Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's the LAST DAY...

...of ME MADE JUNE. Am I dating myself when I say I can't believe I ate the WHOLE thing? Well, I can't believe I did it the whole month. I was seriously worried that I would not have enough individual items to make it, and were it not for the amazing Faye and her Over the Top Challenge in April, well, I would have been wearing the same knit dress many days in a row.

Can I take a moment to be a little introspective? First, I want to thank Zoe, for continuing this challenge/exercise. This was my first go around, and just like right after you give birth to the first child, the jury is still out on the second go round. And the weather here is not that different in September so the clothes won't be that different.

What did I learn?
... I do have enough items to make it through a whole month, but some proved to be far more "wearable" than others.
... I am seriously sick of pictures of me, but as the month went on, I cared less about the whole hair, makeup thing, and could take a quick 3 or 4 pictures and be satisfied.
... I need more things that "mix and match". I embrace the sewing withOUT a plan wholeheartedly, but that does sometimes result in "what the heck am I going to wear today" moments. I religiously read Already Pretty for inspiration and motivation, and still fall short on the organization and planning of my style, and that goes for RTW as well as me made.

Ok, that's enough learning for today. Today's outfit is a rerun on my shorts-into-skirt, which earns a WI of 6 because it simply is too short for my personal comfort level. The gingham top is Talbots (yeah, yeah... I shop there a lot because they have great sales) but it's kind of tight, so I have a cami underneath from Soma.
Danny and I are trying to nap... all this picture taking is exhausting!

Finally, a thumbnail roundup of the rest of the month. And my current project is ... not wearable at all. Don't worry. It's not a wadder, it's a puppy quilt to help protect a chair.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vogue 8536 and the Next to Last Day

Can you believe that June is almost over? Some of the other blogs I've been reading are indicating that everyone is sick of taking pictures of themselves. Me, too!! Just to keep it all in June, tomorrow I want to recap the whole month. Feel free to skip reading, but I want to see how it all worked out. I mean, really? Did I actually wear something I made

Enough of that. Yesterday I finished a new tee shirt that I am in love with. Vogue 8536 is one of Vogue's "basic designs" and it's wonderful. I made view E, except with short sleeves. Hey, it's hot here! And because it's hot, while I love the crossover look, but I didn't like that the front piece is basically doubled. Um, no.

Since you cut the front piece out with doubled fabric, but basically flat. So the plan was to have the right shoulder + side for the entire front, and then I traced the left shoulder, and cut it on a new "seamline" just below the crossover.

Then I hand basted, so that I could completely control the stretch, but left the center front free so that I could top stitch from the left and then around the neckline, where the top stitching on the right connected the 2 pieces.
  For the topstitching, I used a shiny teal thread and used what is called the "running stitch" on my machine. I made the stitch longer and narrower and it mimics the wave on the print.
Hmmm? Can you see it? Click on the picture and I think that makes it bigger.

So. I wore it today. With some new denim pedal pushers from the recent Talbots sale, and wedge espadrilles (also from Talbots).

This gets a Wearability Index of 10!! I was going to give it a 9, just on principle, but when the cheese girl at Whole Foods said she loved it, well, that bumped it up. Hey! What can I say? I love compliments!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Wearability Index

This is the first time I've participated in any of the "Me Made" or "Self Stitched" challenges, primarily because I've only just started making clothes for myself again last year. The key word there is "again" since I've been sewing since I was 12, it just hasn't been for myself lately. That is, until last year.

As this challenge runs down to the final days, it's got me thinking about the things I've made, and how often I wear, or even consider wearing, specific garments. Just like shopping for RTW, it seems like everyone has those "what was I thinking" things that appear, myself included. But I've decided now to assign a "Wearability Index" to the things I've made, and include that index number in future reviews and posts.

My Wearability Index (WI) will be based on a scale of 1-10. Wadders, by definition, don't get a number because they will NEVER be worn. A 1 might get worn once, but that's enough to see you hate it. 2's and 3's would get more than one chance, but their destined for the giveaway bag sooner rather than later. A 10 is the perfect garment or accessory.

