Me-Made-May: final round-up

I’m very behind with this Me-Made-May roundup. You’re probably sick of seeing these blog posts by now, so I’ll just cram everything into one giant update.

I was doing well with the daily photo, but the end of the month slipped into chaos. I got tired of seeing my ugly mug on Flickr every morning, plus I went on holiday to Norway which knocked out my normal routine.

I did well with my pledge though, honest! I didn’t wear a shop-bought pair of jeans the entire month, and generally my outfits were 80% handmade.

Here’s the photos I did manage to get:

All-blue extravaganza (Days 20, 22 and 23)

Me-Made-May1.jpg

 

L-R: Blue chambray shirt and knit pencil skirt, blue Burda jeans and striped Hemlock, Maudella denim skirt and sweatshirt

The week of bad photos (think this was days 24, 25 and 26?)

Me-Made-May2.jpg

L-R: Burda jeans and a Robin jumper (Yes, I finally finished this jumper! Blog post to come) McCalls knit dress, polka dot trousers and Hemlock tee plus hungover face.

Norwegian adventure (no idea which days these were)

MeMadeMayNorway.jpg

L-R: Knit pencil skirt and chambray shirt (super-classy airport toilet selfie), unblogged denim trousers and stripey top, chambray shirt again and some (gasp) trousers from Dorothy Perkins. I did get them in a swap though. They were brilliant for climbing up a big Norwegian hill.

And here’s the traditional Me-Made-May giant photo collage:

Me-Made-May-2014.jpg

Drumroll please! The Me-Made-May 2014 Yes I Like That awards go to…

Most worn item:

Definitely my chambray shirt. I’m glad I spent all that time doing French seams and sewing buttonholes – I love wearing this and it feels quite smart.

Most complimented item (online):

This has to be my Simplicity geometric shirt dress. But I think it must photograph better than it looks. I didn’t get any offline love for this dress, and someone even asked me if I made it myself, WITHOUT following up with a compliment. Dissed.

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Most complimented item (in real-life):

It was the Flora shirtdress, although it might have something to do with the fact that I wore it to the big sewing meetup. Those seamstresses are pretty free and easy with their dress compliments.

Most earth-shattering realisation:

I don’t really like wearing dresses! I only put on three all month, and I felt pretty uncomfortable in all of them. Knit dresses are an exception though, so I need to make more of those. Other than that, SEPARATES 4 LIFE.

Most versatile item:

A tie between my Hemlock tee and my Built by Wendy grey sweatshirt. They go with everything.

Favourite new Me-Made-May blogger:

A difficult one to choose, but I think it has to be Marilla, who I chatted to at the big meetup, and who has a wardrobe of beautiful stripes.

Worst photo location:

A tough category, but I think I’ll have to go with the disgusting toilets at London Fields Brewery, 10 hours into an all-day music festival (you can see the evidence in day 25 above). Nobody can say I don’t suffer for my art.

Me-Made-May 2014: week 2

Will you look at that, another week been and gone.

I’m finding Me-Made-May a bit of a struggle at the moment. I just want to put on my Levis in the morning and not think about what to wear. It could be the weather, it’s been horribly rainy here this week.

Anyway, here’s what I wore in week 2:

Days 5 & 6:

MMMDays5&6

Day 5: Wearing some unblogged trousers which I will talk about soon, my giraffe shirt, and a jumper from Uniqlo (which also featured heavily in last year’s MMM, if I recall correctly).

Day 6: Gah, what a terrible photo. I got up too late for Alex to take my picture in the morning so had to settle for a late-night picture in the dark. I’m wearing my blue jeans, my leopard print top, and an old grey cashmere man’s jumper that I reshaped on my overlocker and added elbow patches to. Not that you can see any of that in this picture.

Days 7 & 8:

MMM7&8

Day 7: Wearing an unblogged knit pencil skirt, made from the same fabric as my Plantain, a new shirt which I’ll blog about this week (it’s Vogue 8728), and a cardigan from Cos.

Day 8: Once again I got up too late to take advantage of the in-house husband photo studio, so here’s a super glamorous selfie taken in the disabled toilets at work. I’m wearing my green skirt, a shawl I knitted years ago, and a jumper from Uniqlo. Also, my tights have hearts on!

Days 9, 10 & 11:

MMMDay9&10&11

Day 9: I’m wearing my tartan skirt, my stripey Hemlock top, and my favourite cardigan from Cos. Check out my amazing multi-tasking abilities, drinking tea while getting my picture taken like a boss.

