Saturday, June 20, 2015

Me Made May 15 wrap up & final days

I hope everyone participating in Me Made May ended strong and enjoyed their challenges and everyone else isn’t bored by all updates.  Just remember: inspiration can be anywhere, I know I’ve found it checking out other people’s makes.  The second half of the month is typically the time when repeats start cropping up and I won’t disappoint on that aspect.  Also there’s Memorial Day weekend in the US and that’s provided a bonus challenge.  I went down to Berkeley for a family wedding which meant I wanted to bring out my favorite makes but also not bring my entire closet along.

Day 18
·         Sewaholic Renfrew
I think today was mostly about the shoes – which is also the #1 reason I bought this fabric.  I was especially thrilled to hold them up to each other and see just how closely they matched.  You take a basic t-shirt and jeans outfit, add in matching shoes and it goes up a notch.
Day 19
·         Simplicity 2863 (Built by Wendy)
One thing I like about Me Made May is giving the garments in the back of your closet some love.  I almost always wear lower necklines so I have a tendency to fuss with this dress despite it otherwise being super comfy.  Which is probably why I rarely wear it out – today it pulled the inside cleaning shift after spending the morning deep cleaning my deck.
Day 20
·         Deer & Doe Datura
I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear this just once this month. It’s been warmer than expected this week so a sleeveless top is a must for looking presentable after hauling a dozen sewing machines in and out of the car twice and picking my parents (plus 3 large, heavy bags) up from the airport.
Day 21
·         Sewaholic Alma
This is my heavy lifting day of teaching – 13 sewing machines carried two by two up 2 sets of stairs and down the hall to a classroom – and according to my phone it was 79 degrees.  Even completely underlined, this Swiss dot blouse is still lightweight enough to help keep me cool and not sloppy looking by evening when this photo was taken.  Another warm weather top, I hate wearing it with a sweater or cardigan due to the collar.
 Day 22
·         Tilly & the Buttons Coco
I spent a good part of the day traveling from Seattle down to Berkeley for my cousin’s wedding reception so comfort was key.  Enter Tilly & the Button’s Coco dress made out of navy and white striped French terry.  I made this just before the trip and looking back at these photos I need to redo the hem – it’s drooping down a bit at the sides.
 Day 23
·         Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee
·         Biscayne Orca Dress
Weather in Berkeley was much cooler than Seattle so I had to rethink my options, meaning the shorts had to stay in the suitcase.  This top ended coming out sooner and I spent most of the day with my jacket on so it didn’t really matter what I was wearing underneath.  Surprisingly late in the afternoon it warmed up enough while wandering through the Berkeley Botanical Gardens where the reception was taking place.  I’ll be doing a separate post on the dress but it’s my first design project at fashion school.  I was super excited to have it finished in time to wear to the reception, knowing I would be getting questions about what I’ve been up to.  It turned out to be perfect for dancing with the skirt being made for twirling shaking it.
Day 24
·         Grainline Hemlock Tee
I had been hesitating on Grainline’s Hemlock tee for a while due to the lack of sizing options, but after picking up this tissue weight jersey featuring a massive print I thought I would give it a try.  I’m so glad I did because the oversized shape didn’t break up the print too much and was super quick to put together.  The only thing I would change is the sleeve length, it’s at that awkward length where instead of being 3/4 length it looks like I ran out of fabric and cut them too short.  But that’s an easy fix.  Regardless it was comfy for a chilly post wedding picnic, hanging out with family and driving up to Sacramento.
Day 25
·         Megan Nielsen Briar
