Sunday, July 10, 2011

Me-Made-June '11 - Finale and thoughts

Okay, I realize we are well into July, but I still need to post the final pictures from June and give some thoughts on the experience.

First, what I wore:
  • Monday - Simplicity 2690 blue tunic dress, sewn 2010. I wore this earlier in the month, but didn't get a picture of it. So a slight cheat of the rules.
  • Tuesday - New Look 6811 denim drawstring pants, again; worn with RTW purple t-shirt, again
  • Wednesday - Vogue 8565 green rayon jersey top, again; worn with RTW white capri pants
  • Thursday - self-drafted brown twill skirt, again
My favorite outfit for the week was Thursday's. I think it embodies the direction that I'm trying to go with my style as of late. That is one of the things this month as really brought to my attention. Why do I like some outfits, but not others? How can I be more consistent? Am I really that unphotogenic or is it my clothes?

Ang, at youlookfab recently posted a challenge to list Five Adjectives to Define Your Style. I know that I prefer a modern, classic style. I have tried to add classic pieces to my wardrobe, but often end up with outfits that look too conservative, which is not really me. Casual clothes are a must. I'm drawn to making clothes much too nice for everyday wear, so I need to think about the practicality of what I make. Some of my favorite outfits for the month also had a feminine element to them. I'm not talking frilly or flowery, but a skirt or a fitted top...something to make me feel lady-like. I need to sew more dresses. Finally, there is a bit of a rebel in me. I have to be just a little bit different from everyone else. That is one of the reasons I love to sew my own clothes. Chances are very slim that someone in my small town (or in the world) will have something just like me. So with these five words in mind - modern, classic, casual, feminine, and different - I am re-evaluating what I wear and what I sew. I am having fun and looking more

The month at a glance.
Finally, some behind-the-scenes pictures for your enjoyment.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Me-Made-June '11 - Week 4

We actually had rain this week. Several inches of glorious rain. The temperatures were not much cooler, however, and we're back to hot and humid conditions once again. As promised, this week I wore items that have been sewn in the last year.

I realized, after I made that challenge, that I only had a few things that I could wear. I modified my requirements and included some garments that I updated this week. (updating = new, right?) I also nearly finished another top that has been in my to-be-sewn basket since last year, Butterick 5328.

  • Monday - OOP Butterick 3344 cowl neck t-shirt, heavy mesh from Gorgeous Fabrics, sewn 2011; worn with RTW white capri pants
  • Tuesday - OOP Simplicity 4237 blue jersey skirt, sewn 2010; worn with RTW purple t-shirt
  • Wednesday - OOP Simplicity 3754 black denim, sewn 2009; McCall's 6077 purple gauze tank, sewn 2011; worn with RTW black cardigan
  • Thursday- New Look 6809 black eyelet top, sewn 2009 - sleeves shortened 2011; OOP Simplicity 4086 green linen-like fabric, sewn 2006? - I only wore this for the morning. I went to yoga class at noon and did not change out of my yoga clothes. {oops}
  • Friday - McCall's 4769 linen dress, sewn 2006? - modified into a skirt 2011; worn with RTW white t-shirt - I love the fabric of this dress (now skirt), but the bodice never fit correctly. I've been meaning to change it to just a skirt for a long time. This week I finally did and it only took about 30 minutes, too.
  • Saturday - OOP Butterick 4077 white linen pants, sewn 2006; purple gauze tank (again)
  • Sunday - black eyelet top (again); Simplicity 5914 skirt, sewn 2010
My favorite outfit of this week was Saturday's outfit. The linen and gauze fabrics were cool and comfortable, perfect for this time of year. I find myself really drawn to these loose, flowing styles this summer. I've been thinking quite a bit this month about my style and how it is evolving. I hope to get my thoughts about it organized for blog post next week. Until then, keep cool!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Me-Made-June '11 - Week 3

The weather continued to be hot this week, but since I spent a week in skirts, I thought I'd give pants a go. This week's outfit selection might seem a bit repetitive because I have only made four pairs of pants/shorts:
  • white linen pants - OOP Butterick 4077
  • gray linen-look pants - OOP Butterick 4077
  • denim drawstring pants - New Look 6811
  • khaki linen-look city shorts - OOP Simplicity 4366
  • Monday - OOP Butterick 4077 white linen pants, sewn 2006?; worn with a really old RTW blue t-shirt
  • Tuesday - New Look 6811 denim drawstring pants, sewn 2010; worn with U2 concert t-shirt and RTW scarf as belt
  • Wednesday - OOP Simplicity 4366, hemmed to city shorts length, khaki linen-like fabric, sewn 2007?; OOP Simplicity 4076 twist top, sewn 2009; Simplicity 2443 coral linen jacket, sewn 2010 - I quickly ditched the jacket...too hot!
  • Thursday - OOP Butterick 4077 gray pants linen-like fabric, sewn 2009; Jalie Criss-Cross top, sewn 2009
  • Friday - khaki shorts (again); Vogue 8565 green rayon jersey top, sewn 2009?; handmade earrings
  • Saturday - white pants (again); worn with RTW black tank and magenta t-shirt
  • Sunday - RTW white pants; McCall's 6203 draped top, sewn 2011!
My favorite outfit of the week was Tuesday's. I recently purchased the scarf and have been looking for ways to add it to my outfits. I used to wear scarves tied around my waist all the time in high school. This outfit made me feel young and playful. I cheated a bit on Sunday by wearing RTW pants, but I was tired of wearing all my handmade ones. Plus it gave me a jump start on my theme for week 4 - New Stuff! So much of what I have is several years old, to prove to myself (and the world) that I have been sewing recently, this coming week I plan to wear at least one item each day sewn within the last year.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Me-Made-June '11 - Week 2

