Me Made May 2017 recap

My pledge for Me Made May this year was to wear at least one item of me made (or refashioned) clothing each day in May. And I managed it! Yay! I remember when I first started sewing it was a couple of years before I felt like I had enough clothes to be able to take part, so to have enough to wear something every day is pretty cool.

Week One:

Day 1: black simplicity 2451 with my newest charity shop jumper; Day 2: navy spotty rushcutter dress; Day 3: navy blue simplicity trousers and red and blue checked violet blouse; Day 4: spotty drapey knit dress; Day 5: bright blue jersey dress; Days 6 & 7 blue spotty archer with rtw jeans.

Week Two:

Day 8: navy blue simplicity trousers and turquoise coco top; Day 9: black simplicity 2451 skirt and pink stripey banksia top; Day 10: silver toaster sweater; Day 11: flowery archer with rtw jumper and trousers; Day 12: my dressmaker’s ball dress; Days 12 & 13: refashioned coral mustard and navy dress into a shirt; Day 14: blue spotty archer.

 

Week Three:

Day 15: refashioners shirt refashion; Day 16: semi-successful moneta dress with mustard astoria; Day 17: black simplicity 2451 with my favourite charity shop jumper; Day 18: refashioned dress with peter pan collar; Day 19: navy simplicity trousers and electric blue coco top; Day 20: refashioned teapot dress; Day 21: simplicity trousers and my favourite charity shop jumper.

Week Four (and a bit)

Day 22: navy simplicity 2451 skirt and melilot shirt; Day 23: silver delphine skirt and rtw jumper; Day 24: navy scribble striped marianne dress; Day 25: wide-legged trousers I took in at the waist with breton striped plantain tee; Day 26: denim moss skirt with my merchant and mills sewing t shirt; Day 27: Gertie cigarette trousers (as part of my dressmaker’s ball outfit) with a rtw jumper and the coat I made from my Grandma’s vintage pattern; Days 28 & 29: Coco t shirt and rtw jeans; Day 30: navy simplicity trousers and silver toaster sweater; Day 31: electric blue jersey dress.
Things I’ve learned from Me Made May:

  • I hate taking daily photos. Thankfully The Boyfriend was a good instagram husband and took most of them for me, but quite often I’d realise we hadn’t taken a photo when I went to bed!
  • My simplicity trousers got a lot of wear. I definitely need more trousers I can wear at work – though I also wear them on days off too.
  • Quite often (unless I was wearing a dress) I would either have a top or a bottom but not a full outfit, so I need to make more pieces that go together. Hopefully by the time I’ve finished the Wardrobe Architect I’ll have ideas for more of a capsule wardrobe.
  • I failed to refashion anything in May, which was another part of my pledge. I have a bunch of clothes ready for alteration, so hopefully this month I’ll get back into refashioning.
  • There were a whole bunch of things I’ve made – mostly when I first started sewing which I haven’t worn this year and didn’t wear last year, so I’m going to have a wardrobe clear out to get rid of things I know I’m not going to wear.
  • I definitely need to make jeans, and more casual things to wear on my days off.
  • I found wearing dresses easier than putting together separates, so I’m planning to make a few more dresses. They’re also good for hot weather – if we get more hot weather than the one week we had in the middle of May!
  • It was nice to rediscover some of the clothes I’ve made or refashioned which I haven’t worn for a while.
  • There weren’t that many things I wore more than once (apart from my trousers and simplicity skirts), so I think I don’t need loads and loads more clothes, so I’ll try to be more thoughtful about what I make from now on.

What did you learn if you took part in Me Made May? Did you succeed in your pledge?

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Wardrobe Architect Week 2: Defining a Core Style

 

Here I am back for the second week of Colette’s Wardrobe Architect. This week it’s about trying to work out what our core style is, building on what we found out about ourselves in week 1.

There is another worksheet, with some questions, which again I’ll cover here.

