Monday, June 20, 2016

Me Made May 2016 - The rest of the month

I'm not even going to apologize for posting this so late in June or rewriting what I started when Me Made May was actually still going on.  We all get busy at times and for me the end of the school year is definitely one of those times.  So in case you're going through a bit of Me Made May withdrawal this is for you!

Me Made May is continuing to go pretty smoothly and while there are some repeats I feel like I’m not struggling too much to keep things interesting.  At times it can be a bit of a pain switching from a dog park outfit to a teaching outfit but that’s just a bit of laziness on my part.  Plus most of my dresses don’t have pockets in them and leaves me without a place to stash my phone, keys and more importantly dog treats and poop bags when walking Toohey.

Day 8
·         Deer & Doe Plantain

After a beautiful and unusually warm late April/very early May the weather has cooled down enough that longer sleeves are necessary. This knit doesn’t have much stretch and the fit is a lot closer than my rayon tee.

Day 9
·         Megan Nielsen Briar tee

One great thing about working with kids is that you can get away with wearing more whimsical prints on the job.  Which is great because this tee is super cozy and I’m glad it doesn’t have to be relegated to the weekend only.

Day 10
·         Deer & Doe Arielle blouse

For some crazy reason this blouse sat on my “almost done” rack for way too long – we’re talking since the end of last summer.  All that it needed was to have the shoulders brought in a bit and the armholes finished.  Like I said crazy!  So it was on the top of my list of things to do to prepare for Me Made May and I’m glad it’s finally in my closet.

Day 11
·         Jamie Christina Mission Maxi tank
·         Deer & Doe Bleuet

A warm day at the dog park calls for a Mission Maxi tank.  A warm day hauling 11 sewing machines around calls for a sleeveless Bleuet.  Unfortunately the lack of pockets means I need to carry a purse while walking the puppy to carry treats and poop bags in.

Day 12
·         Deer & Doe Datura

I wear this Datura a lot year round – sometimes on its own and sometimes with a cardigan – and it’s starting to show it.  A bit of slightly too aggressive seam grading has led to a bit of a hole along the neckline.  Good thing I’ve got long hair because that way nobody else knows and I can keep wearing it.

Day 13
·         Jamie Christina Mission Maxi tank
·         Megan Nielsen Tania culottes

This is a favorite summertime outfit.  These were my first Tania culottes and wearing them reminds me I need to make another pair or two.  At least one more fun print and maybe a solid go with everything one as well.

Day 14
·         Deer & Doe Datura

I wore this with a navy sweater most of the day, really just took that off after mowing my parents’ yard. This fabric was doublefaced which made it super easy to mix and match.  I need some more of these in my closet.

Day 15
·         Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee
·         Central Park Hoodie

Two days ago I was comfortable with bare legs and a jean jacket late at night and now here I am wearing a wool sweater… Despite the extreme weather shift I was happy to wear my Central Park Hoodie (which according to Ravelry is almost a requirement on the site) knit in equally popular Cascade yarn.  This is the Lake Chelan Heathers colorway and always reminds me of family vacations spent there as a little kid.  The white tee is a basic goes with everything piece.

Day 16
·         Megan Nielsen Briar

Continuing the wool theme is this aquarium colored merino blend jersey.  Lightweight but warm I was thinking I had put this away until fall but am glad to have gotten at least one more wear out of it until then.

Day 17
·         Sewaholic Renfrew tee

I was excited to discover the turquoise stripes match my sneakers almost perfectly.  Not pictured but I made a matching pair of undies out of the scraps and wore those as well.  Because that’s not weird, right?

Day 18
·         Sew House Seven Mississippi Ave dress

I wore this at the end of April and tried hard not to wear it again right away.  I almost did the previous Friday but quickly remembered that the last time I wore it was a Friday and that class is quite observant.  The double gauze is super comfy and I need more of it in my life.

Day 19
·         Megan Nielsen Briar tee

Yet another Briar… clearly I like my me made tees.  I might need a little more diversity in which patterns I use.  Regardless it was very comfortable to wear on a day spent running around doing errands.

Day 20
·         Sewaholic Alma blouse

I don’t wear a lot of yellow but I always make a mental note to do so more often after pulling this top out.  The sunny color contrasts nicely with denim but this time I opted not to wear my floral statement necklace I usually wear with it to avoid any clanking when I’m constantly bending over while teaching.

Day 21
·         Deer & Doe Bruyere

I still think the white background makes this a very spring appropriate flannel shirt.  This time I wore it with leggings and boots to mix things up but in all honestly I will probably stick to jeans in the future.  A slightly sad day in that my parents are back in town and came over to pick up Toohey.  I’ll miss the cuddly little photobomber.

Day 22
·         Tilly & the Buttons Bettine top

I finished this up the night before and couldn’t wait to wear it.  Unfortunantely I couldn’t find the perfect pink little flower buttons I picked out.  So I quickly added some basic black buttons and called it a (temporary) day.  The Gertie floral and strawberry print rayon seemed perfect for a day spend picking out plants at Flower World.  As much as it seemed like a good idea to bring the puppy he was pretty distracted trying to greet everyone and it made deciding on plants a bit more difficult.  Still T was super excited to see me again.

