Me Made May 17: Thoughts

So there’s this year’s Me Made May in all its glory. The first thing that strikes me is that I haven’t really moved away from the old blue, green and monochrome colour scheme that I had last year. There is definitely a bit more colour – a decent amount of red and a little bit of pink. I did a wee colour palette thingy, a la Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow, picking out colours from my photos.

The bigger ones are the neutrals, the greige (grey-beige) on the left came from my floral Scout and I think it’ll work better for me than a more yellow beige. I’ve put two different shades of navy in because that came up a lot as well as various other shades of blue. And well… It’s a bit bland isn’t it?

I feel and look better in the more colourful outfits. So I did another palette thingy with more colours. The colours are still picked out from my photos (except the second green, which I just made up because I know I like it) but they’re more supporting colours – they mostly came from the flowers on my Doris dress and the light, not quite coral pink was from the butterflies on my Nancy dress.

I think my Doris dress and my Sewaholic Cambie dress both encapsulate the colour palette I think looks best on me quite well. They both have a navy base, which I think is softer and better on me than black, and then between the two of them they’ve got all the other colours I’ve put in this palette.

Sew Over It Doris dress sewaholic cambie dress

So my plan is to try and incorporate more of those accent colours into my wardrobe. I will always be drawn most to blues and I don’t think you’ll ever catch me in head to toe pink but I think I look alright in a cool pink or dusky rose so maybe I should experiment a bit more with them.

What I wore

Moving on from colours to the graphs I promised/threatened. I kept a spreadsheet of the types of garments I wore and here are the results.

types of garment me made

I tracked the number of days I wore a particular type of garment as well as the number of different garments. So as you can see I wore a lot of dresses and only repeated a couple of them (Alex shirt dress and New Look 6096). Whereas with trousers and cardigans I repeated them a lot. The trousers were my Winslow culottes and I would definitely like another pair for the summer. I’m also planning a lengthened pair of Tania culottes.

I tracked the RTW I wore as well to help identify gaps and you can see straight away that I need more tops, cardigans and trousers, well specifically jeans as that’s the one pair of trousers that I repeated five times. I finally got round to washing some of the denim that was in my stash yesterday so I hope to get cracking on a pair of jeans soon. The tops were all knit so that’s very much an area of need. I need to work on some production line style t-shirt sewing I think.

Top 5 most worn items

  • Grey Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan – 5 times (including putting it on in the evenings on holiday)
  • Turquoise Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan – 4 times
  • Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes – 4 times
  • Sew Over It Alex shirtdress – 3 times
  • Floral Grainline Scout tee – 2 times

Most liked outfit

My shorter New Look 6096 and grey Blackwood cardigan got 170 likes on Instagram.

New Look 6096 & Helen's closet Blackwood cardigan

Most versatile garment

My Alex shirt dress definitely wins this one. I wore it three times, styled differently each time.

So I definitely want to sew some more of these. I think another solid version would probably be nice, as well as the purple version I put in my #2017MakeNine plans. Maybe a soft chambray if I can find one.

Things I learned

  • I really liked looking nice on the days I made a more of an effort and just because I’m anti-zip and pro-comfort doesn’t mean I can’t wear pretty dresses. There are lots of nice zipless dresses out there – Deer and Doe Aubépine and Réglisse dresses and Sew Over It Eve dress are some I have my eye on though I’m a bit unsure of how much I’ll like a wrap dress on me.
  • I would like some more knit skirts. Particularly pencil skirts as the outfit above with my Alex shirt dress and polka dot pencil skirt was one of my favourite of the month. I’m also thinking about making a knit Sewaholic Gabriola skirt a la the lovely Hila’s Moneta-Gabriola love child maxi dress.
  • A skinny belt can make a big difference to an outfit.
  • I am total Helen’s Closet fan girl and proud.
  • I have a lot more Me Made clothes than I thought I did. Though I think I was definitely helped out by the weather in May being so changeable – and going on holiday didn’t hurt. I would be buggered if it had been autumn or winter.
  • Me Made May has added like bajillion patterns to my wishlist. I desperately want a chambray Grainline Archer shirt now and I really fancy the Alder shirtdress as well.
  • I still have no real desire to make loungewear or PJs but some clothes to be dressed while bumming about the house might be nice. Just some knit tops really I think.
  • I’m sooo behind on blogging my finished makes.

