Me-Made-May Day 31 - Friends


Hello, I like your dress, you wanna hang out?
Sure, let's just chill here.
 So I've got to ask you, does this lobster go with my outfit?
Well he does seem like a very nice lobster.
He is except for his chain smoking.
Hey I got an idea, why don't you smoke instead. No more smoking lobster problem.
That was a great idea, let's hang out more.
The lovely Leila from came and visited me for the last few days of Me-Made-May.  We laughed a lot, fit pants, traced patterns, pulled all my stash out and took silly photos in our Gertie shirtwaist dresses.  I would have never met Leila (and many other wonderful people) if it wasn't for the on-line sewing community.  I feel very blessed to have found so many like minded souls, that not only love sewing but many of my other geeky pursuits. Love you guys!  Thanks for joining me during Me-Made-May.

P.S. Actual Gertie shirtwaist dress review sometime this weekend.  I've stayed up too late the last couple of days making lame sewing jokes for Leila.

Me-Made-May Day 30 - Another Trip to the Grocery Store


Just needed to get the basics.
Me-Mades today, another Hotpattern's sunshine top and a self drafted jersey knit skirt.   The skirt is just two A-line pieces with waistband.  Many thanks to Leila of Three Dresses Project who took all my photos today. :)  We might be having too much fun.

Me-Made-May Day 29 - 50's Housewife


No Heather, don't burn that Milly Silk!!!!!  Haa haa, just kidding everyone, I'm a wine drinker. 

I made this dress in 2009 before having my kid and gaining a bunch of weight gestating his hungry hungry fetus. (His fetus nick name was Sir Snacks because he always wanted MOAR FOOD.)
Couldn't fit into it for a few years but weight loss at the end of last year and Me-Made-May challenge got me to try it back on.  I could zip it up but it was visibly too tight in the skirt area.  But hey, it's got big fat seam allowances so why not make the side seams and CB all 1/4" and see how that works.  It worked great!  Thanks Me-Made-May.

It looks like the Burda site has not uploaded any of their patterns before 2010, which is a shame because this is a great dress.  It's from issue May 2009, pattern #117 if you happen to have a Burda stash or score one off of ebay.

Now excuse me, it's time for my steam iron facial. Hissssssss

Me-Made-May Day 28 - Billie Jean is my lover


I know memorial day was yesterday but I've got something very special on the grill for you. Don't worry, the eyeballs make them extra tasty.  What's that?  Oh I always grill in vintage inspired dresses because it classes up the whole "charring meat with an open flame" thing.
Fire, Good!  Pretty Dress, Goodier!"  Ok enough nonsense, on with a pattern review.
Billie Jean Dress from Bluegingerdoll. I bought the PDF version cause I wanted to sew it RIGHT NOW! It will also be available in a printed version which can also be pre-ordered from the etsy shop.  The pattern comes with a fully lined bodice and your choice of a slim pencil skirt or a gathered full skirt. 

Fabrics used
Very light weight cotton shirting purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics some time last year. More stash usage, sweet. Here's a little peek at the insides of my dress.  I had plenty of fabric to self line the bodice and thought cotton would be a lot cooler on a summer dress than some stashed polyester lining.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. I needed to blend three sizes together in the bodice 12/14/16.  The neckline and shoulders are a 12, then the side seam is blended from a 12 into a 16.

2.  Added 1/4" to either side of the upper back princess line seam for little more width in my wide upper back area.

3. On the front neckline I drew a new neckline curve adding about 5/8" to the shoulder area for a little more bra strap coverage.  On the back I raised the entire neckline 5/8".
4.  I thought this fabric was too soft for the pencil shirt option and waist gathered skirts aren't that flattering on me, instead a 4 panel gored skirt was swapped in.  My pattern was borrowed from Simplicity 1880 but they are very simple to draft yourself.  One thing to note is that the front waist measurement of the Billie Jean bodice is larger than the back waist measurement.  If you wanted to do a traditional gored shirt you'd need to make the bodice front/back waist measurements equal to get the side seams to match up. You'd draft 1 gore pattern and cut 4 to make up your entire skirt. Your other option is to keep the bodice as it is and draft 2 gore pattern pieces. The front skirt pattern will be wider at the waist and a back skirt narrower.  Cut 2 back skirt gores and 2 front skirt gores to make up the entire skirt. This is what I did because my figure really is wider on the front than on the back.

1. When putting together the PDF pattern notice that there is some overlap of the images between pages.
Make sure you do not just cut off the margins and align by those edges.  It takes a bit of fudging but you can get everything lined up by matching text or notches.  Also if your margins are this wide you have printed with scaling on. Oops, good thing I checked the 4" square!

2. Instead of a lapped zipper I inserted an invisible zip, because there was a white one in the stash and I'm lazy.
3.  Took one look at how wide the hem sweep was and thought, "Am I going to hand sew this? Oh Hell No!"   Instead used the sewing machine to put in a narrow fold over hem. I regret nothing.
4. When sewing the lining to the main bodice I sewed the neckline, understitched it and then stitched the armholes together.  You can't understitch the whole sleeve seam so I understitch up to the princess line seam on both the front and the back.

