Friday, May 31, 2013

Me-Made-May '13: The finish line!

Hello again! So today marks the end of my first Me-Made-May, and I managed to complete my goal of wearing all six of my handmade garments.

Handmade item number five is the Lisette Passport Dress (Simplicity 2209). This was about the point I was starting to catch on, and I actually worked on the fit before cutting out the fabric. I was over the moon thrilled with it by the time I finished, even though the neckline isn't totally symmetrical and the zipper sticks.

I wore it to finally buy the wood to build that headboard I started working on, oh, you know, three months ago. I have an irrational fear of home improvement stores (completely ridiculous, I know, but it's absolutely true) because I am pretty much the opposite of handy. It is right up there with returning purchases and scheduling appointments on my list of mundane things I. do. not. want. to. do. Does anybody else dread weird things? No, just me?

Anyway, I channeled my inner Ron Swanson, bought the supplies and learned to use a drill that afternoon. Here's a sneaky peak at the frame I built:

Not too shabby, right? I'm hoping to finish this weekend and do a full write-up next week.

And, finally, handmade item number six is the tank-top dress I made last year, blogged here.

So what did I learn from all this? Mostly that I need a haircut something fierce, looking at these photos. More importantly though, it's been fun to see how far I've come in the two years (off and on) that I've been sewing clothes. I'm putting Me-Made-May in the win column.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Me-Made-May '13 Progress Report

Hello again! The weather turned sunnier this past week and I was able make some serious progress on my Me-Made-May '13 pledge to wear all 6 of my handmade garments in the month of May.

First up, I steeled myself and wore this skirt (Simplicity 2226) to work:

This was pre-blog, and it was before I figured out that many of the Big 4 patterns have a ton of ease and I should factor in the the finished garment measurements when choosing a size. I had to take this in by a ridiculous amount - something like 1 1/2" on each side. I caught my reflection in the elevator that day, and I thought to myself, "Hey, this skirt doesn't look too bad!", only to come home and discover the zipper had busted. I literally had to cut myself out of the skirt. Bugger.

Next, I wore my favorite make yet, my Lisette Market Top (Simplicity 2211), originally blogged here.

I forgot to take a picture that day, so I am rushing out the door with treats to a movie night at a friend's house. We watched Birdemic: Shock and Terror with Rifftrax - highly recommended if you like Sci Fi B movies. The trailer is here - the "special effects" are so spectacularly terrible for a film made in 2010 it has to be seen to be believed.

Next up, my very first garment that passed for wearable, a modified version of Vogue 1236:

This was named one of Pattern Review's best patterns of 2011, but back when I made this I was having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that pattern sizes have very little correlation with RTW sizes. I cut a straight size six, and miraculously the top half fit decently (thanks to the huge amount of ease), but it was, to my horror, very tight around the hips. Like, I had to shimmy into what was clearly supposed to be a breezy, loose dress. Long story short, I turned it into a top, but I don't wear it much because I don't like the self-belt much and I haven't found a better substitute.

Four down, two to go!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day and Me-Made-May

Hello again! I have to admit that I have not been doing very well at my Me-Made-May pledge. It has been a very cold spring in these parts, and nearly all of my handmade garments are summer items. It got up to 70 today, so maybe there's hope yet!

I wore my Renfrew out today on errands. I am fortunate enough to live in a pretty walkable neighborhood and so my husband and I walk to get our groceries each week. Along the way, we have to pass through an over-stocked section of plants that Brian has taken to calling "the jungle". So obviously this picture was necessary:

If I had photoshop I would have added in a dinosaur. Alas.

It's gotten a little stretched out after a couple of washes, but I'm still really happy with it. I definitely need to make more of these with nicer fabric.

Also, since it's Mother's Day, I'd like to say thank you to three women who have been incredibly supportive of my sewing endevours.

First up, my Grandmother, who passed away about two weeks ago. She was a wonderful, caring person and a talented sewist. She taught me how to sew when I was about 8, starting with this "crazy quilt" of fabric scraps. Those first lessons stuck with me, and I was able to pick back up more than a decade later. I'm incredibly grateful.

Second, is my mom, who, in addition to being kind, generous and a hell of a lot of fun, has supported every hobby and interest I've ever had. The older I get, the more I appreciate the way she encouraged me to pursue my interests, without judgement, even when they changed monthly. It's thanks to her that I have a set of interchangeable knitting needles and a dress form, because she wanted to me to have the proper tools.

Awesome graduation gift
And third, is my mother-in-law, who is kind of my sewing fairy godmother. I start to pine for a serger, and she just happens to have one collecting dust in a closet. A year later, I start to shop for an upgrade to my starter sewing machine, she just happens to buy herself a Bernina and lets me have her old Viking. It's magical. And a little spooky.

So a very happy mother's day to all of them, and all of the other mothers out there. You are the best. Seriously.