Red Lisette mesh side panel leggings – Sunday 12th May 2019

Sunday 12th May

I actually got round to taking photos of what I wore on Sunday and here they are:

My red leggings with an old sports top and my Frieda Petrenko mesh top. And I am feeling brave and not too fat which is possibly a first! Must be the idea of my hip op making me understand soon I can do sport again though apparently running is to be avoided but cycling is according to my consultant “perfect”. I need a new push-bike!

Photo-bombed by Hughie

I thought I had already blogged about these leggings but when I looked I have not. They are made like my earlier winter weight leggings from a stretch crepe jersey. Because I decided I have the crepe side as the wrong side they are made using the reverse of the fabric which is not so good in someways because when my dogs jump up it does snag on their claws. Mind you I got caught up in some raw chicken wire in my chickens run and they did not get ripped, so not too delicate either. Other than that though its turned out to be a hard wearing fabric which is very warm, seems to contain some % of lycra and its very successful. The side panels are power mesh and they have a pocket on each leg.

I never got round to blogging about this pair of leggings before today but I made them back in February. These are the Lisette 6295 side panel leggings.

I actually cut these out just after New Year when I was mad on making sportswear that was a bit warmer than the usual thin lycra stuff.  I sewed them up in February.  Being a more basic design than the other pairs I made, these got left on my sewing pile till last. 

The only interesting parts really are the mesh side panels – which have ankle ruching – and the side pockets. They are ot a very transparent mesh either. I was inspired by fashion to make these but the mesh is too thick really. Making a new pair with more transparent mesh panels is high on my current to-do list.

I have several basic side panel leggings so side panels is nothing new for me and is not really that interesting.

It was, when I bought this pattern, but that was a few years ago when there were far less activity wear patterns available.

The side panels and side pockets are quite a thick power mesh. The top of the side panels is a black crepe lycra fabric used to make my yoga pants and my ribbons top and the black multi-media top. Its very silky fabric. I used the reverse of this silky black crepe for these and they look like normal lycra panels. I did the same with my cream and orange leggings.

The power mesh is left over from this wrap top and this skirt.

These are actually very wearable leggings despite the bright red colour which was a worry when I was sewing them up. AND surprisingly I do not look that fat in them!

The lace front top pictured in these original photos of these leggings is the same red fabric with a black stretch lace overlay – it does not really go well with a more activity look.

I generally wear the top for work on colder days with “office type trousers”. It just happens to be made from the same fabric that’s all.

I suppose this does show how the different pattern choice changes the fabric into whatever you want it to be!

See you with more me mades tomorrow!


Me Made May Days 10-11

Well I DID wear me made every day since the beginning of May. What I have not been so good at was taking the photos to document this. Well to be fair the challenge is to do the me made thing not to document it. Normally I do document every day religiously. This year I am finding I simply do not find this as exciting to do as in previous years. I honestly wear me made every day anyway or its a really rare occasion when I don’t. As in all the time not just in May. Since the odd occasion when I do not do this happens to be the very unusual days when I dress up – as in theatre or wedding or similar thats really not very common I do not wear me made and maybe now most of my wardrobe is me made that is what the issue is. Its not an adventure anymore to do this challenge.

Friday 10th May

So I kind of gave up on Friday. I actually wore this top which I made ages ago from upcycling of some badly made dresses.  I love this top despite it being rubbish synthetic material. I have not though worn it for ages. I never took a photo on Friday so you will just have to take my word for it I did do me made then too:

Yes, I know its cheating………………

Saturday 11th May

This day I did actually remember to get photos take though only after changing half way through the day. Both outfits were me made but never mind. I only cataloged the second outfit. Here are the photos:

 This is my mohair type jumper made from an ancient and free pattern from some magazine or other in the early 80s. Well it was only knitted recently but the pattern is 80s that is what I mean.

My lovely soft and warm jumper is worn with a new skirt. 

This skirt is part of a project going on in my life at the moment. To make elastic waist skirts and shorts because I had some  pretty horrible news a few weeks back now.

