Sunday, 31 May 2015

Me-Made-May 2015, Days 26-31

Hey everyone!

It is the last day of May 2015 which means that this year's #mmmay challenge is drawing to a close, but I still have a few documentation photos left to post...

I'm sorry for the awful photograph! You can tell I'm getting lazy at the documentation as the month draws to a close, but at least I have given my Me-Mades the love they deserve, which is really what this challenge is all about. This was just worn for a trip into town with my mum, where I picked up some fabric for a By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit...more on that tomorrow ;) 

Yes, I'm wearing my Belcarra blouse again! Sorry not sorry. It's so easy to just throw on with jeans but still feel nice in. Inspired by the beautiful Klara from The Robot That Had a Heart, I also bought a denim jacket this week...thoughts? I wasn't sure of how to style it at first, but the look is definitely growing on me. This outfit was worn out to Shrewsbury for a great day out shopping with my mum and a family friend. 

Day 28: Sewaholic Belcarra and Self Drafted Skirt 
I really love this skirt; even though it was one of my earliest makes, it does still get worn. Nothing new to say on the Belcarra, these blouses are becoming my wardrobe staples. I wore this outfit to see a friend and go into town. 

...ok, nothing new to say here, I'll admit. I wore this to go out and pick up some paint for brightening up our garden ornaments with my dad, then to go food shopping with him as well.

Day 30: Lisette 1419 
I call this my Mustard Sunflowers dress...the skirt is unbelievably gathered, I think there's about two metres of fabric tied up in there. Obviously it is FANTASTICALLY swing-y, which is great. I spent all this day sewing on my lovely new digital machine...more on that soon so stay posted! 

An outfit which is quickly becoming a favourite of mine, I always feel great and well turned out in this. Today was spent sewing, cooking a bean chilli and spending time with my boyfriend. 

Wooooop! Challenge complete! 

Have you enjoyed Me-Made-May? Did you manage to complete your pledge? It's lovely seeing handmade garments getting all this attention, isn't it? 

I'll be back soon with some concluding thoughts on this year's challenge. Until then, thank you so much for reading, and have a brilliant week. 

Beth x

Monday, 25 May 2015

Me-Made-May 2015, Days 21-25

Hello everyone! 

Today is the second to last installment of my Me-Made-May documentation photos! This month has been a lot of fun, but...*whispers guiltily*...I bought a new ready to wear top last week and am really looking forward to wearing it with my jeans! 

Day 21: Sewaholic Belcarra (3) 
A week of repeats I'm afraid! This is my third version of the Belcarra, worn to my final exam of the year (woop). 

Day 22: Sewaholic Renfrew Dress
Now I promise I did wear this on Day 22, when I was still at uni, but the photo was taken a couple of days later when I got home, as I was quite busy and never got round to it at the time of wearing! Sorry about that. This was worn out to lunch with a couple of friends and then to hang around packing up my room. 

A familiar outfit by now I know, but so comfy and, I think, quite flattering. This was worn to travel back from uni and then to do some gardening with my dad which was nice. 

Day 24: Sewaholic Belcarra (1) 
One of my favourite outfits of the month! I love the Belcarra, since making my first it has become a real wardrobe staple. As you can see, I am not in my room - I spent the day at my boyfriends where we had planned to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but realising the DVD was missing watched the Extras disk instead...don't, it is boring! 

Day 25: Sewaholic Becarra (2) 
I know, three Belcarras in a week is quite a few, but at least I know what I like! I spent today at a Forties Weekend at the East Lancashire Railway near Manchester, a preserved line which often holds special events. I had planned to dress the part but what with exam revision and travelling back and forth from uni I never quite got round to making anything appropriate. Still, I had a fantastic day, got to travel behind some gorgeous steam engines and picked up another vintage pattern for a skirt, blouse and waistcoat from 1963! 

So, there we have it! I hope you all have a fantastic week everybody and that your Me-Made-May challenge (if you are taking part) is going well. 

Thanks for reading, 

Beth x

Friday, 22 May 2015


Hey guys! How are you all? 