Bonus puppy photo – everyone’s favorite cute and furry accessory.  This was another travel day which also included picking up my parents’ new little puppy.  This is probably my favorite t-shirt due to the print so I knew it was going to make more than one appearance this month.  But back to the puppy: his name is Toohey, a mini Australian Shepard, total sweetheart and a wonderful little traveler.  He went through airport security like a champ and slept through the entire flight – including take-off and landing.  Expect to see more of him in future photos!
Day 26
·         Megan Nielsen Briar
Another puppy photo and another Briar.  At the last moment I threw this in my suitcase in case I decided to spend the night at my parent’s house and get in some more puppy time.  Naturally I decided that was necessary and spent the morning playing with the little guy before leaving to go teach.  Despite all the changes Toohey went through during the past 24 hours, he bounced back and seemed to enjoy getting to know his new family and home.  I will say I was surprised this was the first time in May I wore this shirt, the perils of being stuck in the dirty laundry pile…
Day 27
·         Deer & Doe Bleuet
This was my second Bleuet and I decided to stick with my love of pearl snaps.  Because why unbutton a shirt dress when you can rip it open and feel like the Hulk.  (With the added bonus of not having to sew any buttons on later to wear it again!)  This dress is super comfy to wear and makes it very quick to get dressed in the morning and still feel put together.
Day 28
·         Jamie Christina Mission Maxi Tank
·         Colette Madeline Mini Bloomers
I was feeling under the weather today so put the minimal amount into what I wore.  The main difference between my me made pjs and my “outfit” is the tank top.  Despite having made this over a year ago I still haven’t gotten around to properly hemming it.  Needless to say, it was the perfect thing to wear on a hot day when it seemed like effort just to move to the couch.
Day 29
·         Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee
·         Sewaholic Thurlow shorts
This was the outfit I had planned to wear last weekend if only the weather had played along.  I love, love these shorts!  They’re a plaid seersucker that I wish I could wear ALL YEAR LONG.  I miss them during winter and really should make a couple more tops to wear with them.  Speaking of making more, I should whip up a few more pairs of shorts as well.  I struggled to get the trousers to fit right, but didn’t have many issues with making these.  I think the pattern is worth it just for the shorts.
Day 30
·         Sewaholic Renfrew
·         Jamie Christina Mission Maxi mini dress
This is one of my ideal warm weather outfits and I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this fabric.  Despite being stiff as all get out when it arrived, it has softened up in the wash and is thick enough not to show what I’m wearing underneath.  The weather was a bit cooler than expected so I was glad for the matching tee.  Regardless even in a dress I got plenty of puppy play in.
Day 31
·         Deer & Doe Plantain
Woo-hoo! Last time taking a daily photo!  Rather than go out with a bang with a fun sundress I decided to go dog friendly as I had a puppy and two big dogs to play with.  I really need to make a couple more Plantains in rayon knits as they’re so easy to wear.
Once again I enjoyed a successful Me Made May.  I didn’t have too many problems figuring out what to wear, although I do need some more separates.  This is basically the same conclusion I came to last year but made minimal progress on – although now it’s more necessary with my more physical job.  I had hoped to make a pair of shorts and jeans but life got busy and that didn’t happen.  Plus my parents’ new puppy, Toohey, was an adorable fluffy distraction towards the end of the month.  But I can’t complain or blame the little guy, not much beats a puppy when deciding how to spend free time and the look on his face while bounding over to me when I come to visit tells me I made the right decision.  That said those shorts will get made!  The jeans may have to wait until it gets closer to fall.  I do want to make some more tops for the summer and maybe a few dresses as well.  Although I do have a school fashion show coming up in September and need that to be my main focus.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Me Made May 15 Week 2

