Me Made May – a wardrobe shift

Hi! If you’re participating in this year’s Me Made May, perhaps you’ve been wearing a handmade outfit everyday. Organized by Zoe of So Zo What do You Know? – she describes Me Made May as “a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more.” (emphasis hers) You can read more about it on Zoe’s blog here. I’ve participated in Me Made May officially and unofficially from 2013 to 2015.

It was easy to participate in Me Made May when I worked in an office because most of what I made was for work – skirts and dresses. I also coerced co-workers to take photos of what I was wearing. Now that I’m working at home, there are only a few me made garments that I’ve been wearing. I really don’t feel like wearing a nice dress when I’m working at home. But whenever I have any meetings off-site, I usually wear something that I wore when I went to an office.

This year I decided to unofficially participate in Me Made May but not document what I was wearing every day because I’m not wearing me mades everyday. We’re more than halfway through May so I thought it would be a good time to pause and look at what I’ve been wearing so far.

Today I’m wearing my reversible Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, which I made in February and blogged here. I usually wear it with the red side out. I wear black a lot and red is one of my favorite colors. This is a photo I took when I finished it.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

I’ve worn this black skirt numerous times. It’s become my go-to skirt. The pattern is the A-line Block Skirt from the Japanese sewing book Basic Black (affiliate link here, blogged here).  I wore it with the Toaster Sweater when I took these photos for my blog post. The skirt has 16 panels – 8 for the front and 8 for the back. You can’t see the panels in this photo but they are there.

Basic Black A-line Block Skirt - pattern from Basic Black Japanese sewing book - Tuttle Publishing

This skirts goes with many different tops. Here’s the photo I took when it was finished in 2015. The skirt has an invisible zipper on the side.

Basic Black A-line block skirt

I’ve also worn my Pilvi Coat and Mimosa Culottes a few times this month. I made them this year and I really like them both. The Pilvi Coat is from the book Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style (affiliate link here, blogged here).

Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style sewing book - using fabric with ASCII art

I’ve worn my Pilvia Coat with my Mimosa Culottes but I don’t have any photos of me wearing them together so you’ll just have to imagine it. The Mimosa Culottes (blogged here) are by Named Clothing. I made the removable hat ribbon on the hat, too.

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing - high-waisted, wide-legged design - CSews.com

I’ve also worn hats that I’ve made this month – newsboy caps I made from patterns I drafted – and the hat with the removable hat ribbon I made (see my tutorial here).

These garments are the main me made things I’ve worn during Me Made May. Clearly, I need more casual clothes to wear at home. I am working on the Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen. I made a mock-up and I need to fix the waistband. It gapes at the top so I need to make a curved version waistband, an issue sewing blogger Sew Busy Lizzy had when she made her Flint pants. I need more casual pants and skirts.

Me Made May is a good time to take stock of your wardrobe and see what’s missing, what you wear most often and adjust your sewing plans for the rest of the year.

Are you participating in Me Made May? What have you learned about your wardrobe?

Me Made May - Toaster Sweater (Sew House Seven sewing pattern), Mimosa Culottes (Named Clothing sewing pattern) - CSews.com

Me-Made May – 20 Days and 20 Hats

Hi,

Have you noticed all the Me-Made May posts and tweets? If you don’t know, it’s a me-made challenge launched by Zoe of So, Zo… What do you know? a few years ago. The challenge is to wear something that you made everyday. I made my pledge via Instagram and never got around to make an official pledge on Zoe’s blog. I’ve participated the past two years as well. For those two years, It was more of a challenge to see if I could even do it.

But now that I have more me-made clothes, it was a great opportunity to see where were the “holes” in my wardrobe. Also, about a week into May, I realized that I had worn a different hat everyday and I decided to add my own personal challenge – wear a different hat everyday in the month of May. Here’s my round-up of the first 20 days.

