Saturday, May 31, 2014

Me-Made-May: Week 5

Well, there you have it. My first Me-Made-May is over and done with. I signed up because I thought it would be fun and challenging, but I had no idea how invigorating it would be! Over the course one month, I wore a piece of handmade clothing every day, sewed with voile for the first time, graded and altered a pattern for the first time, discovered a new favorite pattern and made three shirts! Perhaps even more impressive, I noticed a shift in my attitude towards clothes. Instead of thinking “I want to buy that,” I now catch myself thinking “I want to make that.” Instead of feeling like I have nothing to wear because I don’t like how I look in ready-to-wear clothes, now I can easily pull together a week’s worth of outfits that make me feel confident and proud of my accomplishments. That shift in attitude is one I am very happy with.

Of all the different aspects of this challenge, it was the daily photographs that I found most difficult. I was fortunate than my incredibly patient husband was willing to snap a few smartphone photos of me every day as we left the house. There were a couple days when our mornings were just too hectic to remember or care about the picture, but we always managed to squeeze one in before nightfall. Looking back at the pictures, it’s fascinating to see how the light in the front yard changed from day to day and from morning to late afternoon. Viewing the month’s pictures also reveals holes in my spring/summer wardrobe.

At the conclusion of this month, I’m happy with how I did, and I’m excited to continue my handmade wardrobe journey. Who knows, maybe for next year’s Me-Made-May, I’ll be wearing knits and pants! One can only hope.

Sunday, May 25, 2014: Grey Eyelet Wiksten Tank
Monday, May 26, 2014: Simply Style Belcarra Blouse (not yet blogged)
Tuesday, May 27, 2014: Pearl Bracelet Wiksten Tank
Wednesday, May 28, 2014: Celebration Belcarra Boulse (not yet blogged)
Thursday, May 29, 2014: Twinkle Twinkle Wiksten Tank
Friday, May 30, 2014: Simply Style Belcarra Blouse (not yet blogged)
Saturday, May 31, 2014: Cattitude Wiksten Tank


Friday, May 30, 2014

Pastry Line Staple Tunic

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I made a few shirts recently. Part of my Me-Made-May’14 pledge was to make one garment out of a new-to-me pattern or fabric type. Based on what I had on hand, I decided to modify the Staple Dress pattern by April Rhodes to make a top. While I enjoyed making my previous Staples Dresses, I felt that I could adjust the fit and length to make something that I could wear more often, as I don’t wear dresses very often.

To adjust the pattern to match the picture in my head, I started by grading from a medium in the shoulders to a large in the hips. That wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be, but by the time I had finished adjusting the hemline to my satisfaction, two hours had passed! Pattern modification is not for the faint of heart, or those short on time.

The fabric I used was a Pastry Line voile by Anna Maria Horner that had been languishing in my stash for some time. This was my first time working with voile and it is every bit as nice as everyone says it is! While I found it a little more delicate than quilting cotton, it was still easy to work with. Best of all, it was softer and more pleasant to wear, and washed up nicely. I’m really happy that companies like Art Gallery Fabrics are including more voile options to coordinate with their quilting cotton offerings. I want more awesome prints in soft, easy-to-use fabrics!

After several days of deliberation, I decided to forgo the elastic shirring. The result is a comfy and casual shirt that can be worn out or tucked in. It think it will be lovely to wear in spring and summer. This shirt was definitely a confidence booster, as I managed to try a couple new things successfully.

Yes, I did mention at the beginning of this post that I made more than one shirt. Tune in later for more!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Otomi-Inspired Knot Bags

As part of my never-ending quest to wrap every gift in reusable handmade wrapping, I’m always on the lookout for cute gift bags to make. Flipping through old magazines, I recently stumbled upon the Otomi-Inspired Knot Bag by Mags Kandis in the Fall 2013 issue of Stitch. The embellishment did not speak to me, but the shape of the bag did, so I printed the pattern, skipped ahead in the instructions, and got to work.

I found that I could quickly cut four pattern pieces from a half yard of fabric, which lent itself well to making two matching bags from each pair of fabrics.

The first two bags were made of yardage I had on hand of Just Wing It! by Momo and Bold and Beautiful by Michele D’Amore.

The last two bags were made from Kingdom by Jessica Levitt fabric and Stoff Quilters Basic Style fabric, also from my stash.

While the finished products turned out cute, and were well liked by the recipients, the construction left something to be desired. After attaching the lining, and turning it right side out, the bag is finished by folding under the seam allowances and topstitching around the handles. For all four bags, I found this step to be finicky and frustrating. These bags are rather small, and I'm sure that didn't help the situation. I’m happy I tried this pattern, but I will leave it behind as I continue my search for the perfect stitched gift bag.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Me-Made-May’14: Week 4

As the end of Me-Made-May creeps ever closer, I find it interesting to stop and reflect not only on the garments, but on the process of participating in this event as well. While the daily pictures are getting old, I am still enjoying sharing them, as well as perusing others’ progress on Instagram. Wearing me-made garments is definitely not growing old. In fact, now it seems only natural to be wearing handmade daily.

Also noteworthy is that I finished a new top last week! I used the new Belcarra Blouse pattern by Sewaholic Patterns and loved it. It’s such a fun pattern that I’ve already started a second one. There’s a sew-along in progress, if anyone is interested.