Day 23
·         Deer & Doe Sureau

Just like last year I didn’t think and wore this super lightweight lawn dress to windiest school I teach at which also happens to be on top of a hill.  Luckily the wind wasn’t so bad and I only had to yank my skirt down once.  Other than that this continues to be one of my favorite spring dresses.

Day 24
·         Deer & Doe Plantain

Not much else to say about this that wasn’t said on day one.

Day 25
·         Deer & Doe Bleuet

I could probably fill my closet with various Bleuets and most of them would also include pearl snaps. In fact I’m already working on dress  #4 and a shirt version.

Day 26
·         Tilly & the Buttons Bettine top

After searching all over I eventually found the intended pink buttons at the bottom of my purse.  I immideately took off the uninspired black buttons and set to work adding buttonholes and attaching the pink buttons.  Which naturally meant I couldn’t wait any longer to wear it again.

Day 27
·         Kitschy Coo Lady Skater

I’ve made a few Lady Skaters and this one continues to be my favorite.  It works great in the spring and is easy to layer in the fall. In my after school classes we're doing a charity project making Snuggles (think animal blankies) for the local animal shelter through the Snuggles Project.  Shouldn't surprise anyone what I decided to make the sample with...

Day 28
·         Megan Nielsen Briar

Toohey is always super excited when I visit and that involves a lot of jumping, wiggling and licking. That doesn’t always translate into nice clothes.  Hence another Briar repeat.

Day 29
·         Sewaholic Renfrew mini dress
This was a me-made that I misplaced and couldn’t find it at all last fall but recently unearthed it when I was going through a box of summer clothes.  It’s just a Renfrew chopped off a bit below the waist and a gathered rectangle attached as a skirt.  FYI if you’re thinking of doing the same don’t just add a skirt to the tee instead of a hem band, the proportions are off and it just looks weird.

Day 30
·         Papercut SJ tee
This is my second SJ tee and I didn’t stretch the neckband enough before attaching it.  I’ve since ripped it out (of course I serged it) and redid it.  I imagine I’ll be making more of these in the future.

Day 31
·         Sewaholic Cambie
To me seersucker screams summer and warm weather.  I’m glad the weather warmed up again so I could wear this dress all day this month and not just change into it after the dog park.  Plus it always impresses kids when you tell them that you made it.

Every year I think I need more separates in my closet and especially when puppy sitting this is even more apparent.  This month I’ve been making more of an effort to sew more tops and trying out different patterns.  But when Toohey is around my productivity is lower as he frequently thinks that time would be better spent playing and/or cuddling with him and it can be hard to disagree with him.  After he went back to my parents I suddenly had a lot more free time to spend sewing guilt free.  Naturally at that point May was almost over… I’m sure I’m not the only one with furry little distractions out there.

Overall it was another successful Me-Made-May!  I made some new tops to wear with jeans and have more planned.  There’s a few things I didn’t pull out that I tend to only wear during this challenge which was nice.  I hate wearing something because I feel like I should but don’t really care for.  I tend to wear clothes I made a lot but love talking about the challenge when I’m teaching since it gives the kids an idea of what they can do with the skills I’m teaching them.  Plus kids are always impressed when you tell them that you made what you’re wearing.  No big new revelations this time around, I could still do with some more separates although I’m doing better at using a larger variety of patterns so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same thing all the time just in different colors.  I’d say my wardrobe goes together reasonably well as a whole.  I'm fond of the blue/green spectrum and snag nice fabrics in those colors when I see them knowing I will eventually get around to sewing them up.

Oh, and Toohey managed to show up in 20 photos.  Next year I really need to make him pose more.  He likes being in photos and is really good at "sit and wait" while I set everything up. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Me Made May 2016 Week 1

This year I knew Me Made May was going to be a bit more challenging since my usual cute spring dresses aren’t super great at the dog park.  I mean, odds are a dog (perhaps mine perhaps not) will jump up on me.  Naturally a huge golden retriever did this on the day I wore a white tank top… Regardless I wanted to try and not dress like I’m pre or post dog park all times.
Day 1
·         Deer & Doe Plantain tee
·         Deer & Doe Chardon skirt

Stuck to capris with my tee at the dog park – Toohey loves to go in the water and I always end up getting splashed.  The Chardon has good sized pockets on it which made it easier to carry all the extra stuff I need when walking the dog around the neighborhood later in the day.

Day 2
·         Sewaholic Thurlow shorts
·         Jamie Christina Mission Maxi tank
·         Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee

Naturally this is what I wore when a gigantic dog jumped up on me.  Luckily its’ been dry at the dog park so he only left a small dirty spot by the neckline of the tank.  I was going to change my top anyways to teach.

Day 3
·         Megan Nielsen Briar Tee

The day started off warm at the dog park, hence the shorts but started cooling down in the afternoon. Oh well, the shorts are a bit too short for an elementary school so the pants were going to come out regardless.