What lessons have you learned from Me Made May? I love reading other people’s epiphanies so do let me know if you’ve written about your Me Made May.

Me Made May 17: Days 15-31

So that’s it. It’s over. We’re done. This is just going to be another round-up of the things I wore for the rest of the month and then I’ll do a separate post with my thoughts and things I’ve learned – I may even put a graph or two in.

Anyway, let’s crack on as this is going to be a slightly longer post because I went on holiday at the end of the month so a few days have multiple outfits.

Day 15 – Little Red Dress Project dress (Simple Sew Lottie – True Bias Southport lovechild)Red Simple Sew Lottie - True Bias Southport hybrid

The beautiful sunshine had disappeared, replaced by horrid, heavy rain so I thought went for sleeves today. We also had a man coming to the office to give a bit of training so I thought I’d make an effort to look presentable. I should probably make some more smart but comfortable dresses like this.

Day 16 – Dinosaur Ballet dress

Dinosaur ballet dress

This remains one of my favourite ever dresses and I think it always will be. I have some more of this dinosaur fabric in a different colourway that the lovely Victoria of Pockets for Sweets pointed me in the direction of. (Check out her Moneta made from it.)

Day 17 – Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress

Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress

My first Coco dress – which fits me much better now I’ve gained a little weight…

Day 18 – Floral Grainline Scout and Navy Deer and Doe Anemone skirt

And my first repeat (not including cardigans). I was quite impressed with myself to make it to day 18 before I had to repeat things. I dug my Anemone out of the depths of the wardrobe to be able to style my Scout differently.

Day 19 – PJs

No me made today as I had the day off to prep for my holiday – wax my legs, pack, finish sewing things to wear. As always I had overambitious plans for things to make but I did manage to make 2 dresses, 2 tops and a cardigan/cover-up so that’s something. In total that is, not all in that one day!

Day 20 – Jeans and Alex shirt dress worn as a shirt

We flew to Cyprus from Gatwick so we travelled up today and stayed in a hotel near the airport. I was struggling to find anything to wear and then I remembered that I’d seen people on Instagram tying shirt dresses to make them double as a top. So I gave it a go with my Alex and I was really pleased with how it looked.

Day 21

Morning – RTW dress and turquoise Blackwood

We left our hotel at 3:30am so I wasn’t really feeling a photo and as the majority of my outfit was RTW it didn’t seem worth it. I wanted to be comfortable when travelling so I wore a RTW black and white striped tent/sway dress I have that I really like. I want to make one myself but I’ve been torn over whether to buy a pattern (and if so, which one*) or to hack a t-shirt pattern.

*Closet Case Ebony, Made It Groove dress and Tessuti Frankie are my front runners but there are so many different patterns it’s hard to choose.

Afternoon – Denim shorts and a purple vest

I suppose this is technically my first fail as I left the house/villa and no part of it was Me Made but as it was one of three outfits this day and the other two had me made components I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Evening – True Bias Southport dress

First night dinner outfit was my Southport dress and first night dinner was sheftalia. I love sheftalia.

Day 22

Day – Alina Design & Sewing Co Chi-town chinos, RTW tank top and grey Blackwood cardigan

Chi-town chinos

I don’t have a good photo of this outfit as it was really windy when I tried to take some and they all looked awful. This is a photo I took while I was on a lounger reading despite the wind and occasional spots of rain. I am so very British. Aled thought I was out there hiding from my mum and nan but I just genuinely didn’t want to waste any outside time. I’ll happily sit in a beer garden in my coat if there’s even a little bit of brightness masquerading as warmth.

Evening – Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes palazzo pants and RTW white off the shoulder top

I seem to like to wear an off the shoulder top with my Winslows. I really like this H&M top, the shoulder is exactly where I want it and it doesn’t ride up. In other off the shoulder tops I’ve bought and made, the shoulder likes to pop up and I keep having to pull them back down. Dinner tonight was prawn saganaki, which was blummin’ lovely and I just realised I should have bought a small bottle of ouzo to try to make it at home.