So a couple of months back now I was having a problem walking. I have had hip problems for at least 7 years. I got given Physio several times. Due to my age no one considered even looking for anything other than muscular problems. In the end because the physio is actually making my walking worse not better my doctor sent me for an Xray. This showed I need a hip replacement. When the doctor rang me up to tell me this, I was totally shocked. It never occurred to me it could be this bad. So anyway now I am waiting. I was told 3-4 months so I need to be ready. I am taking vitamin K, I am not drinking any alcohol because I intend to heal as soon as possible and this must help. Interestingly I have now not drunk alcohol for more than 4 weeks and am not at all missing it. Thats good because until you decide to give up how do you know if you are an alcoholic? Well apparently I am not.

Anyway one of the items on the list I have to have for my recovery is elastic waist shorts or skirts. Recovery takes around 6 weeks so I need a few of different weights to ensure I have changes because despite his very wonderful good intentions my partner is not very domesticated when it comes to washing clothing. He is a brilliant cook do not get me wrong, but doing the washing is going to be a problem. I just always do all of it. After 29 years of him rarely needing to wash the clothing because I have always done this for us,  I think this may be a big problem, so I need to think ahead about this because I really do not want him to feel put-upon when he has to basically be my carer for at least a couple of weeks. I reckon after 2 weeks I should be able to start doing things like washing the clothes for myself. They reckon you walk the day after the op with aids, lose the crutches after 3 weeks. Its around 6 weeks till you can work so maybe he will be looking after me for all of that time. I kind of hope not – still we have yet to find out. Its about a year till you are OK again and 2 years till full recovery – so digging a garden etc, cos the muscles that hold the leg and make it strong have to grow back around the hip. That’ll be a problem for my allotment too! But no

So I need to make as many changes as possible to be ready for this op. I need warm and cool weights too because the UK climate could be anything!  So I am making sure I have both winter and summer weight stuff to take into account I have no idea when this will take place or what the weather will be like.

I made a black velvet skirt a few weeks ago, similar to this pink one from the same steampunk pattern. the photos of this velvet skirt are rubbish. I need to get some new ones.

Also a longer a long green faux leather skirt – too long to be safe though to wear this one after the op because I will be on crutches!

This pink skirt is fun. It is made form the last few sizable bits of the 4-way stretch fabric I got ages ago and I have made loads from this fabric previously including these items here:

Leggings here:


And tops:

 and also here:

I am unlikely to be able to make much else from this. I may get an exercise top out of the bits if I am lucky but have yet top try this.

Anyway back to this skirt – its slightly high low as you can see. I like this style its very easy to wear. To be honest I probably have lots I could wear already for this op but its an opportunity missed if I do not get round to making stuff especially for it😊

 Also I find its fun to have something to get you sewing. I am finding I need something else to make me sew recently else its just more of the same. The excitement has gone from just making  a new item of clothing or at least it is not a novel experience. It has become the norm. 

 I need a reason to get going with my sewing – something to get me excited. Having an op gives me a project to run alongside the The Vampires Wife (TVW) inspired project which I am still working on. I need to analyse how things are constructed – thats the point behind the TVW project and I am very much enjoying that but it is also a lengthy process and its not to be rushed sincxe I need to achieve my aims. The TVW dress does not just go together so very fast because I am changing the design slightly with each edition to get them not only better fitted anbd better made than the previous version and so more like the original Suzy Cave dresses but also I need to alter my own blocks to make each dress better than the last one. And I am loving doing this, but at the same time I am not producing things so quickly either and I like to produce as well. I like new clothes and variety in my sewing so having to make elastic waisted bottoms is good. I actually prefer not to use elastic for waists recently because I have been making more constructed fitted stuff but its quite nice to take a step backwards and do some simple styles. 

After all just because its easy to make does not make it less wearable and in many cases its actually better for everyday life. I tend to forget this in my quest for hard to sew and when challenging myself but its wrong to just make challenging clothing for the sake of the challenge. There should be space in my collection for easy to make stuff too. 

These skirts are easy. They go together in about 30 minutes once you have made one of them. The hardest part is adding the elastic and I have got this to a fine art and not only a professional finish. 

I use 1 inch wide black elastic. I sew ( twin needle cos my Janome machine  is a very temperamental one and does not like to ZigZag!) and then turn over and twin needle again on right side. This stops the elastic moving around inside a casing and keeps it firmly in place making for a very comfortable elastic waistband. 

