Reflections on Me Made May 2013

Me Made June 2011 was one of the reasons I started this little crafty blog, however last year I didn’t join in for whatever reason. This year my pledge was:

I, Alison of anotherlittlecraftycreation , sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13.
I endeavour to wear all me-made garments (excluding bras, socks, tights and sports wear) each day for the duration of May 2013. I am allowed to wear RTW knitwear no more than 3 times a week.

Despite having not purchased any RTW clothes for over a year and a half (except a Christmas jumper that would have taken me a decade to knit!) I was apprehensive about how well I could meet this challenge. I may not have purchased new clothes but I have some old favourites that I live in. To make things easier in the mornings, at the end of April I vaccum-packed* all my RTW clothes away under my bed so my wardrobe was just me-mades.

The weather was very changeable, as I suppose is to be expected in Britain, so you can tell when it got cold and rainy in the picture below. I can’t believe I started the month with post-work ice-lollies in the park!

MMMay 2013

 

 

Here are my thoughts on the month: (this is longer than I intended it to be, sorry!)

  • There are two clear winners in the most-worn sewn-garment category (excluding my Minoru raincoat which was almost worn daily due to the weather); my blue Jeanius jeans and my new black linen trousers. I’m not hugely surprised by this since the weather has been pretty gloomy (not cold enough for boots, but too cold for skirts) and they allowed me to wear my printed tops.
  • I’m not sure if I would have coped if I hadn’t made the emergency black trousers! I like sewing exciting patterned garments, but actually I need to sew some boring basics to go with them. I find it really hard to choose plain fabrics when I am shopping as my eye gets distracted by all the lovely prints, but obviously I need something neutral to pair with the prints.
  • My (unblogged) red ruched top, and my 1-hour striped t-shirt got a lot of wear; plain colours and patterns that were easy to wear and went with lots of options. I have already cut out some boring simple and versatile tops for the summer.
  • When the weather was nice I loved wearing dresses! I don’t feel comfortable in skin-coloured tights, so in an ideal world I would go from wearing wooly tights and boots straight to sandals, hence the couple of weeks of trousers.
  • I have analysed what I wore each day and made some lovely pie-charts!outfit typesOver the whole month there was a lean towards trouser-based outfits, but this was massively skewed by weekend and holiday wearing of jeans. I wore lots of dresses to work, probably because they are so easy to throw on with a cardigan in the summer, with minimal thought or planning; I really like the pictures on the days when I was wearing dresses so I think I should follow Dolly Clackett‘s example and dress up more during my leisure time (she always wears gorgeous dresses, whatever she is doing, and has been my favourite MeMadeMay-er to watch)
  • I planned to allow myself to wear RTW cardigans but ended up not having to. I wore my Miette and Basic Bella cardigans most days, rediscovered a purple shrug I had made to wear to a wedding, and then made a black cardigan.
  • The colours I wore in May were different from what I usually wear. Due to mainly wearing red and turquoise cardigans, my outfits contained much more blue than usual; Normally I wear a pink or purple M&S cardigan to brighten up an outfit and have accessories to match, but not wearing them in May created some other wardrobe orphans. I do really like red and navy as a combination, so will have to make an effort to wear more of it.
  • You have to do washing regularly if you only have 8 pairs of underpants. I know readers who are parents will find it hard to believe, but living on my own I can last over a week before I fill a wash. Today I am finding RTW pants just aren’t as comfy, so I have cleared out my underwear drawers  and have some jersey scraps to make some more custom-made pairs.
  • I am almost at the stage where I can have a fully me-made wardrobe! I have tried to go clothes shopping, but I am not satisfied with the fit/construction/design of anything anymore. Yesterday I unpacked my RTW clothes and thought carefully about what clothes I had missed wearing. Anything I didn’t desperately want to wear went in a bag to go to Oxfam. I filled a blue IKEA bag with unwanted clothes; some were RTW and some were my old creations that I just don’t wear anymore. donations Seriously full bag, my shoulder hurts today from carrying it down the road.

I really didn’t expect my thoughts to be so numerous, so apologies for all the random ramblings and thanks for reading this far. If you took part in Me Made May, is there anything you have learned about yourself and your wardrobe?