Day 23

No photos today. We didn’t go out in the day and stayed in the villa for a barbecue for dinner too. I wore my Winslow culottes again and the black and grey striped tank top from the other day but I didn’t look presentable enough to bother taking a photo.

Day 24 – Southport ish maxi dress

Bright floral southport dress

It was another villa day so there’s no daytime photo. Dinner outfit was one of my True Bias Southport ish dresses. I’ve basically taken all of the interesting Southport bits off. I cut the front bodice and skirt on the fold, getting rid of the buttons and slit, I gave it an elasticated waist instead of a drawstring and I slashed and spread the skirt for a bit more floof. I love it and I suspect I’ll live in it this summer. Dinner was a meze so I was very grateful for the elasticated waist. (It was about 20 dishes)

I’m an army brat and we lived in Cyprus for two years when I was a child, which is one of the reasons I’ve been on holiday there so much – it’s a really lovely place, the people are so warm and friendly, it’s beautiful and the food is fabulous. One of the men that worked with my dad when we lived there also owned a restaurant (Andy’s Place) and we used to go there for a meze quite often. I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent, all to say I facking love a Greek-Cypriot meze. The one we had was lovely but because it’s in quite a touristy place the service is quick so the last few dishes are a struggle as you’re already quite full, whereas if you’re somewhere a bit more traditional it’ll take hours.

Day 25 – RTW denim shorts and pineapple scout

Pineapple grainline scout tee

Me and the Manfriend popped into Coral Bay for lunch and some shopping so I just popped my new pineapple Grainline Scout and RTW denim shorts on over my bikini. I had a lovely tuna salad for lunch and jumped in the pool as soon as we got back to the villa.

We had another barbecue in the evening to use up our charcoal and the rest of the food we bought so I just put on my Winslows yet again and a purple tank top.

Day 26 – Sew Over It Doris dress

Sew Over It Doris dress

Obnoxious couple photo alert! I don’t wear this dress enough. I think I saw it as evening wear but I’ve decided I like it too much for it to be worn so infrequently and I should start wearing it to work. We went into Paphos this night and had Chinese food, which feels a very wrong when there’s so much lovely Greek food to eat but it’s a really nice Chinese restaurant.

Day 27 – Sewaholic Gabriola skirt and RTW top

Sewaholic Gabriola skirt

The last night, sob! This is another thing that fits a bit better now I’ve gained some weight. My Gabriola sits on my natural waist now, which makes it a better length to wear with flats. Tonight I had spicy calamari, which was very nice, and a huuuge slab of baklava for dessert.

Day 28 – True Bias Southport (ish) dress

Blue floral southport dress

Travel home day. And it’s my other Southport ish dress. I had leggings and a blackwood cardigan in my hand luggage for if I got cold on the plane or when we landed. This was a mammoth day of travelling. My mum stayed at my nan’s an extra night and came home on the Monday but me and Aled drove home on the Sunday night to get a lie in and recuperation day on the Monday. I was so tired and spaced out by the time we got home that I nearly passed out. Luckily I wasn’t the one driving!

Day 29 – PJs

The aforementioned recuperation day meant I didn’t get dressed at all. I barely moved from the sofa in fact. It was lovely.

Day 30 – New Look 6096 maxi dress

New Look 6096 maxi dress

First day back in work, booo! It’s warm but overcast here at the moment so I didn’t really know what to wear. I grabbed this as it was clean and felt summery but okay if it got chilly. It’s my only outfit repeat so I kind of wish I’d found something else. But just one outfit repeat is way better than I’d expected.

Day 31 – Alex shirt dress and RTW knit pencil skirt

sew over it alex shirt dress

My Alex shirt dress has got to be one of my most versatile garments. I really like it all three ways I’ve worn it this month. This is a little bit smarter than I normally dress for work but I love this outfit so I think I need to start dressing a bit smarter. The skirt is knit so it’s still comfy but looks a bit more pulled together. I think I need to try to make a pattern from it. And I definitely need more Alex shirts and shirt dresses.