Me Made May - Days 1-20 - csews.com

Starting at the top left:

  1. My Spring for Cotton dress from a vintage Simplicity pattern (fabric from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics) and fascinator. I got the feathered piece from All Things Vintage in Oakland, and attached it to a headband. I’ll be writing a post about attaching that feather piece to a headband next week.
  2. Red and black jersey Alabama Chanin tunic (red fabric from East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, black from Stonemountain) and necklace and a hat I got in Santa Monica several years ago.
  3. Blue Hummingbird peplum top (fabric from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics) and linen hat I got a Loehmann’s
  4. Tunic from a French sewing book Sewing Chic (fabric from Britex Fabrics, sleeve fabric from a Bay Area Sewists fabric swap), black wool hat I got for $1 from Urban Outfitters about five years ago
  5. Wool cape from a 1980s Vogue pattern (fabric from Britex), vintage wool hat with ostrich feather pom pom I got more than 20 years ago. It’s one of my favorite vintage hats.
  6. (second row) Floral Chardon Skirt (fabric from my mom’s stash) and black wool beret from Loehmann’s
  7. Jacket from Vogue pattern (fabric from Discount Fabrics), small vintage black wool beret with braid detail
  8. The Trench from Christine Haynes first book Chic & Simple Sewing (fabric from East Bay Depot), black wool hat with buckle detail (it was a chilly week so wool hats were good
  9. Striped top from Japanese sewing book She Wears the Pants (fabric from Discount Fabrics) and skirt from Basic Black (black cotton pique from Stonemountain & Daughter), vintage black beret from All Things Vintage
  10. Knit top from a Big Four pattern (imported Italian knit remnant from Britex Fabrics) and a hat I made from a Vogue pattern using home dec fabric from Joann’s and ribbons from Britex Fabrics
  11. My Red Velvet Chevron Dress, rayon knit from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, with a vintage straw hat
  12. Another Trench from Christine Haynes book (fabric from East Bay Depot) and purple Kangol hat one of my sisters gave me for my birthday several years ago.
  13. Black-and-white Chardon skirt (fabric from Seattle) and another vintage hat from All Things Vintage
  14. Bias-cut skirt (fabric from Britex Fabrics) and a hat from Urban Outfitters, trimmed with ribbon from Britex Fabrics
  15. Alabama Chanin wrap (fabric from Stonemountain, embroidery thread from Lacis) and vintage beret from an Etsy seller
  16. (bottom row) Bluegingerdoll Dress (fabric from East Bay Depot) and straw hat
  17. Rayon knit top (fabric from Britex Fabrics) and fleece beret (fabric from Joann’s) from modified Simplicity pattern
  18. My skirt from Basic Black (repeat from Day 9) and Kangol beret from a charity shop
  19. My skirt with a yoke (B5756, fabric from Britex) and a navy vintage hat
  20. The Anna Dress I made for Sewing Indie Month last year (fabric from Britex), and a black vintage straw hat with a veil

So what did I discover after 20 days of Me-Made May? Well, I have plenty of skirts and dresses to wear to work but very few casual things for the weekend. I had to repeat two tops this past weekend – my blue hummingbird top and my striped top from She Wears the Pants.

Also, we’ve been having unseasonably cool weather this month and I hardly have anything for cold weather. Most of things I’ve made have been cotton or cotton/lycra blends – not exactly clothes for 55-degree mornings. I’ll keep all of this in mind as I consider upcoming sewing projects.

Oh, and another thing I noticed is that my face looks rather fat in some photos – a reminder that I’ve gained about ten pounds over the past year because I stopped going to the gym. Yep, I used to go to the gym during my lunch break but after my promotion, I got really busy and thus, no gym. Clearly, I need more exercise so I hope to be less sedentary in the next six months. Wish me luck! [Note: This is not a ploy for people to comment, oh, your face isn’t fat, etc. The fact is that I’ve gained weight and I now have less ease in some of my clothes.]