I took some photos of this when making the long green faux leather skirt but I use this method for leggings and everything else with an elastic waistband. There is one photo missing showing how the elastic is attached first to the Right side and then the second photo is it being folded over to wrong side giving a neat edge then you twin needle stitch from RS.

Ah and I dyed my hair on Saturday.

This is actually not the best effort when it comes to dying my own hair. 

I bought dusky pink from Superdrug’s Pick n Mix range and did the top of my hair only to realise I was running out of dye so the ends are then done in Rose Gold dye. I still have some un-pink blond streaks too so I have ordered more dye to redo it but this time I shall get 2 of each colour. Then I can do dusky pink one month and Rose gold the next – and of course make all my hair the same colour instead of this somewhat patchy mess. Summer here I come…………….

Thanks for visiting my blog


#Me Made May day 9 – Red Ribbed Top


Red top. I have not before blogged about this very basic top. I made it in December I think, about the same time as I made the green and red top

Green and red top

so around Christmas. Mind you never got round to blogging about either of these until much later. I think the more basic stuff has now become so normal I just get on with it whereas at the start of my sewing adventure even a small basic raglan top was a very big deal for me.

Both these tops use the same free pattern from Its Always Autumn. I love this pattern!

Certainly would recommend using this over buying a basic pattern for a raglan T shirt. I have bought several but prefer this one. I had this idea at the start of my sewing adventure that paid for patterns would be the best. In some cases, yes thats true but a great deal of nice basics are available free and well worth collecting.

Both of these tops have the same red ribbed synthetic lycra fabric. I already blogged about the green top so won’t go into that here.

I wore my camo sports trousers with my top. To be honest I wore the top all day with some RTW trousers for work and forgot to take a picture, came home, changed into “something more comfortable” and that was my camo trousers so thats why I am wearing two me mades. A bit of a cheat but whatever!

Have a lovely day


Me Made May day 7 #MMM19 day 7

So just a quick post today

Day 7 – wore my new black velvet skirt made using this steampunk pattern.

I need some much better photos of this but did not have time yet to take them. Besides the rubbish rainy dull weather that is. 

This is the short version of this skirt pattern. Its a lovely black lycra velvet which I managed to get 3 pieces of in an Ebay Auction. I already made some flares from it but I have yet to use the rest of it. This short version reminds me of late 80s “flippy” skirts which were segmented with mock godets.

This just has three pieces and is so easy to sew. I am tempted in fact to sew a long black velvet version but would I really wear that?

I made the longer skirt – a long green faux leather skirt a while ago now.

It took me quite a while to work out how to wear my green skirt so the blog post does not show it at its best. I will have to get round to getting some new photos of that skirt. And this one since you really cannot see it in this picture. Still this post is for #MMM19 not really a normal blog post.

Now the green skirt actually got admired when I was in a supermarket the other week which inspired me to make more in this style.

The cashier asked me where I got it and I felt obliged to tell her I made it myself.

I never tell. I find it all a bit embarrassing.

Its my secret – me and the sewers of the internet that is…………….still there is something satisfying about being told something you made is good enough that someone else would like to buy one the same.

Its a new thing for me to talk about my sewing but after this happened I told a work colleague.

Unfortunately, the whole department now knows I sew my own clothing and its getting silly with them asking if I made this or that – usually it seems I did make it.

In fact this year’s Me Made May is no challenge at all because really its very rare thing these days for me to actually wear RTW clothing.  Or at least the real challenge is photographing my me mades, not wearing them.

Never mind. Time maybe to come of the closet so to speak and not be shy about my me mades!

Thanks for visiting


Alterations to my turquoise blue The Vampires Wife style dress

In the end I am so unhappy with the photos of my bum in this dress I ended up taking apart the back seam and zip and the back frill and redoing it.

The alterations were just down the back seam, meaning it is not totally ripped apart and remade. It means the centre of the back skirt frill is slightly less gathered than the rest of it.