I'll show you how it works with yesterday's and today's outfits.

June 27
Yesterday I wore a top that has not yet made an appearance this month, and on paper it seems like it should be popular. Ivory knit twist front top. Great basic solid color, in a not so basic tee. The skirt I've worn at least once (maybe twice... I haven't gone back to check), and is the crescent skirt I made.
Top: Butterick 4789 WI* 4
Skirt: Sewaholic Crescent WI 8

Why the 4? It really is too tight in some places, and then under the twist it has kind of a weird poof that is annoying to me, if not particularly noticeable in the picture. Plus, it's just a bit too low cut to be completely comfortable on its own, so I need to wear a tank under it. I'm not quite ready to dump it, but it has been warned!

The skirt gets an 8, because, at least right now, it's a little bit tight. Not entirely it's fault, I know, but that does make it not quite perfect. This index can be fluid, and the crescent's stock will rise if my weight *ahem* falls.

June 28
Today, I'm wearing a dress that is making its 3rd(!) appearance this month.
Dress: Vogue 8575 WI 9.5

Yes, you read that right! This dress gets a 9.5. It would really be a 10, but the armholes are just a bit large. Picky, I know, but if I had to change anything that would be it. Out of all the things I've made, I have probably worn this dress the most. I think I need to make the version with sleeves for the fall. Hey, I noticed Gorgeous Fabrics is having a sale...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Catching Up on Me Mades -- June 23, 24, 25, 26

June is almost over, and just thought I'd catch you up on the last 4 days. Bear with me. There's not too many days left. And there's something new.

June 23
Top: Target's 2010 Liberty collection

Photo secret... I had to dig this out of the laundry bin on Friday because I just wasn't up for picture taking on Thursday. MMJ fatigue?

June 24
Top: Vogue 8151
Shorts: Kwik Sew 3614
Mini-challenge animals: Teddy, some sort of setter mix and Danny, perhaps a corgi/shepherd mix. Both rescues.

I've worn the shorts and the top this month, but not together.

June 25
Dress: Butterick 5173

I wore this back on June 6 next to the pool of our beach house rental. Now it's the last Saturday of June, and I'm at home doing Saturday stuff. Not really the same vibe. Danny does love to be in the photo though.

June 26
Top: Land's End that I've had forever
Shorts: Kwik Sew 3614

News Flash: new shorts!! Same pattern, different pocket details. Better fit. Well, they are a little snug, but I'll work on that, more from the inside than the outside. I'm going to do a longer post on it on a future date.

I think that's enough for today. After 27 days of wearing clothing that I personally made, I've learned a few things about what I make for myself, for better and for worse.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A New Skirt

Finally, Finally! I have so many projects going in my mind, but I don't think I had turned on the sewing machine or serger until yesterday. And surprisingly enough, it was something that I just discovered yesterday. A great friend of my, Ginny, is a fantastic artist, working in lots of mediums, including sewing. And she's recently started a blog that will cover her "adventures with clay, cloth and yarn." Go check out GinPins.

Oh, yeah. The new skirt I made. Well, Ginny posted about this awesomely fast yoga skirt that she made, and I had to have one! I think it took me all of an hour (maybe a smidge longer) to dig through my stash, do some quick measurements, cut it out, and serge away. Click here for the tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew.

This yoga skirt could well replace what is affectionately known by me as my "after dinner skirt", and is exactly the kind of garment that is lacking in my wardrobe. The kind of thing you wear when you're hanging around the house, just wearing something comfy. I used some cotton jersey that was left over from a dress I made last fall.

I didn't wear it today tucked in, but I wanted you to see the waistband. One teeny complaint: 4 layers of cotton jersey around your waist can get hot.

One addition I made: a small "cargo" pocket to hold my cell phone.

On to Me Made June pictures:
June 21
Yesterday was one long day, but I didn't really get "officially" dressed until after lunch. I had an evening meeting, so I wore my red cowl tee (already worn), and a skirt from the now defunct Harold's. I love this skirt, and probably would have tucked in the top, but the waistband was a wee bit tight yesterday. Look at the fantastic machine embroidery (this is not the me made part).