And that’s it. I’m going to miss seeing everyone’s outfits every day, I’ve been massively inspired and have a huge wishlist of new patterns. It’ll be nice not having to do a little photoshoot tomorrow morning though.

How was everyone else’s Me Made May? Did you learn things? Are you glad it’s over?

Me Made May 17: Days 1-14

So we’re two weeks in to Me Made May now, nearly half way through. How is everyone doing? Are you sick of the photos yet? So far I’ve added about a 32,000 patterns to my wishlist and 63,000 projects to my mental To Be Sewn list. Too much inspiration on Instagram! Anyway I’m going to do a quick run down of the things I’ve worn and some of the things I’ve learned over the first two weeks of my first “proper” Me Made May.

Day 1 – PJs

I was just bimbling about the house and sewing so I didn’t get dressed. Living my best life.

Day 2 – Sew Over It Nancy dress

Sew Over It Nancy dress

I wanted to start my Me Made May with a goodie and I really like this dress. It needs a bit of fitting work before I make it again but I definitely plan to make some more Nancy dresses. I’ve got some grey viscose with roses on that I’m planning to use but I’ll probably wait until the autumn now.

Day 3 – New Look 6096 and Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan

New Look 6096 & Helen's closet Blackwood cardigan

You’ll be seeing a lot of this Blackwood cardigan. I absolutely love this pattern. I’ve bought fabric to make two more and I don’t think I’ll stop there. In the spirit of trying to experiment more with style I put my belt on over the top of my cardigan, which is something I’ve seen other people do and I really like it. It pulls the outfit together. So I want more skinny belts.

Day 4 – Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes and a very old RTW shirt

Helen's Closet Winslow Culottes

I love these palazzo pants but I always wear the the same top with them – the off the shoulder Scout in my post about them. So I wanted to try to mix things up a bit. I prowled Pinterest for ages to see what people wear with culottes and palazzo pants and I didn’t have any of the things so I pulled this black shirt from the depths of my wardrobe instead. I experimented with tying the ends and I quite liked it but wasn’t brave enough to wear it outside as it flashed a bit of my tummy but I might give it a go before the month is out.

Day 5 – Floral viscose Grainline Scout tee with RTW jeans and cardigan

Grainline Scout tee in floral viscose

Friday! We’re only allowed to wear jeans on a Friday at work, which is a silly rule because we don’t have a smart dress code the rest of the time. Some people look smarter in their jeans than they do in the stuff they wear the rest of the week. A former colleague used to wear combats and trainers Mon-Thurs and really nice jeans on a Friday, almost to prove a point. Anyway, I digress. These RTW jeans very much need replacing – I need to get on with that Twenty SevenJean goal! The red cardi has definitely seen better days too so I’ve put colourful cardigans on my list of things to make. There was a tutorial for turning a top into a waterfall cardigan like this on the Grainline blog so I may give that a go at some point.

Day 6 – Jeans and raglan tee

No Me Made today as I was just bumming around the house. I did get sort of dressed though, if jeans and a PJ top but no bra counts as getting dressed. It was the top I’m wearing in this video, which I loved but got food on when I was cooking so it got relegated to sleep wear. I’ve bought the Hey June Lane raglan pattern to try to recreate this top or I may try making a pattern from it. I’m definitely noticing a gap where knit tops should be.

Day 7 – RTW jeans and tee with new Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan

Helen's Closet Blackwood cardigan

A brand new make. Another Blackwood cardigan that was hot off the sewing machine before I went out. I think it took me about 1.5-2 hours to make, which is pretty speedy for me. I was just popping to my mums house so I’ve got no make-up on and I’m trying to avoid showing too much of my face to the camera.

Day 8 – Monochrome ballet dress and Blackwood cardigan

  

Another outing for my new cardigan. It doesn’t really work with this dress, the length is a bit wrong but the colour brightens it up. I did put my belt over the top instead during the day and I think that looked better. My waist is just a bit lost otherwise. I think I’m going to play about with a cropped version of the Blackwood. Though I do have the Muse patterns Jenna cardigan so I could use that but I like how the Blackwood is designed to be open.

