Me Made May ’12 – A Tale of Many T-Shirts

Day two of Me Made May coincides with one of the most anticipated events of a Swansea student’s year – Welsh Varsity.

Billed as the clash of the Welsh titans, essentially it’s a case of Swansea students making their way to the capital city to face old nemesis Cardiff in a variety of sporting events, culminating in a rugby match in the Millennium Stadium.

My student card may class me as a Cardiff postgraduate student, but there was no doubt who I was supporting today…

Welsh Varsity 2012

Alas, we didn’t win. Boo!

Every Swansea ticket comes with a free t-shirt everyone wears on the day to support the ‘green and white army’. As you may be able to tell, ladies normally hack a pair of scissors at them – I’d like to say some sort of design acumen was involved here, but quite frankly, I hacked at the neckline with a small pair of scissors as soon as I met my friends in a Cardiff bar… because I’m well classy like that. I paired it with the wannabe hack pencil skirt, thanking my lucky stars I had something which went with that colour green!

Like many Swansea students, my wardrobe is bloody full of the free t-shirts the Swansea Union events team dish out as part of their busy events schedule. No cash-strapped student is going to sniff at a free t-shirt after all. In fact, I’d bet you  any Swansea student taking the Seamless pledge could probably keep their wardrobe replenished on a stock of Swansea union t-shirts alone.

One of my good friends ran for election two years running – he’s set to be President of Swansea Union next year in fact! Anyway, the t-shirts he made for both elections now hang up in his office, one hand painted and stained with oodles of blue paint and the other decorated with fuzzy felt sewn on by his lovely girlfriend. As I said before, clothes hold memories, and you can bet you gain a lot of them as an undergraduate at Swansea.

But, as a thrifty Seamless pledger, I’m dying to get something done with these t-shirts. It would be a little easier if they were plain, but normally they’ve got some schnazzy design thought up by the hardworking team in Uni. Despite this, I hate the idea of them just languishing in my cupboard, only coming out when I need to dye my hair!

If any of you have any cracking tutorials which could help solve my problem, then feel free to send them my way!

Also – REALLY fun story with this photo. My lovely friend Rosie said almost straight away when I saw her: “OOH! What are you wearing today that you made? HAVE YOU TAKEN THE PICTURE YET? Can I take the picture?”

I heart Rosie. See, I have people outside of the blogosphere checking up on me too…

The Graduation Skirt

A big part of the Seamless pledge is bringing focus back to the handmade and refashioned items in my wardrobe. Sewing progress is a lot slower nowadays, but I still have a few projects up my sleeves ready to share, and this is where this scallop waist circle skirt comes into the picture.

As some of you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of making things especially for big occasions; in the past I’ve made clothes for university balls, interviews and weddings. There’s something deliciously satisfying about wearing something you’ve made yourself, but even more so when you have a certain occasion in mind. When it came to graduating from Swansea University, I wanted to make sure I wore at least one handmade item.

scallop waist skirt blue
Elena Cresci BA, in case you wondered… (show off)

Using Vivat Veritas’s free pattern and tutorial from Grosgrain‘s month of free patterns, I made a royal blue circle skirt especially for the occasion. The bright blue gabardine didn’t exactly match the ridiculous graduation robes, which featured the most delightful shade of maroon, but I won’t tell if you don’t…

The pattern itself was so easy to sew up. Circle skirts are easy to draft yourself and there are plenty of tutorials online, including great ones from Gertie and . Chie of Vivat Veritas has done all the work for you on this pattern, meaning a lot less maths on your part! My inner maths-hating child was delighted.

There’s a nice little variation on the circle skirt theme with Chie’s pattern in the scalloped waistband. Scallops are becoming quite the trend from what I’ve seen on the online sewing community – as you can see from the newly released Colette Sewing Handbook which features the Meringue skirt with a scalloped hem. Lovely! Mine didn’t turn out quite as even as hoped, but I liked the effect anyway.

One problem I’ve found is the top of the waistband curves over so you can’t really see the shape. It’s not too big a problem, but does anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent this effect? Also, the back waistband doesn’t quite line up. Something to work on in future projects!

As for graduation – I may have spent most of it pretending I’d finally received my letter to Hogwarts. Standard practice really if you’re given robes and a silly hat. Is it any wonder I renamed it Wizard Day?

If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!