I don’t know if I’ll participate in Me-Made May next year. I have to admit that I got tired of taking photos about a week into it, and stopped taking photos for a quite a few days after week three. Maybe if I do it next year, I’ll reconsider taking photos every day. After all, it’s not a requirement. That said, I do enjoy seeing what other people wear and what they’ve made. I’ve seen such lovely dresses by Pips of the girl in teacup, 100 percent me-made outfits (from undergarments to tops and skirts) on Emily’s Instagram account (@dressingtherole) – she blogs at Dressing the Role, pretty dresses, tops, and skirts by Heather on her IG account (@knitnbee) – see her Week 3 Roundup, and many more.

Happy sewing!

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Me Made May 2014

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I’ve been debating whether or not I should participate in Me Made May this year. I don’t really have enough handmade clothes for each day. But reading a post by Leila of Three Dresses finally convinced me. She pledged to wear something handmade five days a week. So I immediately thought, Yes! That’s doable!

So here’s my pledge: As a participant of Me Made May 2014, I pledge to wear at least one handmade item five days a week.

Today I wore a bias cut skirt I made from a lovely cotton print I got from Britex Fabrics about five years ago. I think that’s when I made this skirt. It’s been washed enough times so that the cotton feels very soft.

(I’m currently on a business trip in LA so I’m attempting my first post using my iPhone. Tomorrow I plan on wearing a dress from a 1957 McCall’s pattern.)

Are you participating in Me Made May? I’d love to see what you’re wearing!

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Me Made May 2013 – Final Post

Here are the things I wore from May 22 to May 31 for Me Made May 2013. I did repeat a couple items but I wore them with different things.

I wore 18 different hats on the first 21 days. I think over that next 10 days I wore maybe another four that I hadn’t worn in the previous weeks. I wasn’t paying close attention. But I do have more hats than what I wore over the past month. I guess you could say hats are my favorite accessory. ;o)

Thanks to all the folks at work who took photos of my outfits on various weekdays: Cailan, Diane, Donna, Jeffrey, Kari, Karmah, and Marsha. You’re all good sports – especially Donna, who took the most photos towards the end!

Day 22: I make this rayon knit jacket about four years ago (Issey Miyake Vogue pattern). It was a pretty windy day. Hat: Vintage wool felt with an ostrich feather pom-pom.
Day 22: I make this rayon knit jacket about four years ago (Issey Miyake Vogue pattern). It was a pretty windy day. Hat: Vintage wool felt with an ostrich feather pom-pom.
Day 23: I made this jacket from Christine Haynes book Chic & Simple Sewing. The fabric is a herringbone corduroy I got at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.
Day 23: I made this jacket from Christine Haynes book Chic & Simple Sewing. The fabric is a herringbone corduroy I got at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.
Day 24: I wore my hat again. I used an upholstery fabric sample. The pattern is by Patricia Underwood for Vogue.
Day 24: I wore my hat again. I used an upholstery fabric sample I got at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland a few years ago. The pattern is by Patricia Underwood for Vogue.
Day 26: Handsewn knit skirt. Hat: straw with a leather band
Day 26: Handsewn knit skirt. Hat: Tightly woven straw with a leather band.
Day 25: Hand-pleated Petersham flower.
Day 25: Hand-pleated Petersham flower.
Day 26: Handsewn knit skirt. Hat: straw with a leather band
Day 26: Handsewn knit skirt. Hat: straw with a leather band
Day 27: I made this mini-infinity scarf from this silk remnant. Hat: corduroy cap from the Gap.
Day 27: I made this mini-infinity scarf from this silk remnant. Hat: corduroy cap from the Gap.
Day 28: I made this jacket - The Trench - from Christine Haynes book Chic & Simple Sewing. I made the bias tape for it as well. The skirt is RTW but I added the lace trim.
Day 28: I made this jacket – The Trench – from Christine Haynes book Chic & Simple Sewing. I made the bias tape for it as well. The skirt is RTW but I added the lace trim. Hat: vintage – I added the lace trim and made a hat pin from the same lace.
Day 29: I made this sleeveless top from Christine Hayes Sassy Librarian Blouse Craftsy class (pattern comes with the class). Hat: vintage wool - I use a hat pin in the back to keep in in place.
Day 29: I made this sleeveless top from Christine Hayes Sassy Librarian Blouse Craftsy class (the PDF pattern comes with the class). I wore this top on Day 8. Hat: vintage wool beret – I used a hat pin in the back to keep in in place.
Day 31: Handsewn bolero, tunic, and skirt from a Natalie Chanin pattern. I also made the necklace from ropes of black knit fabric. Hat: vintage - I added an ostrich feather to the original Petersham trim.
Day 31: Handsewn bolero, tunic, and skirt from Natalie Chanin patterns in her 2012 book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. I also made the necklace from ropes of black knit fabric. Hat: vintage wool felt – I added an ostrich feather to the original Petersham trim.
Day 31 - Linen blend pants from a Vogue pattern (these pants have an elastic waist and pockets). Hat: straw
Day 31 – Linen blend pants from a Vogue pattern (these pants have an elastic waist and pockets). Hat: straw trimmed with grosgrain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Unofficial Me Made May 2013 Participation: Weeks 1 & 2