I unofficially participated in Me-Made-May 2010, but this year I'm doing it for real. 

Basically, the challenge is to wear the garments that we create. I wear what I make all the time, but for the month of June I am joining others in a challenge to wear at least one handmade garment each day. As a bonus challenge for myself, I will try to not repeat an outfit. I find that I get into a rut and always put the same tops and bottoms together. For this month I'm going to try to be more creative with what I wear.

I didn't get any pictures of myself for the first week, but I did wear "me made" clothes. (Can I tell you, as an English major, that just sounds so wrong!) I'm sure I have pictures floating around of me in the various outfits. They were all constructed of garments that I have been wearing for the last three summers, at least.

The children helped me take a couple of pictures this week, but I figured out that I can do them myself with the camera propped up on the trampoline. Then I can only blame myself for cutting off my head or my feet in the pictures. LOL

The weather this week was hot, hot, hot. I find skirts and dresses much cooler than shorts, so I decided to wear only skirts and dresses this week.  (Note: the pictures are not in any order.)

  • Monday - OOP Simplicity 4086 blue denim, sewn 2006?; worn with RTW white t-shirt; handmade jewelry
  • Tuesday - OOP Butterick 5101 assymetrical skirt, sewn 2009; worn with RTW brown tank and magenta t-shirt
  • Wednesday - OOP Simplicity 4086 green linen-like fabric, sewn 2006?; OOP Butterick 4986 brown twist-top, sewn 2007; RTW white tank
  • Thursday - OOP Simplicity 4076 twist top, sewn 2008; self-drafted brown twill skirt, sewn 2009
  • Friday - OOP Simplicity 3754 black denim skirt, sewn 2009; RTW black tank and purple t-shirt
  • Saturday - OOP Simplicity 4237 blue jersey skirt, sewn 2010; Simplicity 2443 coral linen jacket, sewn 2010; RTW white t-shirt 
  • Sunday - OOP Simplicity 2883 brown jersey dress, sewn 2008
My favorite outfit of the week was either Wednesday's or Saturday's. I don't think I've ever worn the brown shirt with the green skirt before. The long jersey skirt is so comfortable and I still love that jacket I made last summer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Next Vintage Project - Butterick 6872

Last year I scored a copy of this lovely vintage pattern on Ebay in a size 16:

It is Butterick 6872; ca. early to mid 1950s; One Piece Dress: Shoulder Spanning Yoke. Gay and casual - interesting details: shoulder-spanning yoke that ends in a simulated tab, deep hem band. Collar and yoke cut-in-one. (A) Yoke and hem band cut crosswise for stripes. (B) Contrast yoke and band. (C) One fabric.

I just adore the striped version. It is a more interesting version of this dress from Land's End:
I will be making it as part of the Pattern Review Vintage Pattern Contest.  I have until June 30th to complete it. I think it will be easier than last year's vintage pajama project as I will not have to deal with modifying a pants pattern. The pattern tissue is also printed, which is much easier than those confusing dots. I will have to grade the bodice up to my proper size. I've got the bodice pieces all traced out.

I will be using this linen blend fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics

It will be beautiful, no? I may have to invest in a crinoline to wear with it. We'll see.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm back!! (again)

As much as I love my children, it is nice to have some time to just be by myself, so as a Mother's Day treat I am having a lovely afternoon alone at Barnes & Noble. I have perused a fashion magazine, drank a mocha frappuccino and browsed the new books. I gave the blog a new look for spring/summer and am now doing some writing.

