A surprise 30th birthday trip

My favourite blogs are always the ones that bring in personal stories about what people have been up to (as well as sewing!) and it’s been a while since I’ve talked about our adventures.

Gary and I have always loved to go away for the weekend or go on day trips and not much has changed now that we have Emily. In fact one of my favourite things to do is it take her somewhere I love and see her reaction. Toddlers are hard work but they really make you see the world differently and I feel lucky to see life through her eyes.

For my 30th birthday Gary went all out and booked a surprise trip to Harry Potter studios with a few of my close friends.

{Kelly anorak with Morgan jeans}

Although I wouldn’t class myself as a hardcore Harry Potter fan, the books are nostalgic for me as I grew up reading about Harry’s adventures. It was my gran who bought me all the books and I even queued at midnight in America for the last one.

To be cliche it was a magical day! Topped off with Thai food and a stay in an air BnB. The next day we wandered around oxford which was just perfect.

For my actual birthday we went away for the weekend to Barcelona. It was absolutely gorgeous. I loved ever second we were there and the fact that I got to plan a capsule wardrobe was even better!

Gary booked another air bnb which overlooks the Sagrada Familia. At night it lights up and the balcony was strung with fairy lights.

We flew early Friday morning, hung out in the park outside the Sagrada Família and then wandered around Barcelona looking for food. On the Saturday (my actual birthday) I did some googling to find a fabric shop nearby.

Nunoya fabrics specialise in Japanese fabrics – think Kokka, Nani iro etc but she also had a lovely selection of cotton and steel and my ultimate fave rifle paper Co.

Of course I couldn’t resist buying some fabric. I’d had my eye on this embroidered cotton for a while but it’s quite expensive and my original plan for a roscoe blouse went out of the window when I found out it’s quite structured. I also bought some Broderie Anglais which was eye wateringly expensive but worth it. Due to the exchange rate/prices being very similar I didn’t go mad like I wanted!

Saturday night involved Chinese food and drinking wine on the balcony. Bliss!

It also meant I got to wear my embroidered Anna dress with a tulle underskirt for dinner. I made this dress especially for the trip and it was an absolute pain in the arse to sew especially as I didn’t underline it. I like the finished result though!

On the Sunday we trekked an hour north Barcelona to a science museum called Cosmo Caixa which was recommended to us. It was absolutely stunning. The most amazing museum I’ve ever visited and Emily just about lost her mind. She was totally blown away (as where we). It was only 8€ to get in but bear in mind some of the cooler exhibits charge extra and not all are in English. However it was well worth the money!

Emily was as good as gold the whole trip, she only had one or two tantrums here and there.

It was an amazing weekend and let’s be real if this is how my 30s begin it’s going to be pretty damn incredible!


Mimi G Jessica dress

The button down trend is all over rtw at the minute. I popped into primark the other day purely for some inspiration and I’m loving the trends at the minute. Everything I’ve been making recently for summer has a button down. Which reminds me I really need to get on with trying my button sewing attachment on my machine.

I bought some linen from Guthrie Ghani and it never even made it into my stash. To save fabric so I could try and squeeze out a cami I lined it in leftover swiss dot fabric (wrong side out so as to not feel the dots). The pattern has you using facings but as I’ve just done this for the Kew dress I fancied a different order of construction.

As you can see the linen is slightly see through and needed lining at the top at least. I modified the straps by cutting the longest length and cutting 4 to make tie straps.

The buttons are from Dunelm mill and I love them! I went back and bought 2 more packs. I used them to swap the buttons on my chambray skirt too.

I absolutely love this dress, it’s going to be perfect for a weekend in Barcelona and nearby 3 weeks in Canada in August. And bonus I had enough for an Ogden cami after all!

I had to shorten it and use bias binding instead of facings but I’m really pleased this worked out!

Me Made May 18: the last few days and what I’ve learned

Day 28:

I finished these Lander shorts and immediately put them on with my Inari linen top

Day 29:

A surprise birthday trip to London to tour the Harry Potter studios! I tried to wear my shorts again but the weather turned so I swapped for my Morgan jeans.

In the evening we went out for Thai food and I wore my Kew dress (again!)

Day 30:

We went to oxford and I didn’t get an outfit picture but it was my Morgan jeans and McCalls gingham shirt. This basically:

Day 31:

Lazing around the house in my boyfriends clothes but in the evening I went out for a meal with some friends and wore my maxi Anna

One thing I’ve learned this May is that the makes I don’t wear have been relegated for a reason and it’s probably best to free up the wardrobe space and donate or sell them. When I first started sewing I didn’t really have a sense of “style” or at least my style/what I wanted to wear.

I definitely need more casual knit tops in my wardrobe but I think with rtw I’ve got a good mix. I didn’t miss my blue Levis as much as I thought and I still know that I hate ironing!

Another thing I knew but me Made May help cement was that I barely have any summer clothes! We’ve had some beautiful weather lately and it’s been hard trying to dress for it. Luckily I’d already started sewing for Barcelona/Canada and so I have some summer clothes. I have a few more pieces to sew and then I should be all set!