I actually let this out by about 3cm -so quite a bit. Luckily I left a large seam allowance down the back seam which made this letting out possible. If I had cut it back  could not have done this so my fear of finishing is well placed and I still do not yet have perfection with this pattern so version 3 will also have large seam allowances and maybe all the next few dresses I make regardless of what type of pattern, so not just my self drafted but ALL patterns, because the advantage of being able to correct this cannot be stressed enough.

I did not let out the neck so I left that without unpicking and just unpicked from the bottom up though I did detach the CB neck facings from the CB seam / zip to make the alteration.

Luckily I got away with doing it this way.

Really the reason I did this, in this way, is:

  • I really did not want to totally take this dress to bits. It took quite a few weeks to make it.
  • It fits, and is comfortable to wear, except for the back, which I think is too tight so thats the point of this altering.
  • I have no more fabric to make a new facing for the neck so I need to keep that as it is, if at all possible.
  • I stitched in the ditch round the neck edge to make the facing lie flat and keep the stitching invisible and for once did this really well so its very hard to see the stitching so it will be absolute hell trying to unpick it.
  • Anyway when it fitted ok and the rest of it looks fine why unpick and redo it cos then it may not still fit me? 
  • I might wreck what is really a very nice summer dress that I will probably actually wear.
Too much fabric at the waist?

I also think the bodice on this dress is slightly too long. When I checked it against the first dress that is about 1.5cm shorter.

You can see on this photo its slightly puffy at the waist. I think that may be down to the extra length but I am not sure since I was actually wearing this all day so it did get a bit creased. I am also not perfectly sure this fits less well than version 1 though so I have left this alone.

Something to work out on my next version. I suspect I should actually make the bodice length somewhere between the two versions of this so about 1.25cm longer than the first dress but shorter than this one.

Version 1

Either way this is now wearable

( see below)  and I feel it was worth the extra effort re-doing the back, the zip, and the frill (at the centre back).

There is a slight mark where I unpicked everything but the reduction in gathers at centre back frill is really hardly noticable.

It certainly fits me better anyway and I am now happy with version two of my The Vampires Wife inspired blue dress:

So today I am washing my fabric for dress 3 which I am making shorter based on The Vampires Wife Birthday dress. I prefer above-the-knee dresses really so that will be what version 3 of this dress is going to be, but its less wearable work-wise, so the next version is for play only. It is also going to be in a patterned fabric with skulls and roses on it but they are really quite subtle so I do not think this would not be work worthy other than the length.

I am seriously considering whether I want double sleeve frills or not and maybe not as it goes. I have enough fabric to make them and know from version one of my TVW inspired dresses they are not difficult but would I wear it more with the single style of frills?

Then do I want this type of TVW short dress ( red dress) which has a long skirt and short double frills, or something like the Birthday dress which has shorter skirt with longer single frills – though has a double sleeve frill? 

Maybe I should make both styles?

I am also debating making the CB with flare. In the first and second version they are normal straight skirts with side flare – like my Winifred Aldrich book directs but I looked at this picture and cannot decide if the original TVW dress has flare at CB or not.

The Birthday dress though does not appear to have CB flare so what to do?

The Birthday dress back

I found a gingham picture of TVW dress which appeared it did have flare (I cannot locate that picture now because they all seem to have sold but being gingham it was more obvious than with other fabrics) so I am debating whether to add some to see with this version. Not loads just maybe a cm at what would be knee length and scale that for a mini.

Well there is definitely an interesting and informative learning curve in my sewing with this project!

 Though I am making too many versions maybe – wardrobe-wise that is? 

I have some other versions in mind before I stop this, using some of my rather too large stash of fabrics, which is also stash busting, as well as creative.

Its great fun though and solving problems with fitting must help future sewing projects. 

Now on to washing my fabric……………

Thanks for visiting


#Me Made May 2019 days 3 to 6

Day 3 – Friday

I wore my navy blue trousers. I do not like these trousers.

Or at least I love how they look but they are very uncomfortable. As in I think maybe too high waisted or the crotch is too high – either way its a bit like being flossed! Not comfortable at all for every day wear. They have had the hem chopped off 3 times too since they came out so very long. I think to make these wearable I will need to cut about 3 inches / 8cm off the top of the waistband to make them lower waisted and then they may actually fit me. I never did like high waisted though regardless of fashion!