As you all probably know by now, I'm a uni student, which means that my days are mostly filled with a lot of watching Netflix, the occasional lecture and some essay writing. However, with my final exam of the year completed yesterday, I've officially finished my first year at uni! 

For those of you who don't know, I should probably point out at this point that whoever plans university timetables is extremely lazy. I now have a four month summer holiday stretching out in front of me and no ideas for how to fill the time! Any suggestions?

I've applied for a job in Fat Face (international readers - that's a clothes shop we have over here, I'm not just randomly throwing in insults!) but I'm not guaranteed to get it so fingers crossed. I'm also planning to take a trip down to London with two friends from my course, start cycling in an effort to get a bit fitter and of course...lots of sewing! 

My sewing plans are pretty vague at the moment. I'm hoping to get my first pair of trousers made, and make a start on all my lovely By Hand London patterns - I have Elisalex, Holly, Flora and Kim. I've also recently been asked to be a godmother which I am really excited about, so I would love to sew my new god-daughter some clothes as well, maybe as part of her christening present. 

I started out my four months of freedom by going out with some friends yesterday (I'm still living in halls until Saturday), and had a really lovely time. Not wanting to drink myself, I was able to watch in amusement as everyone else's inhibitions were slowly lowered. I stayed out to make sure my flatmate Medi got home safely, and then we rounded off the night by watching Pride and Prejudice as she sobered up! All in all, a really nice way to end my first year. 

If you have any suggestions for what I can do with the inordinate amount of time I now have on my hands for my summer holidays, please do leave a comment below! 

Have a lovely rest of your week and thank you for reading.

Beth x

P.S. I've just been reminded by a reader that I forgot to keep you up to date with my change in summer arrangements! I mentioned in a previous post that I had been given a job in a hotel on the Isles of Scilly from June-August. However, when I went for a trial run over the Easter holidays, I encountered some difficulties with the management and accommodation, so decided I would be better off looking for a job I would enjoy more closer to home :) 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Me-Made-May 2015, Days 16-20

Hey everyone!

I'm back with the fourth installment of this year's Me-Made-May challenge. 

Day 16: Sewaholic Renfrew Dress
This dress is so comfy! This is one of my favourite outfits of the month so far. I wore it to go into town and pick up my new prescription sunglasses! 

Day 17: Sewaholic Belcarra (2)
This is my second version of the Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse, which is rapidly turning into a favourite pattern of mine. You can see a slight change of background to usual in this photo as I was not at home when it was taken, but at my boyfriend's house. What you can see here is the inside of his very messy bedroom! 

Day 18: By Hand London Anna (2) and Colette Astoria (2) 
My first repeat outfit! I was having a lazy day and have to admit I didn't even get changed out of my pyjamas until after lunch. Most of this day was spent revising and watching Friends, though not at the same time! 

Day 19: Sewaholic Belcarra (3) 
Yes indeed, this is my third version of the Belcarra Blouse! I've already started to act on my wardrobe gaps and have been using my time at home to sew up some new tops. This was worn to do some revision, watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and go to my boyfriend's house for tea. 

Day 20: Lisette 1419
I love this dress, it's always been one of my favourites. Today was mostly spent doing some last minute revision before my exam tomorrow, watching more episodes of Friends than I care to count, doing a bit of knitting (I knit the sleeves of my cardigan waaay too big and have unravelled them to start again), and then to travel back to uni. Not a bad day! 

I hope these documentation posts aren't getting too boring! At any rate, you get to see how I incorporate my me-mades into my every day wardrobe. 

How is your Me-Made-May going? Are you participating this year? 

Beth x

Saturday, 16 May 2015


Hey guys! 

As you've probably noticed by now, I wear glasses pretty much all the time. My eyesight is pretty shocking so the only thing I don't actually need them for is reading close up. This year, though, I've been able to get prescription sunglasses for the first time! 

Don't laugh! When I showed my boyfriend he teased me, 'The 1960's called, they want their sunglasses back.' Despite this, I'm just glad I don't have to spend yet another summer with a permanent squint! 