Day 9 – New look 6069 maxi dress

New Look 6096

It was really sunny and warm here for a few days so I busted out the maxi dresses. This is an oldie but a goodie. I think it’s only the 4th thing I made. It’s looking a bit tatty inside but I still love it.

Day 10 – Newport dress

New Look 6217 lovechild with True Bias Southport dress

And another maxi dress. I just love swishing about in viscose maxis when it’s warm, there’s just something about the cool fabric floating around your legs.

Day 11 – Sew Over It Alex shirt dress

Sew Over It Alex shirt dressThis is my second outing for my Alex shirt dress. I wore it with a tan belt the first time and I think I prefer it that way but I thought I should try the self fabric tie as I’d made it. I definitely see more of these in my future – I still want to make the purple viscose one I said I was going to make in my #2017MakeNine plans, this was a wearable toile really.

Day 12 – Jeans, blue New look 6217 and grey Blackwood cardigan

New Look 6217  Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan

Another Friday, woot! My old fail safe combination of jeans, woven tee and cardigan.

Day 13 – Jeans, black and white New Look 6217 and turquoise Blackwood cardigan

New Look 6217 and Blackwood cardigan

And again, with exactly the same patterns. I added a new necklace that came in the post after I took this photo, I need to work more on accessorising better.

Day 14 – That PJ lyfe

And we’re through to today and it’s another one where I don’t plan to get dressed. As soon as I finish this blog post I’m planning to shut myself in the sewing room and get some last minute holiday sewing done. I have four projects cut out, with two of them in progress.

So that’s the first two weeks of Me Made May done. I think I’m probably going to start doing more repeats soon – cardigans don’t count. I’ve mentioned some of the things I’ve learned in my little blurbs about each day but here are a couple more:

  • Navy is a better neutral than black for me.
  • There are other colours than blue and I should use them.
  • I’ve only made woven skirts and I never wear them, maybe make some knit ones?
  • I only like zipless dresses (and I’ve added the tag “zipless dress” to my blog posts about dresses that don’t have zips in case you feel the same).
  • If you don’t get up on time, taking photos *will* make you late for work.
  • This will make you leave the house at the same time as people are dropping their kids off at the school at the end of the road and you will want to kill some people. Especially the person who parks across your back lane.

That’s it from me. Hope you’re all enjoying Me Made May and learning lots about your handmade wardrobe. Have a great day peeps and I’ll see you again at the finish line.

Me Made May 17: The Pledge

April seems to be sneaking away rather rapidly, which means it’s time to think about a Me Made May and my pledge for this year. If you don’t know what Me Made May is, its inventor Zoe, of So Zo, What Do You Know explains it best over in her sign-up post. But basically it’s a challenge to wear your handmade clothes more but what you actually pledge is entirely up to you. Zoe has some great examples of pledges you could make in the sign up post.

I took part last year with the fairly modest pledge of wearing handmade three times a week and it was a good fit for where I was with my handmade wardrobe at the time. I have more handmade clothes now but not so many for an every day goal to be easy so it’s been quite a struggle to settle on my pledge. But here it is:

I, Leigh (aka @cluelessleigh) of Clueless Seamstress, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I will endeavour to wear at least 1 handmade item every day I leave the house for the duration of May 2017.

(That little leave the house caveat is important because most weekends I’m a lazy recluse and don’t go anywhere or do anything. I don’t tend to get dressed if I’m just bimbling around the house and as I have no intention of making lounge wear I’d fail without the caveat.)

I’m definitely not going to limit repeats but I would like to work on trying to style things to look different. Elena from Randomly Happy and Suzanna from Sea Salt and Stitches both recently took part in a 10×10 capsule wardrobe challenge thingamajig – you have 10 items to create 10 outfits for 10 days – and I really enjoyed seeing how they mixed and matched them to create different outfits. So I want to try to be a bit more inventive with my wardrobe. Even though I’m not usually very good at that.

I’ll be sharing my outfits on instagram and in round-up posts here. I haven’t decided on whether I’ll do weekly or fortnightly posts yet. Do you have a preference?

