Monthly Archives: May 2016

#MMMay16 is complete!


Me-Made-May has flown by and I’ve loved every minute of it: getting the most out of my me-made wardrobe, discovering where I am in need of new items to fill gaps and discovering everyone else’s brilliant makes all at the same time! Here’s a round up of my month and some of those long awaited selfies!

I am pleased to say I completed my pledge and wore something me-made every day! I am quite pleased with this and think I will continue to try and wear my handmade clothes more often as it has not been as challenging as I thought.

I, Helen of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016

2016-05-16 08.17.51I also managed to identify some areas where I needed more items and even made one thing to fit the bill! My oversized sweater was perfect to fill the days when I needed something comfy and easy to do a lot of manual work in! It even got worn 4 times over the course of the month!

2016-05-15 08.44.52It has been quite warm this May and so obviously that has swayed the kind of clothes I have worn but I have still managed to get three wears out of my Chuck jumper. I really love this jumper and can’t wait to knit more jumpers and cardigans…in fact, there are two on the way at the moment (oversized Vianne and OAL2016)

2016-05-17 08.10.23Speaking of cardigans, I have also worn Miette twice this May. I was unsure how much wear I would get from it seeing as it is not my usual style but turns out it is great for the warmer weather we have been having!

2016-05-26 08.26.19Moving on to tops, I wore a new (unblogged) freehand top I made once at the start of May but just don’t like the sleeves at all so think I will rip them out and try and do something else with them. I have, however, worn my gingham top twice. I really like the pop of red in the buttons – it makes an otherwise quite plain top really fun to wear!

2016-05-23 08.25.02I have also wore my new Susie blouse twice (Watch this space for more info on this one…I’m still awaiting¬†a time when I can get some good photos!). I definitely need more tops in my wardrobe and I think this may become a pattern I use time and time again. It is a style I really like and I¬†have lots of similar RTW¬†tops so can see myself making more of these.

2016-05-14 10.01.402016-05-18 17.43.49As for dresses, my first chevron print Megan dress saw 3 outings whilst my tartan print ¬†second¬† only saw 1. I don’t think this has anything to do with how much I like them (in fact I think I secretly like the tartan one more) but has a lot more to do with the weather. The chevron print dress just seems right for summer!

2016-05-20 08.33.56I also wore my Lou Lou dress twice this May. Whilst I was unsure of the style at first I think I just was a bit unsure how to wear it. I really love it layered up with a  cardigan for a relaxed smart-casual style.

2016-05-11 08.34.09Moving on to skirts my first ever skirt, Delphine, was worn twice and my newest (unblogged) black midi only got worn once each. Delphine is definitely more of a winter skirt made from a  heavy fabric it is best layered up with tights and boots. Conversely, the midi skirt is so light and floaty it is really only for super hot weather.

However, my other skirts were really the stars of the month!

2016-05-03 07.57.53My tulip skirt got worn a lot – it’s really versatile and I absolutely love the fabric. I will be making more of this pattern as it fits into my wardrobe so well.

2016-05-24 08.23.24Also, my waterfall skirt was worn 5 times(!) in May. It is great for warmer weather whilst still feeling like I don’t have my legs on show too much for work. I hope to make some more of these soon as they are such an easy make and a great way to show off beautiful fabric!.


Who else has been taking part in Me-Made-May? I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did and completed your own personal challenges. I can’t wait for next year now. It will be the perfect opportunity to see how my handmade wardrobe has grown and adapted to over time. First thing though…the Outfit Along!

Remember you can keep up with my OAL2016 progress on my Ravelry project page or head over to the forum for lots of fun and interesting discussion!

Outfit along 2016

As Me-Made-May draws to an end I have been thinking about what I could do to keep the part of my brain busy that enjoys snooping  looking at all the amazing things everyone else has been making. I thought I would be at a loss come June.

However, the awesome crafting community has come to my rescue! This time in the shape of the Outfit along. What could be more exciting than a bunch of crafters creating outfits by both sewing and knitting whilst discussing it every step of the way! Cue major excitement! I really enjoyed the selfish sweater knit along at the start of the year so can’t wait to take part in this one!

The Outfit along is run by Untangling Knots and Lladybird covering the knitting and sewing aspects respectively. This year the chosen patterns are Zinone for the knitting and Sewaholics Hollyburn for the sewing. Unfortunately, neither of these two really inspires me but never fear! I will be taking part anyway РI will just be choosing different patterns .

Right now I am thinking of making a different untangling knots pattern – the Agatha cardigan (one day I may make a knitted garment by a different designer but for now I am in love with all of Andi Satterlund’s patterns!) During Me-Made-May I have realised how muted my colour palette is in my makes so I think I will make the cardigan in a red yarn – possibly Cascade 220 in ruby.