When I picked them up from the optician's, they were given to me in this case: 

The print looked vaguely familiar, so I googled the designer Orla Kiely...turns out they make fabric! Destiny. Now I'm just deciding how nerdy it would be to have a summer dress that matched my sunglasses...hey, it could even be a 60's shift dress! 

Has anything like this ever happened to you? 

Beth x 

Friday, 15 May 2015

And Now For Something Completely Different

I know that this is primarily a sewing blog, but today I wanted to talk about another issue which is close to my heart - feminism.

For too many, feminism has become a cause people are reluctant to identify with as the word has become associated with crazy, bra burning, man hating women. However, it must be made known that these women are not feminists. 

By definition, feminism is the advocacy of gender equality - politically, socially, economically, culturally. That's it, as simple as that. Gender equality. 

I have friends at uni who are very reluctant to admit to being feminists, in case they get mocked by our male friends or because they don't want to be seen identifying with a cause so many have begun to disassociate themselves from. This, in my opinion, is a clear sign that although women's rights have moved on somewhat since the time of the suffragettes, we still have a long way to go to reach true gender equality. In my eyes, the answer to the question 'Are you a feminist?' is a simple one. Yes. Of course I believe in equality for the sexes - and that does not just go for women, but for men as well. 

It seems clear to me that men are just as restrained by gender roles as women, and it's time we broke down those barriers. Males should be able to feel as though they can cry, to express emotion, to ask for help, to report abuse just as freely as women can. As Emma Watson pointed out in a recent interview on International Women's Day, to cry is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of humanity. You can watch her interview here, or listen to the He for She campaign speech made at the United Nations last year here; both truly inspired me.

For many women, myself included, the fight for gender equality is not so much to do with ourselves, but for others. I have the privilege of being part of a family who appreciate me no less because I was born a girl, I have been to primary school, high school, sixth form and now university. When I get a job one day, I hope to be paid the same as my male counterparts. However, for some women around the world, this is not the case. Males are still valued above them, but we need to give these women a chance for their voices to be heard too, for they have just as much to say.

Do you believe in gender equality? Because if so, you're a feminist, and this shouldn't be something to feel ashamed of. Embrace it, and remember:

As always, thanks for reading,
Beth x

Me-Made-May 2015: Days 11-15

Hello all! Me again, back with the third installment of this year's Me-Made-May challenge.

Day 11: Sewaholic Cambie (3) and Colette Astoria (1) 
This was worn to the first exam of the semester at uni. I'm really loving these dress and sweater combos I've got going on at the minute, they're really comfy and really me. 

Day 12: Lisette 1419
A day simply spent revising, finished off with an evening meal out with friends. This outfit even received a compliment off one of the girls from our uni's craft society, so I would mark it as a definite win! 

I wore this to my second exam and then to travel home on the train. Not my favourite outfit of this month but it did draw a compliment from my mum as she picked me up from the train station! 

Day 14: By Hand London Anna (1) and Colette Astoria (1) 
Oh dear...didn't I say I was going to try and mix up my outfits a bit? Sorry! The weather around here is sunny but still a little shy of warm, so my summer dresses are still tucked away in the back of my wardrobe. Hopefully I will be able to document some different garments before the month is out! This was worn to go into town with my boyfriend. 

Day 15: By Hand London Anna (3) 
So far today I have watched three episodes of my favourite TV show (Detectorists, anyone?), painted my nails and eaten chips and curry for lunch...not the most exciting of days I'll admit! Luckily I'm heading over to my boyfriend's house for tea in about half an hour so I just have to conquer the boredom until then. Hopefully, judging from the weather outside, it will be warm enough tomorrow to try and sneak in a wear of one of my summer dresses! 

So, there you have it. I know I've already mentioned this, but another five days of the challenge have really highlighted once again that I desperately need some more Me-Made tops in my wardrobe. I will have to get going on that! Another plan is to have a go at the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers...the pattern is not in my collection yet so that may have to be remedied soon. 

How is your Me-Made-May going?

Beth x

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Hello all!