*I cannot recommend vaccum-packing enough, especially for those who live in tiny flats. I have half my wardrobe (summer or winter) put away and it really makes a difference space-wise. Plus it is super fun to vacuum-pack a double winter duvet away into a tiny little space! My brother may disagree with this, after I condensed most of my wardrobe into one giant suitcase when I moved; I didn’t realise how heavy it was (solid clothes, no air) until he carried it up three flights of stairs!

Me Made May 2013 – Week 5

Here is Me Made May Week 5…

Week 5

Day 27
Refashioned maxi-skirt (pre-blog)
Grey striped kimono tee (unblogged)
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 28
Black Jeanius Jeans (unblogged)
Floral jersey top
Minoru raincoat

Day 29
Blue Jeanius Jeans
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 30
Blue Jeanius Jeans
Stripy-yoke long-sleeved top (unblogged)
Minoru raincoat

Day 31
United Stashes of Awesome Skirt
Red Ruched Burda Top (unblogged)
NO JACKET! I left the house in just a top!

This week was even less inspiring than last week. It is half-term so spent most of the week lazing around at home working, sewing or just chilling, so not hugely exciting outfits for popping to the shops. Monday was glorious sunshine so I took my hand-sewing to the park to make the most of it, and it is a good job I did because the weather has been horrid since (hence all the pictures featuring my Minoru this week!). Tuesday was pouring with rain but I had to pop out to do errands, and made an exciting discovery on the way home which I will tell you all about in due course (I am waiting for some supplies to get delivered…)

I am analysing my month and will have my reflections on the challenge soon, maybe with some snazzy graphs and charts. Have any of my lovely readers been taking part in Me Made May this year? What are your thoughts now it is over?

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

FO: BurdaStyle Turquoise Couture Jacket

Two months after planning and deliberating and after three solid weeks of sewing and construction, I have finally finished my BurdaStyle spring jacket, using couture techniques! This has been a bit of a marathon project, but in line with my sewlution I was determined to make it as good as I could. So here it is, my couture Chanel-esque jacket…


couture jacket 203b

I took lots of pictures now that I have a fresh battery for my remote-controlled clicker-thingy and had a bit of a photo-shoot (complete with outfit changes) in my building’s hallway. I suppose if I was doing it properly I would have painted my chipped-nails, however I have been putting off a good tidy-up until the jacket was finished (the bouclé makes SO much mess, there was no point vacuuming before it was completed) and I always make the mistake of doing my nails before I do a job that ruins them!

PicMonkey Collage

I love the colour of the jacket with navy and white – perfect for summer – but will have to see what other outfits it works with. There are a couple of tweaks I had to make (poppers aren’t as strong as pins over a large moving bust, so I ended up having a lower v-neck than planned…) and a few adjustments I am going to make after seeing it in pictures; I added weights at the front but the jacket really needs a chain-weight to pull the back down as well, and the sleeve lining is a touch too long.

couture jacket 132b

You can see lots of the couture details (welt pockets, hand-stitching, etc) in my previous post but here are a few details I am rather proud of; the hand set-in sleeve head (done on the first attempt), the covered poppers/press-studs, and the invisible hand-stitching.

details

The images of the jacket in the magazine (and on the website) didn’t inspire me much, but I loved the front cover styling. Here is my version – can I pull off the stylish model pose?!

inspiration

I originally planned to get this made before Me Made May started (I didn’t quite realise the time this would take!) and have only just managed to complete it before the end of the month. I wonder if the weather will let me wear it before the month is over? Now if you’ll excuse me, after all that concentration, I’m off to whip up some 1-hour jersey tops!

*****
Turquoise Couture Jacket

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2013 #106
Modifications: serious FBA, modified neckline due to popper-pressure over bust!

Fabric: Laurent Garigue cotton bouclé in turquoise and white, multi-coloured dot viscose lining, all from Stone Fabrics; underlined and interfaced in silk-organza from John Lewis.
Notions: 3/4 press-studs/poppers (will add chain weight)
Approximate spend: £65

Time taken: 2 weeks fitting, 3 weeks constructing (including 3 days of half-term holiday)

Me Made May 2013 – Week 4

Here is Me Made May Week 4…

Week 4

Day 20
Basic Bella Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Black-striped detail Burda Sadie top (unblogged)

Day 21
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Stripy Tiramisu Dress

Day 22
Black Corduroy Skirt
Refashioned Burda Blouse (same post as skirt)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 23
Magpie Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 24
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Red Ruched Burda Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan
M
inoru Jacket
Flickr Theme Friday was “Home town” so I lazily took a self-portrait on the tube home.