Sunday, May 18, 2014: Black Staple Dress (unblogged)
Monday, May 19, 2014: Gridlocked Wiksten Tank
Tuesday, May 20, 2014: Pastry Line Staple Tunic (not yet blogged)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014: Pearl Bracelet Wiksten Tank
Thursday, May 22, 2014: Twinkle Twinkle Wiksten Tank
Friday, May 23, 2014: Celebration Belcarra Boulse (not yet blogged)
Saturday, May 24, 2014: Pastry Line Staple Tunic (not yet blogged)


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Poochless Poochie Gift Bags

In need of a gift bag for a friend, I decided to revisit Happy Zombie’s Poochie Bag pattern, omitting the pockets and pooches (i.e., boxed corners). Inspired by the success of my Easter Bunny Drawstring Bags, I used up another precious Minny Muu fat quarter. Instead of fabric handles, I substituted ribbon ones. Next time, I would make them a bit longer. As luck would have it, there was enough fabric leftover for an Itty Bitty Poochie Bag, which came in handy for a last minute gift. All in all, a couple satisfying finishes.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Me-Made-May’14: Week 3

Can you believe that May is more than halfway over? For Me-Made-May Week #3, I made a conscious effort to branch out from my standard Wiksten Tank/sweater/jeans/Toms uniform. For Mother’s Day, I wore the dressiest handmade garment I have: my Crazy Cat Lady Dress. While I’m still disappointed with it, the fit issues were adequately covered up with a sweater, and I received a few compliments throughout the day. This week was the first time since I finished this dress that I seriously considered trying this pattern again, as it really is quite comfy.

Speaking of trying patterns again, I closed out the week with not one, but two Staple outfits: my Domino Staple Dress from last year and my recently finished Staple Tunic, which I adapted from the Staple Dress pattern. I’m really pleased with how the Staple Tunic turned out, and will write up a separate blog post later on. All in all, I’m happy with my Me-Made-May outfits so far. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014: Crazy Cat Lady Dress
Monday, May 12, 2014: Pearl Bracelet Wiksten Tank
Tuesday, May 13, 2014: Cattitude Wiksten Tank
Wednesday, May 14, 2014: Twinkle Twinkle Wiksten Tank
Thursday, May 15, 2014: Grey Eyelet Wiksten Tank
Friday, May 16, 2014: Domino Staple Dress
Saturday, May 17, 2014: Pastry Line Staple Tunic (not yet blogged)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Giveaway Day Winner!

Congratulations to Kimberly of Perfection Not Included, who won the Liberty of London Tana Lawn bundle. She said: “I am in love with Anna Graham's Super Tote. It's my favorite bag. I've made it three times already and I really want to make one for me now! Thank you for the giveaway!”

Thank you all for participating!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Giveaway Day: May 2014

It’s Giveaway Day over at Sew, Mama, Sew! I am giving away a small Liberty of London Tana Lawn bundle, which I purchased from Pink Chalk Fabrics. Each piece is roughly 9” by 17”.

Here are the giveaway details:

  • To enter, please leave a comment on this post detailing your current favorite sewing or quilting pattern.
  • The winner will be chosen at random from the comments posted between 6am PST on Monday, May 12, 2014 and 5pm PST on Friday, May 16, 2014.
  • If you are a no-reply blogger (or don’t have a blog), please include your email in your comment. If I can’t reach you, I will pick another winner at random.
  • Please be prepared to provide a US shipping address, as I will not be shipping internationally.

Linking up with 
Sew, Mama, Sew!

Me-Made-May’14: Week 2

Week 2 of Me-Made-May has been successfully completed! Since this event is all about actually wearing what you sew, I pulled out a garment that I was so underwhelmed by when it was finished that I never blogged about it and never even consider wearing it. Last fall, I sewed up a black Staple Dress as part of a costume. Since I was under a deadline, I cut corners and I’m not pleased with the end result. Some of the French seams are messy. It’s fine for a casual day with family, but I wouldn’t wear it around anyone I’m trying to impress. I also left off the pockets, so when I wear it, I’m constantly trying to put my cell phone in nonexistent pockets, which is rather annoying. Lesson learned: haste makes waste. The rest of the week, I relied on my ubiquitous Wiksten tanks.

Sunday, May 4, 2014: Black Staple Dress (previously unblogged)
Monday, May 5, 2014: Gridlocked Wiksten Tank
Tuesday, May 6, 2014: Twinkle Twinkle Wiksten Tank
Wednesday, May 7, 2014: Pearl Bracelet Wiksten Tank
Thursday, May 8, 2014: Cattitude Wiksten Tank
Friday, May 9, 2014: Grey Eyelet Wiksten Tank
Saturday, May 10, 2014: Gridlocked Wiksten Tank


Monday, May 5, 2014

Me-Made-May’14: Week 1

Well, I guess I shouldnt be surprised that for the first week of Me-Made-May’14, I wore a different Wiksten tank every day. Hopefully I’ll branch out a little as the month goes on. Here’s a breakdown of the handmade items I wore each day last week.

Thursday, May 1, 2014: Cattitude Wiksten Tank
Friday, May 2, 2014: Pearl Bracelet Wiksten Tank
Saturday, May 3, 2014: Grey Eyelet Wiksten Tank


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day: April 2014

Isn’t it funny how creativity ebbs and flows? I might not have finished anything in March, but I am ever so happy with what I finished in April:

After I made April’s collage, I realized that all of the projects I finished last month were either made entirely from stash (Easter Bunny Drawstring Bags and Vintage Modern Marmalade Baby Quilt) or remnants from another project (Cattitude Wiksten Tank). With the exception of the Glam Clam Quilt that I just started, I’m going to see if I can continue the stash-busting-remnant-using trend.

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts.

Lily's Quilts