Thursday, June 26, 2014

Me-Made-May Reflections

Whats the take-home message from Me Made Ma2014? KNITS KNITS KNITS. I've been sewing knits since I started sewing 1.5 years ago, and I have no intention of stopping. Its what I like to wear and the main reason I started sewing. The really nice thing is that the blogosphere seems to have caught the knit craze, so I have a lot more patterns and inspiration to work with than I did a year and half ago. In fact, I made up six SEVEN EIGHT new knit items during MMM! Shit, ya'll. I can't count.

#memademay #memademay14 Starting off right, 100% made by me!
New SBCC 314 for the first day of MMM (so I guess I technically made it the last day of April)

#mmmay14 #memademay day 6! Wearing my new #colettepatterns #moneta ! So excited, love this dress! Excuse the awkward angle selfie.
Moneta V1 (which shortened horribly in the first washing even though I pre-washed. ugh)

#mmmay14 #memademay day 9! New @colettepatterns #moneta . Two this week! Also me made leggings and my favorite cowboy boots.
Moneta V2, still rocking on

##mmm14 #memademay day 18! You can see evidence of my weekend of yard work in the background, but I did manage to whip up a quick shirt so that I could put on something clean to run some errands.
Dixie DIY Summer Concert Tee V1 (wearing it as we speak/type/read...whatever)

#mmm14 #memademay day 21! I whipped up this self drafted knit skirt last night, all else rtw.
A self drafted pencil skirt

#mmm14 #memademay day 23 it's raining here (thankgod!) so you will have to settle for an awkward bathroom selfie. Me made sweater, dress rtw. Turn out I haven't made an solid colored dresses that look ok with this sweater, must remedy soon!
A cardigan hacked from a T-shirt pattern

#mmmay14 #memademay day 28. 100% made by me! I made this @dixiediy summer concert tee last night, it's such an easy make! I had to do some creative color blocking on the back since I was working with very limited yardage of the floral fabric (a 3/4 yard a
Dixie DIY Summer Concert Tee V2

#mmmay14 #memademay day 30!  Y'all, I swear I thought there were 31 days in May, but apparently not. Which works out perfectly because I wore my new @colettepatterns #moneta that I whipped up last night (after the gardening). It's my third one! I'll be sa
And finally... Moneta V3

In other news, I should probably sew some cardigans. I had one me-made cardigan prior to the start of MMMay and sewed up 2 more during the month. However, I fell under the alluring spell of ALL THE PRINTS so those two cardigans ended up being not-that-practical. When I am not in crazed-sewing mode (happens occasionally due to inspiration overload), I try to sew dresses and tops in prints, all else in solids (and typically neutrals) so that things can be mixed and matched. I wore a non-me-made gray cardigan 11 days during me-made-made, so clearly this is a gap in my me-made wardrobe! I could also use a few me-made black and white cardis. And maaaaaaaaaaaybe a solid dress or two so that I have something to wear with the printed cardigans.  

RTW cardigans in need of copying!

In general, MMM showed me that I don't really NEED many more clothes. I have a lot of stuff that I didn't wear during MMM2014 (see MMM2013 posts for evidence) and the act of taking a photo of my clothing every day forced me to realize that I am pretty lazy dresser (see: KNITS KNITS KNITS). A few tops that go with jeans, some easy to wear dresses, leggings, and cardigans pretty much get me through the week. I think that having about 2 weeks worth of outfits to rotate through, with some special occasion stuff and some active wear would greatly simply and improve my life. Right now, my three closets closet is seriously OOCT (out of control) because I haven't yet purged the RTW clothing that I no longer wear. This is on my agenda for the weekend. Are there any great closet organizers out there that want to lend some advice? This is my most dreaded task.

I've also given some thought to things I DON'T want to sew (for now). I've finally found some RTW jeans that fit decently well, so I've put sewing jeans on the back-burner for the time being. I used to HAVE to wear pants to work, but recent change in positions means I can basically wear whatever I feel like wearing (which is AMAZING!!!). Bras? Someday, but for now RTW will be fine. Anything structured/fitted? I have never worn that kind of stuff, so why sew it? I would like to do a few projects to expand my sewing skills, but the thought of sewing something I won't wear just for the sake of it isn't appealing to me right now.

