Friday, June 5, 2015

Me Made May '15 - Weeks Three & Four

Well, if I needed definitive proof that I dropped the ball somewhat this Me Made May I have it right here! Here's the last half of May in one go, with some daily documentation and some hastily assembled hindsight photography. If anyone's still with me after the barrage of photos, I'll mention my discoveries/conclusions afterwards.
Day 15: (Two items - 7th day of aimed-for 10)
Top:  Style Arc Riva Raglan Tee
Pants: Style Arc Sunday Walking Pants
Not a glamorous outfit by any means but a satisfying one, mainly because it was perfectly suited to the day's activities. I remember the first MMM I took part in made me realise very quickly that I wasn't sewing useful lifestyle garments; clearly I've started to remedy that. I will need to replace my much loved and lived in hoodie sometime soon - it's getting a bit frayed around the edges.
Day 16: (One item - 2nd day of allowed 11)

Jumper: From a Patons Sorrento yarn pattern book.
Still really like this, even if it was the clincher for deciding not to bother knitting with cotton yarn again (garments tend to grooooooooooww after a few wears, at least until washed).
Day 17: (Outfit - 8th day of aimed-for 10 - well on track)

Jumper: Sombra, by Elanor King (not yet blogged)
Top: New Look 6899 (by happy chance exactly the right colour and neckline to fit underneath)
Pants: Burda 7214 (NYB - pretty thrilled with these; the most tailored I've attempted so far)
I think this was intended to be a summer knit, but as an Australian that always feels like a bit of an oxymoron to me. It is however a pretty wonderful trans-seasonal one. Post to come.
Day 18:  (One item - 3rd of allowed 11)
Top: Style Arc Rowe Tee.

Very poor showing, this - I forgot to take even a floor shot so this is an original post pic. Which confirms my suspicions that it has indeed shrunk an inch or two in the wash since...

Day 19:  (Outfit - 9th day of aimed-for 10....I think)

Kimono: Self drafted from RTW one.
Top: New Look 6899
Jeans: Refashioned (dyed).(Not blogged)
These jeans were a light rust red, and while I liked the fit, the colour didn't go with much else in my wardrobe. It's almost impossible to tell in this pic, being taken at night and in a very yellow toned outside light, but they're now my favourite deep, rich burgundy.
Does a no-sew refashion count towards a full outfit? Feels like cheating a bit, since I didn't actually sew them. I'll count it, but provisionally...
Day 20: (One item- 4th day of allowed 11)

Top: Self-drafted from a favourite RTW.

This should have, and could have, been a full outfit, but it didn't occur to me until the next day to wear either my black Willow pants or black Jacinta dress with the top. Der....

Day 21: (Three items, but not outfit - limitations of pledge evident again)

Anorak: Style Arc Romy. (NYB)
Jumper: Roam Tunic by Amy Christoffers
Top: (not shown) SBCC Tonic 2 (NYB)
FREEZING day outside spent watching junior athletics. Felt snug and cozy - and not a little bit smug, realising again that I am starting to sew a useful wardrobe :) Although I wouldn't have minded a grey beanie as well...
Day 22:  (Two garments - 8th day of 10)

Shirt: Simplicity 2447 (NYB)
Skirt: Refashioned from dress (NYB)

Really like this; always appreciate garments that work in warm and cold weather. Will blog soon (backlog is becoming intimidating...sigh)

Day 23: (Outfit - 10th day (if including 19th May)

Top:  Deer and Doe Plantain (as tunic)
Leggings:  Style Arc Wallis Pant
Cowl:  Grey Loop Cowl by Helen G
Again, not glamorous but just right for Saturday lounging/ dog walking/ playing with kids/ evening movie watching. 
Day 24:  (Outfit - 11th day)

Jacket: Get Creative Military Jacket (NYB)
Blouse: Named Kanerva Blouse.
Pants: Burda 7214
My new favourite outfit! (although not for lounging/dog walking/ etc) This jacket may be my favourite ever make. Will blog soon. Well, eventually.
Day 25: (Outfit - 12th)

Top: Style Arc Row Top.
Pants: True Bias Hudson Pants (NYB, and probably won't be)
The last of the balmy Autumn days, this. Actually spent the morning in my striped Kirsten Tee, but it got grotty after intensive pseudo-spring cleaning. The Hudsons are French terry this time around and I love them. I think they'll wear a lot better than the first pair did, too.
Day 26: (One item - 5th day of allowed 11)

Dress: Style Arc Emma Dress (NYB)...
...and could there be a less useful photo than this to show it? Confession: I cut this out ready for MMM '13, and promptly forgot all about it. It's been sitting at the bottom of the fabric drawer ever since. Am very glad it's finished now - wool crepe + deep pockets + semi-fitted makes for a surprisingly comfortable and forgiving woven winter dress.
Day 27: (Outfit - 13th day)

Jumper: Sombra
Top: (forgotten in photo) New Look 6899
Skirt:  Burda 7147 (NYB)
Skirt is not as short on as photo implies; sits lower than natural waist. This, I was delighted to discover, could be squeezed out of the 90cm left over from my new corduroy Military Jacket (24th May). I recently realised that my fabric drawer - the size of which determines my stash (self-imposed limit; don't feel sorry for me!) - now consists of about 80% leftovers and scraps from previous projects. I really need to find some good stash-busting projects! Suggestions welcome :)

