Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wedding shoes for Tron and Tebbs

It's wedding season! This time two years ago my friends "Tron and Tebbs" got married and for their special day I got to make them some special shoes!

     Beautiful photo thanks to Peartree Pictures

Linatron (not-her-real-name) wore a beautiful floor length white wedding dress and her brief for the shoes was "art deco with a touch of robot". We met up for a drink after work and came up with the design above - clean pearlised white leather court shoes with art deco style sun ray motif in silver and pewter leather. The two tones of metallic leather play with the light differently and add a flash of interest peeking out from under the dress.

The motif is repeated up the back of the shoes and down the back of the heels.

I used blue leather for the sock (the bit of lining that covers the insole) to match the lining of Tebbs' wedding shoe request...

    Dancing photo thanks to Peartree Pictures blue leather and blue suede two tone oxford brogues!

The pale blue suede is visible through the brogue holes of the toe cap and foxing, navy blue leather visible through the holes of the vamp. Pale blue lining leather (as used for Tron's sock) and silver leather sock to match Tron's toe detail.

Mr & Mrs Tebbsatron.
...with Tron's shoes radiating more light than my camera can handle!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Me Made May '13 Roundup

So Me Made May is over for another year and I am so pleased I participated! Having watched from the sidelines for ages, I decided to jump into MMMay for the first time last year. My goal was to wear at least one item of me-made clothing/accessories/footwear every day for the duration of May. And I succeeded! I smashed my goal!

This year it didn't feel right to do the same thing, mainly because it would be the exact same thing. My life in the past year has been about growing a baby and then looking after that baby and I've not spent very much time making clothing, accessories or shoes for myself, so to repeat the challenge really would mean repeating all of last year's outfits (some of which no longer fit).

And it's because of my dwindling creative output at home that I decided that this year I would use Me Made May to kickstart my making mojo and to see if I could get back in the habit of making. My MMMay'13 pledge was:

I, Emily Botterman of The Botterman Empire, sign up as a participant of Me Made May '13. I endeavour to make at least one item of clothing/accessories for myself and/or the Little One each week for the duration of May. 

And did I succeed? Here's a recap of the month's makes...

completed: May 4th

beard bib for the little one
completed: May 4th
(a productive day!)

completed: May 9th

completed: May 17th

completed: May 25th

completed: May 28th

Success! Hooray! Six items completed during May! But wait, there's more... Here's a 'before' shot of a dress I've been refashioning this month too...

...I don't have an 'after' shot yet because after replacing the waist elastic and taking a few inches off the bottom, I've realised the bodice is still too big and I'm figuring out how to solve that. So an uncompleted item too. Although I did also re-hem some trousers. Does that count?!

I must say I'm pretty pleased with my output this month. My projects are varied and I think I struck a good balance between things that can be whipped up fairly quickly and things like the Miette and the handbag which required a bit more work. I've got some new pieces which I have incorporated into my wardrobe and my baby girl has a long beard bib. Everyone's a winner! Best of all, I feel like I'm back in the habit of making. I noticed at one point while making the Miette that I fell asleep thinking about the next step of construction. And once I finished a project I was already thinking about the next one!

Big big big thank you to Zoe for dreaming up this challenge and for championing it with such passion, and bravo to all my fellow MMMay-ers! You've done an amazing job! 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Final make of May.

 My final make of MMMay and it's a MMMiette!

completed: May 28th.
(I probably could have finished it sooner but Nexflix released the new season of Arrested Development and we had to spend out evenings hanging out with the Bluths!)

I've admired Tilly's Miette pattern since she released it and have seen some lovely versions of it around the interwebs, so I thought for my final make of MMMay, I would treat myself and download the pattern.

I used a medium weight denim which is quite dark but has this almost cross hatched look to it.

I finished the seams on my overlocker and because I don't like wearing skirts above my knee, I only turned the hem up half an inch and finished it with some bias tape. I also topstitched the ties so that they'd hold their shape without having to iron them.

This is a great skirt and I'm pleased with how it turned out. Tilly did an excellent job with the photo instructions which I referred to especially at the waistband stage. I have worn it out already although I wore it backwards with the bow at the back because I had the baby carrier on my front.  It's comfy and the generous amount of overlap means that I need not fear a sudden gust of wind! The denim makes for a rather sticky-outy A-line which I think may calm down a bit after a few washes.

Again, I made this in stages dipping in and out as baby-wrangling-duties allowed and I discovered I get quite impatient at the cutting out stage. All that ironing of metres of freshly washed fabric and pinning and cutting seems to take ages! It's odd because when I'm making shoes I really enjoy the cutting out stage. Maybe it just feels more efficient whizzing around the leather with a knife. I think I need to embrace the slower pace and appreciate the process a bit more!

My first Miette - a lovely treat to end another successful Me Made May! Hooray!

[and in homage to Tilly, the soundtrack to this make was the audio book of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.]

Saturday, June 01, 2013

little leggings

Technically Me Made May is over for another year, but I'm a little behind in posting my makes, so please allow me to extend the month a little bit and share with you my second MMMake for the Little One...
Little swan leggings.

Completed: May 17th.

I've already made a couple of pairs of leggings for the Little One using interesting printed knits, so I was pretty pleased to find this swan knit fabric at the fabric remnants stall in Lewisham Market for £2 per metre.

The pattern was pretty easy as I traced a pair of shop bought ones that fit her well and used that as the starting point. The legs are cut on the fold with an inside seam only. I serged the seams and used my regular sewing machine for the hems and waistband.

The waistband is a loop of 3/4" elastic, stitched to the wrong side of the raw edge of the leggings, folded in and stitched again using the 3-step zig zag. Previously I've used the 3-step zig zag for the hem, but this time I had a go with a double needle (visible in the shot above). I wasn't sure it would provide enough stretch but I'm happy with the result.

Action shot. These chubby legs don't stay still for long!