Finished, Fixed & Farewell - Me Made May Successes

May was a whirlwind of sewing. Two bank holidays, an afternoon stitching session at The Stitchery and lots of snatched hours in the lighter evenings led to lots of sewing for me, and I've been busy.

I took part in Me Made May on Instagram because I've found that to be an enjoyable and easy way to participate, without committing myself to 'proper' photos on the blog. That's been fun but the most useful and impactful aspect of MMM has been my additional pledge to clear my 'Cube of Shame' aka my pile of mending, restyling and unfinished sewing. Here's a round up of what I achieved:

1. I got this wax print cotton from Helen of Grosgrain Green in a swap last year. I love the green but it's definitely a bonkers print, complete with pink glittery dots. Last summer I started making a gathered skirt then somehow lost the momentum with it. I was nearly all the way there too, all I had to do was sew on the waistband, add a zip and hem it. I used Gertie's Dirndl Skirt Tutorial as the basis, adding a wider waistband and side seam pockets.
It's definitely a wild fabric but it actually matches the original vision I had, so I am really delighted. It's perfect for summer but as summer seems to be pretty slow in coming around, it also brightens up cloudy, dull days too.

Inside of dress with newly-stitched side seams and addition to facing

2. I let out the bodice side seams of this vintage dress to maximum capacity as it was too small. I re-stitched just beside the original overlocking and had to add a bit of extra fabric at the armhole facings as the facing seam allowance was smaller than the dress seam allowance. It's not neat - but it works, and you can't see it from the outside
Scissors pointing to rip

3. This 40s/50s vintage shirtdress is another favourite. The fabric is pretty faded and fragile and has already been mended in several places, by a previous owner and by me. This time I used fusible interfacing to reinforce an underarm rip (see above, pre-fix) and was also introduced to good quality woven interfacing by Cassandra at The Stitchery, where they sell it. I'm converted - this stuff is gorgeous and well worth buying.
4. Reinforced holes in the knees of my jeans. These are Gap jeans, actually now about 8 years old

5. Fixed a hole in my husband's jeans (this was a bonus as they weren't even in the cube of shame but I was feeling generous)

6. Overlocked the seams of my leopard print Colette Crepe wrap dress, which had previously been pinked but the fabric proved to be a bit unravelly. I also sewed the facings down a bit better. I don't wear the dress much but don't feel ready to get rid of it. Not least because the wrap style is a forgiving fit!

7. Sewed a skirt button back on (again, not strictly in my pile, but related)


8. Stripy 50s shirtdress - I never wore it because the neckline wasn't my style. In an attempt to make it more contemporary, I shortened the sleeves and planned to use smaller buttons. I tried cutting off the collar to reshape the neckline but it wasn't working because there was too much fabric. I salvaged a bit of fabric, the buttons and zip, and the rest went in fabric recycling.

9. Wool dress made from gorgeous turquoise and black houndstooth lambswool - Too small, even to refashion into a more wearable skirt so off to the charity shop. I'm gutted though, that fabric is so beautiful and it was lined. Wah
10. Brown pattern dress - now a bit small and I dunno, I wasn't feeling it any more. I think it looks better in the photo because I was always aware that it was made from a slightly faded duvet cover. Off to the charity shop. Now I've re-read my original blog post about how much I loved it though, I feel a bit sad!
11. Red skirt from fabric I bought in New York (can't find the blog post) - I loved this skirt but it was always a bit small and now with a bigger waistline, no chance of fitting. Was going to charity shop it but I think I'll salvage the fabric to make something else, probably a toddler dress or similar.

So that makes a total of 11 items dealt with throughout the month. There were 2 skirts I didn't get around to altering but overall, a good result.

I'll share my newly sewn garments in a separate post since they deserve a spotlight of their own.

How have you found Me Made May? Did you make any similar pledges?

K x


  1. I love that skirt, what a glorious print.
    You did so well, I made nothing for me, just pesky repairs for the business. xxx

  2. What a fabulous skirt. That print is amazing. Is it African fabric? How great to finish all that mending. You put me to shame. I did buy fabric today though so woo hoo! Xx

  3. Great work, all that mending. Well done. Your new skirt is fab too, love how bold it is.

  4. You did great working through that pile. I was surprised by what I didn't wear in Me Made May...maybe due to weather but a lot of clothes languished in the wardrobe. Now I'm wondering what to get rid of...already a top that had faded to transparency has gone and a too small pair of trousers.

    1. I think the weather did put a bit of a dampener on MMM outfits as we usually get at least a week of nice weather in May to allow the more summery clothes to come out!

  5. Using the month as a focus for dealing with the UFOs and mending pile was a pretty brilliant approach--it looks like you accomplished a lot! (I also love that you call it the "cube of shame".) Great work! And that first skirt is SO fun.

  6. Gorgeous skirt. That print is lush! Oh I remember the brown pattern dress. You inspired me to get on with my shift dresses with that one. Someone is going to love it.
    That's good going. I must get stuck into my fix it or fling it pile!!

  7. I love your skirt, it looks fab!
    I have started using fusible interfacing on rips as well, I had a vintage dress with a rip in exactly the same place and a wee bit of sewing and interfacing fixed it and it has been great since.

  8. So now I'm wondering why I couldn't have just made a skirt with that fabric!!! I'm a bit jealous, but am glad you were able to use it (honestly, it would still be sitting in my stash!). I do love the finished skirt.

    Well done on such a productive month! Very impressive. How did you go about reinforcing your jeans? Mine always go through at the knee.

  9. Sounds like you had a very productive May.

  10. Well done, must be very satisfying! Of the dozen or so items I've sewn so far (that's ever, not this year!!) about 11 need to be altered. Bit soul destroying; they are on my shelf of shame! However, I love them all and know I will do it, I just have to summon up the energy ; ) Obviously learning to fit is a priority for me...! Jen


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