Another challenging aspect is that I’m going on holiday at the end of the month. I had grand plans to make an entirely handmade holiday wardrobe but I’m running out of time. I’m still hoping to sew a couple of maxi dresses and light cardigans though. Fingers crossed. I know panic-sewing isn’t the aim of Me Made May but I’d be doing the holiday panic-sewing anyway.

Anyway, that’s my pledge, I’m waffling a bit now so I’ll shut up. Are you taking part in Me Made May? Are you as nervous of your pledge as I am?

Me Made May 16

So it’s over. My very first Me Made May! Despite my very modest pledge of just 3 items a week I’m still proud of myself as I managed it. I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s photos on Instagram and finding new sewing people to follow. I’m going to miss it a bit.

I’ll show you my round-up of photos and then I’ll talk a bit about what I think I’ve learned.

Week 1

Me Made May 16 - Week 1
Coco dress // New Look 6217 // Sea Siren Skirt

Week 2

Me Made May - Week 2
Dixe DIY Ballet dress // New Look 6217 again // Sewaholic Gabriola skirt

Week 3

Me Made May Week 3
New Look 6217 // Dinosaur Ballet dress // Green Grainline Scout

Week 4

Me Made May 16 Week 4
New Look 6217 again // Deer and Doe Datura blouse // Dixie DIY Ballet dress

Last few days

mmmay16-week5
Deer and Doe Datura blouse // Dixie DIY Ballet dress // Sea Sirens Skirt

This is cheating a bit as I wore all of these on the same day, because I was taking photos of them. I started off in the Datura, was only briefly in the Ballet dress and then ended up in the skirt. Although not for too long because my mum was making me climb around her shed so I pinched some of her shorts. Shorts I really like and plan to keep.

My Me Made May Thoughts

Well firstly I think you can very definitely see I have a colour palette. There’s nothing there that isn’t green, blue or monochrome. I don’t know whether that’s a problem or just something that’s me. I have got some slightly more colourful makes in the works but they’re not a huge step away. I like what I like.

I also learned that I need more tops. I ended up repeating both of my New Look 6217 tees so more of them or something similar would be good to have. I’ve got a couple of tops cut out and waiting to be sewn up already so I’m working on that and I’m planning a second Datura blouse.

I kept a list of all of the non me made things I wore during May as well to see what else I might need to make. The two things that jump out at me from my list are cardigans and trousers. I’ve been wearing the green skinny jean type things you can see in a couple of the photos above a lot lately. My Ginger jeans have sat in the corner since I had my fitting related strop and I will have to get back to them at some point. Once I’ve figured out the fit I’d love to make some colourful pairs.

All of my favourite cardigans are that lightweight knitted fabric that I think is called sweater knit but I’ve never seen it for sale. I do have knitting patterns for cardigans (and the yarn to knit a couple) but really that sort of cardigan isn’t the type of RTW one I choose. So I’m thinking I need to sew some cardigans. I was wondering about McCalls 6708 because it has different necklines and lengths (I like a v neck mainly). But I am open to suggestions if anyone knows of any great cardigan patterns.

So that’s tops, trousers, cardies and knit dresses (because I’d always like more) going on to the To Be Sewn list. How about you, what gaps did you identify? do you miss Me Made May or are you glad the selfies are over?

Me Made May 16: The Pledge

mmmay16final

I’m a bit late as May has already started but I’m signing up for Me Made May this year. If you don’t know what Me Made May is, its inventor Zoe, of So Zoe, What Do You Know explains it best over in her sign-up post. But basically it’s a challenge to wear your handmade clothes more but how often you pledge is up to you. A lot of people pledge to wear handmade every day but that’s just not doable for me as I don’t have enough handmade clothes. So my pledge is:

I, Leigh of Clueless Seamstress, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear 3 handmade items a week for the duration of May 2016.

I think it’s an achievable goal but will still challenge me and I know I need to finish some more garments so I don’t just end up wearing each of my ballet dresses once a week.

I’ll be posting my outifts on Instagram and a round-up or two here. Good luck fellow participants!