I will be pairing this with a dress made from the fabric I bought at the Knit and Stitch Show¬†(bottom left in the picture above). A gorgeous cotton poplin floral (oh look we’re back to monochrome again!) I am open to suggestions for the pattern but I am thinking possibly the Lilou dress from Love at First Stitch¬†or a Sew Over It Betty...or I am actually¬†currently working on a custom bodice block, so depending how that goes it could be in the frame. Any suggestions are more than welcome.

Who else is joining in with the Outfit Along? What are you making?




This post contains affiliate links. All opinions my own

Oversized sweater


Oversized SweaterFor Me-Made-May I have been wearing something I have made every day. I quickly identified that this was going to be a struggle on days where I couldn’t really wear skirts, dresses or nice blouses given the nature of my work. As an agricultural researcher it is no surprise that I often do work outside that involves getting quite muddy. I decided to get on this straight away and so in the first week of May I decided to make myself a sweater!

It was perfect for the days when I needed somehting comfy for work and could easily move around lifting heavy things. The only problem was the days when I needed this tye of clothes but it was too hot to wear a sweater! Maybe I will have to bear this in mind for future projects!

Double Skill Up: Knit fabric and a vintage pattern

2016-05-16 17.22.33I already had the perfect fabric to make a sweater from. When I visited Goldhawk road ages ago I picked up this jersey fabric in a cream and dark grey aztec print. I new it would be perfect for a sweater. I just needed to choose a pattern. As I have never sewn with knits before I wanted something straightforward. Then I remembered the vintage patterns I had picked up a while ago on ebay when thinking about my Vintage pledge. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to kill 2 birds with one stone and conquer both knits and vintage patterns in one fell swoop!

I measured a size 14 on the bust and waist and between a 14 and 16 on the hips. I knew I wanted the sweater to be oversized and comfy so I just went ahead and cut out a size 16.

oversized sweater front view

In terms of the sewing I was really pleased at how easy I found sewing with knits. I looked up a few things in my Colette sewing with knits book and the whole thing came together really quickly as there is very little to do in terms of finishing seams or pressing.

oversized sweater back view

All the instructions were actually pretty straightforward which surprised me a little as I was expecting to need some Googling to get through a vintage patterns as from what I have heard they are notorious for assuming a reasonable level of skill. Although, actually there was very little that was new to me in this pattern.

oversized sweater side view

I really liked the back of the neckline. I have not made something with this type of neck before but I quite like how it adds some style to what is otherwise a simple pattern.My button loop is quite messy but for a first try I am quite pleased with it.

oversized sweater fastening

The only instruction I skipped on this garment was the part where I was supposed to insert shoulder pads.I think that would have been a bit much and you still get the late 80s vibe without the shoulder pads though so all is good!

oversized sweater full view

The details:

Pattern: Butterick 3670

Fabric: Aztec print jersey from Goldhawk road

Notions:Gutermann thread, old button found in my stash

Alterations: no shoulder pads

I would love to make something similar again so I have more choice of me-mades when it comes to days when I need comfy easy to wear clothes. I am not sure exactly what the fabric type is if I were to buy it again. It is kind of like jersey but with 2 colours of thread knit together. It also only has a small amount of stretch. If anyone has any ideas I’d love to find out so I can buy some more! Here is what the reverse side looks like

oversized sweater sleeve cuff

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on twitter

#MMMay16 Week Three Summary


We are now three weeks into me-made-may! Since the first of may I have been posting my daily outfit on Instagram in an attempt to give myself some accountability for my Me-Made-May pledge:

I, Helen of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016

I am still keeping up with this and have worn me-mades every day. This week I even managed two me-made outfits in one day! Although I am kind of making up for it with a pyjama day today (me-made PJs though, so I’m still counting it!)

Here is a summary of what I wore this week. Again it’s flat lays rather than daily selfies¬†but if you want a composite of my daily selfies there is one over on instagram¬†just to prove I did wear them all!



Last Sunday was another wear for my Chuck jumper. I really do love this jumper and cant wait to knit more chunky knits . They really are one of my wardrobe staples…bring on winter!




13256718_1725426201071739_1004807462_n13166797_787095318091527_1067551045_n 13269483_1738334476443670_769931112_nThis week at work I had to set up a big experiment which involved lots of digging and moving lots of soil around so I needed to be comfy and a skirt, dress or nice woven top just wouldn’t do it. This is my most recent make. A comfy sweater. You can read all about it soon in a post later this week. I wore it on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. By Thursday it was so dirty and well-worn that it was reduced to a pile on the floor with my muddy jeans!




Tuesday was also a day for getting muddy but it was just too warm for jeans so I wore some rtw cotton trousers and my Miette cardigan.