So how am I doing on my goals for the year? I have been sewing. I am nearly finished with my fourth project since February. I have made a skirt and shrug for my oldest daughter, Junebug. I am nearly finished with the baby afghan I started in January. I've traced out a pattern for my next vintage project. I have a draft written for one project review. I was just waiting to get some pictures taken before posting it. I have purchased more new fabric, but the outfit I made for Junebug was from last year's stash. I have obviously not blogged consistently, but I'm working on it. Here's a preview of what's to come:

Look for updates later this week!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Finished Friday - January Projects

My January project was a simple a-line skirt with lining in a plaid print fabric from the bargain bin at Hobby Lobby. It went together quickly, but needed the hem to be marked and stitched.  That's it...just a hem...but about the time I finished stitching it I was three months pregnant with my last baby and knew it wouldn't fit for a while. So I put it aside and it hung in my closet for the next three years.  Eek!

I finally got tired of seeing it unfinished and wanted to finish something in January, so one night I had the husband mark the hem and spent about 15 minutes before church stitching it. The hem is not pretty, so no pictures. (My machine does not do a very good blind hem...yes I will blame the machine and not the fact that I did it in a rush to just be finished.) Finally!

 The pattern was McCall's 3341.
This is a very basic pattern with various lengths. It is a bit more a-line than the pictures suggest. Perhaps it is because of the size I made. I think I cut it at the below the knee length, but shortened it to just at the knee. Sorry no pictures of me wearing it.

I wish I could say that there are not any other old projects hanging around in my sewing room, but there are a few more half-finished garments that I hope to complete this year. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring Wardrobe Inspiration Board

I have a whole long post in the works about my spring wardrobe plans, but it is very late and I need to get to sleep. So I'm just posting the inspiration board for now. I don't know what to call it. Any thoughts?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Good-bye Scarf

I had been wanting to make something for my good friend Amy, especially when she announced in December that she was moving. She had admired an open-work scarf that I had and wanted something similar. I had purchased the scarf, but knew that I could find a pattern that would be similar.

I remembered a pattern at Knitting Daily by Kathleen Cubley that would work. Kathleen calls it the "Vacation Scarf." It is a simple pattern once you get the hang of it. I think I ripped out the first few inches about a dozen times before I did.

I used a bamboo/silk yarn in a luscious purple...Amy's favorite color...and mine. I must admit I had a hard time parting with both her and the scarf.

She happily reports that it is keeping her warm in her new northern abode. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm back!!

I realize that is has been some time since I last posted.  Life always seems to keep me very busy in the fall and winter months. This year was no exception between moving to a new house and other outside engagements, I have not made much time to sew and work on projects. With the sunny days returning and the house getting in order, I am finally setting down some goals for sewing this year:

1. Finish at least one project for myself each month.
  I would love to complete another wardrobe contest, but more importantly...I just need new clothes! My fall/winter wardrobe is severely lacking. My spring/summer wardrobe needs new life. I have fabric and patterns and inspiration in abundance. What I seem to lack is time. My first main step, then, is to spend at least 30 minutes in my sewing room each day. (Yes, I now have a whole ROOM for sewing instead of the crammed corner of my bedroom.)  I will revamp my wardrobe, complete projects and use up my fabric stash (see goal #6).

2. Sew more for others
. I am not a "selfish" seamstress and actually enjoy sewing for other people. I  want to use my talents to benefit others and have a plan to do more sewing for charity projects, gifts, alterations, and custom sewing.  So far this year I have finished a scarf for a friend who moved away, hemmed four pairs of pants for a new client and altered a swim suit for another friend. These projects did not take much time and will be a blessing for them. I have a friend who sews purses with all the profits going to support missionaries. I've always admired that and will hopefully be doing something similar this year (perhaps opening an Etsy store).

3. Knit and crochet more.
I like to have a knitting or crochet project going that I can take with me when I'm out and about or while watching television.  As I said before, I finished a scarf in January and also started a baby blanket. The baby received two other handmade blankets at his baby shower, so I'm going to finish this one and donate it to a charity in his honor. I also want to finish the sweater I started for my youngest last year (I hope it will fit her!) and make a spring scarf for myself.

4. Sew more vintage patterns. I really enjoyed the challenge of my pajama project last year and hope to sew more vintage things this year. I have a couple of patterns from the 1970s that I want to do and a lovely number from the 1950s.

5. Review my projects. I have been away from the sewing community on PatternReview for a few months now. I have missed all their helpful advice and fellowship and want to post at least one project review each month on there (and here). This goes along nicely with goal #1.

7. Use what I have. I have not purchased any new fabric in a long time. In fact, I am not going to allow myself to buy anything new until I have used a good portion of what I have. I have so many projects started and planned, that I could probably sew for the rest of the year without buying anything new. I don't want to commit myself to that drastic a step, however, but I will make a dent, perhaps keeping track of the yardage that I use this year.

8. Blog more consistently. Finally, I want to share what I am doing on a regular basis. This will help me practice writing and give me accountability for my other goals. I plan to post three times each week. On Monday I will post about my "Mission" work.  I will post about my wardrobe plans and progress on Wednesday. Friday, will be a post about finished garments and/or a review.

Hope your year is getting off to a great start!
~ Jennifer