I hadn’t planned on participating in Me Made May challenge but it just so happened that I was wearing a dress I made on May 1 so on an impulse I decided to see how many days in a row I could wear something I made. So here’s what I’ve worn so far in my unofficial participation. On weekdays, I drafted people at work to take my picture. Those photos were taken after sitting on public transportation or sitting at my desk. So sometimes my outfits are wrinkled.

And you can see some of my hat collection – I wear hats everyday.

Day 1 - my dress using pattern from BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern book
Day 1 – my dress using pattern from BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern book

Day 1: This dress was a finalist in the BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern contest. I blogged about making the dress [“Making a Dress from the Book: BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern” and “Nitty Gritty Dress Details“] and photographing it for my contest entry [“Preparing for a Fashion Photo Shoot” and “My First Fashion Photo Shoot for a Dress“].

The vintage hat I’m wearing has a veil, which you can see floating in the breeze. I got it at All Things Vintage in Oakland, a lovely shop run by two lovely ladies. I also made a crinoline for this dress, which got a little scratchy wearing it all day at work. Next time I’ll wear a slip in addition to the crinoline!

Day 2, my dress from a vintage pattern
Day 2, my dress from a vintage pattern

Day 2: We were having a heat wave in the Bay Area that week so I decided to wear my red cotton polka dot dress (fabric from Britex Fabrics). I made this dress from a vintage pattern that I graded a size up in the shoulder and hip areas.

I mentioned this dress in my post “Choosing the Right Interfacing.” This dress has a fabric belt, which I also made. I wore it with a vintage hat made out of velvet and white straw as you can see in the image below.

Details of the fabric and the hat and shoes I wore
Day 2: Details of the fabric and the hat and shoes I wore with the dress.

 

Day 3 - Colette Patterns Jasmine top
Day 3 – Colette Patterns Jasmine top worn with my hat made from paper fiber

Day 3: I made this top from cotton shirting fabric, which seemed like a good idea at the time but the fabric was a little too crisp. This bias-cut shirt would have looked better if I had used a fabric wit more drape to it. I wrote about it twice: “Making Colette Patterns Jasmine Top – Part 1” and “Making Colette Patterns Jasmine top – Part 2.”

Day 4 - a hat I made from a Vogue pattern
Day 4 – a hat I made from a Vogue pattern

Day 4: I wore this hat I made from V8405 a couple years ago. It’s made from home dec fabric I got on sale (50 percent off!) from Joann’s and trimmed with two grosgrain ribbons I got at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco – the striped ribbon is on top of a solid wine red grosgrain.

