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 -

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) -

Mimosa Culottes by Named Clothing

Hi, I finally finished my Mimosa Culottes! According to my May blog post on PDF patterns, I bought this Named Clothing pattern about a year ago. Then I made my first muslin last fall. I got fitting help from Jennifer Serr at the Bay Area Sewists fitting meetup, which I blogged about here. This wide-leg design has two unique diagonal pleats in the front and two darts in the back, pockets, and a front zipper (more detailed photos are below).

I made size 44 (US 12, UK 18), which has a waist of 33 inches (84 cm) and a hip of 42 1/2 (108 cm). If I had made these two years ago, I would have made a size smaller but waistlines change. My hips are about 43 inches (109 cm) but I thought it was a good bet that the fit would be fine because of the wide legs so I didn’t add any additional ease to the hips – that’s the beauty of culottes!

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

I really like black but it’s hard to photograph. I got lucky with a couple of photos and the sun just happened to highlight my fabric. It’s a lightweight jacquard made out of some synthetic fiber. I found it among the discount designer fabrics on the second floor at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. There are flowers in the design, which you can see in this photo (taken after the photos shoot in bright sunlight to get the details).

Mimosa Culottes - jacquard fabric

I forgot that high-waisted designs limit what you can wear with them. You either need to wear something cropped or a close-fitting top that you can tuck inside. I got this cropped knit top from Urban Outfitters several years ago. I haven’t worn it much because it hits me at the hips and doesn’t really work with my other garments unless I layer it with a longer tee underneath. I was happy to wear this top with my new culottes. A former co-worker of mine called it my seeing-eye chart top. 😉

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing -

The Mimosa Culottes have nice deep pockets. I can put my whole hand in them! I have long fingers so this is a big deal. My husband is about 7 inches (nearly 18 cm) taller than I am but our hands are the same length. Really.

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

I take all my blog photos so it’s a big challenge to see the details of the culottes. I can only focus on the wall. I use the timer on my Sony Cyber-shot digital camera and my iPhone 6. I don’t have a camera remote control. This means that’s it’s tough to get photos in focus and the correct exposure but I take a lot of photos and hope for the best.

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

Mimosa Culottes – Details

Here are some photos with some of the details that you can’t see in the photos above. The pleats are at a diagonal slant, which is an interesting detail. I lightened the photos a little so you can see the floral design on the fabric.

Mimosa Culottes - diagonal front pleat detail -

There are two darts in the back.

Mimosa Culottemed Clothing sewing pattern) back darts -

Here’s what the inside front looks like with the pockets and the fly shield, the fabric behind the zipper. The Mimosa Culottes have a button and hook/eye closure. I used a flat red button that was in my stash.

My fabric was lightweight so I didn’t use a lining fabric, which meant I really didn’t need an inner and outer pocket bag. The inner pocket bag is the pattern piece you cut using your fashion fabric so you won’t see the lining. I wasn’t thinking when I cut my pattern pieces. The inner pocket bag pieces have interfacing fused to them. If you want to use the same fabric for the entire pocket, just put the two pocket bag pieces together to make one pocket bag and cut four.

Mimosa Culottes (Named Clothing sewing pattern) - inside view -

Check out the pocket. It’s looks rather professional, doesn’t it? I haven’t made pockets like this before because I usually sew skirts with pockets in the side seam. But I’m in desperate need of pants (trousers) these days. So I will be sewing more over the coming months.

Mimosa Culottes - Named Clothing sewing pattern - pocket detail -

Here are a few more construction details: After you’ve attached the waistband, you’re supposed to place the folded edge so that it slightly overlaps the waist seam on the wrong side; then stitch in the ditch from the right side. Instead, I hand stitched the waistband in place on the inside. When I stitch in the ditch on the right side, I don’t always catch the folded edge on the other side so I opted to hand stitch.

I finished my hem with seam tape and hand stitched it in place.

Mimosa Culottes (Named Clothing sewing pattern) - hem finishing -

Mimosa Culottes Pattern Adjustments

I only made two adjustments to the back with the help of Jennifer Serrr, owner of The Sewing Room and pattern designer for Bonjour Teaspoon. She suggested 1.) taking in about 1/4″ (6 mm) to get rid of drag lines and 2.) dropping the back crotch curve by 3/8 inch (1 cm) for a little more ease. I added that amount to the hem so the hem length would remain the same. This photo is of my first mock-up. I made a second mockup to make sure those adjustments worked. The second one was fine so I went ahead and cut my fashion fabric.

Mimosa Culuttes Named Clothing sewing pattern) pattern adjustment in back -

Named Clothing designs for a height of 5′ 8″ (172 cm), which is my height. I decided I liked the long length on the model so I didn’t change it. (See my post on sewing pattern height.) I didn’t notice that my camera was slighted tilted downward so it’s making my culottes seem longer than they really are in this photo.

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

A note on accessories: I made the hat ribbon, which I first blogged about for Britex Fabrics here and reposted to my blog here. The necklace is from Macy’s, the shoes are by Arche, purchased from a discount designer store that’s no longer in business. I’m also wearing a striped vintage bracelet from one of my sisters. You can’t see it in this photo but you can see it in one of the earlier photos.

Mimosa Culottes Materials

  • 2 1/2 yards (210 cm) of fabric ($3.50/yard for a total of $8.75)
  • fusible interfacing for inner pocket bag
  • 7-inch zipper
  • hook and eye
  • small button
  • thread

If you want to use lining fabric for your pocket bag, add 1/2 yard of lining fabric. All the other materials were in my stash so I only bought the fabric to make the culottes.

I really like this pattern. Now I need more tops to wear with them! I bought the Named Clothing Lexi A-line Top, which goes well so maybe I’ll make that, too. Have you made any culottes?

Mimosa Culottes - Named Clothing sewing pattern -