Just past the half way mark for the month and I’m still having fun.  Here’s the latest play by play:

Day 12
·         Sewaholic Renfrew
Despite being my least favorite Renfrew to photograph (tiny stripes make the camera’s eye twitch), this is my favorite to wear. One thing I do need to remember is that the shirt is way more sheer than it appears so I really need to pay attention what I wear underneath.
Day 13
·         Megan Nielsen Briar
·         Sewaholic Minoru
What can I say?  I’m a sucker for stripes and these were pretty easy to match up.  It’s nice being able to wear it without a bulky cardigan again.
Day 14
·         Sewaholic Renfrew
These green jeans are one of the main reasons I could never go Me-Mades only in May.  I love them way too much and have never found comparable stretch denim in a similar weight and hue intensity.  But they go perfectly with a basic navy tee.

Day 15
·         Deer & Doe Sureau
This was a favorite dress last year from the second I finished it.  Light and floaty, it’s super comfy on a warm day although it is a little risky when a breeze kicks up.  So naturally that’s what tried to happen while loading sewing machines in my car in front of an elementary school.  The rest of the day it was perfect.
 Day 16
·         Victory Patterns Lola
This is one of those garments that when I pull it out I wonder why I don’t wear it more.  Then I remember that the thickness of the knit means it’s more of a cold weather dress.

Day 17
·         Kitschy Coo Lady Skater
·         Infinity Scarf
·         Sewaholic Minoru
Not every girl is obsessed with the LBD, some of us prefer navy as our “goes with everything” neutral.  This navy cotton jersey Lady Skater is mine.  It was a great addition to my Blue Thunder Friday and game day wardrobe during football season and works equally well during post season.  Its works equally well for running errands and mowing the lawn.  I started the day with the scarf but when the day refused to warm up quick enough I ditched it for the jacket.
I hope everyone else is still going strong during this Me Made May!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Me Made May 15 Week 1.5

I’m back!  There’s nothing like Me Made May to get back in gear blogging.  Sure, there hasn’t been much any writing going on but there has been sewing.  And if I ever have to make a decision on time, that’s the way it’s going to go.
I hemmed and hawed for quite a while trying to figure out my pledge this year.  During the warmer months I rely pretty heavily on dresses but despite spring coming early to Seattle this year I haven’t been wearing them as much.  While I have a number of tops I’ve made, a lot of them would fall under the T-shirt category.  And let’s be honest: that can get pretty boring to look at.  The main reason for this shift is that I’ve starting teaching afterschool sewing classes at local elementary schools five days a week.  That means hauling 10-13 sewing machines plus supplies back and forth, and in one instance up and down stairs.  Much easier to do in pants – so I should probably make some.  But I’ve got some RTW pants that fit pretty well so I haven’t been too inspired on that front.  Needless to say when I do make jeans I’m definitely using one of the student machines to make construction easier without having to constantly switch thread.
Ultimately, this was my pledge:
                “I, Erin of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15.  I endeavor to wear at least 1 item of clothing I’ve made each day and PJs every night for the duration of May 2015.  In addition I’ll avoid any complete outfit duplicates and strive to make at least 1 pair of jeans and shorts before month end.”
Yeah, so how have I done so far?  Let’s check out the game tape… er, photos.  FYI, my hair is the same in the first several photos because I waited to take them after getting a haircut!
Day 1

·         Deer & Doe Datura.
This was my first version of this blouse and really like it.  It’s gotten a lot of wear year round with a sweater over it when it’s colder.  I like how the rayon challis drapes and is easy to wear.
Day 2

·         Jamie Christina Mission “Maxi
·         Megan Nielsen Briar
So I’ve made a couple Mission Maxis, and while one is actually a maxi I get more wear out of the minis.  This was a sort of a last minute St. Patrick’s Day make since I knew it would get more than just a once a year wearing.  The Kelly green ponte can be worn in Seattle almost year round and doesn’t ride up if worn with tights.  The burnout floral jersey was my first Briar.  Its pure coincidence that the greens in the dress and shirt match, but will allow me to wear this Briar more out in public if I’m not in a crop top mood.  Is there an age limit on how old you can be to wear one?
Day 3

·         Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee
·         McCall’s M6173 leggings
Right off the bat I just want to put it out there that I don’t believe leggings are pants nor do I wear them as such in public.  Of course in the privacy of my own home all bets are off!  I spent the day doing boring housework and some cross stitch and I like to sit cross-legged on the couch – which is way more comfortable in leggings than jeans.