Day 10: Saturday, hooray! I did practically nothing on Saturday and it was great. A weekend where I don’t have to get on any public transport is a good weekend in my book. I did manage some sewing. I’m wearing my first pair of me-made jeans, an unblogged basic jersey top, and (say it with me now) a cardigan from Cos.

Day 11: Today I stayed in all day cooking and it was great. I’m wearing my blue skinny jeans, my stripey Hemlock, and my knitted Tinder cardigan. I was actually wearing my hideous (but comfortable) indoor slippers but I took them off for reasons of vanity.

So there we go, 11 days down. I’ve been too busy to spend much time in the Flickr group this year, which is a real shame as it’s a great place to get inspiration. The one person I have seen and highly recommend following is Sara from Mixed Emotions. You must check out her blog – I want to wear everything she makes.

Me-Made-May 2013: The Final Countdown

Here we go! The last instalment, plus my thoughts on the whole Me-Made-May experiment. Hope this hasn’t been too boring for you.

The photos from the last week are truly dreadful, I apologise for that. On the plus side, my ability to take one-handed iPhone pics has improved 150%.

penultimate

26th: Didn’t manage to get a picture of this day, even though I met up with fellow sewing ladies Shivani and Rachel for some Liberty fabric fun in Shaukut! I wore my Moss skirt, floral top, and trusty cardigan. You can see I haven’t missed my calling as an outfit visual merchandiser.

27th: Me-made jeans, unblogged top from Burda kimono pattern, and sparkly cardigan (again).

28th: It doesn’t seem right that I was wearing a wool skirt, a long-sleeved striped top, a knitted shawl and thermal tights in late May. That’s the Great British Summer for you.

final

Last three days, eek!

Day 29: black and white McCalls dress, Uniqlo jumper, new favourite Tatty Devine necklace.

Day 20: Me-made jeans, still unblogged Maudella vintage shirt which I really need to talk about, and Uniqlo cardigan.

Day 30: Stripey Burda kimono sleeve top, Maudella skirt, big knitted shawl again.

ME-MADE-MAY 2013 – MY THOUGHTS

IT’S FINISHED!!! OMG, I can’t believe I actually did the whole thing this time around.

The worst part was taking a photo every day, but it’s also been the most useful bit. It’s given me a great overview of what I actually wear, and what I think looks good on me (and what doesn’t).

I’d like to have had more time to engage with the community on Flickr. It was massive this year. I really enjoyed seeing the outfits of Handmade By Carolyn (sewing goddess), Crab and Bee (I love everything she wears), mchigu (her romper is AMAZING), creating in the gap (wish I had 10% of her elegance) Kathryn Mhairi (gorgeous colourful separates), and KB Field (queen of the collar) amongst others!

The best part was thinking about what I was going to put on each morning and coming up with combinations I’d never normally wear. I discovered I really like colourful accessories – necklaces and socks and cardigans – so I’m going to look out for more of those.

I’d gone off my home-made jeans a bit before May, but I wore them to death during the month, and you know what, they’re great. Sure, the fit is wonky, and the finish is worse, but I’m still proud of them.

Wow, I’ve really sewed a lot in the last year. I didn’t realise how many Burda patterns I’d made and how many everyday ‘cake’ items I have now. Blogging everything I make has really upped the quantity and quality of my sewing. I managed to stick to my pledge of wearing mostly me-made-items, apart from knitwear/jumpers/blazers.

HUGE HUGE THANKS go out to Zoe for organising this event. It’s such a simple, brilliant concept. Can’t wait to see how big it gets next year!

Here’s my whole month in review:

MMM collage

Me-Made-May-13 – weekly round-up

So I’ve decided to do my MMM round-up today instead of Sunday. I’m just a rebel who won’t play by the rules (the made-up rules I imposed on myself).

Oh okay, the real reason is that I just sewed a fancy new dress to wear to a wedding tomorrow, and I think it deserves a post of its own.

So here’s the last 5 days. They aren’t particularly inspiring so I’ve made a handy collage instead of individual pics.

Day 13 - 17

From top to bottom, left to right we have:

Day 13: Moss skirt, unblogged Maudella shirt, baggy Gap sweatshirt, awful photo. I have cropped my face for your own protection.