The last thing I learned is I need to buy more plain fabric. I’ve seen some lovely makes during me Made May Made from *shock* none patterned fabric! I do love my brightly coloured floral prints but I need something to pair them with.

I really didn’t think I’d learn much this year but it helped figure out some gaps and things to think about moving forward.

Last thing – some stats:

Most worn: Kelly anorak/ginger jeans followed by Morgan jeans and my Kew dress (3 wears so far!)

Most worn designer is definitely True Bias with her Southport dress, 3(!) Ogden camis, Roscoe blouse and a pair of Lander shorts.

Me Made May week 4

Nearly there now! I could not remember to take pictures this week at all.

Day 20:

Day 21:

I originally put my Kielo on backwards and tied it totally the wrong way! D’oh.

Day 22:

Ofsted came in so I figured I better smarten up a bit!

This is actually a Burda skirt not Butterick. It doesn’t get worn much as the back ends up stuck up for some reason but I really like it tucked into the skirt.

Day 23:

I wore this with my Ginger jeans but it’s an old photo as I just couldn’t remember to take one!

Day 25:

It was my leaving do at work and I wore my Lois dress (again totally forgot the picture!)

Day 26:

Finished this Ogden cami that morning and wore it with my Morgan jeans (again forgot the picture)

Day 27:

Ogden cami and self drafted skirt I changed the buttons on and finally managed to wear it! Excuse the crazy hair it was really windy.

Me Made May week 3

Day 15:

I originally pulled out my Tilly Miette skirt but it reminded me of an apron so I swapped it for my Alexandria pants

Day 16:

Liberty sewaholic Oakridge blouse. My absolute favourite, it would get worn more except it needs ironing. Wah!

Day 17:

Back to Friday which is my day off. I pulled out this Pauline Alice Rosari skirt which barely gets worn due to not having much to pair it with. I definitely need some casual t shirts for this summer. I’ve just downloaded and printed the Union St tee for exactly that reason!

Day 18:

I swapped the red heart buttons for these on my chambray skirt in the hopes of wearing it but that gathered waist just makes me feel massive so I swapped it for my True Bias Southport.

Day 19:

Another beautiful summer day and so I pulled out a brand new make which I made for our upcoming trip to Barcelona. This is the Jessica dress by Mimi G (blog post coming soon).

Me Made May week 2

Wow May is really flying by now..

I’m managing to try and mix some older memades into the mix rather than reaching automatically for the newest and I’ve also been planning on refashioning some to make them more wearable.

Day 8:

This is my McCalls M6996 which very rarely gets worn. I absolutely loved wearing this dress on a warm day so I think I’m going to replace the buttons and make it more wearable. The buttons are red hearts which is very Tilly and the Buttons but not very me!

Day 9:

Sewoverit Eve dress – I think the front as stretched from being hung in the wardrobe as I had to keep adjusting it. I’ll keep wearing it anyway! I love wrap dresses for work.

Day 10:

Some older makes today – those trousers only fit on skinny days! Otherwise they’d get worn so much more.

Day 11:

Another sewoverit wrap dress, this time the Ultimate dress. This is really new and is also my entry for Sew Together for Summer.

Day 12:

A really old me made – an Alder shirtdress. Unfortunately this is falling apart due to being washed and worn so much. The collar and binding around the armhole is starting to fray. I think this one is going to have to be retired. Although it has made me realise I really like this pattern and need another one (maybe with sleeves this time).

Day 13:

Ginger jeans, a Tessuti Alice top and a rtw jacket.

Day 14:

I couldn’t resist wearing my Kew dress again, I feel more comfortable in it today.

Me Made May week 1

I generally wear handmade every day so my challenge this month is to try and integrate older me mades into my wardrobe.

Here’s my first week:

I’d say 40:60 new/old makes.

Day 1: self drafted cami with Pauline Alice Port trousers

Day 2: ginger jeans with McCalls M7387 shirt (my absolute favourite it’s been worn so much!)

Day 3: moneta dress – another firm favourite! The fabric is really bobbly though so it might get retired soon.

Day 4: Kyoto sweater with ginger jeans. Both of these are major players in my wardrobe. The Kyoto gets pulled out of the wash every time I wear it!

Day 5: By Hand London Sabrina dress – this is new and it was the first time I got to wear it. I finished it last weekend for our upcoming trip to Barcelona and wasn’t expecting to be able to wear it so soon!

Day 6: Nina Lee Kew dress, this is brand new! I was finishing it the morning before we went out

Day 7: started out wearing this Tessuti Alice top with rtw shirts and had to change as I was too warm. Another self drafted cami which I don’t wear often but only because we don’t have the weather for it!

I’m pleased I managed to wear all me mades (except for the shorts), I’m working on my summer wardrobe as it’s the biggest thing I’m lacking. I’m so over taking horrendous pictures of myself though! I gave up with me Made May last year (just with the taking pictures) and I’m determined to keep going this year. Hideous selfies or no hideous selfies.