endless source of inspiration and talent, the members of BurdaStyle have plenty of projects and tips to share. There are also patterns, both free and at affordable prices, available to download. You print them off and then stick the pages together, et voila! That bit might be a pain, but who’s complaining when the pattern is free?

Pattern Review

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This is a handy resource for those who enjoy sewing from commercial patterns. One of the best parts of sewing your own garments is having complete control over the fabric and fit of your clothes, but what use is this if your pattern looks nothing like the image on the envelope? Before you cut into that beautiful metre of fabric you’ve been hoarding, search for your pattern on Pattern Review. Users post comprehensive reviews of sewing patterns used for their projects detailing everything from how easy the instructions were to follow

Craftster

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Craftster is the kind of forum for those of you who aren’t quite satisfied by sewing alone. I’ve yet to venture into the world of knitting or jewellery making, but you name the craft and there’ll be someone talking about it of Craftster. It’s a great resource for those times you’ve hit a bit of a brick wall. Not sure why your thread keeps tangling up? Someone on the forum has probably had the same problem. Head to the Sewing in General board to get discussing your projects, but do take a look around the rest of the site as well.

So what are you waiting for? Get stitching and maybe you’ll end up saying bye bye to the high street too!

Got any sewing resources of your own? Comment away!