Me Made May is almost halfway over and I have yet to do a proper assessment of my outfits! Prepare for the monster post of the century. The weather here in Chicago has been crazy- the first day of the month was ridiculously cold and gross, and today it’s muggy and really warm. I think that’s actually a good thing for Me Made May…it gives you a good idea of your wardrobe in all types of weather. I’m going to do a mini-review of the patterns, as I’ve got a huge backlog of makes that need to be recorded, and also assess how comfortable and happy I was in each outfit each day. Get a drink and settle in… I’ve got a lot to say, as usual.
Day One: It was so cold this day; I remember I had no idea what I was going to wear. The top is the Pavlova top by Cake Patterns, the skirt is a cheap knit miniskirt from H&M that is like Colette’s new Mable only less nice, and that pair of sweater tights is my last pair of black tights. All my other tights have ripped by this point in the season.
I’m debating whether I should do proper write-ups of my backlog of makes, or if I should just do mini-reviews as I wear them? This pink wrap top is flattering but I think I need to go down a size. I was looking for something more form-fitting and I think this pattern can handle being sized-down. It’s meant for a more relaxed fit and the fact that it’s cropped so high isn’t exactly my favorite. Additionally, all the reviews on patternreview.com warned me that the lapped seam on the neckline was confusing but that the tutorial made things clearer. Sadly, I did not find the online tutorial to be very helpful because it was essentially just the diagram from the pattern instructions, only slightly bigger. Maybe making another version would help, as I’m not ready to give up on this pattern!
How I Felt In This: Slightly frumpy. I don’t think this silhouette is my best one. Maybe a fuller skirt, or a longer version of the top with higher-wasited jeans?
Day Two: This was a Friday, and i the reason I’m smiling nicely is because my boyfriend was making me laugh by pretending my iPhone was a laser gun. The purple teeshirt is a Sewaholic Renfrew I made at about this time last year. The fit isn’t perfect, but it was my first successful version after my total flop of a muslin. I’ve since perfected the fit and ideal fabric choice on this so I get the perfect teeshirt every time. I also leave off the sleeve and hem bands now, just turn raw edges under, reinforce with Stitch Witchery, and double-needle topstitch that shit.
How I Felt In This: Pretty good, but that’s mostly because I was wearing my favorite cardigan. I always feel the most comfortable in a jeans and tee combo.
Day Three: I wore a black Renfrew and didn’t get a picture.
Day Four: I wore black Cake Espressos and didn’t get a picture. Days Three and Four were the weekend and I felt good and casual in my knits.
Day Five: Dixie DIY Ballet Dress. This dress got by far the most compliments in person, which is ironic because right after I made it, I decided that a bird-print dress is a little too “Zoey Deschanel strumming a ukelele” for me. But you can’t beat rayon jersey for comfort, and this was perfect for a day at work. I work at two jobs with different dress codes, so I like to look pulled-together but not too fancy.
Construction-wise, this dress has some issues. I lengthened the front bodice and not the back bodice because I was too lazy to do a proper FBA and I’m amazed that it looks as good as it does. Also, I should have stabilized the shoulders with some elastic and working with jersey is annoying. But it’s a cute dress and I’m glad I learned how to sew with jersey from making it. At this point, even my fail sewing projects have the benefit of teaching me a million things.
How I Felt Wearing This: Pretty, but not quite like myself. It sounds boring but this would have felt more “me” in a solid-colored jewel tone. Also, short sleeves might have been good.
Day Six: Deer and Doe Plantain Tee. I made this shirt last weekend and was very proud of myself for waiting until Tuesday to wear it. Usually I wear my makes the very next day, if possible. What funny to me is that I made this as a carbon copy of my wearable muslin for the same pattern (size 40 graded to size 38 in waist and hips, but with the length of the size 40) and this one fits so differently than the first. I think it’s because the wearable muslin is rayon and this is cotton. I did a prewash, but extra shrinking could totally have happened after the fact. Rayon is known to do that.
How I Felt Wearing This: I got a lot of compliments on this outfit, too, and I felt very “me” in it.
Day Seven: Wrap dress made from vintage Butterick 3632. This is cute and always makes me feel pulled-together. I had a big day this day, and I needed a little boost.
How I Felt Wearing This: Confident and maybe a little dressy, but not in a bad way. This is a good “big meeting and interviews” dress for me.
Day Eight: Ah, the good old Palmer/Pletsch shift dress. This was my wearable muslin. I’ve now made three versions of this pattern and I think I’ve finally convinced myself that the unwearbly tight sleeves/back are a fit problem and not just me being bad at installing sleeves. As a result this dress doesn’t get all the wear it deserves, and yet I’ m too precious about my sewing projects to be able to get rid of it.
How I Felt Wearing This: Uncomfortable, honestly. Reaching for things and moving around a lot, which I have to do for my job, was difficult. It’s also interesting to me that this was the first time in May I wore a me-made woven item. Knitz 4eva plz.
Day Nine: It was raining buckets this day. I wore a black Sewaholic Renfrew. Amazing staple piece, perfect V-neck, fit and finishing techniques finally perfected by me. I have three more of these planned for this Summer. Hey, if it ain’t broke…
How I Felt In This: A black tee and skinny jeans? Are you kidding me? If I had to wear one outfit for the rest of my life it would be a black -neck tee and jeans. I’m not boring, I just know what I like.
Day Ten: My best friend from college was in town this weekend and it was hot and gorgeous outside, so I wore this rayon shell, also from McCall’s 6355, out for a day of adventuring. Same problem with the fit in the arms/back. I have to sit down with this at some point and fix it. Good thing Palmer/Pletsch are the fitting experts or whatever.
How I Felt In This: I like the general vibe of the outfit but I can’t deal with things I can’t move around in. Can anyone?
Day Eleven: Another Deer and Doe Plantain. Wore this for a day of strolling around the lakefront with my roommates, boyfriend, and best friend. I need a haircut because I keep defaulting to the tiny ponytail. This is my first wearble muslin Plantain, which now has a hole in the armpit. It is a great print that I really love, but as I said above, it comes up way shorter than my newer, cotton version.
How I Felt In This: Great! I love cutoffs and breezy tees when it’s hot out, and this shirt is a good example of a floral print I like; I tend to go for more abstract prints. Do I need to make myself some shorts for summer or can I just wear the same one pair of gross cutoffs forever?
Day Twelve: That’s today! My roommate Matt took this photo today, hence my delighted face (lol JK Matt you know I super hate you). I wore this elastic waist lawn skirt, made from the same pattern as my first wearable garment. My mom gave me the pattern and helped me cut out the pieces when I first because interested in sewing again two years ago, and I return to this pattern sometimes when I need a quick fix. It’s easy, but I thing I need something with a more defined waistband due to my body shape.
How I Felt In This: Like a Mad Men extra or something, yuck. Cute, but not like myself. The belt helps the skirt look more flattering, but a wide pleather buckle just isn’t realistic in Chicago humidity. Where are my cutoffs, boohoo.
So that’s it, all caught up! Basically what we have learned so far is that I dress like a nine-year-old boy and I only like to sew with knits. (BTW I totally do not get this whole thing on the blogosphere about being afraid of knits? Hello! No closures! Closures are my worst nightmare and also if you’re a girl with tig oles, like myself, knits are your best friends ever. More people should sew with knits!) WHAT WILL WE LEARN ABOUT ME NEXT WEEK?