Anyway for now, right now, I do not have enough good clothing not to wear them for work, but I do not like this pattern at all. Its a shame because I have bought some olive green fabric to make a second pair – I love the sailor style- but will make something else from that. I was so happy to finish these its a real shame I got very confused with what are actually easy construction but I do not like to wear them.

Still even with RTW clothing you win some lose some.

I also made the top – several times – because I love this so much I ended up with 6 of them – 4 in the blue fabric and two black ladder mesh ones!

There is a tutorial for this here:

Day 4- Saturday

Wore some very old clothing – me made though but getting very tatty now – Did some wallpaper stripping to repair the damage done by my beautiful 8 month old puppies – Roger and Hugh – who you can see here photo bombing the shots.

They are collie x GSD and very lovely but extremely destructive. They can’t help it!

I could recommend them for helping to strip wall paper. Sadly mine was new last year in May so did not need stripping off! Never mind it can be repaired I hope.

The top was made here:

Leggings here:

 Day 5- Sunday

My fluoro orange sports top for a trip to the garden centre and DIY store.

 Day 6 – Monday – Bank Holiday

Orange jacket again with my ancient leggings again. This is a bit repetitive but to be honest I do not want to ruin my good Me mades when decorating. Everything was washed between wearings in case you wondered – also the orange top gets filthy so fast its terribly annoying. I like wearing this top despite its obvious imperfections (wavy zip etc). I really must make another one of these but in a more practical colour.

I also re-made the T shirt to make it “girl” fitting. I was unisex and was very baggy but not baggy enough if you get me and it had sleeves I did not like and a tight neck and was just the wrong shape. I actually like mens Tshirts when they are huge and baggy but this one was just the wrong shape.

So I used dress pattern: McCalls M6612 to make it wearable

I raised the neckline a bit so I did not loose any of the print but otherwise cut as the pattern making it as long as the original Tshirt would allow then overlocked the edges. I am in two minds about whether to hem the neck, hemline and armholes and so far have left raw and overlocked. The bottom hems has started to curl up though with wearing so perhaps I should do the hems properly after all. I do want this to last now I have changed the design.

Thanks for visiting and have a lovely day


Me Made May Day 1 and Day 2

 1st May I wore my dog tooth check dress made here:

To be hoenst I had to get this out the washing because I forgot to take the photo yesterday!

2nd May another tartan check dress which I made here:

This is actually made from a costume pattern  Simplicity 1772. It makes for a very wearable dress though because I have worn this particular dress loads since making it.

One thing about both of these dresses – I never matched the fabric because in both cases I bought a remnant which was really too small for what I ended up making so I had to do the best I could with what I had.

Interestingly I find I do not care about this miss-matched checks. I often spend hours matching patterns but then wear the item I made very rarely but these imperfect specimens I wear often.

Both dresses work well with boots and biker jackets for work.

Thanks for popping by


Pink bodycon from McCalls 7538

This is yet another version of McCalls 7538 and this time actually made from a decent sized piece of  fabric and not just left overs from previous projects. This definitely made it much easier to be able to cut it out without taking ages finding the right sized pieces and managing to find a bit big enough from the scraps to get to cut both a back and front of one piece in the same fabric cos though I have loads of scraps I have discovered often I can only get a front skirt and not a back from it. I probably need to find something smaller to make now from the smaller bits – like underwear or exercise tops. Then I really will have almost zero wasteage.

I have previously made several other items from this pink stretch fabric. Not soo sure what this pink body con fabric too is but its an all 4 directins stretch which varying people call two way or four way stretch. I do not know the correct terminology. I bought this from ebay a few years ago and its one of the fabrics I am trying to stash bust. Its a very stable knit though very stretchy. Perfect for body-con type dresses. Reasonably warm as well.

The waist this time is faux leather and faux suede. The faux leather is from left overs from these leather leggings and the faux suede from this lovely but not that wearable dress.

I had some problems with lighting when taking these photos. It was a very cloudy day and we just could not get the right light for the pictures but hopefully you can see the dress anyway.

 One thing about making this pattern so many times – this is dress number 4 – is I am much better at sewing accurately. I found lining up the pieces properly really hard on the first two dresses but I am better at pinning so it does not move as you sew and this one is almost perfect.