Just a quick one today to let you know of a new online sewing shop! launched yesterday with a lot of introductory discounts on their stock of sewing patterns, sewing supplies and sewing machines, with free UK delivery until 18th May. They are also running a fantastic prize draw with the winner receiving a Bernina 330 sewing machine, and eight runners up receiving a voucher to their online shop. What are you waiting for? Get on over their and enter!

Happy shopping :)

Beth x

Monday, 11 May 2015

Me-Made-May 2015, Days 6-10

Hello everyone!

I'm back again with more documentation photos of this year's #mmmay challenge. 

Day 6: Sewaholic Renfrew Dress and Colette Astoria (1) 
My sincere apologies for the awful lighting in this photo. I wore this outfit to travel home from uni; it was really comfy and not too warm on the train. 

Day 7: Self Drafted Skirt
This was just a day of hanging around my house writing my essay - not the most interesting of days really! I love the way the skirt looks with this blouse though, it's one of my favourite outfits. 

Day 8: By Hand London Anna (1) 
This was my first ever Anna, and I still like it tremendously. It looks good with cardigans and sweaters, or on it's own for warmer days. 

Day 9: By Hand London Anna (2) and Colette Astoria (2) 
This was the second Anna I made, which has a really gorgeous strawberry print. I think it looks great with my new Astoria sweater! I made this version up in a navy sweatshirt fabric with little coloured flecks, and it matches all my dresses like a dream. This outfit was worn to babysit an incredibly cute little girl all day and play endless games of Hide and Seek! 

Day 10: By Hand London Anna (3) and Colette Astoria (2) 
Yes, I have developed a thing for my Anna dresses paired with my new Astoria sweaters. Sorry not sorry! I really love the way this combo looks, but to stop things getting too boring I'll try and switch up my outfits in the next five days. This was worn to revise, see my boyfriend and travel back to uni for my first exam. 

So, 10 days in and I've still managed to not repeat an exact outfit! I doubt this will last though - some garments have already made multiple appearances. I'm really learning a lot from the challenge already. My wardrobe is definitely suffering from a handmade top deficiency, which is something I feel I need to work on in future. However, I've been getting a lot of wear out of my Anna dresses which I hadn't touched for over a month before the challenge started, so I'm glad it's helped me to get those into rotation again. 

How are you finding Me-Made-May so far? 

Beth x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Profoundly Loved Blog Party

Hello everyone! How are you all?

Rather excitingly, I've been nominated to take part in the Profoundly Loved Blog Party by Kaitlyn of Kaitlyn's Simply Vintage. I've never been chosen to take part in anything like this before, but I really enjoyed thinking about my answers. Here are the seven questions I was asked and the answers I gave: 

1) Tell me about something you love and why. 

I love reading. Through my entire life, I've always been a reader; I can't remember a time when this wasn't my absolute favourite thing to do. Books have the ability to transport us, to play on our emotions, to capture our interest and slow us down in this busy, bustling world. They document the best, the worst, the happiest, the saddest, the most brilliant aspects of humanity. They make us feel, they make us think, and above all, they give us a sense of belonging. I've never read a book where I felt unwanted, or uninvited. Books suck us in and make us a part of them. In my mind, to read is to live. 

2) What is one thing you do that makes you feel like "I could do this forever"? 

Something I could do forever is travelling up and down preserved railway lines. As a family we often visit the East Lancashire Railway near Manchester, which puts on events like Diesel and Steam Galas, making use of locomotives which no longer serve the main line. The sound they make, and the ability to lean out of the window and wave at people as you pass are things that have been lost in the transition to newer, electric trains, but which I feel make for a more enjoyable journey. The sense of adventure, freedom and joy is heightened on a train ride which involves a plume of smoke billowing into the sky. It makes me feel more alive, somehow, and I love that. 

3) What do you love about yourself? 

