Me Made May 12 Collage

Well, I made it through my first Me-Made-May!  I only slipped up once during the week I was on vacation: I wore a Tommy Hilfiger shirt, sweater, and jeans because the weather was too cold and rainy for the dresses I packed in my suitcase (many of which I didn’t post pics of that week).  There’s a couple of things I realized about my sewn wardrobe this month:

  • I have a lot of warm-weather stuff, nothing much for colder temps
  • I love me some prints!  Lots and lots of graphic, loud, bold prints.
  • I need more sportswear – I make mostly dresses and I don’t have a lot of tops and bottoms
  • I have a lot of black in my sewn closet and black and white prints

The benefit of participating in the challenge is that it forced me to ignore my RTW store bought clothes, which I always gravitate towards, and spend time wearing the clothes that I put time and effort into.  Because really, we all should wear our handsewn clothes more and be proud of what we create.  I also know now how I should round out my sewn wardrobe and what kinds of items I should focus on creating so I have more of a wardrobe of clothes that coordinate instead of a closest of items that don’t go together at all.

Did you participate in MMM12?  How did you do?

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simplicity 2593

Pattern: Simplicity 2593 (Cynthia Rowley)
Size: 10 graded to a 12
Fabric: Cotton eyelet from Mood Fabrics in NYC; Kona cotton from stash

Shorts: Old Navy
Earrings: Macy’s
Hair pin: J Crew

This top is my attempt at copying a Calvin Klein eyelet pullover top I saw in a department store last spring.  It was a simple, short sleeve white blouse with no shaping and a silver exposed zipper in the back.  So so cute, yet so so expensive: $80! Here’s a picture of the original:

Calvin Klein Eyelet Top - the Inspiration

 On an unexpected shopping trip to Mood last summer, I stumbled upon some aqua colored fabric with an eyelet pattern almost exactly the same as the original Calvin Klein, and for $25, I had the fabric to make my own version.  (Note: I also found a matching silver zipper, but decided not to go through the trouble of creating a CB seam to sew the zipper in.)

simplicity 2593

Construction:

I made view A of this pattern back in 2009 and didn’t have much success – it fit well but the twisted band didn’t look good after I washed the tank.  A loose fit with a straight up-and-down cut was what I was looking for for this particular top, so I picked view D.  This went together in a flash: I cut out the top and finished during an afternoon last week while on vacation (I blogged preview pics about it here).

simplicity 2593

I did my usual mods of grading the pattern out from a 10 to a 12 from waist to hip and that was pretty much the only thing I needed to change on this pattern.  I ran into an issue when I tried to cut out the neckbinding: the eyelet pattern did not run the whole width of the fabric and I was stuck with some of the neckbinding looking like plain aqua cotton, some eyelet.  My mom pulled out a cotton from her stash that was almost the right color, but I liked the slight contrast and decided to use that in place of my eyelet.  I think it creates a nice, subtle design feature.

The top is a little boxy and I probably could have gone down a size, but it’s nice a cool to wear on muggy days like today.  It’s a great go-to and no-fuss pattern for a simple summer pop-over!

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Swirly Sundress

Pattern: McCall 6559, altered
Fabric: rayon poly jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics
Size: 8-10?

Wedges: Born Concept
Sunnies: Rayban

Swirly Sundress

This dress originally started out as a maxi dress, but now, as you can tell, it looks nothing like the dress on the pattern envelope.  Why?  Call it a happy accident: I cut out the dress thinking it would fit me just fine (I mean come on, it’s a simple knit tank dress) and when I finally tried it on, the neckline was indecently too low.  Like, my-bra-peeking-out-can’t-cover-it-up too low.

Hmm.  What to do.

That’s when I got the brainstorm for this cute little ruffled number!  You could use any simple maxi dress pattern, but here’s how I altered mine:

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1 – After I sewed the side seams (and took them in quite a bit…the 10, which is usually what I cut, wasn’t as tight as I liked it), I chopped off the top of the dress right underneath the armholes.  This gave me a long, tubular dress shape.

2 – Then, I cut about 5″ off of bottom of the dress and set that fabric aside for the bust ruffle. Since there was going to be a lot of skin showing up top, I opted to make the hem a modest knee length.

3 – Taking the reserved bottom of the dress I just cut off, I turned a narrow hem at the widest end (the bottom) and ran gathering stitches around the top (narrower than the bottom). With the wrong side of the ruffle facing the right side of the dress, I then eased the gathers of the ruffle around the top of the dress and stitched it in place using a 5/8″ seam.

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4 – I turned the raw edges of the top of the dress to the inside and stitched a 1/2″ wide elastic casing.  I cut the elastic snugly and threaded it into the casing and stitched the casing shut.  Also, stitching in the ditch is your best friend when it comes to elastic!

5 – I made long, narrow tubes of fabric for the halter straps and attached them to the front of the dress where I thought they looked best.

Swirly Sundress

It’s as easy as that!  I’m really happy with how this dress turned out – it could have been a disaster if I hadn’t come up with a solution to my poorly fitting maxi dress, and a waste of such nice fabric.

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MMM 12 - May 25

Me-Made-Item: Dress, McCalls 4868 (OOP)
Link to Original Review: N/A, made before I started my blog

Cardigan: INC

Wearability Report:

I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of this dress in the past seven years.  Yes, seven years ago, during my first summer out of college, I stitched up this halter dress and have worn it just about every summer since then.  I think that speaks pretty highly to its wearability!  I forgot all about this dress last summer (buried somewhere in a closet) and pulled it out to pack for my vacation this week.  The only bummer about this dress is that since I made it so long ago (specifically after my freshman year…read between the lines on that one) I need to take in the sides quite a bit – it fits a lot looser around the top now.  My cardigan covers up the fact that in the back, my strapless bra is showing and there’s gape-age around the sides.  I’ll have to pick it apart when I get home (gulp!) and nip in the sides a bit so that it fits again and I can wear it all summer long.

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MMM 12 - May 19

Me-Made Item: Jumpsuit, McCall’s 6083
Link to Original Review: May 31, 2011

Belt: J Crew
Shoes: Target
Lipstick: MAC Lovelorn

I just bought a new tripod and I forgot how difficult it is to frame a picture correctly!  I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it, it helps when my boyfriend aka “photographer” isn’t around to snap a quick pic.

MMM 12 - May 19

Wearability Report:

Honestly, this isn’t a garment I get a lot of wear out of.  I tend to wear it when I’m home kicking around the apartment in the summertime since it’s a comfy, unstructured top-to-bottom outfit solution.  I’m not 100% thrilled with the fit either, probably another reason why I don’t reach for it very often – I had to do some adjustments to the torso length and now I think I made it too long.  I’m also not a fan of how the back looks since it doesn’t help me out at all, if you catch my drift.  However, I’m really liking the look with my pink and white leopard print belt, it pulls it together a lot nicer than the black fabric belt I made to go with it.  The pant length drives me a little bit nuts as well…maybe I’ll hem them shorter so it’s not as awkward of a length.

Jumpsuits…I don’t see a lot of them around, probably due to the fact that they can be hard to pull-off and wear in public.  At least they’re comfy to wear around the house!

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