Posts Tagged ‘me made may’

A Handmade Summer Wardrobe plan

Wardrobe Design for Summer | a happy stitch

Hey, happy August everyone. I figured it was probably about time that I wrote down and owned up to my summer wardrobe planning and scheming.  You know, before the summer itself ends.

The back story is this, during Me Made May I had a bit of a reckoning (it’s not the first time, MMM does this to me). My handmade wardrobe was out of touch with what I actually wear.  I managed to wear something handmade every day in May but I wasn’t always pulling something I loved out of the closet in order to accomplish it.  I realize May was a long time ago in blogger years but the point I am making is that still, even after SO MUCH sewing, I am not that great at sewing for my actual real life.  Considering I’m actively trying to be aware and sew for real life, well…it was a frustrating realization to say the least.  I took a look at those items I did want to wear regularly and realized something pretty quickly; my most-worn handmade clothes are versatile, comfortable and low-key.  Everything pictured below was worn more than once. (more…)

The Nothing New Project – a year of used, handmade and swapped

the nothing new project- my year of used, handmade and swapped

At the beginning of the year I committed to buying no new clothes all year long and I’ve been sticking to it for the last five months.  After a while I started thinking of it as “the nothing new project”.  You know, as in…I’m not buying anything new.  But also as in “eh, no big deal…it’s nothing new” because I kind of needed to convince myself of that and I also wanted to recognize that for many generations buying new clothes was a luxury.   My grandmother, for example, would have mended garments until they were threadbare and sewn everything else, including men’s work shirts and suits.  It’s good for me to remember that the shift toward cheap, new clothing is a wild extravagance not a necessity.

That said, I do want to feel cute, sexy and fashionable and the world of fast-fashion makes finding a balance tricky.  Trends swing wildly from skinny jeans to wide cullottes; certain styles quickly become old and out-dated. It leaves me with competing emotions; I want to stop the wasteful consumption of new clothes but don’t want to stop dressing well.  I don’t want to become a woman who looks like she has ‘given up’ and is wearing the same sweatpants from 10 years ago. (Well, ok, I don’t want to look like that every day; some days I am just fine with that look).  Or, whose every outfit has that tell-tale 80’s look that is just to easy to end up with when thrift store shopping.  I have to admit that how I dress is important to me. I feel good when I like what I’m wearing, when I feel like what I’m wearing fits me well, looks good and fits who I am.  So at the same time as I don’t want to buy anything new I do want to feel like my wardrobe is fresh and fun.  That’s why I’m selectively buying used clothing, sewing handmade and swapping enough clothes to feel not only fully outfitted but (mostly) guilt-free!


the pretty boring shirt

Just as I expected this week got away from me and I didn’t end up doing as much sewing for Selfish Sewing Week as I would have liked.  I’m preparing for a handful of great classes at Rock Paper Scissors and they all needed class samples and oodles of attention. (If you are curious, I am teaching pillow making, The Geranium Dress, PJ pants, & the Washi Dress.) It was also C’s birthday on Friday so there was lots of birthday hoopla to consider.  In the end, I wasn’t able to sneak in my selfish sewing with the exception of my Vespa bag and this t-shirt.

Brown and Navy T-shirt - a modified Plaintain Tee made by a happy stitch

I’m calling it the pretty boring shirt because, well, it’s pretty boring.  It’s a top & I will wear it in that perfectly ordinary way that I sometimes just grab a top out of my dresser and put it on.  It’s fine.  The fabric is from Girl Charlee and it was really cheap. I like the color combination and the triangles are fun.  But, the brown and navy without anything else going on…meh. It’s not the fabric’s fault, I just should have added some kind of fun accent…a small pocket, maybe?

brown and navy shirt

What I might need to do is buy a pink scarf or necklace or something to give this shirt a bit of something-something.  I don’t know. Any idea you have are welcome.  Very welcome.

For the pattern I modified the Deer & Doe’s (free!) plantain tee in the following ways: 1) I raised the neckline an inch or two and widened the scoop around the shoulders for a different look at the neck; and 2) I took out some of the body in the waist of the shirt to straighten it a little.  Unlike my first version of this top, I used the 3/4 length sleeves and added a bit of elastic to create a ruched section of the sleeve.

brown and navy shirtEven that detail lacked sparkle! Ay-yi-yi!

The fit is ok but a little tight.  Unlike the first top I made, which fit so beautifully, this fabric doesn’t have as much stretch and for some reason that has translated into a tighter fit in the armpit. (Boy! This blog post is just getting sexier and sexier.)

I’m not being too hard on myself, however.  My intention with this t-shirt was really to play around with altering the pattern and see how it turned out.  I’ve got some pricier knit fabric that I want to use to make something more interesting (possibly like this one from Sew Caroline) & you know what they say about eggs and omelets.  I guess this t-shirt fits into the ‘crack a few’ category.

So, lessons learned for next time include make the shirt more interesting with a pop of color; roomier in the armpit to make up for loss of stretch; widen the scoop neck a little more; amp up the ruching; avoid upside-down triangles at the top hem; and add in ease to the arm.  That’s quite the list but avoiding another lackluster blog post like this one is worth the effort it will take.  Am I missing anything?  Am I being too hard on myself? Thoughts?

In other news, I’ve joined Me Made May this year for the first time and so I will be wearing at least one item of handmade clothing every day all month long.  I’m so excited. This shirt, in fact, was what I wore on Day 3.  I’ve actually thought a lot about what it will mean to wear something handmade each day & why it is that I sew so many handmades but only wear a handful of them.  I’m looking forward to writing more about all of that soon for you guys. But, for now I will leave you with this picture of the face I apparently wear when my husband’s picture taking skills are leaving me frustrated.

brown and navy tee- the spoiled girl facePoor man.  He’s so tolerant of my moodiness.


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