So, what am I planning to sew (was all this anti-sewing talk worrying you?)? I've got a few things up my sleeve...

Finally finished up my #slowsewing project, it took almost a week, I was getting antsy! I'm totally an instant gratification sewer, but I think the slow sewing payed off here. I love the result an I even took good notes and made pattern pieces so that I c
I'm working on perfecting this kinda self -drafted/cobbled-together dress pattern so I can make a few more out of linen this summer.

OMG! #makingshoes is about to happen!
SHOES are totally still happening, people. Anyone want to jump on the shoe making bandwagon with me?

4 rows down, don't even want to know how many to go on my #myrna sweater! #knitting
Knitting! Yep, I'ma kinda scared, but hopefully I can figure this sweater out with enough googling (the Myrna from Andi Satterlund, any tips?)

And, as always, I could use more active wear!

'I, Megan @, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear one Me-Made item each day for the duration of May 2014. Additionally, I will strive to create some more field-work-appropriate garments. '

So, MMM14? Mission (mostly) accomplished! I would be remiss if I didn't mention the second half of my pledge, which I totally didn't accomplish, but with GOOD reason. Around the 1st of May I received the exciting news that some of my work responsibilities would change due to a colleague's retirement (I only wish I could call this a promotion- more work but same title and same pay). I am doing almost no field work now (I haven't done any since the start of May) and am officially in charge of all GIS/graphics needs for our small office. It has been SO nice to have the change of pace and the change of outfits. No more pants required!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

MMM2014 33-100% done!

Here is a much belated wrap up of the latter 2/3 of May, better late than never?!? I wanted to get a post up so that I could pontificate about my feelings on the experience this year as compared with MMM2013. 


Days 11- 14. I feel like these are a pretty good representation of my personal style! On day 11, I wore my me-made Jalie 3132 tunic. I should not have looked up that pattern number on the Jalie website, now I have a long list of things I 'need'. Day 12, I wore a me-made tee (staple dress pattern) and fleece cardigan (SBCC pattern) and made Peter pose with me since my outfit was kinda boring. I wore a me-made dress (bess dress pattern), my same old-self drafted leggings, and a scarf I got on my recent trip to Ecuador. Day 14 was my favorite Washi dress and the brown version of my favorite leggings. 


Day 15, I wore my new New Mexico patterned Moneta and posed in a very New Mexican spot! I need to make a rub-off of that cardigan, its about a bajillion years old but I just keep wearing it because it works so well with dresses. I wore my (only) maxi dress on day 16 and realized that I would be happy to welcome a few more maxis into my wardrobe. On day 17 I did yard work most of the day in my Jalie skort. Cute, no? On day 18 I sewed up the fabric I bought at a yard sale the day before into a Dixie DIY summer concert tee and then put it on to run errands. I love this top!


On day 19, I wore my new shirt again (why not? hardly anyone saw it the day before) paired with my favorite leggings/skirt combo (both self drafted). On day 20 I wore one of my favorite dresses that was drafted then modified from a rub-off of a Comfy brand dress. I have two versions of this in dress form and maybe 3 in shirt form, its a great, easy to wear shape! The only me-made item on day 21 is the skirt (from the same self-drafted pattern as the black one). This is another RTW cardigan that I clearly need to copy! On Day 22 i wore a very old me-made Dixie DIY ballet dress and my favorite leggings (again). 


Are you guys bored of reading this yet? Because I sure am bored of typing it! Lets speed this thing up! Day 23: me-made cardi hacked from t-shirt pattern, thrifted dress. Day 24: me-made tank from the aforementioned Comfy brand rub off made of quick dry poly for travel/sport, all else RTW. Days 25&26: Yep, I think ya'll have figured this one out by now. Day 27: One of the first few dresses I made, hacked from the Dixie DIY one-shoulder dress pattern. 


So close! Day 28: A new Dixie DIY Summer Concert Tee, self drafted leggings and skirt. Day 29: Yep. Day 30: Another Moneta! I thought I hated this fabric, but once I sewed it up, I LOVED it. The only problem is that it requires a slip, so I haven't been wearing it quite as much as I would like to. Day 31: Seriously, why did this week have to end on a weekend, during which I spent all day BOTH days spreading mulch by myself. Xeriscaping is hard work, ya'll. So is being single. I wore my (seen above) tank-top and a skort that is a combo of the Jalie Skort shorts and waistband and my self drafted skirt. 

