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!