Saturday, May 31, 2014

Me Made May '14: Week Four (and a bit) Round Up

Well, Me Made May is done and dusted for another year...which is just long enough for me to forget how tired I get of the whole daily photo thing ;) I'm not the only one out there, I'm sure! Although Rachel had a nice perspective on it here.

Here's the last week-and-a-bit:

22nd May:

Refashioned linen dress, made a few years ago and still very much loved and in circulation. Semi-blogged here. Hair was wet and drying in a weird shape, but everyone was leaving for school so no time for vanity. Our puppy seems to be developing an unexpected talent for photobombing; she keeps running up whenever she sees the camera come out. (At least one of us likes being in front of the camera, anyhow...)

23rd May:

Here's a favourite that didn't get a showing last May - My Head vs Heart skirt. My ultimate example of print-love winning out over natural-fibres-love. Haven't ever worn this as a winter outfit before, and I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks, MMM!

24th May:

A bit of slightly frantic evening knitting had this finished for May - just! This is the Aidez Cardigan by Cirilia Rose. Love, love, love, love, love it - especially the back.(Confession: was slightly too warm today, but ignored discomfort.) Will blog soon...

25th May:

A Two Make Day! Which brings total to eight. Style Arc's Jacinta Maxi Dress, seen as the actual dress this time (Not Yet Blogged), and my self-drafted kimono jacket. The fact that this kimono has only appeared the once makes me think that MMM is a little misleading when it comes to judging what I actually wear. This is usually one of my most frequently worn makes, but I'm trying to let everything have its own MMM turn. Glorious Autumn day today.

26th May:

Ninth day of Two Makes - self drafted knit kimono, and refashioned tank. I don't love this combination. I think the kimono, being so voluminous looks better with something a bit more fitted underneath. I don't hate it though, and it was actually very conducive to crawling around on my hands and knees most of the day cutting out school production costumes. So, not a fail :)

27th May:

I do love this though: my modified version of Burda 7494. It's quite a heavy broderie anglais and it's lined, so it works well when layered in cooler weather. It got a bit of love on Flickr too, which was nice.

28th May:

I'd been waiting for a day cold enough for this! Roam Tunic, blogged here, and my Style Arc Wallis ponte pants/leggings. (NYB, probably won't be, unless I have a sewing drought). This was probably my favourite me-made outfit last winter. So cozy and comfy, without necessarily looking it, if you know what I mean... And that's the tenth day of two-make days! Huzzah!

29th May:

This is one of those quiet achiever makes. Style Arc's Rowe top, blogged here. It's unassuming, and unspectacular, but it always feels exactly right when it's on. Just the right amount of warmth, drape and fit. That's wool jersey for you! It'll be a friend for years - I must make some more. And a moment's silence please for my favourite jeans which, after months of threatening to, finally split just under the butt right after this photo... :( Although seven years is a pretty good innings for jeans...maybe I'll unpick them and use the pieces as a pattern to make another pair. When God closes a door...

30th May:

Refashioned dress, blogged here. And my Dovetail Cowl. (Eleven days!!) And a posing dog. Told you...

31st May:

Deer and Doe's Plantain Tee (NYB)." "And that," said John, "is that.""

On reflection, I think I've got a good handle on making what I like to wear now, rather than getting swept up in the latest patterns. The wardrobe gaps I found were in pieces that layer well, so future projects will definitely need to include some jackets, cardigans and more knit tops. Pants/trousers need to be tackled too, but I'm feeling a bit more confident in those after some success earlier this month.
One improvement in myself I noticed this time around was feeling more comfortable in wearing what I wanted to wear, rather than what would look more "impressive" in a round up post or Flickr shot. I think it helped that I set the bar so low style-wise on Day One.... ;)

It's a satisfying challenge, isn't it! Have your sewing plans changed as a result of MMM?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Me Made May '14: Week Three Round Up

Time again for another weekly round up. I got four more two-or-more-makes days in this time around, which takes me up to seven in total so far. Our glorious weather is continuing, so no need for winter woolies just yet. Which is lovely, but it does mean I haven't been able to wear the cosy cardigan I finished just in time for MMM (not panicked knitting, just highly motivated...) There's still a week and a bit to go though, so we may sneak it in yet...

Here's the week:

15th May

Top: Style Arc Rowe Top
Shorts: Pattern Runway's Scalloped Shorts.
Yes, the shorts are too big. But I'm finding them just about perfect for a warm day at home. Comfy, forgiving, and welt-pocketed: too big be damned - they stay :)

 16th May:

Top: Pattern hack of Style Arc's Annie's Cami
Pants: Style Arc's Willow Pant (Not Yet Blogged But Will Soon Because...)
I MADE PANTS! That I'm happy to wear out and about! Very excited. :)

17th May:

Top: Deer and Doe's Plantain Tee.
Trackies: Style Arc's Sunday Walking Pants.
I intended to make more of an effort today, I swear. But I went on a morning beach walk with my daughter, a friend and her daughter (cheerfully wearing Plantain) which started off idyllic and ended with the tide coming in, much rock-climbing, and the occasional hip-deep wave. Was very happy to just pull on me-made comfiness afterward. Besides - this counts as a multi-make wear day now ;)

18th May:

Dress: Refashioned from sari, using Simplicity 4072 as a starting point.
I actually like this better in the photo here than I did wearing it! I'm a bit ambivalent about this dress now. Truth be told, mustard really isn't my colour - though I can just about get away with it with the watermelon red by my face. I didn't pre-wash the cotton lining before sewing it and it pulls uncomfortably over the bust now. Plus, I don't love gathered skirts on me. I was tempted to maybe shorten it into a top, but perhaps I'll let it sit till next summer and see how I feel then. Funny thing is, this got more appreciation than any other of my Flickr photos - go figure!