Day 4
·         Kitschy Coo Lady Skater
This dress gets a lot of wear spring through fall.  I doubled up the lightweight burnout floral jersey and never worry about it being see thru.

Day 5
·         Megan Nielsen Briar
This is fabric I threw in my Girl Charlee cart late last year on a whim… and it ended up being my favorite of the bunch.  It’s a soft, cotton blend thin sweater knit type fabric with black horses printed on it.  I added black ribbing at the neckline and as sleeve bands.

Day 6
·         Sewaholic Alma
·         Megan Nielsen Tania
This Alma made it’s MMM debut last year and came about when my serger cut a hole in the bust of a Bleuet.  It couldn’t be fixed so I had to go out and buy more fabric which allowed me to cut this shirt out of the substantial remainder.  I’m wearing it with a navy silk noile pair of Tania culottes, with this pair being cut at the L or XL length. (I can’t quite remember.)  I plan on going into more detail on them in a future post if only to share my adventure in hemming.
 Day 7
·         Megan Nielsen Briar
This might be my favorite Briar from 2014 – it has parrots, nonprecious flowers, and bright accents of aqua and pink.  I wear this a lot in the spring/summer and let it sneak into winter too to remind me that warm weather will return at some point.

Day 8
·         Sewaholic Alma
My first Alma, this goes all the way back to MMM13.  Last year I wore almost this exact same outfit, subbing in capris for jeans.  I almost wore the same big, floral necklace too before I realized the jangling would drive me insane while leaning over while teaching.

Day 9
·         Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee
·         Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes
This kimono tee was made specifically with these culottes in mind.  I wanted something that didn’t have to be tucked in or be too long if I didn’t.  These Tanias are way up on my all-time favorite makes list.  It contains a lot of my faves: blue/green in color, polka dots and a short length.  Plus I actually graded the pattern properly in order for it to fit my waist.  These are a favorite to wear in warm weather as the rayon challis stays nice and cool and the swishyness of the legs create mini breezes as I walk.  (TMI?)

Day 10
·         Jamie Christina Mission Maxi Tank
·         Kwik-Sew K3892
Another laid back day at home.  This was my test version of the Mission Maxi and despite being over a year old; I still have yet to properly hem it.  The edge is simply serged, honestly at this point I seriously doubt I’ll ever go back and twin hem it.  The weather temperature inside went back and forth between chilly and warm so I was constantly putting on/taking off this sweatshirt.  I was originally drawn to the wider neckline than what is usually offered but after making it I think it’s too wide.  I really should rip the ribbing off and replace it with a wider band.  I got the polka dot ponte in the same order as the purple horses but am disappointed in it.  The ponte looks a little too polyestery for me and is pretty thin. The black sweatshirt fleece on the contrast sleeves was so much thicker and warmer that I ended up buying some in white and interlining the ponte with it.  So now it’s nice and cozy and the polka dots help take my mind off the appearance of the ponte.

Day 11
·         Deer & Doe Plantain
Having made a couple of Plantains now I definitely prefer when it’s made from a knit with a lot of drape.  Despite having to cut this slightly off-grain in order to keep the print straight it’s held up well and hasn’t gotten too twisty.
In general, MMM15 has gone well so far, but it’s still early.  I’ve worn a skirt a couple times during the week – some schools make it easier than others – and kept a good mix of shirt patterns going on.  I even mowed the lawn in my Mission Mini/Briar combo!  I was smarter last weekend and had a change of clothes (Striped Kirsten Kimono Tee included) so I didn’t get my Tanias sweaty.  Spring in Seattle is still pretty chilly in the mornings and evenings and clearly my #1 way survive is to add boots.
As an added bonus I’m introducing the next generation of sewers to Me Made May.  Most of my students have already caught on that I wear a lot of the clothes they see me wear and often ask questions about them.  I even had questions about how could they participate if the only clothing they’ve made is an apron.  Completely adorable!  Regardless I’m seeing a huge interest in sewing at the elementary level which can only be a good sign for the future.