I Made This is a new weekly blog post that features makers from around the world - some of them you will know through their online presence, others you will not - but their stories are equally inspiring.
I Made This aims to talk about the things we are proud of; of the objects we make that have meaning to us and the journey we take to make them.
Today's I Made This is by Myf Walker, a multi-talented maker that runs Tinker Maker. She lives with her family on the outskirts of Melbourne.
When Felicia asked me to contribute to I Made This, I immediately said “yes, of course, I’d love to!” And then it dawned on me a little later that I’d have to choose ‘a favourite’, no easy task. What criteria would I use to narrow it down? The most beautiful, useful, technical or difficult? I deliberated. And couldn’t decide. So I thought I’d just write about the most recent thing I’ve made.
The weather is getting warmer, anyone who know me knows that I don’t cope too well in the heat. Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a 6 month old daughter and that I am breastfeeding. Summer and breastfeeding = hot.
A few weeks ago we had our first run of beautiful warm spring weather, just perfect for dresses, except as I realised, I didn’t have a single one in my wardrobe that was suitable for feeding Anaïs. I needed a new dress. Fast.
Lots of clothes designed for maternity and breastfeeding are jersey. Which is fine, comfortable and utilitarian. But jersey clings and makes me feel lumpy and hotter. So I thought about my favourite Summer dress which is a simple, breezy pinafore made using the pattern from my much loved copy of Happy Homemade vol. 1.
Quick and easy to make, critical, as I have very little free time. Oh and it has pockets. Perfect.
I had just enough gorgeous checked crinkle linen bought from Tessuti and thread to match. The last remaining obstacle was modifying the design to allow, um, easy access, which proved fairly straightforward. Instead of sewing the straps into the front yoke, they just needed to be attached. Somehow.
The thing is, I’m only going to be feeding for maybe another six months, so I thought it’d be good to be able to unpick the yoke and sew the straps in properly later on. Making button holes would look messy. I decided on heavy duty press studs, although after a good search, I realised I didn’t have any.
This meant a trip to the closest purveyor of sewing supplies, located in the local shopping centre. Which should be quick and painless, but is never, ever quick and painless with my two kids in tow. I avoid shopping centres like the plague.
So, I figured I’d just make something to attach the straps. I’ve been mucking around with hammering copper wire to use with some of my dyed textiles. I thought about how I could use the wire to make a kind of buckle. Easy to get on and off and strong. Unlikely to come apart if pulled by little hands, an advantage over press studs.
My first design resulted in a buckle that came undone a little too easily. So I revised my original idea and came up with this.
It’s not perfect, it bothers me that there’s bit of white stripe that peeks out under the front yoke.
And even though I thought I was being clever matching the stripes on the dress front and yoke when cutting, I forgot that the front is gathered, thus they don’t match and I shouldn’t have bothered. Some of my stitching is quick and not as neat as I’d like. I too am learning to let these things go.
But the buckles work brilliantly and (I think) they’re pretty! Throughly road tested over the last week, I’m pleased to report, my beautiful new dress keeps me and my baby happy.
Hooray for making things!