When you are wearing your favorite clothing, how do you feel (e.g. confident, sexy,
poised, powerful, etc)?
Comfortable, the right temperature, unique (but not standing out too much), and correctly dressed for the occasion – I hate feeling way under- or over-dressed.
When you’re wearing something that is not quite right, how do you feel? What are the
feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear?
uncomfortable, not like me, feel like people are judging me for wearing the wrong thing (though, of course, they’re almost certainly not!).
Who do you consider to be your style icons? What is it about them that appeals to you?
Michelle Williams, Ginnifer Goodwin and Lupita Nyong’o. Interestingly they all have short hair! I like how Michelle Williams and Ginnifer Goodwin both have a slightly vintage vibe, but also look cool and fashion forward – and I think they can both pull off multiple kinds of look. And Lupita Nyong’o always looks chic and cool and her clothes fit perfectly. I also like all the bold colours she wears and the interesting silhouettes she pulls off.
What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you?
I often feel like I want to look like a rock star, but I just don’t think I could pull of a leather jacket! I also love the masculine/ androgynous look of someone like Tilda Swinton, but I feel being only 5’3″ that I couldn’t really pull that off! I also go through phases of really liking 40s style clothes and the lindy hop style, but I think it’s the wrong era for me.
After answering these questions, you come up with some words from your answers from last week, then narrow it down to 3-5 words. Mine are:
Cool
Comfortable
Confident
Vintage
With these words in my mind, I made a new pinterest board to pin photos of outfits I like (which is the last stage of this week’s exercise).  You can find all the image sources on pinterest. It seems that the pictures I pinned fit into a few different categories.
1. Casual outfits with trousers (most pleated) and slouchy shapes on the top.
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2. Modern and vintage outfits with interesting style lines

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3. Shift dresses, tops and coats with 60s vibes, particularly with collars and stripes.
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4. More modern-looking boxy tops, with interesting prints on the fabric.
core-style-15 core-style-17 Then I have a few photos that don’t really go together or into the categories above. They’re a mixture of vintage and modern styles, but they are all quite loose silhouettes.
core-style-5 core-style-6 core-style-10 core-style-11 core-style-14
I’ve found this really useful in working out what my core styles are – I knew there would be more than one, but by pinning lots of pictures, you can then spot the trends which then helps you realise what you’re drawn to. I think I need to make myself some pleated trousers – and get more brogues in more colours! I am also falling back in love with cute collars, so that’s good to know!

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Style Crush: Mia Farrow

My style crush for today is Mia Farrow – and specifically Mia Farrow from the 60s. She was definitely one person who had a classic 60s crop (alongside Jean Seberg) and she looks cool smoking a black cigarette!

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Mia Farrow first came to prominence as an actress in the American soap Peyton Place. She then became really famous by marrying Frank Sinatra (though the marriage only lasted a couple of years. They married in 1966 and she wore a really cute suit! Her hair is a little too short for my taste, though! Also creepy fact: she was 21, he was 51!

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I included this photo mostly for the cute dog, though the coat is nice too. Even though I’ve no idea what colour it is.

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Speaking of cute coats…..I think I might have to make a coat in this style. Does anyone know of any patterns for double-breasted 60s coats? Maybe I need to look through my vintage pattern collection? I think I’m rediscovering my love of 60s collars. I think this photo looks really modern too, with the boots.

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Following her fame from her marriage to Frank Sinatra, Farrow then starred in Rosemary’s Baby which was her first leading role and garnered critical success. IT was while she was filming Rosemary’s Baby that Sinatra filed for divorce because the filing had overrun and so she didn’t turn up to film a role in one of Sinatra’s films.

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I like the flowery shift dress above. And the white tights – white tights definitely seem to be a 60s staple, I think I need to get some. And the turtleneck, below, is also quite 60s. Maybe I need to get the Papercut Rise and Fall turtleneck pattern? Unless you know of any other patterns?

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I slightly love this crazy furred dress! Not sure I could pull it off….though I like the matching tights/shoes combo.

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I love these 2 coats! Stripes and amazing roll collars, 3/4 length sleeves and big buttons! Amazing! I think I prefer the pink one, but that might be because it’s a better photo.

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Farrow may be best known these days for her relationship with Woody Allen, starring in 13 of his 14 movies between 1979 and 1992. And then, of course, the controversy of Allen leaving her for her adopted daughter (who she adopted with her previous husband, Andre Previn).

But back to fashion…..it seems a little weird to be looking at pretty dresses while also talking about someone’s personal life. But, to be flippant, I do love this blue sequined dress. I love all the colours on it, and the pink coat really sets it off. Those pastel blues and pinks seem to be popular colours of the 60s.

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I put this photo in mostly because sequined garters matching a sequined top!

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This is another photo which is making me want to sew everything with a contrasting collar. I love the yoke detail and the buttons down the front of this dress….

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And also this playsuit. I thought these were the same garment for a while, but the playsuit has turnups which don’t seem to be there above, and the collar looks a bit more pointy in the dress above.

