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

3 May 2016

Me Made May!

We're going to pretend I'm not completely late for sign up or pledging, here!

If you happen to be part of the sewing blogosphere, MMMAY is nothing new, and you're probably bombarded already by blog and Instagram posts. But for those followers I have that are scratching their heads, let me explain!

Me Made May was the brain child of So, Zo... six years ago as encouragement for people who make their own clothes to actually wear and learn from their handmade garments. It consists of pledging to a personal goal and keeping to it (something I'm bloody awful at) so why not?
So, for the world to see! This is my pledge;

 'I, Melody of bourbonandbras.blogspot.co.uk and the instagram @melodymae, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear self made garments at the very least three times a week through the duration of May 2016. Each day will be recorded on Instagram, and a weekly roundup will be posted on Wednesdays on my blog.

I'm hoping this will bring me a lot of inspiration for holes in my wardrobe, as well as ideas for future and present blog posts.

You can follow my progress on Instagram @MelodyMae, which will be hash tagged with the official #mmmay16 tags, plus all future hand made outfits will feature the hashtag #melodymade, too!
I'll see you next Wednesday to see just how well we're doing.

Is anyone else joining?

30 April 2016

When Life Gives You Lemons... Throw The Damn Things Back!

Afternoon babes!

A while back when I was checking my local fabric shop's remnant table (Rolls and Rems in Holloway - and boy do I love that remnant table!) I came across a few meters of this fabulous black-and-off-white-striped cotton, which is near enough a canvas but without the crazy stiffness.

Having sat in my stash for possibly about a year with a thought in my mind to create a cute/spooky vibe by making a circle skirt out of it, I finally sat down - suffering from flu symptoms and tonsillitis, I'd like to add - and started cutting out the damn thing. 

Now, you might ask why I thought it was necessary to mention I was ill when I was making this skirt. My dears, in my flu-high, I managed to cut the thing arse about face and ended up with a centre back seam that was... well... a little fucked up. After a dash back to Rolls and Rems and the sadness of not having more fabric, I sat down and decided to take my scissors to my pattern pieces in a desperate attempt to salvage the project.

And damn, if that doesn't look like a purposely-decided design feature, I don't know what does! 

So I should possibly explain. Since my skirt has side seam pockets and a centre back zip, I had a half-circle for the front and two quarter-circles for the back. 3/4ths of this skirt was perfect and matchy-matchy. Sadly that last quarter panel was pretty much an exact copy of the other, instead of a mirror. Boo.
So with a little bit of brainstorming and some help from Rosie, I decided to split by back panels into eighths and take off an eighth either side of the front panel and mix it all up so that the panels' mixed directions look a little less like a mistake! My visual help looked like this, if you were somewhat confused.

Whew. That was wordy. Anyway. It worked out pretty nicely, I'd say! The directions look they were meant to be there instead of a solution to a silly problem, even if I did mess up for a second time and accidentally switched around two panels (Points go to anyone who can spot my mistake ;D).

Literally the only other thing I dislike about this skirt is I made the holes to the pockets just a tad too small. That's it! I don't think I've been this happy with an item I've made in so long!

Necklace: Vintage
Top: Primark (last year)
Belt: Collectif
Bangles: Splendette

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