Thursday, June 27, 2013

finished project update

Dears. Deers. So sorry about my unexpected hibernation. I'd be lying to your pretty little faces if I said I wasn't exhausted with sewing and blogging by the end of May, considering all those Project Sewn weekly sewing frenzies and the endless photo-taking and editing that accompanied Me-Made-May. I lost my sewing mojo (sewjo, if you will) and signed up for a Netflix account. It was tragic. I didn't even want to shop for fabric.

My desire to sew has returned somewhat, so I have completed a couple items lately. My desire to model my creations and write detailed blog posts about each individual item has NOT returned, however, but I figured I should alleviate my guilt and post a brief little wrap-up of some of my recent projects. I don't want my blog to start growing mold or gettin' crusty, after all. Um.

Above Left: Grainline Moss Mini skirt in black and white speckled cotton sateen from (here). The red zipper was all I had. This is a quick little pattern but I still can't insert a fly zipper without instructions. One day...

Above Right: OK I actually made this forever ago as a pattern tester for Megan Nielsen's new Cascade Skirt (currently sold out while Megan takes a break, but still available through her stockists here). I never blogged it because Megan released her collection in the midst of crazy May bloggery and I am a bad person. Anyway, I made my test version in a teal/green poly crepe. I evened out the back hem and shortened the whole thing overall because I am a thick-calved girl who can't wear midi length skirts. This too is a quick pattern with a lot of punch.

Above Left: My second version of MN's Cascade Skirt, this time in a printed floral rayon and with a buttoned band instead of the tie band. I shortened the whole thing four inches more from the crepe version in an effort to make a casual and flirty summer skirt, but the front hem grew like crazy so it ended up being crooked and knee length. I do not recommend you wear this wrap skirt in windy outdoor situations. Again, sorry to the people of Philadelphia for what you've had to witness.

Above Right: Speaking of flowers, here's a floral men's shirt made from a lightweight vintage cotton found on Etsy. Awhile ago I traced my boyfriend's favorite and best-fitting shirt to make his perfect pattern. I've made him four shirts from it since. For this short-sleeved version, he wanted to be brave and hip and try a dainty little floral print. Aight, grandma. I ain't mad.

Above Left: omg more florals. And pastel florals at that. WHO AM I. I guess I was drawn to the slate gray background and the pixelated flowers that look like blown up pics from the internet. This knit fabric is really weird, though. It's reversible, but the prints have nothing in common and there was color bleeding and staining on one whole edge, so it was obviously a mistake on the fabric printer's part. That's why it ended up at Jomar, a junky discount fabric warehouse, and into my shopping cart and my sewing heart. The picture doesn't show the whole thing but trust that it's a dress. The dress pattern is Burdastyle Double Layer dress (bottom layer only) from 6/2013.

Above Right: Derp. Here's a lazy Instagram photo but I just wanted to share a life update that I was prescribed glasses this month. I was getting terrible eye strain and headaches by the end of every workday, so I knew it was time for an eye exam. Still trying to get used to seeing myself in specs, especially in photos other people take of me, but at least I can now focus on all the details of the lurvely clothes you post on your blogs. Pain free! #nerdsunite
My frames are from the Victory Collection, a brand established in 1941. The style I have ("Honey") show the above little photos of the original ads on the website. Those women are way more elegant than I am.

So, a bunch of quick and easy projects at an attempt to get myself back in the sewing room. Have you ever lost your sewjo and blog-jo (?) at the same time before? Rough, man. Hope you understand! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I achieved two sewing-related accomplishments in the past week: finishing and successfully fulfilling my first Me-Made-May pledge, and coming in second place in Season 1 of Project Sewn! Now, to come in second to the all-around talented, hilarious and stunning Sophie of Cirque du Bebe is no small feat, so I'm very proud of myself and incredibly grateful to those who voted me for throughout the series. Congrats on your win, Sophie! Totally deserved and totally impressive. And also congrats to Jess, the Sewing Rabbit, who made some stellar women's clothes, though that's not her usual focus. She did a great job and I loved everything she made. All my fellow contestants were superstars and I was so happy to get to know them better and sew alongside them. Great groupa gals.

So onto the final MMM round up. I decided to squeeze the remaining ten days into one post so I'd only bore you once instead of twice more. I think we're all a little relieved it's now June, whether you participated in Me-Made-May or just had to witness the madness on the blogosphere. And I'm happy to stop dismantling my living room all the time to photograph myself in front of this damn brick wall.

Days Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three
Wednesday - Black buttonless Beignet skirt (never blogged) with an H&M blouse. I had a meeting with a funder today so tried to look half-professional, which to me means wear a basic black skirt. This blouse is the last new off-the-rack made-in-China item of clothing I've bought. I bought it in August 2012 when I first moved to Philly and needed something to wear to the first day of my new job. I still wear it quite a bit even though it feels like polyester hell and gives me guilty heebie geebies.