I have one more of these dresses cut out and I think I have done this pattern to death once I finish that one. There is a top version of this that has even more pieces so I may have to make a few of them just to get rid of some more small bits of fabric out of my stash and also the top obviously takes even less fabric, but really its time to have a rest from this pattern.

The upside is I have loads of wearable, unusual, work worthy dresses from what was essentially scraps of fabric – though this one was cut from a whole bit of fabric but that also was clearing out something that has sat on a shelf taking up space for far too long.

Although I have mixed stretch woven leather with stretch jersey this is still very wearable and I love my contrasting waistband.

Stuff made priviously from this fabric:


 and two tops both from Butterick 5562 View D

Looking at previous photos of stuff made from this fabric does make me think maybe the problem is the fabric rather than the light since it seems its a recurring problem that the photos are not good with this fabric.

 The dark photos are taken in a lovely nature park in Rugby, UK.

The lighter photos were sadly taken in a car park. Not the nicest place but whatever this is my life and where I go. Life and photo-shoots are often not perfect.

These are my previous versions of this pattern:

I am enjoying wearing these dresses and they have become part of my everyday work wardrobe.

In itself that is amazing!!

I love each version (as in all which is most unusual for things I make!) and they are all very different to each other.

AND I am not usually a dress wearer!

Making all these things though, kind of says you should wear them, and not just once a year for Me Made May. Which thinking about it I need to check out and sign up for.

Thanks for dropping by


Finished version 2 of The Vampires Wife dress – my style 😉

 So here it is at last. My turquoise blue cotton chintz dress.

Its a very nice dress and today I did the finishing touches – sewed the facings down etc.

Its aptly photographed in Rugby Church graveyard lol!

This version is actually overocked on all seams and finished properly. Version one is not.I never expected I would wear that one being floral but actually I probably will.

I do love this. I wore it to town today -hence a few wrinkles when I finally got picture of it due to sitting in the car on the way there. There are some issues I need to look at. Despite this is fits as well as many RTW dresses so I will still wear this. I think it will be a lovely summer dress for work since the skirt length is quite long. Obviously not as long as the Street Sweeper dress I made last time. This version though has the puffed sleeves though as I blogged a few days back they are not yet quite right.

Also there is somethig not quite right about the right shoulder. It is I believe a fault of my own body rather than my pattern and can be fixed – or at least according to Winifred Aldridge it can be adjusted to hide the fact I have one shoulder I believe higher than the other.

I never thought I would care about this kind of pattern tweeking but it would appear I am getting into this now so I will have to investigate how to sort this one out at some point. Right now it is not my priority.

Oh and I fixed my uneven sleeves surprisingly easily – if you read my previous blog post -by adding an extra rows of stitching to each to even them out so both now have 3 rows of stitching rather than just 2 rows. It works.

 What is more important is my arse. Or the way the fabric pulls across it. I suspect I need to let this out a bit. I am not intending to bother if I am honest because it was comfortable to wear and to walk in and I will put up with this but on my next dress I need to try it on a bit earlier.

This time I went with the fact the previous dress I had checked at every stage and it fitted but this time I just sewed and never checked.

I finished it and it looked fine in the mirror. Then my partner took these photos and clearly its not quite right.

To fix this I would have to take off the frill – so two rows of stitching as well as probably needing to re-gather it all, so a further 2 rows to do that. Then rip out the zip and replace it letting it out a bit then replace the frill etc.

No not bothering!

Its a muslin and will do.

If I did all that I will more than likely wreck it and as I said it feels comfortable to wear so stuff that.

I have bought much worse looking RTW and paid loads for them so this is actually not so very bad.

Besides, I felt good when I wore it. Shame about the photos but with a bit of luck Version 3 will be better. So what to do now:

  • I want to add fullness to the sleeve – middle not the top which I think is OK. Pleat the sleeve not gather.
  • Make the skirt back slightly bigger and check it looks OK before I add the frill.

I think I will make a short version next out of a fun fabric I want to wear at the weekend.

Watch this space!

Thanks for visiting and all input about fitting gratefully received.