And the outfit:

Skirt: Harold's

June 22
Today I wore the yoga skirt with a new top from Talbot's. It was a steal at $9. And you'll see in the picture what occupied most of my time.

Top: Talbot's
Skirt: Yoga Skirt

Monday, June 20, 2011

Three More Me Made Days...

...or are you bored yet? I still haven't done any sewing yet this month, but I do hope to remedy that very, very soon. In the meantime, how about the last three days of me mades.

June 18
We decided to celebrate Father's Day on Saturday by heading to the baseball game. Added bonus was that the Atlanta Braves were playing the Texas Rangers, and my mom, who is still visiting, is a huge Rangers fan. It was hot and humid, so I wore the only pair of shorts that I've made. You've seen them before. With the added excitement of a 2 hour rain delay, we really got our money's worth.
The aliens were ready to land.

Top: Ann Taylor
Convenient that both the Braves and the Rangers wear blue and red. The drunk girl sitting next to me snapped this pic. Can you see my navy shorts? The top is from Ann Taylor, but I did hem it.

After the rain.

June 19
Father's Day, and my mom, Roland and I headed to church. So, here's a problem with any wardrobe, me made or RTW. When you go on vacation and eat too much, nothing really fits when you get home. This dress is no exception, and has the added problem of being extremely overfitted, especially across the bust. You can see the dress in a better fitting day here. The white cardigan was a defense against the A/C, and I really love the little green Coach purse with the pink.
Just home from church, and the dress was quickly exchanged for a complete RTW outfit.

June 20
This top. Oh, I want to love it. I want to even like it, but even with wearing a tank underneath, I was fussing with it all day. I do like how it looks with the white skirt, which is from the now defunct Harolds. This was at the end of a long day of shopping, but the skirt was *ahem* just as wrinkled when I put it on.

It's ironic that I bought quite a lot of stuff at the Talbot's sale today, but there are still some gaps in my wardrobe.
Skirt: Harolds

Surprise! To balance out the RTW from Talbots, mom and I went to Whipstitch to spend the Groupon I had purchased earlier this year. (paid $20 for $40* worth of merchandise... woo hoo!!)

*If you think there is more than $40 worth of merch there, you would be right.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vintage 1974 -- Simplicity 6606 Finished!

Every now and then, Laura will send me a link to a RTW something, and ask if I can make something like it. She has expensive taste, so these are almost always garments way out of her price range. I love a challenge, so I set out to find a pattern, vintage or new, that has the same look and feel. Then, we hunt for a suitable fabric.

Simplicity 6606 was the perfect answer to a button front, floral fabric dress that was in the $200+ range. I'm terrible at keeping track, but if memory serves, I think I paid less than $30 for everything for this version. I did make a muslin, because I bought the pattern without looking at the size. (Click here and scroll down for a peak at Laura in her muslin.)

The fabric is a rayon shirting from The pictures were all taken by Laura's husband Thomas, who happens to be an actual photographer, so enjoy these professional pictures.
Button detail
Groovy 1974 Collar

June 17
Thanks to everyone for the comments about my commitment to the me made challenge. I do sometimes get obsessed about challenges and about following the rules. Speaking of challenges, over in the Me Made flickr group, today's mini-challenge is to take your pic with a loved one. So, just in case he hasn't ever appeared on my blog before, meet Roland, husband. The wreath behind our heads is one I made when the kids were little, so their little handprints also represent my loved ones who aren't so little now. (outfit is my chambray top that I love... a repeat, and my crescent skirt)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Me Made June Continues

The vacation is over, but me made June continues, and so far, so good. Three more days have passed, and on each of those days I wore one thing that I made. But for you, loyal readers, they are all repeats. Still, in the spirit of the challenge, I've got pictures, and little stories. You know, cuz you're all dying to know everything about my life. Here we go...

June 14
Bridge lessons continued today, and then we (me, my mom and Roland) hopped in the car and headed north. You see, Laura and Thomas are moving from Nashville to Alexandria, VA, and Tuesday was Day 1 of the Big Move. They planned to do the drive in 2 days, but in an effort to save money, the first night (Tues.) was going to be spent in Madisonville, TN at Thomas' dad's house. We joined them up there for steaks on the grill, and a send off party of sorts.