Day 5: Top I made with knit fabric I bought at Britex Fabrics
Day 5: Top I made with knit fabric I bought at Britex Fabrics

Day 5: I love this fabric – I think it was an import from Japan. It goes will with my straw hat, which came trimmed with brown grosgrain.

Day 6: Hat with covered button
Day 6: Hat with covered button

Day 6: I made this hat from less than a yard of upholstery fabric scrap. I wrote about it in this post “Sewing a Patricia Underwood Vogue Hat.” Unfortunately, the pattern is now out of print. But you may be able to find it on Etsy or eBay.

Day 7: My embroidered wrap
Day 7: My embroidered wrap

Day 7: I began embroidering this spirals on this black knit fabric in October. The idea is from Natalie Chanin’s inspiring book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. Then I took a break from it in November and then finished it in December. I wrote about it as a work in progress [“The Embroidered Wrap“] but never posted an image of the finished version. So here it is! I wore it with a necklace made out of ropes of knit fabric that I tied into knots – also an idea from Chanin’s book.

Day 8: My Sassy Librarian Blouse - completed!
Day 8: My Sassy Librarian Blouse – completed!

Day 8: I finally finished my Sassy Librarian Blouse! This was a Craftsy class by Christine Haynes. The PDF pattern was included as part of the class. I’ll be writing a post about making this top soon!

Day 9: Hand-sewn skirt - pattern from the book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
Day 9: Hand-sewn skirt – pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
Dark blue vintage hat trimmed with petersham ribbon
Dark blue vintage hat trimmed with petersham ribbon

Day 9: This knit fabric skirt is made from a pattern in Natalie Chanin’s book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. The seams are felled. I like how it matches my sweater. I wore it with this vintage hat.

Day 10: My hand-sewn bolero, pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
Day 10: My hand-sewn bolero, pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design

Day 10: This bolero was made with a double layer of this black knit fabric. I embellished the sleeves and the edges with a cretan stitch. I wore it with this wool hat. The heat wave was over so it was cool enough to wear this hat.

Day 11: Plum knit top
Day 11: Plum knit top

Day 11: This was a Saturday so I decided to wear the first knit top I made. The interfacing I used was a bit too stiff so I don’t wear it very much. Also the sleeves can get a little annoying because they are so wide at the bottom. The edges can just dip down into your food as you’re eating if you don’t watch out. ;o)

Day 12: Wrap top, pattern by Christine Haynes
Day 12: Wrap top, pattern by Christine Haynes

Day 12: This top is from a pattern in the book Chic & Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes. I made this using fabric I got for a couple dollars from the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. This fabric had a lot of drape to it, which didn’t quite work for this top. This is sort of a muslin, really. If I make it again, I’ll use a more crisp fabric that won’t have a tendency to gape across the bust. I’m wearing a pin in the middle so I won’t flash my bra in the front there.

Day 13: Bias cut skirt and vintage hat
Day 13: Bias cut skirt and vintage hat

Day 13: I love the fabric on this skirt. The fabric is from Discount Fabrics in San Francisco. I usually wear it with one of my vintage hats and a vintage bracelet.

 

Day 13: My trench coat, pattern from Chic & Simple Sewing
Day 14: My trench coat, pattern from Chic & Simple Sewing

 Day 14: I wore one of my favorite pieces I made from Christine Haynes book Chic & Simple Sewing. I made the bias tape and added the cuffs to the sleeves. On this particular day I wore it with this vintage hat, which was made in France, according to the information inside the hat. I love the trimming – wool lace and velvet ribbon.

And that’s the first two weeks of Me Made May 2013! I’m not sure how many handmade things I’ve got left – or if I’ll resort to repeating (or making something new?) but you’ll find out at the end of the month – or just follow my Twitter feed(@csewsalot) and see if I’ve tweeted any more #memademay tweets. You can also see my Me Made May photos on Instagram at csews.