On Wednesday evening we went out to see a concert and so I could get changed out of my mucky clothes and put on my other Megan dress! I really love this dress. This might not be that obvious as this is the first wear of it as part of Me-Made-May but I just think of it as more of a winter dress really.



13249683_284355301930897_1972275479_nFriday saw the first wear of my LouLou dress. I am not quite convinced of the fit of this dress but the style is growing on me the more I wear it – especially when layered up with a cardigan and a scarf. The trim at the bottom just lends itself really well to lots of layers!




13266862_1118316721544040_1432164618_nFinally, today. Like I said it’s a pyjama day but I am rocking my Margot pyjamas from love at first stitch so the pledge is still going strong!





Remember you can keep up with my daily outfits and watch out for those sneaky selfies coming later over on instagram!

Applique Tote Bag Tutorial

I am really excited to share with you a tutorial I made for Minerva Crafts. Their website is really great with loads of great tutorials to try. I created a tote bag with appliqued letters and you can too following the instructions on their site.

It is a really simple make and you can customize it anyway you like with your choice of letters or shapes in any combination of colours.

To make this bag, as it appears in the tutorial, for yourself you will need the following supplies:



quilting cotton 1

quilting cotton 2

quilting cotton 3

quilting cotton 4

fusible bondaweb

contrast thread

You can make your own tote bag just like mine. Just follow the directions here. Be sure to let me know if you make one – I’d love to see it!

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

#MMMay16 Week Two Summary


Can you believe we’re nearly half-way through already?! Since the first of may I have been posting my daily outfit on Instagram in an attempt to give myself some accountability for my Me-Made-May pledge:

I, Helen of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016

I am really pleased that I have been able to keep up with this so far, There has been a couple of days where I have struggled due to the nature of the work I have had to do meaning some of my me-mades were unsuitable. Despite this being something I have been addressing lately with my sewing the amazingly hot weather scuppered my plans to wear my new sweater on days I needed to lug around big bags of soil and compost!

Here is a summary of what I wore this week. Again it’s flat lays rather than daily selfies¬†but if you want a composite of my daily selfies there is one over on instagram¬†just to prove I did wear them all!


Last Sunday the weather was unbelievable for this time of year and so I was still making good use of my Waterfall skirt. This time with a black rtw blouse. I definitely think I need to make more of these Clemence skirts form Love at First Stitch. It is just so easy to wear!





On Monday I attended a funeral (a very colourful one!) so I had to dress smartly. My new black midi (not yet blogged) was perfect given the weather and a bright blue rtw blouse. I also wore my shawl to keep my shoulders covered.





If there is one thing I am learning from Me-Made-May it is how much I love wearing my Tulip Skirt! I can’t get enough of it. I think it is a perfect casual skirt that can be dressed up if necessary and this tartan fabric is great too! Definitely can see me making more of these soon!





By Wednesday I realised how  much my wardrobe relies on various shades of blue, grey and black. I decided it was time to mix things up a bit and throw on my Delphine skirt in this lovely deep red. This was the first skirt I made and is actually a bit big for me now but perhaps it is a sign I should start thinking about making some wardrobe staples in some brighter colours.



13150806_1759999467548005_255541927_nThursday was a tough one for me РI had a lot of messy work to do and was struggling to find something from my me-made wardrobe that was good for the task. In the end I put on some cotton rtw trousers and a t-shirt and reverted back to my trusty colour palette. Luckily my Miette cardigan was to had to top of the outfit with some me-made goodness.




By Friday I was gettting quite excited about the new series of the great british sewing bee which starts on Monday next week so I had to wear something from the last book Рfashion with fabric Рand this gingham blouse was just the ticket!




13167220_245196072513055_1999088744_nToday the temperature has dropped right down again but I am clinging on to the hope of summer by wearing my Megan dress but layering it up with a long cardi and thick black tights!





I am really pleased by how much I am able to get out of my me-made wardrobe without feeling like I am wearing the same thing every day. In fact there are only 3 me-mades already in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn yet this month. Two of those are quite wintery, my tartan Megan and my Loulou dress, so unless it continues to get cooler we may not see them. The third is my Anenome skirt and this is the one that bothers me most. It is just so short I just don’t like to wear it. It is also a bit tight and so is not always that comfortable.

I also have a couple of new makes waiting in the wings…hopefully they will make an appearance soon. Watch this space!

Remember you can keep up with my daily outfits and watch out for those sneaky selfies coming later over on instagram!

Matching a pattern to your style

Last weekend I had to take a long train joureny and so needed something to knit. All the projects I had on the go required multiple balls of yarn – not ideal for train knitting. So I decided it was time to get started on another cardigan. I have been eyeing up Vianne, another Andi Satterlund cardi, for a while and had even swatched it a few months ago (just after I finished Chuck). Given the hot weather recently it seemed like the perfect project. The lace panelling will make it the perfect summer cardigan.