Day 14: Birthday dress, Uniqlo jumper, sparkly heart brooch from Tatty Devine.

Day 15: McCalls dress, cardigan from COS.

Day 16: McCalls skirt, unblogged kimono sleeve top, thrifted red cardigan.

Day 17: Burda jeans, Burda leopard print top, cardigan from COS (again), knitted cowl.

I’m getting slightly better at taking my own photo in the mirror, mainly because the alternative involves getting up early enough for my boyfriend to take a picture before he leaves for work. And extra sleep normally wins out.

Here’s a baffling question that Me-Made-May has made me ponder:

I love wearing colour. I really like pinning pictures of other people wearing colour. I gravitate to colourful fabrics in fabric shops.

So WHY ON EARTH do I sew so many black, navy, white, grey, and beige clothes? Is there a deep psychological issue here I need to address? Answers on the back of a postcard, please.

Me-Made-May-13 Week 2: featuring sunshine, rain, and a Lego robot

Another week of Me-Made-May! I’m finding this much easier than last year. If only the weather would behave itself.

Day 6 and Day 7

Day 6 – Bank holiday! Oh yeah! I’d just finished this skirt when this picture was taken, and I totally love it. Will blog about it later this week. Rest of my outfit is shop-bought.

Day 7 – Still sunny enough to wear sandals! Hooray! Me-made jeans and a very old, pre-blog shirt made from the first Built By Wendy book. It has an extremely wonky, self-drafted Peter Pan collar and doesn’t see much wear.

Day 8, 9,10

Day 8 – Went to work and ballet class. There was a teacher substitution and it turned into a ridiculously hard aerobics session. That’s why I’m propping myself up on the railing. Me-made jeans again, my double-collar shirt, and a jumper from Uniqlo. These jeans are extremely comfortable.

Day 9 – Off to see Star Trek: Into Darkness and eat a big cheeseburger at Byron. Wearing my brown jeans, my white shirt, and brogues from Clarks. Jacket is from Whistles, I got it on Ebay and it’s amazing for this weird spring weather.

Day 10 – You’ve already seen this. MMM has made me re-evaluate this dress. I really love it now! That’s what I like about this challenge. Still in intense muscle pain from ballet class. I am bravely soldiering on.

Day 11, 12

Day 11 – I met C-3P0 on a trip to John Lewis. He wasn’t very chatty. I am wearing my Beignet skirt, an unblogged kimono sleeve top, and a jacket from the Whistles sale. Plus me-knitted-cowl. I reshaped the side seams in this skirt so I wear it a bit more, but it’s not my favourite. I don’t like the shape of the pattern as drafted, it’s like a weird cross between an A-line and a pencil which doesn’t really suit me.

Day 12 – Eating quesadillas at home and frantically sewing a dress to wear to a wedding next weekend, then going out for a lovely pizza with friends. Wearing my brown jeans again, my Burda stripey top (you can just see it), and more shop-bought stuff.

This was a great week! I’m really pleased with how much more stuff I’ve made than this time last year.

p.s. In unrelated news, I am getting married exactly two months from today! Eek!

Me-Made-May 2013 – who’s in?

Spring is here! Tomorrow is payday! And there’s one more thing that’s making me happy – guess what starts on Wednesday? It’s:

mmay13

OH YEAH!!!!

I wouldn’t normally stretch to four exclamation marks, but I’m very excited about this year’s challenge. Huge thanks go out to Zoe for organising this again.

wardrobe

So far I’ve taken part in Self-Stitched September 11 (went on holiday halfway through and gave up) and Me-Made-May 12 (left my camera on the train so had many outfits undocumented). This year I’m going to see it through the end. Fingers crossed.

Here’s why I love the Me-Made-May concept:

  • It forces me to think creatively about what I put on every day.
  • Photographing my outfits is a great way to find out what I actually wear.
  • It helps me figure out where the gaps in my me-made wardrobe are and plan to fill them.
  • The community of people taking part is amazing. It’s inspiring to see what others around the world make and wear.

I have a lot more home-sewn stuff than last year, so I’m hoping to wear mainly me-made outfits, combined with RTW stuff that I really love. I’ve been thinking a lot about the issues in my last post – if you didn’t see the comments, Franca of Oranges and Apples made a great point about buying less clothing (and make sure you read her comprehensive post about untangling ethical fashion).