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I really like Mia Farrow in the Woody Allen films I’ve seen and I love her 60s pixie crop – which she cut herself! There was a photoshoot stunt set up for Vidal Sassoon to cut her hair, but she had already cut it short herself! But it was surprisingly difficult to find many photos – particularly in colour – of her outfits from the 60s (my favourite era!). I guess fame was different then and there probably weren’t as many red carpets and parties and awards shows – and the photos there were may not have made it online yet. I don’t know, but I do love her style.

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Me Made May 2014 Week Four

It’s now June, so here is my last chunk of Me Made May photos. Out of the last 10 days, there were only 2 on which I didn’t wear anything me-made. So one main thing I’ve learned is that I have more me-made clothes that I thought, as I’ve managed to out-do my target every week – I’ve worn 5 things instead of 4 as I thought. There were some things I didn’t wear – I knew I wouldn’t wear either of my Elisalex dresses (1 and 2). I’ve got some time off work coming up and I might try to alter them in a way that would mean I would wear them. I’m thinking adding some pockets, letting out the bodices, maybe removing the sleeves and possibly taking up the hems. I’ll see if I get around to it! I also didn’t wear my bright yellow Butterick skirt. It was kind of warm for a weekend, but over all in May it wasn’t super warm here and I don’t like the way this skirt looks with tights, so I can only wear it when it’s warm enough to get out my pasty legs. I have also worn my yellow and pink cardigans A LOT! I do have other clothes, but they’re bright so I’m more drawn to them than my black/ navy/ beige ones! My main feeling is excitement that I don’t have to take any more outfit photos – I think if I do it again next year, I’ll take pictures of the clothes before I put them on, as some people do.

Day 22: Parrot Shirt refashion and Black Simplicity 2451
with pink H & M cardigan.

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Day 23: Black Banksia
with black skinny trousers from New Look and yellow cardigan from H & M

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Day 24: Grainline Scout tee with Collar
with navy New Look skinnies, yellow cardigan H & M

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Day 25: Pink Banksia
with black New Look skinnies and pink H & M cardigan (again!)

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Day 27: Navy Simplicity 2451
with grey striped Primark vest and navy loose top and grey peplum cardigan, both from M & S for Christmas. (Quite a frumpy, shapeless outfit looking at it!)

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Day 28: GBSB Boyfriend Shirt
with skinny Primark jeans and pink H & M cardigan (again!)

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Day 29: Blue Spotty Grainline Scout Tee
with navy skinny New Look trousers and beige H & M cardigan

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Day 30: Refashioned (and free) H & M dress
with old black H & M cardigan

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Another Grainline Scout Tee, but this time with a collar!

Before Christmas (I know, I know, I’m so behind with my posts!) I made myself another Grainline Scout Tee. I had quite a bit of the (slightly horrible) shiny navy blue fabric left over from my Gertie Bow-Tied Blouse, and I thought it would make a perfect Scout Tee with peter pan collar. I used the collar from the Emery Dress as the basis for my collar, turning it from the pointed collar to the peter pan collar by rounding the edges, as she mentions you can do in the Emery Sewalong. I already had my Emery dress cut out, hoping to get it done for the sewalong deadline (but shamefully I actually finished it yesterday – YESTERDAY! Now I need to find time to photograph it..), so I held up the collar to one of my existing Scout Tees and thought ‘yeah, that looks like it will fit’. I just had to make the collar a little longer, otherwise it wouldn’t have met at the back. I should have realised, though, that it wasn’t that simple. What I should have done was used one of any number of tutorials on drafting a peter pan collar, including in Gertie’s book, and made one from scratch. The collar is too big along it’s outside edge for the neckline of the Scout tee, so it sticks out and ripples. I have fudged it a bit at the back, taking a tuck out of each side where they meet so that the collar tapers to be thinner, taking out some of the rippling. I also sewed the collar down, just next to the neckline to stop it sticking out so much, but I have since unpicked it as I didn’t love how it looked.

Having said all that, I still love it and wear it quite a lot, but I’m sure once I’ve got more me-made things in my wardrobe and I get better at sewing (hopefully!), it will be relegated to a no longer worn pile!

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Looking at the top in photos, the collar does look a bit bum-like! Ooops! Still don’t care!

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You can see the fudging at the back here.

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Looking at the photo, and having just read Lauren’s post about her fitting issues with the Emery Dress, I really have to start sorting out my narrow back issue – what’s the point of making your own clothes if they fit as badly as any RTW crap?

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I french seamed all the seams, as with my previous versions of the Scout Tee, which makes it looks all pretty inside and was really necessary for this synthetic monstrosity of a fabric, which frayed like a bitch!

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