Thursday, May 15, 2014

Me Made May 2014: Week 2 Recap

Since I know you've been waiting anxiously for this week's recap (and by "you," I mean "my mom"), here it is. This is the part where I should probably warn you that this is a long and rambling post all about sewing (yippee!) because every last thing I've ever made for myself--except for the three items that I quickly noted in last week's recap--has been undocumented in the realm of cyberspace. Want to talk sewing and headless photos? Then you've come to the right place!

I've tried to include an additional garment photo below to help fill in the details, but I'm a bad blogger and had to rely on quick phone photos, most of which were taken by a helpful four-year-old.

Hello, white legs!
Day 4 - Colette Patterns Laurel Dress: This is actually my second take on the Laurel, made in a linen blend from Joann Fabrics. Oddly, I whipped this one up in the heart of winter and paired it with leggings (timely seasonal sewing!), which might explain why I didn't realize how damn short it is. Oh well. That didn't actually stop me from wearing it out in public, though it will probably stop me from wearing it to work with bare legs. Probably.

Construction notes: Because this was my second Laurel, I knew that I could make it work without the zipper, so I just forged ahead, taking in the side and back seams like I did on my first (unblogged) version. Welp. It worked, but just barely. I mean, I can clearly pull it on and off, but not without making myself look like I'm performing some kind of Houdini escape act. When I make this dress (tunic?) again, I'll try to correct my over correction. Correct? Correct.

Again with the legs.
Day 5 - Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress: Again, my second take on a pattern, and again it's just a leeeetle bit on the short side. This time I actually did wear it to work, though, because I was attending a Go Red for Women event, and if this dress doesn't scream, "GO RED!" then I don't know what does. The fabric is again from Joann, and I found it in their bottom-weight section. It's nice and thick and stable, and despite its "jeggings" label, it worked well for the pattern. Tall ladies who sew, if you happen to be reading this, do you go for it with original dress lengths and proportions, long legs be damned, or do you lengthen without question?

Construction notes: My first Coco was a shirt with the funnel neck and three-quarter cuffed sleeves, but you'll have to take my word for it since it's now packed away with my cool weather clothes and I didn't actually get a single picture of it before stashing it. But! I did learn a bit on fit from that (totally wearable) muslin, namely that I needed to transition from one size at the shoulder, up a size at the bust, and back down to the original at the waist and hips. An easy to fix for this dress and all other future Coco makes. Added bonus: Both the shirt and this dress earned high marks from my hubby. I guess mod styling is his thing? Whatever. Positive feedback is nice. And encouraged.

Neck down, please.
Day 6 - Colette Patterns Moneta Dress: Guess what. This is also my second make on a pattern. Could this be my favorite me-make ever? It's possible. Who knew that what my wardrobe was really missing was a swishy peacock-feathered sundress? Well, apparently Girl Charlee did. That's where the fabric came from, and look at that: It's made in the USA. Now I love it even more.

Construction notes: Nada. It was a nice, straight-forward, simple sew. The fiddliest part is mastering the invisible elastic insertion, but again, because this was my second go-round, it went pretty well. I put it all together on my regular machine, serging the exposed seams after construction. Oh wait, I did have one change: I cut the skirt pieces out at the longest length laid out on the pattern. Hurray for the tall girl learning her lesson.

Why's my head look tiny?
Day 7 - Sew Liberated Ashland Dress-turned-Top: I'm not entirely sure why Sew Liberated Patterns don't get more love from the online sewing community... I'm certainly a fan! This is actually a dress pattern, but I was inspired by top that Meg McElwee (the brain behind these patterns) posted on her blog, so I decided to dive in with that version. It was an easy enough pattern hack to make, just shortening the skirt. This cotton voile was found at a local shop, but a quick Google search tells me that it's Bromley Voile Arbor in Citron, and that it's readily available online.

Construction notes: This pattern gives you the option of cup sizes, which is freakin' awesome. I'm obviously capable of sewing my own garments, but I find the idea of needing to do full bust adjustments is just daunting enough to deter me. Silly, I know, and one day I'll get over it. But not today. Today I'll just make sure I trace the appropriate cup pieces on the Ashland and call it good! Full disclosure: There are a lot of pattern pieces. But other than that, it comes together quite well. I might add the tiniest bit to the inset (half inch, maybe?) just to give me more bra coverage in my next attempt, but I still like this one enough to keep it in rotation.