Whew. Hope you didn't fall asleep while reading that riveting wrap-up of my wardrobe. I think I better save my thoughts on the experience until tomorrow to spare you any further pain! 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Finished: The Summer Concert Tee Duo

Look, y'all! A finished item post! I made two of these Dixie DIY Summer Concert Tees during Me-Made-May, and also three Colette Patterns' Monetas which will hopefully be coming to you in a post soon (as well as a wrap up of MMM). I wanted to get this post up now so that I could take part in the wonderfully inspirational Sewing Indie Month and, more specifically, the Everyday Casual Contest hosted by the fabulous Jenny of Cashmerette. But enough chit-chat, you came here for the photos, right?

I made my first version of this pattern from a fortuitous fabric find at a garage sale earlier in the month. Its an amazing vintage fan print, and I knew it would be perfect for this pattern! In fact, I had been waffling on buying this pattern for over a year, but when I found this fabric I went home and purchased it immediately! I'm glad to see that polyester is getting some slightly better press in the sewing blogosphere recently, as I have always been a fan (no pun intended). No sweat stains and it dries quickly (TMI?), what more could a girl ask for in a summer shirt?

For this first version, I graded the largest size (XL) up to what I would guess would be a 2XL. I was worried about the limited stretch in the vintage fabric and it worked out great, but I ended up just using the straight XL size for the second version because the fabric had much more stretch and drape. 

I also lengthened the pattern about 2 inches since I couldn't see myself rocking the crop top look! I think this length is just great with skirts. 

Pattern close-up! I also lengthened the whole thing about 2 inches, I couldn't really see myself rocking the crop top!

I finished the neckline by folding it over and using the double needle, a technique that I have practically mastered in the last month with all the knits I've been sewing! I just thought that the binding would look really busy with this fabric.

I also omitted the cuffs on the sleeves, I think they look super cute on the other versions I have seen (including Dixie's original), but I tried the top on after sewing it together but before adding the cuffs, and I liked it that way and thought the sleeves would be too long with cuffs.

On to the second version! This guy is made of a much more drapey rayon-blend knit. Like I mentioned above, I used the straight XL size on this (though I don't meet the size chart requirements). I feel like it is a really good balance of fitted though the bust and flowy at the bottom, just like I like it!

I didn't realize how similar these two prints look from afar until I took these photos! They are so different up close!

I had very limited yardage of the floral print (one 3/4 yard piece and one 3/8 yard piece, which both shrank in the wash a lot), so I had to get creative with the color blocking. Good thing I had some black left over from my favorite leggings. Its always wise to keep a black knit in stock in the stash!

 I also added about an inch to the front pattern piece so that I could wear it with jeans without having to layer it. I didn't hem because I wanted to maintain the length, I kinda like the look of a rayon knit that is un-hemmed (it rolls the best of all the knits), and I'm lazy!

I wore it the first time without the pocket, but I decided that the color blocking on the back looked kinda out of place and didn't tie in with the front well. So, I added a little black pocket! I think its pretty cute.

Well, thats my Concert Tee story, and trust me its just the beginning! I'm thinking of being rebellious and attempting this in a lightweight chiffon...mmm... 

Go forth and make one for yourself, its going to be PERFECT for the summer! I promise!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Me Made May 2014, 33.333% done!

 Well, I thought I would do a week 1 round up. Then I thought I would do a 7 days in round up. But here we are on the 13th, so I figured I would do a 1/3 of the way done, 33.3333% finished, or (in other words)10 day round up of Me Made May! We've already seen Day 1, so onwards........

Day 2
#mmmay14 #memademay day 2! Very hacked #dixiediy ballet dress and self drafted leggings. Scarf from recent trip to ecuador!

This is my very hacked dixie diy ballet dress and self drafted leggings (again). Scarf from recent trip to ecuador! The dress is made of a thrifted light-weight sweater knit. I modified the dixie diy ballet dress pattern to make a faux wrap bodice and added a band at the waist for extra length. Its a little too short (especially without leggings), but what are you going to do when you are working with a limited quantity of thrifted fabric?!?

