28 May 2016

A Big Ol' Black Dress

The Little Black Dress (LBD) has been considered a wardrobe staple for every woman since the days of Coco Chanel - chances are, if you wear dresses, you've got a LBD hanging in a wardrobe right this moment.

I, however, don't really do little. Go big or go home, right?

In comes the Big Ol' Black Dress (BOBD is much more amusing than LBD).

I wear black dresses a lot. And since I'm running out of variety in my BOBD wardrobe, I thought I'd knock this Big Ol' lady out with just some plain cotton (possibly a pique) that I got from my friends over at Rolls And Rems on Holloway Road.
It's a really lovely quality cotton, but the issue I have with anything 100% cotton is that it just absolutely has to crease at every bloody opportunity it can. Infuriating but so lovely to work with.

The pattern used is my self-drafted No Cock Nor Tails pattern, but with an added full bust adjustment because the original didn't really accommodate my larger-than-I-think-it-is bust.
However my first ever FBA didn't go so well, and I ended up with some weird bagging right on the bust apex (AKA baggy nipples. No one wants baggy nipples) and some extra fabric in the arm scythe, the former isn't that noticeable, but you can definitely see where it doesn't fit right in the arm holes in this picture;

So this dress has inseam pockets in the box pleated dirndl skirt, a lined bodice, and a centre back zip I screwed up with the insertion so there's a gap in the top, as you can see in the photo below. I'd say I'll put in a hook and eye, but since becoming single, there's no way I can undo that sort of fiddly thing myself.
But you know what? It looks pretty good, it feels pretty good, and it's a great BOBD.

Now. I'm going to stop talking about the dress because although it's great and all can we just take a moment out to TALK ABOUT MY HANDBAG?

This is The George pub bag from Vendula London and it's quite frankly the greatest handbag ever.

One, it's a fucking pub. Two, you can take the handle off and use the long strap to wear it as a cross body bag (two handbags in one, yes please!) Three - THE LITTLE SIGN OPENS UP.
If you're in London, pop into our shop to see this beauteous thing in the flesh, because it is just so amazing.

Hair Flowers; Lady Luck's Boutique 
Necklace; Handmade
Bolero; Collectif
Brooch; Luxulite
Belt; Primark
Shoes; Miss L Fire

25 May 2016

Me Made May - Week Three!

Okay. So. I promise I do have a few non-MMM-round up posts in the pipeline, but I've been a busy bee and my photographer/best friend has been otherwise engaged so there has been less time to take proper photos of some things I've made/worn, and I'm putting actual effort into dressing at the moment!

I think it's safe to say that the red gingham Butterick B5880 is my most worn dress so far - and I'm honestly thinking of making a few more of them in different colours because they're so easy to wear and get a lot of attention.
Of course, I managed to wear exactly the same outfit on Tuesday and Saturday, but I went to three gigs this week (Girugamesh's last London show before they disband and two Funeral For A Friend gigs - the last. ever. shows. I cried a lot) and I really like the harness and striped skirt combo. It's like a slightly 'edgier' look than my usual style, which is something new for me.

How is everyone else getting on with their challenges? I'm finding it surprisingly easy, but then again I'm outfit repeating constantly! Clearly I need to get back on my machine soon!

18 May 2016

Me Made May - Week Two!

Another week, another challenge completed! I managed to wear handmade 4/7 days which I'm pretty proud of.

We're only on week two and I've already worn two dresses twice, but I'm coming closer to the realisation I just love easy to wear dresses like the black and the red gingham ones here. Clearly I need to make more in summery colours! 

So far all I'm learning from this challenge is that I clearly need to make some more clothes I wear a lot, because what I really want to do is wear gingham 24/7.

How is #MeMadeMay going for you guys?

As always you can follow my #MMMay16 progress daily on Instagram here, and I'm also Snapping my outfits each day on Snapchat (search for melodyxmae), if you're so inclined!

11 May 2016

Me Made May - Week One!

So we're one week down on Me Made May and I managed to stick to my goal and wore handmade for four days out of the week last week!

Originally I thought I'd have some sort of revelation about my style and what to wear during the Spring transition period, but the UK decided to surprise us with actual summer weather which has been pretty easy to dress for as a lot of my sewing is either straight up winter or straight up summer.

Although the one thing I am starting to realise very quickly is that I don't actually have that much handmade stuff - so apologies as I'm sure you'll see repeats a lot over the next month!

As always you can follow my #MMMay16 progress daily on Instagram here, and I'm also Snapping my outfits each day on Snapchat (search for melodyxmae), if you're so inclined!

7 May 2016


I've spoken about Rolls and Rem's remnant table before, right? This is yet another great find. Similar fabric to the Striped skirt I made, this is a stiff canvas-like cotton which just behaves beautifully through a machine, and provides great structure for a flared dress such as this one.

The pattern I used for this dress was an altered version of the No Cock Nor Tails dress I made several years ago - the difference being that I added a ruched bustline by taking the bust of the pattern, slashing and spreading, and gathering it. I opted to keep it with a frill instead of setting it into the bodice, but that was mainly just pure laziness on my part. It looks pretty adorable with the ric rac trim though, right?

The dress was actually made a whole year ago before I went on a night out - believe it or not! I had a real problem with overestimating the ease and the whole thing was massive and generally badly-fitting. So it got thrown in the wash and was set aside in my ever-mounting pile of alterations for another day.
Then after a re-discovery, I threw it through my machines and thought that was that.

But readers. This is me, and I am not a lucky person. The bloody thing shrunk in the wash without me realising, so the dress is preeeeeetty damn tight now. And I even had to cut out the bust of the original pattern (which at this point pretty much served as a lining for the ruching) just to make sure I wasn't giving myself pancake boobs!

However. The damn thing juuuust about fits, and quite frankly I love it. I'm still a bit of a sucker for a polka dot every now and then, and the off-white polkadots are a really welcome addition to my black obsession recently!

So! Lets get down to the nitty-gritty, yes? The dress is unlined (the fabric is thick enough without that!) but the neckline and straps are faced, and all the seams are overlocked. The hem was done with bias tape as I find it's really just the easiest way to hem a full circle skirt without any weird puckering.
And you'll be shocked to hear this, but there are NO POCKETS in this dress. I'd originally planned on patch pockets with ric rac trim, but honestly it looked pretty stupid and I've never really gotten around to popping in some in-seam ones - it might happen one day when I get too frustrated with keeping my phone in my bra, though.

Bolero: Collectif
Necklace: Vintage
Brooch: Luxulite
Bangles: Vintage and Splendette
Handbag: Accessorize

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