A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: vacation

Me Made May this year coincided with a long weekend away in Hamburg. It was nice to be challenged to wear some of my handmade items on holiday. I tend to be a bit more careful with my handmades than my RTW clothing, so it was nice to give some of them a fun outing.

I travelled in my jersey Bettine dress. My flight was after a busy day in one of my secondary schools, and the stripey dress felt smart enough for work, but was also very comfortable for travel.

On Friday, I was keen to wear my pineapple skirt. My main post contains some more pictures,  but here she is being worn while I posed with my friend Becci on a climbing frame. We were both too scared to climb any higher!

On the second day, my raindrop Bettine matched the weather better than I would have hoped! In this picture you can see the Hold Tight clutch I knitted a couple of years ago, which was quite handy for my essentials. I am just not a clutch bag person, so I have a leather strap attached to it.

Sunday was the nicest weather of the weekend. I almost wished that I had taken one of my pairs of shorts with me. In the end, I made do with my Cleo dress, which was also well-suited to travelling home. I do think I will lengthen the hem on this dress by an inch or two when I get a chance. Although it looks fine in front of the mirror, the corduroy has a tendency to creep up.

I think that incorporating my handmade wardrobe made an already-fantastic weekend even more fun. I can be very lazy about clothing and accessories, and knowing that I would be taking pictures inspired me to think more carefully about my wardrobe.

Thanks to Isie and Becci for being wonderful photographers, as well as awesome companions.


I’ve finished my holiday shorts!

The cutting out and machine sewing took about fifteen hours. I’m a bit baffled by the sizing on these shorts. My original cigarette trousers, a 10, are quite big, but these shorts are on the small size despite only being an 8 at the waist, and grading up to a 10. I also forgot that there is an error in the waistband piece of the pattern, which nearly caused me a big problem as I didn’t have any leftover fabric to cut out a spare.

Here I am trying them on. I had to let out the crotch and side seams a little. At first, I was stressed out because the waist looks a bit crap, but then I pulled my t-shirt down and remembered that the waistband will never be on show. It can be hard to maintain perspective when you have spent hours and hours working on something.

Overall I would say that I am very happy with this make, which, sadly, is unusual. The fabric only cost £12.20 including delivery, so the total cost of the materials was well under £20. And I think it’s safe to say that I am the only person in Rio strutting about in hot pink zebra pants.

Pattern: Cigarette Pants by Sew Over It

Fabric: 93x112cm remnant of cotton, plus about 0.5m of contrast fabric

Last week was half term and I went to visit my dad, who has a little house in a rural French village. As usual, most of the time was spent gorging on cheese, meat and carbs.

And observing the habits of French farm animals.


Since I was staying for a little longer than I normally do, the trip included a visit to Oradour, a village in France where over six hundred people were massacred by the Nazis in World War Two. The authorities decided to leave the village as it was, as a reminder of the horrors of war.

I am partial to a ruin. It was strange to see ruins from such recent history. You could imagine if a similar atrocity took place now,  with visitors in a couple of decades peering in at smashed and rusty iPads and televisions.

I spied a postcard of  a sewing machine in the visitors’ centre and got excited. I decided to look it for it to snap my own picture.

I soon spied an old Singer, clearly recognisable despite having been exposed to the elements for several decades. That’s build quality I guess.

Soon I spotted another.

And another.

I decided to take a picture of every recognisable seeing machine I saw. It nearly got out of hand.


At times it felt a little frivolous to be having a Singer scavenger hunt. Epecially when seeing inside the church, where all the women and children were burnt to death.

However, I think the search for sewing machines helped maintain my interest in looking around the town. It also highlighted the importance of home sewing to women’s lives 70 years ago. I saw 25 sewing machines during the visit, and I imagine there were several I missed. It helped to bring the village alive for me.

I will eventually do a how-to for this simple tube of knitting, but the notebook in which I made my original notes has temporarily vanished in my recent move. More soon. Anyway, this camera sock was inspired by the actual socks that I made with the Crazy Cat yarn I love so much. 

 It was very handy on the refreshing mini-break I went on last week. 

I also took some other favourite handmade items!