Me Made May 12 – Key texts

This weekend, James Morrison’s Public Affairs for Journalists has been my best friend.

We’ve been spending a lot of time together, Morrison and I, and my law handbook’s been getting some loving too. Yay revision.

Go on, ask me anything about the House of Lords or the main institutions of the European Union, I DARE YA!

When it comes to revision, everyone knows it’s all about comfort. The graduation skirt is actually the only circle skirt I own and I honestly now wish I owned a couple more, just because they’re so bloody versatile!

Not to mention, easy to make. There are an abundance of tutorials online for you to take a gander at if you want to make your own circle skirt. My favourites are the one I used for the Graduation skirt and also (surprise, surprise) this helpful tutorial on hemming a circle skirt by the one and only Gertie.

One of the ideas I had for the stained Grad Ball dress was to splash it with some bleach, remove the bodice and turn it into a funky circle skirt. You can never have too many twirly skirts in your life, after all.

It’s been heating up a little in Wales, FINALLY, so it was bare-legs o’clock for no one in particular. I also really couldn’t be bothered to do my hair which has been a right bird’s nest of late since I decided to grow it. Lucky for me, I own plenty a scarf and was taught how to do the whole retro turban type thing while working at Lush.

Voila, hair problems not quite solved, but definitely hidden. Add one hell of a versatile batwing top and you’ve got yourself a revision outfit! I’m going to pretend the lipstick was a revision aid and definitely not the result of some make-up related procrastination…

So that was day 12! May is speeding past isn’t it?

Meringue disaster! Or, why I should have made a muslin

sew colette meringue sewalong
There’s trouble in sewing paradise… that is to say, my Meringue skirt has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Not only am I month behind, but the end product looks AWFUL. So awful, I couldn’t bring myself to photograph it.
This is a classic example of when I’m really, really rubbish at sewing. As you know, I’m quite behind on the Sew Colette Project (I’m nowhere near starting my whatever it’s called dress!) so I was really hoping I could get this done this weekend.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. My lovely Meringue looks a bit like, er, well, a potato sack for lack of a better phrase. I’ve made a number of rookie errors here.

The fabric I’ve used just isn’t stiff enough for starters, making it awfully fiddly to get the scallops to work. I also did what I vowed not to do at the beginning of this year and cut corners – I didn’t mark the stitchline clearly enough on the scallops, meaning it’s turned out awfully on the hem.

As for the sizing, it’s actually a touch too big. I say a touch… I can actually fit my whole hand in the waistband when I’m wearing it. This does absolutely nothing for me, as you can see, I’ve got quite a small hip to waist ratio, so this just isn’t working out.

Sometimes I get projects like this and I feel like I want to just throw the towel in altogether! But I think I’m going to try and make this one work. Sadly, the scallops are probably going to have to go, and I’m going to resize the damn thing. I’ll probably keep it as an a-line skirt, but I’m a bit gutted it’s going to be quite a boring a-line rather than with the fun hem detail.

Tune in next time for home-sewing gone horribly, horribly wrong…

Sew Colette : When life gets in the way

sew colette meringue sewalong

The Meringue skirts for the Sew Colette sewalong look absolutely amazing! Hats off to those of you who got them finished because the ones I’ve seen on the Flickr group are amazing. One of my favourites so far is Lucille’s two-tone beauty, which you can read about here.

Sadly, this is what mine looks like at the moment. (excuse the crappy phone-camera shot, my camera is broken) Hopefully I’ll get it done this week so I can get involved with the Pastille dress, but for now, I’m a little behind.

Life gets in the way of sewing sometimes. It’s a topic I’ve touched on before – the course I’m doing is pretty demanding and while 2012 has been much better in terms of sewing than the beginning of 2011 was, sometimes I get home and don’t much feel like sewing at all.

The logo for our in-house paper. 

Let’s take yesterday for example. Far from being entirely unproductive, yesterday our team put together our very first newspaper in the first of our 18 production days.

These are part of our assessment – basically, we all take different roles within the newsroom and work together to create the paper by our deadline of 4.30. So yesterday, instead of being a student, seamstress or a blogger I had to put on a Chief-Sub hat and hope for the best.

Basically, I was the one in charge of the layout of the paper, what went where and assigning stories to people who checked them over and made sure they fit into boxes on the page.

…it’s alright, we got the paper out, we survived!

I have a tendency to match up new experiences to various hobbies I have. My first production day as a whole was a lot like the very first time I had a full-contact fight in Karate – I certainly felt like I’d had the wind knocked out of me after both days and I’ll let you guess which one had me sat with a bag of frozen peas on my head for the evening…

In some ways, when we saw the entire paper up on the board completely finished, it reminded me a bit of the first time I ever sewed a piece of clothing.

By my sewing standards now, it was utter crap – the seams weren’t finished, pretty sure the waistband didn’t match up and the invisible zipper was definitely on show. It’s also made from a quilting cotton which creases really easily (huh, sounds familiar…) and I’m pretty sure it’s falling to pieces.

We’ll probably look back on what we’ve done in our first paper and cringe at  the mistakes we made – but there’s still this sense of accomplishment (and relief!) at creating the product itself.

My first ever skirt is hidden somewhere at the bottom of my drawer… what about you? Any first sewing memories? I’ll try and dig out some pictures so I can show you, but I’d love to have a look at any of yours – the good, the bad and the ugly!