Thursday - Blue OWOP dress (blogged here). It fits all wonky in the shoulders/bodice. I rarely wear this. 

Days Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five
Friday - ikat skirt from the black & white challenge of Project Sewn (blogged here), with a secondhand jacket. Guys, I just wrote ikat as "iKat," as though it were an iPod or iPhone. ~*~* Apple's taking over our iLives~*~*~ 

Saturday - gray knit dress (unblogged). Another dreary day, another dreary outfit. I was hungover and had to sit my ass at my sewing machine all day, so I wore this dress which is basically a belted nightgown (I have worn it to bed a few times, too, let's be real). I never blogged about it because it didn't seem worth it. I used an 80s pattern but I changed the button placket to a deep V-neck, and gathered the sleeves vertically.

Days Twenty-Six and Twenty-Seven
Sunday - striped chambray dress (blogged here). Today I finished and took photos of my Signature Style dress and wore it to the park where Corey and I chilled along the river reading books on a blanket. 

Monday - Blue denim Moss mini skirt (blogged here) with F21 tee and cardigan. Today was a holiday -- holler -- and I wore this to our friend's cookout. I love this skirt, but as with all straight fitted skirts, when you're sitting down you have to cross your legs or otherwise hold a pillow or your purse in your lap to hide that peek-a-boo gap thing. To avoid any indecent moments, I had to stand up and hover awkwardly around the fire pit all evening like a chump.

Days Twenty-Eight and Twenty-Nine
Tuesday - striped chambray dress again. I wanted to wear my new dress to work, but it turned kinda cold AGAIN so I had to put on tights and my granny shoes.

Wednesday - blue rayon feather dress (new, unblogged). I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I made this dress with the intention of it being my Signature Style entry. I wasn't sure about the print and how the whole thing would turn out, but I followed through with it until it was finished on Saturday morning. It didn't feel right -- too busy and bright, maybe -- so I vetoed it and ended up pre-washing, cutting and sewing the real Signature Style dress on Saturday night to be photographed on Sunday and submitted on Monday. I'm glad I made the switch and finished the new dress in time because I'm much happier with it. Anyway, the feather dress was made using McCalls 6503 (my first version blogged here) with a circley instead of pleated skirt.

Days Thirty and Thirty-One
Thursday - blue check dress (blogged here) and white Archer shirt (blogged here). I like this dress in theory, but I never want to wear it because I feel that the weird bodice darts call attention to an area I typically try not to draw attention to. Solution? Cover it up. Sorry the blue checks look distorted and wavy in this photo. It happened every time I resized the photo to fit into this collage. I can't be bothered to fool with it. I've already culled and edited 31 self-portraits for these MMM posts and I'm exhausted by the process.

Friday - black OWOP blouse (blogged here) and a skirt that I found in my mom's storage closet and hacked off the hem a few years ago. 


Weee! I did it, we did it. My first Me-Made-May was a pretty good run and I'm proud that I have handmade items that can stretch across 31 days with only a few repeats. Some observations:

  1. The most repeated items were my new blue Moss mini skirt and my white Archer shirt (three wears each). What does this mean?! I love Jen Beeman, I guess.
  2. There are still several handmade items in my closet that never made it on my body this month, mostly because they have poor fit, poor execution, or poor historic judgment on my part of what looks good on my body. Others I just never had an occasion for or are more winter-appropriate. 
  3. Most of what you see in my round-ups is what I wore to work, but I often changed when I went out to bars and such. A lot of my clothes are pretty cutesy or conservative, so I'm wondering what I can make that will better suit the other part of my life. Don't think I wear knee-length floral wrap dresses to work and then change to sequined bodycon minidresses or anything (ha!); I just want to make some clothes that are casual and flattering (= not jeans) but with more of an edge. Suggestions welcome, fashionistas. How do you balance your work/play wardrobe?
  4. The store-bought or thrifted items I wore were mostly tops, so I've concluded I need to make more tops, though I knew that before May started. I just never know what kind of tops to make and I'm not inspired by my current stash of patterns. Sounds tedious to trace off my current tops but maybe it's worth it.
  5. Oh yeah, I still need new shoes.

How did your MMM go, and did you discover anything about your wardrobe that may affect your sewing plans for the future? Whose MMM inspired you? I enjoyed following along with the me-made round-ups of Lauren of Lladybird, Sue of Sewin' Steady, Morgan of Crab & Bee, Rachel of House of Pinheiro and Anna of Paunnet, just to name a tiny few. I'd gladly snatch anything out of those girls' closets.

Thanks for following along. Onto another year of furious me-mading...