Day 25
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Blue Jeanius Jeans
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 26
1-hour striped t-shirt (unblogged)
Summertime Maxi Skirt

Hmmm… not a very inspiring week this week. Work was crazy and the weather was very British (some freezing days where my heating came on, and a mini-heatwave today). There was a narrowly-averted MeMadeMay disaster when my washing didn’t dry and I almost ran out of Me Made underwear, but I found a test-pair that I could wear that day. Must remember 8 pairs of pants is not enough for someone lazy and doing washing.

I have made some progress on my couture jacket and the outer-part is almost done (just 17hours to set in the sleeves!) so I hoping there will be a sneak peak of the construction soon. It is half-term and I have thirty end-of-year reports, so I am pretty sure I’ll find plenty of crafty distractions!

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 3

Here is Me Made May Week 3…

Week 3

Day 13
Basic Bella Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)
Spotty Sorbetto Blouse (unblogged)

Day 14
Floral Sorbetto Blouse
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 15
IKEA Birdie Skirt (before blogging)
Another Sadie Long-sleeved Top (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan

Day 16
Self-drafted Black Cardigan
Floral Long-sleeved Top
Self-drafted Linen Trousers (unblogged)

Day 17
Refashioned Maxi Skirt (before blogging)
Grey Striped Sadie Cowl
Purple Shrug (unblogged)
The Flickr ThemeFriday was “hats” so I piled all the hats for Team 1’s assembly on to  my head, in tribute to the Spectrum ZX “Mr Silly’s Hat Game” I played as a child.

Day 18
Magpie Top (unblogged)
Black Jeanius Jeans (never got around to blogging)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 19
Black Jeanius Jeans (never got around to blogging)
Liberty Self-Portrait Blouse

This week the weather was gloomy and so was my mood (my knitting-injured wrist has got worse after I began using it again, despite not looking at yarn) and I think it shows in my outfits; No pretty summer dresses but a lot of black. My newly-made black trousers and cardigan got a lot of wear this week, highlighting the need for some sensible basics in my wardrobe among the crazy prints!

Still lots more unblogged garments. I had been hoping to show you my new trousers but have been side-tracked by catching a bad cold and having lots of work to do; Next week is going to be hectic, so you may have to wait until half-term for some new garment posts.

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Self-drafted cardigan

Today was a gloomy day; weather was grey and I woke up with a sore throat. I didn’t feel like wearing a jacuzzi bright cardigan, and then remembered that I had experimented with making this cardigan last weekend when I realised that lots of clothes didn’t got with aqua or red cardigans. It was super cosy and I got told I looked very smart (obviously I refused the compliment by asking people to guess how much it cost!)

image

I used my jersey bodice block, cut the back and sleeves as normal, and cut the front in two parts with an extra inch on each side. I tried it on and pinned where I wanted the neckline to be before cutting the v-neck shape. Then I added folded bands around the neckline and sleeves, and hemmed the bottom (not enough fabric for hem bands) I decided not to add buttons as I didn’t want to risk buttonholes on the ribbed jersey.

image

The fabric was a remnant from the Peter Jensen sample sale and half had been used to make a polo/cowl neck jumper, so this cardigan cost a whopping £1.50, however this meant I had VERY little fabric to play with. I had way too much ease in this make as I didn’t account for the weight and stretch of the ribbing- I took a good few inches from the side seams to get a nice fitting silhouette.

image

Quick post on a quick make. Sorry about the phone pictures, due to being full of cold. I had planned to show you my new trousers this week, but a lovely child at school tapped my leg with a chalk-covered hand; photos after they have been in the wash!

Me Made May 2013 – Week 2

Here is Me Made May Week 2…

week 2

Day 6 – Choir singing, hence all black
Black chiffon Sorbetto (unblogged)
Black corduroy “Ginger” skirt adaption

Day 7
Stripy Tiramisu Dress (unblogged)
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan
Sandals! Did NOT wear Minoru*!