Day 28: (Two garments - 9th day)

Jacket: Style Arc Audrey
Top:  Deer and Doe Plantain.
Oh, I should love this jacket! There are so many design features I adore on paper; bell sleeves, funnel neck, the cape's a beautiful wool with silk lining - I even sewed bound buttonholes. But when I wear it, I just don't. I really, really don't! Proof - the last time I wore this was MMM '14. I'm at the stage where I don't want to wear it, but I can't quite bear to part with it. I'm fairly sure I kept the leftover fabric - maybe it's time for a refashion....
Day 29 (Three garments total, at different times. We'll count it as a two-garment day (10th) )

Pants: Style Arc Willow Pants
Jumper: Beatnik by Norah Gaughan
Anorak: Style Arc Romy.

Another old photo here - but this is the top I wore with them anyway, so why reinvent the wheel? (Incidentally, this is the top I drafted the one on Day 20 from) Needed warmer clothes for evening; these did nicely.

Day 30: (Outfit - 14th day)

Tunic:  Roam by Amy Christoffers
Top: SBCC Tonic 2
Leggings:  Style Arc Wallis Pant
I was trying not to do an outfit repeat, but caved. Needed warmth and comfort, and this ticked every box.
Day 31: (Two garments, but at different times)

Jumper: Beatnik, by Norah Gaughan
Pants: Hudsons.
Jumper during day, Hudsons for curling up on the couch during evening. Very comfy end to the month!
And so, that was May.
I've written a few observations in the previous May posts, so don't need to repeat those here. But what the rest of the month showed me was:
  • My self-made wardrobe is reasonably cohesive. There are still a few things that only go with one or two other things, but on the whole I think I'm improving at not sewing wardrobe orphans.
  • My self-made wardrobe would be much more amenable to this pledge if that pledge was set during warmer weather! I was scraping a bit by the end. More layering pieces, especially cardigans, would be useful.
  • I'm becoming really intrigued by the idea of planning a capsule wardrobe (separate for warm and cool weather) rather than having a long list of "wanna-makes".
  • I hadn't noticed until now how little refashioning I've done in the past year. Two years ago it was a much higher percentage of my total sewing. I'd like to redress this.
  • I'm not sure if this'll make sense, but I also learned I really like some of my RTW clothes! I didn't realise this, but I think I'd started thinking that part of having a handmade wardrobe was having to replace all my existing clothes. But I'm not sure that's a helpful or useful mentality (nor a sustainable one). If, say, I have a wonderful RTW coat that is well-made and serves me well -and will serve me well for several years - then why do I need to replace it with one of my own making? Part of sewing for me is to get me out of the "fast fashion" mindset, but I've realised that I actually have many RTW garments that I wear and have worn for years that are still like new. Which when you think about it, is hardly "fast fashion". I still want to make / remake rather than buy, but I'm going to take the pressure off myself from now on. This year was supposed to be about slowing down and being more considered, after all! 
Some useful observations there for me, that will hopefully help me focus my sewing time and energy from now on. It's so easy to caught up in trying to sew All the Things, isn't it?


  1. Great post. Glad you finally made it! And goodness, you have a lot to blog, don't you?! Don't feel obliged to blog them all (the blog part is meant to be fun too, not a chore), but I'd love to know more about your anorak in particular!!

    And I think a no sew refashion still counts. If you didn't have the creative mindset that is part of sewing, you probably would have chucked the jeans out.

    I like that we both have many more practical handmade clothes to wear this time around. It feels like we've been on a similar sewing journey, which is nice.

    1. It does seem that way, doesn't it! And it's nice to be able to look back and see progress like that. Makes May a little bit celebratory, huh!

  2. Goodness to only have a stash draw! Scraps are hard aren't they? I tend to keep mine for things like pocket linings and facings, but it's so rewarding to get a whole garment out of leftovers. Makes it feel like it's 'free' in a way..... And like you, I'm appreciating my RTW that I still have - like jeans, no wish to make them at all.
    Now some scrap busting brain storming..... Polly top by BHL...any top using a knit for the front and a woven for the back, undies (Barries!).... That's all I have at the moment....!

    1. Thanks, that's extremely helpful! I rarely think of using different fabrics together; I'm going to have to have a hunt through now and see what I can combine... :)

  3. I think you've made some really fab every day wear. I totally agree with your comments regarding rtw. My aim is to dress as environmentally friendly as possible, I have a mix of thrifted, sewn and the best quality rtw I can afford, especially if it's something I can't make myself. I find if I buy good quality it lasts years and that seems better than a constant stream of cheap replacement garments. I really love the look of your new jumper, btw. Will look forward to seeing some of your unblogged stuff, when you have the time! X

    1. Thanks Philippa, I'll get there eventually!

  4. Great round up. Totally agree about ready to wear items. I have some clothes that are many years old and still worn and loved. You have a great wardrobe of clothes, looking forward to seeing that jumper in more detail.

    1. Thanks, Louise, it's a bit of a new favourite (although definitely not my best workmanship, I have to confess...)