20:20 Challenge: How I'm getting on

You may have seen that earlier this year I set myself a challenge. Dubbed my 20:20 challenge the plan is to make twenty individual items from twenty different patterns. I'm now almost midway through and thought it was time to check progress. I haven't really been keeping a log of items made except that I know I need to make two items a month. 

I started off with twelve chosen patterns with eight spare "slots" as I knew I would find some along the way and would want to buy patterns as they were released. And I have! I now have just two more to choose. I added the Sorbetto, the Miette and the Victoria Blazer. I also have my self-drafted pattern. 

How many have I made then? Nine, just one short of my target for half way. I'm pleased that I have managed to stay on track so far. I couldn't resist sharing again the photos of the completed items! Unfortunately I don't have photos for my Miette or the Sorbettos (yes, plural) yet but they will come soon. 

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Tilly and the Buttons Mathilde blouse.jpg
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Anise

Some of you will remember I promised at least half of them will not be blue, black or pink. I'm still comfortably within this, with six being those colours. The fact that I have been selective with which Sorbetto to include helps with this a bit. Is that cheating? I don't think so as I set my own rules here! Which means you can probably guess what colour the Miette is. 

Three patterns are work in progress. The Peony, which I haven't looked at since I noticed the fitting issues, my self drafted dress and the Thurlow shorts for which I'm going to stay toile number 3 this weekend. I'm hopeful this will be the last one. 

I've noticed that, in typical fashion, I have completed the easier projects at the beginning. I'm convinced this will come back to bite me as I attempt to complete two more complicated patterns a month. Oh well, I learn the hard way! 

What about you? Did you set yourself a goal this year? If so, how are you getting on?

Me Made May '13 final round up

Can someone tell me where May went please? It seemed like the longest month yet it flew by! This was my first time participating in Me Made May, brainchild of the brilliant Zoe. I watched it take place last year and knew that I wanted to be involved this year. Here is a reminder of my pledge:

 'I, Claire at iwanttobeaturtle, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear one home made item for five days each week for the duration of May 2013. In addition I pledge to make two new items and repair at least one.’ 

I won't show all of the items I wore but you can see my other round ups here and here. I pledged to repair at least one item. I did one and half. I replaced the zip in my grey Ginger skirt, below, and the bias trim has been removed from my green silk taffy blouse. I just need to stitch the new one on now. 

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And making two new items? Check! This is partly because it keeps me on track with my 20:20 challenge. Here they are:

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Simplicity 2451. This is made from one of my favourite fabrics but I can't quite wear it yet! I made a few alterations to the pattern and it fitted with my toile but not in the fashion fabric. Hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to fit into it. I do love this pattern and have recently bought more fabric for another version but this one will fit!

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Colette Jasmine. The photo above was taken before its final press, as you can see the fabric creases a bit! I've been waiting to make this pattern for a while. It was the perfect pattern for a "cake" top that matches several of skirts and trousers. It is a lightweight cotton with grey spots. The collar is made from one of Adam's old work shirts. I've never really worn collars before but I love this one - there may be more! 

So what did I learn from the month in general? 

Taking photos every day is REALLY hard and I ran out of steam mid way through. I have hardly any photos from the last two weeks. But taking photos allows you to see your outfits in a different way, maybe as others see them. This can be great as it means you're on the right track or not so great when a favourite outfit doesn't work as well as you thought. 

I love bright colours and I wear a lot of them although they are often paired with blue or black. I just can't bring myself to wear dark colours from head to toe! 

Wearing my me mades is much easier than I thought it would be. Most of the days I reached for them without thinking. I take this as a really good sign that I am making things I will wear. 

I need more me mades to carry out five days a week without feeling like I am wearing the same items every week. I identified gaps in my wardrobe and will be taking steps to fill them. This generally means I need some more tops that will go with a variety of coloured skirts and trousers. 

I rediscovered some of my previous me mades and realised that I should wear them more. However, I did have to say goodbye to one of my very first makes - the turquoise tie-dye dress below. As with most first mades, the quality isn't the best and it is falling apart without hope of saving it. 

The Flickr group is amazingly inspirational but also a massive time stealer! There are about 6000 photos there and I must have looked at at least three quarters of them. 

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All that being said, I'm very likely to sign up next year as by that time I'll have more me made items. And I'll be armed with experience to be a bit more organised! 

Project planning

I had hoped to share with you my finished Laurel dress today but there is a serious lack of sewing going on at the moment. The reason is I have been spending a lot of time with my foot raised on the sofa. 

Last Saturday I managed to miss a step on our stairs and somehow twisted a number of my ligaments in my right ankle. It was a comical fall! While I’m pleased it isn’t broken the official verdict is it might take six weeks to heal and I have to spend a lot of time resting it. SIX weeks?! This was not the news I wanted to hear as I am incapable of sitting still for a couple of hours. I’m not the type of person who sits in front of the TV night after night without doing something else (although there is nothing wrong with this). I cut out two parts of my Laurel dress yesterday and then had to rest it. It will be slow and small steps to finish this as I use my right foot to use the pedal at my machine. I tired using my left but it sort of messes with my head! 

So, I’ve spent some time planning projects. First up is Simplicity 2451. I have some beautiful fabric in my stash which I’m planning to use for this. I have been waiting for a long time to use these. I just can't resist butterflies!

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A dress would be too much and I haven’t been able to find the right pattern for a top. I haven’t quite decided which colour and yes, I am aware that my choices are pink and blue! But that is ok because my Laurel is not.

I’m also going to try out these. 

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They are part of a surprise so I can’t say much more but if anyone has any tips on working with them please let me know. 

I’m working on some gifts and the red bias that I showed in the last post is part of this. I know need to make some piping with it. I’ll share how I have made that once I am to. 

The fourth project is one I’m quite excited about. I have crossed stitched for many years but I haven’t really done any over the last year. This project requires a lot of cross stitching. It will test me a bit as my stitches at the back will be on show and therefore need to be tidy. Normally I frame or sew on my finished items so it doesn’t matter what the back looks like. No so this time. I’m waiting for the postman to bring me a plentiful supply of 14 count Aida before I can start. At least this is a project I can do in front of the TV! 

A couple of the patterns in my 20:20 challenge will need grading up so I’ll spend some time looking up how to that. And I need to think about my fabric choice. 

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I’m starting a pattern drafting course next month to make a summer dress. This will be my first attempt at drafting and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been browsing the web for ideas and think I am almost there. 

And if I get through all of that I can think about the other patterns from 20:20 that I haven’t thought about yet! It feels quite good to have a plan, normally I hop from project to project. Do you plan your projects or hop around?