Whee! Swingy!
Day 8 - Sew Liberated Paloma Top: I love this shirt. And I feel like a broken record. The flowy top-skinny jeans combo is one of my favorites, and this shirt is just interesting enough to keep it from being a boring old t-shirt. (Though I love those too.) My fabric choice here is kind of meh. I like the color, but it's so sheer that I have to wear it with a cami, which while fine and dandy, isn't always my favorite thing to do. It seems like one shirt should be enough, yes? Oh well. It was purchased online ages ago.

Construction notes: I gave the pattern a good look before I decided to size down from what my measurements indicated, and I'm glad that I did. It's still plenty roomy and floaty and flowy, and I really can't imagine that I would need any additional fabric billowing around me. If you've made a t-shirt, you probably have a pretty good understanding of how they go together. Pay attention on this one, though. It's tricky in the coolest way, and the resulting gathering and sleeve insertion are really neat. (That sounds a little vanilla, "neat," but it's true. Gee whiz.) Oh, and I didn't cuff the sleeves. There, done.

With pollen shoes.
Day 9 - Grainline Studio Moss Skirt: Wait. I lied above. This? This is definitely my favorite me-make. I helped a friend sew up curtains for her new baby boy's room (elephants!), and ended up with left over fabric. I figured that it would make good a muslin for the Moss, right weight and all, so I dove in. Little did I know that this skirt would become my most complimented handmade item. Again, positive feedback is fun! Color me validated.  Granted, the woman who stopped me the first time I wore it wanted to get one for her 17-year-old daughter, which might sway another 36-year-old woman to STOP WEARING THE AGE-INAPPROPRIATE SKIRT, but not this one.

Construction notes: Aside from lengthening it a couple of inches in anticipation of my future whining, I stitched this up just as I was supposed to. The zipper slowed me down for sure, but in the end, it's there, it works, and I'm the only one who can see the wonky fly inside. Win!

Oops. Same picture.
Day 10 - Tilly and the Buttons Brigitte Scarf: OK, I realize that this is kind of a throw-away, and that I only committed to wearing me-made items four days a week, but I was on a roll and didn't want to stop, dammit. Plus, I was already cutting fabric for some Mother's Day sewing, so why not add a Brigitte? It took maybe 15 minutes to whip up in a bit of Anna Maria Horner voile, and BAM! I'm 10 for 10 for Me Made May.

Construction notes: Do you have a sewing machine?

Yes? Good. You're done.

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I also learned this week that I find it infinitely easier to quickly crop an Instagram photo than to find one where I'm content with my hair, my expression, my outfit, my stance, the background... pretty much vanity at its finest. But I've kind of enjoyed the pride that Charlie is taking in being Mommy's photographer. Sure, it might mean that I only have blurry shots to pick from (See Ashland above), or that I'm clearly giving her instructions on how to hold and focus my phone in every picture, but she's totally into it and has actually insisted that she be the one to help me out. Here honey, take Mommy' photo. That's good parenting, yes?

Plus, she offered this spot-on and perfectly adorable assessment of why I was asking her to help me: "I'll take pictures of your dress so that you can put them on the computer to share with lots of people you don't know who like to sew too, and you can make new friends!"

Yep, that's pretty much it, kiddo.


  1. Hello! I looked up your blog because I liked your style so much on MMM Flickr group. You've sewn up some really lovely things and I am glad you have decided to share them :)

    1. Philippa, thank you so much! Your comment just brightened my (immensely rainy!) day :-) Thank you, thank you!

  2. I am so proud of you, my daughter! You are not only beautiful and talented, but you write good, too.

  3. Hey lady, another MMM fan but from Instagram (same name on IG) . Loving the run down of your me mades, totally
    gonna give Sew liberated another go. The Paloma top is gorgeous. Keep up the awesome work and also so jealous your Mama comments on your blog, too sweet x

    1. Ahhh! Thank you for reading my rambling round-up, Ruby! And thank you for talking about sewing with me on IG :-) And thank you for making sure my mom isn't the only one commenting on my blog!

  4. Your peacock Moneta dress is sublime!! Making me rethink the pattern :)


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