Day 8
Basic Bella Cardigan
Piped Polka Dot Skirt
1 hour stripy t-shirt (unblogged)

Day 9 – School class picture day
Floral Cambie
Purple Shrug (unblogged)

Day 10
United Stashes of Awesomeness Skirt
Grey Striped Sadie Cowl (both blogged together)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 11
Self-drafted jeans
Burda Ruched Raglan t-shirt (unblogged)
Self-drafted Black Cardigan (unblogged also)

Day 12
1 hour stripy t-shirt (unblogged)
Refashioned Splodgy Maxi Skirt (made before-blogging)
M&S pink cardigan

Night time
I have been wearing my polka dot pyjama party pjs this week

Eeeek, I’ve worn a lot unblogged garments this week. I will try to remedy this soon for the recent makes (including this weekend’s latest creation). The weather cooled down after the bank holiday “heatwave” which meant I could wear long-sleeves to give me more wardrobe options this week.

After a week of the challenge I realised I didn’t have many plain garments to match with my crazy patterns. There were three options; Wear crazy clashing prints, wear nothing but dresses for the month, or make something. I chose option three. The stripy t-shirt was whipped up in an hour using left-overs from my Tiramisu and making up the pattern from my jersey block to give it inbuilt cap-sleeves. You will probably see more of these before the month is finished!

*All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket; this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

Me Made May 2013 – Week 1

So I don’t overwhelm you with daily posts about my MMMay outfits I will post a round up of the week every Sunday. So here is the first week…

Week 1Day 1
Stripy Tiramisu Dress (unblogged)
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 2
Floral Cambie Dress
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 3
Spotty Tiramisu Dress
Jacuzzi Miette Cardigan

Day 4
Self-drafted indigo jeans
Navy dotty Sorbetto (unblogged) worn with RTW vest top
Basic Bella Cardigan

Day 5
Denim Traveller Dress
(no cardigan yet as am chilling at home)

All days I have worn new me-made underpants and my Minoru rain jacket (worn at 7am and 7pm and carried throughout the day); this will apply for the rest of the month, unless specified.

There were a lot of dresses this week, but I have sorted my wardrobe and got washing on the go so hopefully more separates next week. I am still debating whether I can survive without trousers at work for a month, or if I need to make some light-weight Thurlows…

Pants!

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments about my spotty Tiramisu dress 🙂 If you liked that dress then you are in for a treat tomorrow when Me Made May ’13 starts! I have a new make ready to wear for the first time tomorrow…

I spent lots Sunday sewing and watching a Toy Story marathon (the 4 year olds in my class are singing “You’ve got a friend in me” for our assembly this week, with cute “best friend” photos on the screen behind them, so of course I had to research!). I made a dress and realised that, unless I want to spend the whole month of May doing laundry, then I’d need a few more pairs of underpants. Daddy and big brother, I know I pester you to read my blog, but you have permission to stop reading this now!

pants! 1

I used the Ohhh Lulu pattern for retro high-waisted panties (Gertie’s recommendation I think), with a few modifications. I don’t like teeny tiny pants but these were seriously high waisted! I made two variations; the first was 2″ shorter than the pattern and are belly button height, and the second version were 2″ shorter than that!pants! 4

The original pattern also had 4 panels, however I combined the sides and back to reduce the seams. I like the look of the front panel contrasting with the back/sides, and it was a great way to mix and match scraps. I used up almost all of my jersey off-cuts and even refashioned some old tshirts (one that was made from a £3 remnant when I first learnt how to sew 3 years ago, bargain!)pants! 3

Now I’m sorted with Me Made undergarments, I need to rustle up some spring-weight trousers or spend the next month at work in just skirts and dresses.

Me Made May 2013

We are over half way through April so it is time to think about So Zo’s next Me Made challenge.

I, Alison of anotherlittlecraftycreation , sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13.
I endeavour to wear all me-made garments (excluding bras, socks, tights and sports wear) each day for the duration of May 2013. I am allowed to wear RTW knitwear no more than 3 times a week.

This shouldn’t be too hard, since I haven’t bought any clothes for over a year and a half (except one Christmas jumper). Except it turns out that my lightweight work trousers are approaching their second birthday. Hmm… Maybe I’ll need to rustle up some non-woollen trousers or live in skirts.

I recently went through all my jersey scraps and cut out lots of pieces to make some Oh Lulu (not so) high waisted knickers. I started a production line but never got around to finishing the edges and elastic, so I need to move this to the top of my to-do list asap.

Is anyone else participating in Me Made May this year?