#mmmay14 #memademay day 3. Sorry for the rapid decline in photo quality! Me made leggings, skirt, and tank top.

Ughh, awful picture. Saturday was crazy and I only managed to squeeze in a photo between a maragarita party at my boss's house and loading up the car to go rafting the next day. This shirt is actually made from the same fabric as the moneta that I wore on Day 6 and I am so pleased that I was able to squeeze a tank top and a dress out of 3 yards. Once again, I'm wearing my favorite black self drafted skirt and leggings combo. Best substitute for jeans ever!

#mmmay14 #memademay day 4! Me made may, #rafting edition. Me made skort and tank top. #chamariver

Rafting! Yay! I think one of the biggest wins of learning to sew was my ability to make some cute AND functional clothing for outdoor adventuring. I am out of the size range for a lot of the outdoors brands (which is a whole other rant that I won't subject you to), so it is SO liberating to be able to make what I want! The skort is Jalie 2796 with my self drafted knit skirt instead of the one that was included. The tank top is from a rub off of a Comfy brand shirt that I love, made out of a bathing suit material. This shirt is AWESOME for drying quickly and looking passably like I'm not wearing work-out clothing everywhere. I wore the crap out of it in Ecuador last month. 

#mmmay14 #memademay day 5! Wearing my me made top from the staple dress pattern. The fit was awful on me at first (kimono sleeves are the bane of my existence), but I fixed it up with some aggressive yoke formation and gathering :) UMMMM yeah, and excuse

Oh look, I'm an idiot! The photo says day 6 but it was actually day 5. Guys, this is one of a my favorite shits EVER. I wear it at least once a week. Expect to see more of it. Its a heavily modified version of the staple dress because the fit on the original version of the pattern was ATROCIOUS on me. I have major kimono sleeve pattern problems. 

#mmmay14 #memademay day 6! Wearing my new #colettepatterns #moneta ! So excited, love this dress! Excuse the awkward angle selfie.

Ok, actually day 6. My new Moneta. I seriously love this pattern. This is the dress pattern that I have been trying to find since I started sewing. As much as I love the lady skater/ dixie diy ballet dress, there was something I didn't quite like with each of them. THIS is the pattern I have been looking for. 

#mmmay14 #memademay day 7! Me made Washi dress and leggings. Can you tell it's windy in New Mexico? #washidress

Day 7. My favorite Washi, one year later and still going strong. Actually, I don't know if this is my favorite Washi, I love them both equally and I can't choose a winner! Must make more Washis! Also, me-made leggings (again). 

#mmmay14 #memademay day 8! Me made dress (hacked/self drafted) and leggings. Apparently this is the week of crazy patterned dresses! Should be one more for tomorrow...

Yes, this was the week of crazy dresses. I love crazy dresses! This was hacked from a basic tank top pattern from the big 4 (?) and my self drafted knit skirt pattern with darts added at the waist. Love this dress, but I seriously need to hem it before I wear it again. Yep, leggings (again). 

#mmmay14 #memademay day 9! New @colettepatterns #moneta . Two this week! Also me made leggings and my favorite cowboy boots.

OMG! Another Moneta! And more leggings! Are you shocked? Don't worry, I wore the brown leggings this day for fear that you all think I'm super gross. Prepare to see this Moneta a LOT more. 

#mmmay14 #memademay day 10! Me made t-shirt for house chores, garage saleing, furniture makeovering, and new washer and dryer installation. I need to make more of these t-shirts, they are just so boring to sew!

Is that a caulk gun or are you just happy to see me? Me made T-shirt from a big 4 pattern. I really like this tshirt and I need to make more! 

Well, thats it for now, folks! If you feel the need to see more gratuitous selfies, step on over to my flickr

Lessons learned? I like leggings and gray sweaters. Will wear black or white sweaters if I think someone is paying attention to the repetitiveness of my outfits. Must make more Monetas.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Me Made May 2014 Day1

#memademay #memademay14 Starting off right, 100% made by me!