What I wore... a graphic tee from Target and the denim "was shorts, but now it's a skirt" skirt:
Sorry about the 2D pic, but I forgot to get one of the outfit actually on me.

June 15
Yesterday was driving home, and then a doctor's appointment, so comfort was the name of the game. Also, I wanted something I could pack in a very small bag that wouldn't wrinkle. Enter the green and black graphic knit dress. You'll recognize it, I think. For picture interest, it's a location shot... a fine dining establishment in Madisonville. Best.biscuits.ever!

Me and Mom at the Lamp Post

June 16
Bringing us up to date. Errands + bridge + more errands = need a comfortable outfit.
The mod pink top, plus Ann Taylor capris. Couldn't find my shoes for the photo shoot.

Tomorrow, I hope to at least cut out something new. There has been NO sewing this week. I'm ready for new. How about you? Tomorrow will also be the revealing of the Vintage Simplicity Dress I made for Laura.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Love the Crescent Skirt!!

I finished my second crescent skirt at least a couple of weeks ago, and this was one for my daughter. I used Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Voile, the Diamond Mine Ink pattern which is a fabulous fabric to sew on. I lined it with poly blend batiste since the voile is slightly sheer. I've blogged about this skirt on numerous occasions, so what do you say we just look at it!

Finally, a little Me Made June. Yesterday was just a post vacation recovery day. We went out to lunch before Laura and Thomas headed back to Nashville, and the rest of us just hung out. Perhaps a little laundry was done. I had taken this dress to the beach, but didn't have a chance to wear it, and it's just a bit louder than my usual style. I made it last summer and yesterday was only the second time I had worn it.

Today, it's back to business as usual. That meant vacation laundry and grocery, with a side of a bridge class that I had previously signed up for. The bridge class (and me made June) meant that I was a bit more careful with what I threw on for the day. I made this top last year from a Liberty scarf that I bought at Target. The skirt is from Talbots.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Butterick 5181 Revealed

Do you love border prints? I do, and had bought a particularly lovely one last year and just needed to find the perfect pattern, and I thought that Butterick 5181 would do the trick.
The black and white polka dot version was my starting point, and I made a muslin of the bodice. Turns out that I was 100% correct in worrying about that plunging neckline only coming together below the bust at the midriff seamline. Yikes! Photos of that would definitely be NSFW!

So I added an inch to the top pieces in the front and back, did a sway back adjustment in the back, took a tuck along the neckline, and raised the point where the neckline comes together about 3 inches or so. During construction, I sewed that center seam together, and lined it almost as directed, sewing the neckline and armscyes together, and then pulling it right sides out through the shoulders. I didn't make a 2nd muslin because I was in a hurry to get it done before the vacation, and I'm not happy with the darts. I think the only way to correct the problem would be lots of ripping out of stitches, so I may just try to live with it.

One thing that I love... the inseam pockets that I added. With a full skirt, they are invisible, but, oh, so useful.

I wore this on the 8th for Kyle's birthday dinner, and I also wore it all day yesterday for a travel from the beach. I think the fabric can make it dressy, but as a comfy sundress, it also worked for the long drive home.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Covering Up on June 10

One of the things that I made for this summer beach trip was a bathing suit cover up using the free Hot Pattern download from Super easy, but it does take a lot of paper for printing. One complaint is that there are no measurements, so there is an element of guessing the size to cut out. As I recall (it was a few weeks ago), I made an 8 for the top part, and a 14 around the skirt part. One change was to redraw the underarm to "waist" to slightly more fitted. I also shortened it a bit. A bit too much it turns out.

For the fabric, I decided on a really cute French terry from

Oh, I should also tell you that this is pretty much staged because it was actually too hot, and really unnecessary. It will come in handy in other situations.

This is the look at me point at things series.

In the afternoon, we headed to Fort Frederica, and there will be pictures, but later. And all day we were scouting for transport opportunities.