19th May:

Refashioned blouse.
Love this. Love even more that it's seeing me comfortably through autumn as well as summer. It's one of my most worn makes so far this year.

20th May

Top: Deer and Doe's Plantain Tee (NYB)
Leggings: Style Arc's Wallis Ponte Pant (Still NYB)
A rare impulse buy this, but after the success of my first Plantain, I was wanting to see how it would work in a drapier fabric in more of a tunic length. So when I saw this knit last week I pounced. Very glad I did!

21st May:

Pants: Style Arc's Willow Pant (NYB)
I was so excited by the success of the first pair, that this pair did a queue jump. Finished them last night and wore them today :) Will discuss along with the black pair above in a later post. The top is RTW, but I'm going to try and draft a pattern from it, now that I'm a bit more confident with knit sewing.

So there we are! I think I can pull together three more two-me-makes outfits over the next ten days, so we're on track there. And I've realised a few things this past week, namely:

  • Future (winter) sewing needs to focus on separates rather than dresses. In particular, jackets, cardigans, knit tops and pants. I'm so much more inclined towards dresses in summer than winter.
  • I'm happiest wearing the the things I sew that fall within my preferred colour palette (yes it sounds obvious, but who hasn't been swayed in a fabric store before??)
  • I can stop reproaching myself for buying too many Style Arc patterns. I actually went through my me-makes to check - I was positive I'd made more of a range of designers/pattern companies! I had, but almost exclusively those things were either for summer or formal wear. For everyday wear, the Style Arc designs just suit me in fit and style. So when you're on a good thing... 

How are you finding MMM? Have you been making any helpful discoveries?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Me Made May '14: Week Two Round Up

Well, it's been quite a different week to the first one - over the last few days the cold has been receding and the sun's been out in force! So I've been reevaluating all planned outfits and digging out all the summery makes I didn't think I'd get a chance to wear. I got a couple more days of two-makes-together notched up, but I think I'll still have to up the ante on that front next week.

Here we go:

8th May:

Dress: Style Arc Jacinta Maxi Dress. (Not Yet Blogged)
A bit hard to tell here, but this is a sleeveless dress with a cardi over the top. I wore this to a funeral, and it made me realise (later on) that my me-made wardrobe has become much more functional than it was this time last year; I would have really struggled to find something to wear for any unexpected event like this a year ago.

9th May:

Top: Modified version of No.7 Dress (I think) in Drape Drape 2.
Leggings: Style Arc's Wallis Pant
Cowl: Grey Loop Cowl by Helen G.
Red Letter Day - an entire me made outfit! And three, not two items! I reserve the right to count this as two of my ten days if need be...

10th May:

Shirt: Style Arc Safari Sam Shirt.
Tee: Style Arc's Riva Tee (NYB)
I know you can't really see the tee, but it's there. That gives me three days of the hoped-for ten :) This shirt is growing on me. I still find it a bit voluminous, and somewhat shapeless, but wearing it is like the garment version of comfort food.

11th May

Top: Refashioned blouse.
It was all about the scarf today, which was a Mothers' Day gift from my ten year old (he told his dad in a kind of puzzled resignation, "I don't what it is with women and scarves...") He chose it because it was handmade and a fundraiser for a school in the Philippines, and he thought I'd appreciate that. :) It's much more wearable than the big diamante earrings I remember getting for my mother one year...

12th May:

Top: Deer and Doe's Plantain Top. (NYB)
My new favourite pattern. I foresee many of these...

13th May:

Jumper: Mesh Jumper from Patons Book 8007 in Sorrento yarn.
I do love this. I must remember to make some white shorts to wear with it in summer. But, oh! how cotton grows with being worn! SO glad I accidentally knitted the smaller size. I'm hoping it'll behave like every other cotton jumper I've owned and shrink back when washed. Oh, and after seeing this photo I went back and measured the stripes. They are the same size in real life.

14th May:

Very excited by warmer weather and the chance to pull this out again. Some clothes just make you feel happy... Might just take it up slightly though; 5cm should do it.

I was looking through my Flickr photos from last year's MMM. I think my outfits then were probably a good deal dressier or more "impressive" than this year, but I definitely remember looking forward to being able to wear comfy clothes again. I think that's the major difference between '13 and '14 so far - I'm completely happy in what I'm wearing each day. In terms of my goal to sew a wardrobe rather than random garments, I think that's a definite sign of progress!