Husband Comment
"Hey that's a nice dress!  No don't put a belt on it, it looks better with out it.  Don't put a sweater over it either!"

My Final Thoughts
From putting together the pattern to finished dress took me 7 days. Yowzah! It helped that the only part that needed to be fitted was the bodice and that was almost perfect on the first muslin.  I would agree with the pattern directions to size up if you are between measurements.  My waist is 34" and the size 16 has a 35" waist.  I could nip out a little bit of the ease but found it very comfortable as it is.

Even if the fitting process hadn't been a wiz I'd still LOVE this dress.  It's vintagey without being costumey, it's comfortable, it's oh so pretty. ;)

Me-Made-May Day 27 - Frog Holler


This is what happens when you watch too much Sesame Street.
Sing, sing a song....
Sing out loud, sing out strong.....
 Don't worry it isn't good enough for anyone else but you...
 Sing, sing a song!
Me-Made today, a kimono shirt that was knocked off from RTW.  And now please look directly into the hypnotoad's eyes....

Me-Made-May Day 26 - Backyard


I'm hiding from my son who has the hose and is spraying everything in sight.
 Spray the flowers but not my feet!
Haaa haaa I'll get you mommy!  Right after I spray myself some more. Wheeeeeeeeee!
Oh yeah? I'm gonna go play in the tree by myself.
Me Mades from head to toe today, another Renfrew in what could be a feather or leaf print. 
Also some denim clovers I put a fly front in and the pretty Ophicleide cardigan knit in 2009.
Master Des was nice and gave me a bird sticker that coordinates with my outfit.  Good job son, now put down the hose.

Me-Made-May Day 25 - ALL THE PATTERNS


This is what I look like most of the time, PJ, crazy eyes, and surrounded by patterns.
MMMay Day 25
Wearing the outfit you were all waiting for, fangy Maria Denmark lounge pants and baby narwhal renfrew.  Now pass me my wallet, there's more patterns to buy.

Me-Made-May Day 24 - My Hometown


My hometown is everybody's home least that's what our slogan is.  You'll have to take my word for it....a certain person cut half of it out. Yes it was me.
We happen to be the county seat which means we have a "Back to the Future" like court house.  "MARTY!"
A small theater which holds various plays through out the year.
And trolleys, butt ugly trolleys.....way to go SEPTA (P.S. Thank you internet for most of the street images)
There is also a little plaza where a crazy person can set up a tri-pod and take pictures of herself.  Here I am doing my best Fonzie impression, EHHHHHHH!  Now where's a juke box that I can hit?
Check out my cool new top, see it's cool cause looking off into the distance with my shades on. It happens to be the Papercuts Sloppy Josephine top.  Well technically a highly bastardized version of that pattern. 
You're really gonna love a close up of the print. FEATHERS!  Heather likes feathers cause she likes to rhyme all the time.
I'm not firing on full brain power today so a proper review of this pattern will have to wait. The quick and dirty details are something like this.
 I traced a combo Med/Large and lengthened the sleeves about 5".  The fit was very roomy and the neckline a little too wide for my taste.  Having your shirt falling off your shoulders is all well and good if you're not running after a toddler most of your day. My fabric choice was also not the best for the intended fit. It has no drape and hung like a big sack like bad plus sized clothing.

Good news is that we can always make things smaller. I disassembled the shirt and cut it down to a size small, except for the hem circumference which stayed a large.  Finally I put a renfrew hem band on the bottom, perfect!  Better review later I promise.

Me-Made-May Day 23 - Monster!


Monster on my shoulder makes me nerrrrrrvous.
Monster in my eye makes me cryyyyyyy.
Monster in my shirt is so cheeky.
Monsters almost always get me high?  No, maybe confused.
My apologies to John Denver and to orange monsters.  Today wearing another Hotpattern's sunshine top, I literally have at least a dozen of these.  This is one of my first from 2009 and features the longer sleeve included in the pattern.  The fabric was one of those lucky scores off of ebay where the print was great but the fabric also turned out to be soft and cozy. Gray + Bird = Happy Heather.

Me-Made-May Day 22 - Knit Queen


Bow before for me mortals for I am that Knit Queen.....
Hey what are you doing, back away you tiny monster.
How dare you disrobe me!  You will pay for your insolence!
Today's me mades, Colette Iris shorts and Hotpattern's Rivera once, twice, three times shirt.

Me-Made-May Day 21 - Snake Infestation


Hmmmm, exactly how big is my snake infestation?
Maybe if I poke it with a ruler it will slither away
That didn't work, maybe I'll throw this lace over it's head.
 Oh well, looks like we're just pals now.
Me-Mades today Hotpattern's Sunshine top short sleeve version and a repeat of the Hotpattern's boyfriend jeans.
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