Changing the pattern

The pattern is designed to be knitted up with 0-3 inches of negative ease and is cropped in length, similar to my Miette. Whilst, I love this cardigan and wear it a fair amount, it is not exactly my usual style. I thought about lengthening the pattern in a similar way to my chuck jumper¬†but don’t think this really fits with the style of the cardigan. Instead I decided to make it more loose fitting and so cast on and started knitting in a size that has 2 inches of positive ease.
Vianne in progress

I have now knit up to the point where I have joined the under arms (this is knit top down) and am contemplating what to do next. The pattern calls for a number of decrease rows to create waist shaping but as I am hoping for a looser fit I think I will just knit straight down and maybe add a bit of shaping at the bottom so it sits nicely on my hips.

I am also a little concerned about what to do for the sleeves. The pattern shows 3/4 sleeves but I think with the looser fit perhaps full length would be better.

p.s. I will post Instagram updates with my progress so make sure to follow me there is you want to see updates!

#MMMay16 Week One Summary


Since the first of may I have been posting my daily outfit on Instagram in an attempt to give myself some accountability for my Me-Made-May pledge:

I, Helen of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2016

Me Made May is the creation of ‘So Zo…’¬†. It is a brilliant endeavour to¬†encourage people¬†who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to¬†wear and love them more. If you want to find out more about it there is a great page and sign up sheet over on her blog.

Here is a summary of what I wore this week. I decided to go with flat lays rather than daily selfies as sometimes I just don’t want to bother with making myself look all that presentable!! Although keep an eye out on instagram for a composite of selfies for the week just to prove I did wear them all!

13098882_994248923945061_1565924791_nSo first up was an as yet unblogged boxy top, jeans and a cardi. I actually have quite a few unblogged makes stacking up to share with you and I promise to get round to it soon. In fact most of the posts are written I just need to get some good pictures.




13092229_1077545062282428_1649291481_nThe next day I wore my Chuck Jumper, jeans and a t-shirt. I am really glad I got to wear this as I guess it wont be cold enough for quite a while now and so it will get relegated to the back of the wardrobe for some time. I really love this jumper but it is just so warm!





The following day I brought out my Tulip Skirt. It has not been that long since I made this but I wear it a lot. It fits right in with a the rest of my wardrobe and can be worn with tights, boots and a jumper like I did on this day or with pumps and a blouse for a smarter look. It’s so versatile.




By the 4th the temperatures were rising and I was so happy to bring out my first Megan Dress. I haven’t worn this for a long time as it really is a summer dress. This was the first dress I made and I still love wearing it today. I spent ages getting the fit right but there are still a few issues that I notice more now I am a bit more familiar with dressmaking.




The next couple of days were still really hot. Its amazing to think that just a week ago we had snow! I pulled out my Waterfall skirt and paired it with a couple of t-shirts. Because of the fabric print it is really versatile in terms of what you can pair it with – there’s quite a few colours to choose from.


Today I am catching the train up to York so it’s all about practicality. I am wearing my Tulip skirt again with a comfy t-shirt and my brand new sensible shoes!





Who would have thought I could go from my super cosy Chuck Jumper to my light and breezy¬†Waterfall¬†skirt in the space of a week?! That’s British weather for you though, it’s so fickle.

I am really enjoying MeMadeMay so far. It’s great to see what everyone else has been wearing and it’s really making me think about my handmade wardrobe. I have already started to notice a few gaps – so much so I made a new sweater this week to give me something to wear on days I need to be more casual. I often need to get hands on filling plant pots and moving bags of soil around for work so pretty skirts and dresses may not be the best for those days. Like I said before hopefully I will get some pictures soon and I will be able to share my new makes with you!

Until then…

Remember you can keep up with my daily outfits and watch out for those sneaky selfies coming later over on instagram!

Calling all sock knitters…


I know a lot of people love to knit socks. It is never something I have had any desire to try before. The thought of spending time creating something beautiful that is going to sit on my feet just bemuses me! However, I am willing to be converted. What is it about sock knitting that is so great?

Why should I knit socks?

Convince me. If you had to give me one good reason what would it be?

I have many reasons why it doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe I am wrong.

  1. They are going to go on my feet/
  2. No one will see them – I want to be able to admire my knitting when I wear it
  3. They look small and fiddly to knit.
  4. I don’t like double pointed needles – they are way too faffy
  5. Once you have the elation of having finished one (YAY!) You have to start right over again and knit the next one.

I could go on, but I feel like that is enough reasons.

However, if you want to convince me I would be willing to give it a try. Who knows, I could be converted to becoming a sock knitter. If you were me which pattern would you start with for socks?

You could even send me a link to your most fabulous knitted socks to try and convince me! Find me on Ravelry here and share your makes with me!