I love my sense of morality and the acceptance I have that being different is ok. I think of myself as a socialist, everyone has the right to equality, but in a world where so often people believe they should be more important than another, I sometimes feel alone in my beliefs. Similarly, I often get the feeling I'm slightly out of sync with the rest of my peer group, though whether this is simply the choice to not act like a typical student - I'm teetotal, which creates a surprisingly large barrier between me and others at uni - or something deeper rooted than that is hard to put my finger on. Despite this though, I've not changed for anyone so far, and I doubt I ever will. For this, I'm proud. 

4) What advice would you give someone who doesn't think he/she is beautiful? 

I have this struggle with my boyfriend on a daily basis. For me, beauty begins on the inside. Often when you meet someone, they may not be the textbook definition of beautiful, but after getting to know them and realising how good they are inside, their appearance changes accordingly. I'm also a strong believer in the saying 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder.' To me, this is true; everyone is beautiful to someone. In my eyes, my boyfriend is one of the most beautiful people I've ever known, not just because of his physical appearance, but because I know how kind and selfless a person he is. Naturally though, he never believes me. 

5) What is the best piece of advice you've ever received about confidence? 

I don't really have any words of wisdom on this topic; I'm a naturally shy person, a fact I'm constantly being reminded of by my seminar leaders at uni. However, confidence comes in all shapes and forms, and I think once people can accept themselves for who they are and embrace their flaws, confidence will naturally follow. Learn to like yourself, and others will like you too. 

6) If you were your own daughter, what important thing would you tell them? 

I would tell her to not be afraid of living every day to its fullest. To explore, to travel, to have adventures, to make friends. To live her life the exact way she wants it, because we only get one shot at this. Make it count, and above all, have fun. 

7) A verse, poem, sonnet, ancient old proverb, that inspires you to love yourself and others. 

I've chosen a quote from Jimi Hendrix which I feel perfectly sums up what is so often wrong with humanity, but inspires so much hope. 'When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.' 

Thank you Kaitlyn for the nomination. I'm passing this onto Kristy of Scientific Sewing and Kylie of Stitches and Spoonfuls, but don't feel obligated to take part if you would rather not :) 

Thank you, as always, for reading. 

Beth x

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Me-Made-May 2015, Days 1-5

Happy Me-Made-May everybody!

We're five days in and so far I'm really enjoying this year's challenge. I can already tell what a difference a year has made to my wardrobe - no repeat garments so far! What I had forgotten is how boring photographing myself every morning can be. However, I do like being able to look back and see what outfits I came up with during the month to help identify wardrobe gaps, so I'll persevere! 

Here are my first five me-made outfits: 

This outfit was worn to travel home from uni (you can see my suitcase in the background) and go shopping in Chester. It's a really comfortable top, but the neckline feels slightly too high when I wear it with a cardigan. I'll change this in future versions to be sure of a 100% wearable garment. 

Ahh, I'm back at home now and the awful self photography can begin - yes, I am standing on my bed! It's the only place in my room where the whole of me was in shot. I wore this outfit to the opticians and then just hung around the house, so a pretty relaxed day. I've worn this dress many times and always feel nice in it. 

A new self stitched garment! I absolutely love this top. It fits great (I cut a straight Size 0) and the fabric, a lightweight cotton, was lovely to work with. I wore this top to see my boyfriend and he actually noticed it was new! It must be good! This definitely won't be the only time you see this top this month. 

Day 4: Floral Dungaree Dress
This is a pretty old make, put together last summer before I went on holiday to France. There's definite room for improvement - I've learnt so much since I made this - but it's still a favourite, and really comfortable. It was worn around the house and to start an essay due next Monday. 

As long time readers will know, the Anna is a favourite dress pattern of mine; this is my third version. The sweater is a new make though - it's Astoria from last month's edition of Seamwork Magazine by Colette Patterns. I chose a gorgeous cream sweatshirt fabric with little flecks of colour and used a 0.5mm zig zag stitch to sew it up. The inside is so soft and snuggly! This outfit will be worn to travel back up to uni later today for the last craft club meeting of the year. 

So, there are my first five days of Me-Made-May documented. Only 26 days to go...

If you are taking part in MMMay15, I wish you all the best of luck and can't wait to see your outfits! 

Beth x