Has MMM revealed anything to you so far? Any realisations/ discoveries/epiphanies? Do share!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Me Made May '14 - Week One Roundup

Doesn't a week go by quickly! I'd intended to post each weekend, but this last one got away from me. So here's the first week's roundup, and I'll probably continue on that way for the rest of the month. Unless I change my mind...

This is already a very different experience to last year's MMM, which had  really summery weather for the first ten days or so. No sundresses this time around!

Day 1:

Pants: Style Arc Sunday Walking Pants. Most comfortable and best fitting tracksuit pants ever!
Everything else: RTW

Had a bit of a giggle to myself at this - it's hardly starting out the month on a glamorous note! But I was in dire need of comfy stuff for home days last MMM, so these are definitely filling a gap. Will post on these at some stage, if only to show a comparative shot of my RTW ones - proof positive of why self-made is superior!

Day 2:

Leggings:  Style Arc Wallis Pant
Everything else:  RTW

Another home day, and more comfiness (aka Lack of Glamour). Sewing with ponte is the best, and largely why I continued to persevere with knit sewing. I don't wear these as much as the charcoal ones I made, but they're useful for emergencies.

Day 3:

Cowl: Dovetail Cowl, by Carina Spencer
Everything else: RTW.

Quick phone shot, I'm afraid. A sole accessory isn't cheating, is it?

Day 4:

Jacket:  Style Arc Audrey Jacket.
Everything else: RTW.

I can't quite make up my mind about this. It's divinely warm without being heavy, and the wool and silk (lining) sewed up beautifully. But the neck really doesn't sit right, which irritates me when I wear it. Plus, I think I like the silhouette/style more on other people than I do on myself... I'll give it a few more chances to prove itself (especially since the fabric wasn't cheap...), but I don't think it'll ever be a true favourite.

Day 5:

Top: Style Arc Rowe Top.
Jeans: Refashioned. In this case, dyed. (first with turmeric, as an experiment, then with Rit dye, to even out the colour.)
Everything else RTW.

First of the hoped-for ten days of wearing more than one handmade/refashioned item :). Love this top pattern. The jeans I wear...a bit. I love the colour in theory, but they do feel quite bright on.  I really prefer to wear more muted colours, to be honest. But I guess when I get tired of these I can always just dye them black :)

I do sew patterns other than Style Arc, I promise!

Day 6:

Skirt: New Look 6107 (see!)
Everything else: RTW.

How many garments can you wear in 30+ degree summer heat and 13 degree autumn chill? Love it.
(Apologies for odd hand movement - this was the only in focus shot. Well, mostly anyhow...)

Day 7:

Jumper:  Beatnik, by Norah Gaughan
Everything else: RTW

You know that one me-made that just makes you happy every single time you put it on? This is mine. It took months of effort and perseverence, and I feel like I'm carrying around a little sense of satisfied achievement whenever I wear it. How many RTW garments can you say that about?

On that note, have any of you read Emma's (This Kind Choice) series on "Connecting with Our Clothes"? Her whole blog is really thought-provoking, but this series in particular is excellent - it examines the way clothes can be more than just a cheap, disposable fashion fix and rather be a visual history of our lives.

And that's the week that was. I really need to make sure I wear a few me made outfits next week if I'm going to reach my goal of ten's harder than it sounds!

Are you participating in MMM '14? How are you finding it so far?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Complete: Stripey Jumper

Hello all! I'm back after a week of no internet access - having realised in that time just how much more I use it since I started reading sewing blogs! After this I plan to spend a very happy hour or two catching up on a week's worth of inspiration from all of you :)

Before that though, here's my latest make. It's bit of a departure for me - I usually like my knits chunky and cosy. But I really liked the look of this openwork sweater for warmer, or at least transitional, weather. I found it in a Patons pattern book - another departure actually. I don't usually make yarn-specific patterns either. But I was really drawn to the texture of this yarn, Sorrento. It's a cotton/viscose blend with a boucle kind of texture when it's knitted up. Here 'tis:

Once I got going it was a pretty easy knit; every row is yarn over, purl 2 together, and stripes are a nice way to feel like you're making good progress. But getting going was a pain. I think I started and unravelled this six times. I'd wanted to do it in the round, because in the book's photos the side seams looked a bit sticky-outy. But the pattern kept coming out wrong. Once I'd accepted it wasn't going to be a seamless project and started following directions it actually started working...

I think it's meant to be a bit slouchier in fit than it turned out here, but I'll chalk that up to the fact that I accidentally followed the instructions for one size smaller than I meant to knit. It turned out to be a happy accident though in the end, because after wearing it for a day I can report that this yarn/pattern relaxes quite a lot. I guess that's the cotton content - every cotton jumper I've ever had has done that.

Above is just one of the ways I discovered how not to knit the pattern...

It's not really warm enough for the weather we've been having to wear on its own (well, with singlet!) but I think it's going to lend itself well to layering. Which bodes well for my MMM pledge of trying to combine makes more often! 

I won't be posting daily during May - I'd never be able to keep it up! I think the weekly round up post and a few days at a time on Flickr will be enough to be going on with. 

But in the meantime, I'm off to visit Bloglovin'...