My major piece of sewing will be a dress for a wedding on 18th May. I have the fabric – gorgeous polka dot crepe I won in a giveaway from the lovely Rehanon – but still need to decide on a pattern.

If you’re taking part, I have a question – where are you going to document your progress? I’ve joined the Flickr group, which is always a great place to find everyone’s outfits. But I’ll also probably post some via Instagram (you can find my feed here), and do a weekly blog round-up. Let me know what you’re doing so I can follow you!

Good luck to everyone taking part! Ready….steady….

Things I learned from Me-Made-May

  • I’ve made enough clothes to wear something hand-made every day, without it being a struggle. Hooray!
  • I haven’t got enough to wear 70% hand-made, which was my goal. I’m going to work towards that though.
  • I wear too much blue.
  • I need to make more skirts. And trousers. And day dresses. Casual things. But in more interesting fabrics.
  • I don’t need to make any more skirts from denim. ‘A denim skirt’! I say to myself. ‘Now that would always come in handy. That’s definitely the missing gap in my wardrobe’. Doing MMM opened my eyes to the fact that I have about 8 and that I wear too much denim anyway (it’s the safe option).
Heatwave in Bournemouth! Not pictured: cardigan (it was in the car).
  • I have a serious problem with cardigans. I wore one every day in May, except for that week when England unexpectedly turned into Spain*. I think I’ve worn a cardigan every day for the last 15 years. I have so many cardigans that several of my Flickr photos were favourited by a creepy cardigan fetishist (no lie). I may need knitwear rehab.
    * Even then I carried one around in case of a sudden cold snap
  • Taking a photo of yourself every day gives you a startlingly different perspective on your style. It’s recommended!
  • I’d like to be more adventurous with the clothes I sew. I’m BORED of wearing navy blue and beige.
  • Three weeks of torrential rain, followed by a heatwave, then back to the monsoon again, really tests the versatility of a home-made wardrobe.
  • Leaving your camera on the platform at Farnborough station will put a serious dampener on documentation of Me-Made-May (and blogging in general).

(p.s. HUGE thanks to Zoe for organising the whole thing!)

(p.p.s. Anyone looking to sell an old camera?)

Me-Made-May and what not to sew

Are you doing Me-Made-May this year? I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’ll be a great way to identify all the gaps in my hand-sewn wardrobe (at the moment there’s too much frosting and not enough cake, as Tasia of Sewaholic recently put it).

It’s also got me thinking about what items I would never make for myself, and it’s a surprisingly short list:

  • Shoes: I know this is obvious, but some clever people out there do actually make their own footwear. Have a look at this interesting blog by a London based shoemaker – The Bottermann Empire

  • Sportswear: One of these days I’ll get round to sewing myself some trousers for yoga, but something like a waterproof bike jacket? Too complex and technical. I also include what the fashion mags like to call ‘luxe sportswear’ in this category. Hard to replicate without the right fabrics and equipment.
  • Underwear/swimwear: Both of these seem too fiddly, and I don’t have a problem buying stuff I like in the shops. I prefer to spend my sewing time on clothes that show on the outside.
  • Knitwear: What would life be like without machine-made knitwear? Rubbish, in my opinion. Chunky hand-knits don’t always do the trick. You can prise my Uniqlo cardigans from my cold dead hands.

  • Socks: I’ve knitted socks in the past, but those days are over. Making the second one makes me want to pass out with boredom, and I don’t even love wearing them. They’re too bulky (but don’t tell any knitters – not liking hand-knitted socks is woolly blasphemy)
  • Trousers: I just can’t make them fit. BUT I do want to change this and make a pair that works this year. I think stretch fabrics will be involved.
  • Well-made RTW clothes that would be tedious, expensive, and/or impossible to replicate: I’ve got a circle skirt from COS that I love. It would be super easy to draft, but sewing a copy would mean having to hem two enormous circles of fabric (it’s double-layered). It’s also well-made and the perfect coral colour. So it was a no-brainer to buy rather than sew.

So, everything above is exempted in my personal Me-Made-May challenge. I don’t want to buy any more cheap rubbish! Or sew from materials I hate, or make patterns I’m dubious about. I just need everything in my wardrobe to feel loved and special and wanted. Basically my wardrobe needs some serious therapy.

What do you reckon? Is there anything you would never sew? Do you think RTW does some things better?

(p.s. – This is my 100th post! I didn’t think I’d ever keep up with this blog, so hooray to me for proving my own pessimism wrong.)