Shirt: made by me, Anna's tank pattern (?? I'll have to look up the details)
Skirt: made by me, self drafted
Cardigan: made by me, SBCC 314 (love this pattern!)
Leggings: made by me, self drafted from etsy blog tutorial

I wanted to get started off on the right foot by posting a photo on the first day of MMMay 2014. I was HOPING to have a new-to-me item to wear, but I had to settle for a 100% made by me new-to-everyone-else (i.e. never blogged) outfit instead due to a disastrous combo of poor fabric choices/shitty grading/general laziness. I think I'll try to take daily photos and post them to instagram and flickr, with a summary post here every few days. 

How did everyone else's MMMay kick-off?

P.S. Susan and I have decided to finish our new Colette Monetas by Monday! Anyone else want to have a Moneta Monday?


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Me-Made-May 2014

So... I realize I have hardly blogged since last Me-May-May, but I have decided to rally all my (blogging) strength,  draw from my best sources of inspiration (Susan @ Moonthirty and all the lovely ladies at the Curvy Sewing Collective), and jump in with both feet to Me-Made-May 2014.

I thought I would post a round up of some photos of me wear me-mades that have been taken in the last year, but it turns out I'm not that great at remembering to take photos (especially of myself). Here is a random assortment, stolen from my facebook friends. Hope they don't mind!

When we last left off, I had just returned from my rafting trip to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Here is a photo of me wearing my me-made shorts as a refresher. 

 middle fork

After that, surprise surprise, I went rafting again. We were here:


And I wore my Jalie #2796 skort most of the time. And my PFD (even when on dry land)- safety first!

Jalie Skort

Then Halloween happened. I'm pretty sure I was wearing some me-made leggings on the bottom half, but even if I wasn't I had to share this photo since its so ridiculous. I was a Santa Fe Trophy Wife/ my future self (and I think you might have to live in New Mexico to get the joke). 


Also during the fall, some lovely college friends were in town. Obviously, we went wine tasting (in my me-made leggings, skirt, and probably a shirt though I can't tell what it is in the photo). 

wine tasting

Over the winter, I'm sure I did some stuff, I just neglected to take any photos. You know, skiing, major home improvement projects... the usual. The pictures start back up again from a couple weeks ago, when I met my sister in Ecuador for a little adventure. I haven't downloaded my photos yet, so I stole these that her boyfriend took. 

I wore red self-self drafted hiking skort and self-drafted quick dry leggings...

red skort

...while hiking at the Lagunas de Mojanda near Otavalo, Ecuador.

Lagunas de Mojanda

And here is my sister and me looking rather bedraggled at a waterfall. I had to include the photo (though I hope my sister never finds out) because I am wearing 100% me-made outfit (scarf excluded) and she is using the bag that I made her for christmas. 

otavalo waterfall

So, with that pretty lame attempt at a year long review done, I suppose its time to make some sort of Me-Made-May promise.  I've done an OK job of getting some more lifestyle appropriate garments made in the past year, though I have to admit that home improvement projects took precedence since I bought my house last May 31st!. Lets just say it was a bit of a house wide overhaul, it was a ton of work but at least its a lot more aesthetically pleasing now. And trust me, I can get a lot more sewing done now that I don't have stained carpet, poor lighting, and bad paint jobs to bring me down. Of course, the yard is still a wreck, but I don't have to look at the while I am sewing...

Anyways, while I wear me-made items most days, its still not 100% and I am still lacking the more practical (i.e. boring) clothing that I need for work. As I think I've mentioned before, I am a geologist, so for about 50% of my work time I am out in the field and have to wear practical/boring clothes. Long pants, long sleeves (unless I want a major sunburn), hats, layers, etc. Since I have yet to master pants-making (which is partly because I hate wearing pants and only do so at work), I have maybe two tops that are acceptable for work and I still need to do some work in that area. I have the Grainline Archer all printed up and ready to go, but the mere thought of figuring out how to grade that up while also learning new techniques is giving me nightmares. 

The moral of the story is: non-work clothes? Mostly me-made. Work clothes? Not so much. But the point of Me-Made-May is to challenge ourselves, right? I mean, and obviously to also be inspired by all the other fun folks participating. So, without further ado (I think I've already have enough ado for one post):

'I, Megan @, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear one Me-Made item each day for the duration of May 2014. Additionally, I will strive to create some more field-work-appropriate garments. '

Wish me luck? I hope to blog most days, since I think that's part of the fun of MMM, but don't count on it!