Top: McCalls 5522
Skirt: Simplicity 2370 (was shorts that fit really, really bad, but I made them a skirt in an effort to salvage them)

Edit: One of my great commenters (I've never had a bad one, thank you!!) asked what do I use to make my collages. I use the awesome talents of my daughter, Laura, who uses photoshop on her Mac. Sometimes she is apparently running late. Who knows why since all she has to do is hang out at the beach with us. Really, free help these days! Anyway, her husband, Thomas did the airplane picture (he is actually a photographer and has changed all the settings on my point and shoot... I hope I can still use it when he leaves town). He also did the picture at the fort, and the close up of the ruffle and buttons that are really snaps. And it wasn't creepy at all. But Laura still made the collage. Did I mention that she's awesome?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 7 and 9, and Sort of June 8

The dates above don't tell the whole story, but hopefully it will gracefully unfold as I write. Or not. Let's just see what happens, shall we.

June 7

We headed south to St. Marys, Georgia, an historic town on the St. Marys River. Apologies to St. Marys, but there isn't really a ton of stuff to do there, but it is the place where you would catch the ferry over to Cumberland Island. There are a few shops and restaurants, and some quaint, Victorian homes. I wore my Chicos shorts, previously seen, and the Serendipity top that has never before been worn after making.

After wearing it all day, I've determined that I need to remake it. Yep, it's cute. Yep, it's comfy. But I just never totally felt comfortable. It became AKA the "maternity" top, which is not a good look when you're in your 50s. I already have an idea on a remake though, so it will definitely reappear in another form.
Shorts: Chicos

One further thought about this top... I put my pj shorts on with it, and the shorter length actually looked better. The bad news is that I don't actually wear my shorts as short as those out in public.

And a couple of gratutious family shots...
My gorgeous mom, Corinne

My gorgeous daughter, Laura

June 8

Did you happen to catch my post yesterday? The one about Kyle's birthday? And I mentioned a new, never before seen dress? Backing up a bit, if you missed it, go have a little peek and in the family photo, and you'll see me wearing the red cowl neck top again. My clothing day went like this... swimsuit, red top with denim skirt (also me made, but not featured yet), swimsuit, new dress. It's just that there weren't any pics taken of the dress yet. I promise. Tomorrow. Really.

June 9

We hit the outlet mall today, and while the choices of shops was kind of disappointing, we did find some good deals. And luckily, the 4 of us that shopped all have similar shopping styles and tolerances. After about an hour and a half, we were done and headed to McDonald's for their new frozen lemonade drink. Yum.

And what did I wear? One of my favorite me mades from last year... a knit dress that is extremely forgiving and completely suitable when the you might have had birthday cake and donuts for breakfast. Might have.
Dress: Vogue 8575

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kyle! A Semi-Me Made Project!

Happy birthday to my baby boy, Kyle! He's not so baby any more though, as we're celebrating his much anticipated 21st birthday. Should be fairly tame tonight, what with dinner with mom, dad, 2 grandmothers, his sister and brother-in-law all in tow. We are on vacation though, and at a beach where we've spotted several suitable after dinner establishments. Laura and Thomas will be taking him out for those activities. Tomorrow he plans to head west to Auburn, Alabama where he'll hang out with some high school buddies for the weekend, and possibly what happens in Auburn will stay in Auburn.

Champagne for lunch, what could be better?

While I had some help with the above "me made" project, lol, I am wearing a never before seen on this blog dress tonight, and tomorrow I'll be back to the regular programming. Oh yeah, there will be some commentary on yesterday's outfit, not yet posted as well, and it's not all good.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 6

One of the things I'm learning about these me made days is that I have some perfectly good outfits, but they aren't really accessorized. Of course, I haven't really been doing anything in these outfits... not even going out... and I'm out of town, with only what I packed, which wasn't much. Still, there is some room for improvement.

This is what I wore yesterday after a morning at the beach and the pool. We did a little shopping (a very little shopping) and cooked dinner at home, so it was perfect for just lounging around.

Yes, I am not even wearing shoes, though I did have some flip flops on at various times of the day.


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