Day 4
·         Deer & Doe Bruyere
Today was chilly so I pulled out my plaid flannel Bruyere.  Very appropriate for a fickle Seattle day in May.
Day 5
·         Hey June Lane Raglan
This is my first Lane Raglan and the rayon jersey was just warm enough that in the afternoon I could ditch the jacket. Although it's not the best with the belt I'm wearing - the buckle is just big enough that it sticks out in an unattractive bump but I couldn't be bothered to switch belts half way through the day. As a bonus it doesn't look that bad in photos or possibly real life but I know it's there.
Day 6
·         Sewaholic Renfrew
·         Tilly & the Buttons Bettine dress

A total wardrobe change today between the dog park and teaching.  Later on I had to change out of the dress to walk the dog due to a lack of pockets.

Day 7
·         Jamie Christina Mission Maxi tank

I had intended to change after 2+ hours at the dog park but it ended up being an all about the puppy day.  Toohey and I went to a total of three different parks and he didn’t end up as tired as I hoped he would be.  This was my first Mission Maxi tank and I’ve never gotten around to hemming it.  At this point I doubt I ever will.

It's just week one but so far I think Me Made May is going well.  Yes, I wear the same shoes every day to the dog park but they’re made out of Gore-Tex so my feet stay nice and dry down on the beach. Some days I enjoy the wardrobe changes but obviously there are other days I can’t be bothered.  Also I've been busy sewing another pair of shorts since I seem to be wearing them most days for at least part of the time.  I hope everyone else is starting the month off strong!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Showers bring Me Made May

Whew!  Nothing like Me Made May to make remember that I still have a blog. Last year was really busy (hence the radio silence) but there was lots of sewing going on.  In fact that included a fashion show where I sent six looks down the runway that I created.  But enough about the past, let’s talk about sewing!

Allie J has started hosting a social sewing series and to kick everything off the theme for April was April Showers.  This was perfect timing as in my sewing queue I had a dress was the most obvious interpretation of the theme. 
This is Sew House Seven’s Mississippi Ave dress made out of raindrop print double gauze. I bought the PDF of this pattern way back in August 2015 as part of the Sew Independent’s Sewing Indie Month Bundle.  It reminded a lot of a favorite Anthropologie dress with the partial elastic waist but smooth front but I was neck deep in fashion show sewing so I had to resist the temptation.  Fast forward to April 2016 and it seemed like the perfect spring dress.  I found the double gauze at my local Pacific Fabrics and while I knew I wanted to make a dress out of it I finally decided that this was a pattern and fabric match made in heaven.

Having never sewn a Sew House Seven pattern before I did a quickie muslin of the bodice and kinda pulled it close to simulate how it would look with elastic and gathered shoulders.  The fit seemed pretty good and my bra wasn’t peeking out so I decided to move forward and cut the double gauze.  Tracing the pattern was quick since there’s not that many pieces and everything seemed to line up pretty well. I appreciated that the cutting layout was set up with directional prints in mind and with a few minor tweaks I was able to have enough remaining fabric left over to make something else. To be fair I chose not to cut out the shoulder ties or neck and armhole bias strips because I was a little worried about bulk.  Cutting my fabric didn’t take much time at all so I was able to start sewing right away. I sewed this dress up over a couple evenings.  I used my serger to finish my seams although it did start acting up a couple times so a few edges look less than perfect.  The waist on the dress is intended to be slightly above the natural waist. My waist measurement is pretty small so next time I might lower it an inch so it does sit on my natural waist.

I found some lovely Cotton + Steel lawn on another trip to Pacific Fabrics that perfectly matches the occasional turquoise raindrop in the print.  I used this on my neck and armhole bias facings.  Next time I will cut it a bit narrower and use it more as a binding.  On some of the curves it seemed a little excessively wide but nothing that a bunch of steam from my iron couldn’t force into submission.  I had some left over bias strip and cut that in half lengthwise for the shoulder ties.  The bias will discourage fraying and allow me to skip tying knots at the ends.  This will make it a bit less bulky under a close fitting cardigan.

Here in Seattle we’ve had a weirdly dry and warm April but that wasn’t the case yesterday when I wore it for the first time.  But even with the cool weather and my low tolerance to cold I was plenty warm during the day without needing to add tights.  I can see wearing this dress a lot – even during early fall. I also have fabric set aside to make another that will be even easier to layer up and keep wearing all year.


I’ve been waiting until the very eve of Me Made May to figure out this year’s challenge.  I spent a lot of time trying to decide how to make it a bit different from the past but also fit into my everyday life.  In the end I accepted that my usual pledge would be more of a challenge this year so it wasn’t necessary to come up with anything new.  This has everything to do with my newish puppy.  Daily trips to the dog park don’t really play nice with pretty dresses that you wish to keep clean.  There’s always the chance of getting jumped up on and considering the park has lake access odds are high that those paws are muddy.  So really I just want to avoid wearing a me-made top and the same jeans every day, even if that means multiple wardrobe changes throughout the day.  So here we go…

'I, Erin of & @fisforflamingo (Instagram) sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavor to wear at least one handmade item each day and hopefully fully me-made two days a week for the duration of May 2016.'

I’m really looking forward to checking out what everyone else is up to this month and picking up tons of inspiration!