5.29.2014

Me-Made-May '14: Week 4

Let's pretend I didn't post this four days late and just jump in, shall we?

Day 17 - n/a  - A sudden chill came through and I didn't feel I had any appropriate tops... must work on that. I wore jeans, a Liberty lawn button-front, and a lightweight cardigan. The cardigan isn't something I feel I can make myself (It's lace-weight but solidly knit...it would take me decades) but, the shirt is, so I plan to add a few to the queue.

Day 18 - n/a - We're doing a lot of improvements to the house and I didn't bother putting on any "nice" clothes.

Day 19 - not-yet-blogged turquoise top - to babysit our neighbor's son (which turned out to mean 'sit by the pool for two hours, reading a book and check on the napping baby at regular intervals - easy peesy) - Right, so, we're getting a little more real here this year.  Not seeing many fancy dresses, are we?  While I've basically boycotted jeans since college, this year, I've embraced the "casual norm" a bit more. Enter this simple but glorious rayon top. Oh how I love rayon. And turquoise. And rayon... you get the idea ;-) While I don't think this is "my best look", I know this top will get regular wear.  Despite the unexpected lounging in the sun, this top stayed cool and comfortable.  Grade: B+?

Top: Simplicity 1690, Jeans: Gap, Shoes: Hush Puppies
Brandon pointed out the wrinkles and I said "It's Me-Made-May. It's about keeping it real!" :-P

Day 20 - Gah! The day that killed the month! (I've now officially failed my challenge of five days per week.)  I had a migraine for a large portion of the day and, admittedly, stayed in [rtw] pjs all day. :-(

Day 21 - Three Seasons shirtdress - for, you know, daily activities and some home diy.  Sorry, didn't get a photo.  I think this is the year that has finally done this dress in.  Ugh, I felt awful in it.  It was made pre-serger, which would have been fine if I'd used French seams or something but, nope.  I used my old machine's faux-overlock, which is still allowing the edges to fray a bit.  Also, the fit is off just enough to be annoying.  Is it noticeable to the general person?  Probably not. But, it doesn't feel right.  It's time to look at this one as a learning process and start again.  I'll likely use the pattern again but, I think the view with the waist seam will make it feel a bit more me.  I'm thinking navy linen... and maybe another blue shirting. Pinpoint perhaps?  Grade: D

Day 22 - not-yet-blogged 60s Floral Skirt - Errands and dinner out with Brandon - I really like this skirt.  That said, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding what to pair it with.  It's harder than I thought to avoid 'matchy-matchy' and/or 'sugary sweet'.  I think this rtw wear top is teetering on both but, I was in a rush.  The outift was seriously comfortable, I just felt a hair too "cutesy" while everyone else seemed to be bustling about in their modern colors and hi-lo hems.  Grade: B+

Oh hey, look! You do get to sneak a peak at this skirt :-)
Top: Banana Republic, Skirt: Self-Drafted, Shoes: Dolce Vita via TJ Maxx

Day 23 - "Dock of the Bay" dress - so. much. shopping. - Sorry. No picture for this one either.  I was way too worn out by the time we got home to pose for a shot, particularly in unflattering indoor lighting.  Another iffy selection.  I had to force myself to pull it out of the closet.  If it weren't for MMMay, I wouldn't have.  I really like it in theory but, 1. it's overfitted.  It's a casual sundress but, fits like something more um, attention-seeking? 2.  it's too small in the bust.  I was totally winging my pattern alterations and didn't add enough room there (seriously, I'm not a full girl - who is this pattern designed for?).  Also, the embroidered fabric apparently has zero give so, yeah, there's a lot of smooshing happening and the sports-bra look is not a flattering one.  If I can ever stop getting distracted by shiny new fabric and patterns, I'll redo the bodice and maybe let the side seams out a touch.  Then, I think she'll be a winner.  Grade: C+ (for now)

Previous posts:
Me-Made-May '14: My Pledge
Me-Made-May '14: Week 1
Me-Made-May '14: Week 2
Me-Made-May '14: Week 3
5.20.2014

Me-Made-May '14: Week 3

Day 10 - "Here Comes the Sun" skirt - for an indulgent breakfast and the drive home from New Orleans. Now that the pockets are sewn shut on this skirt, I think it lay much nicer.  It's still a very full skirt though so, I have to be in the right mood to wear it.  Brandon has suggested I add a bit of trim to break up the line between the yellow and the white to make it look more "rtw"... I'm thinking a small lace?  Grade: B

Sorry! Photos on this blog are dropping to a new low... my phone takes horrible photos and I know nothing of "selfies".
Top: J.Crew, Skirt: Butterick 5285, Shoes (the usual): Hush Puppies

Day 11 - n/a

Day 12 - Seersucker shirt - Errands and such.  I think it's time for this one to go.  I didn't know anything about fitting when I made it and so, I don't really have room to move.  I was pulling on it all afternoon.  Also, the fabric quality isn't so good - the dye bled and it's a little scratchy even though it's 100% cotton.  Grade: C-

Shirt:  Simplicity 2339, Skirt: Vineyard Vines, Shoes: Hush Puppies
Day 13 - n/a

Day 14 - not-yet-blogged turquoise top (and a me-made hair tie :P) - for daily activities - This one was hot off the machine and I love it already.  Rayon challis is definitely a fabric I need more of in my closet.  It's so smooth, cool and breathable.  And yes, I'm totally stuck on all variations of turquoise.

Top:  Simplicity 1690, Shorts: AE, Hairtie: me-made from fold-over elastic, Necklace: Target

Day 15 - not-yet-blogged Lavender Half-circle Skirt - for an orthodontic appointment (Yep! The braces are on! ...though, I won't be flashing them until they close the SARPE-gap a bit.) - When I bought this fabric, I posted it with two others stating that I'd apparently decided I needed more purple in my wardrobe. I totally did! I love this color!  It's a little sweet but, I kept the shape simple and wore it with neutrals, and hey, pastels are in right now anyway, right?  Oh, and clearly my love for unlined, breezy linen skirts continues.  Ignoring linen's tendency to wrinkle, this is practically a perfect skirt in my book.  Grade: A

Oh look, Brandon's back and so are better pictures!
Shirt: J.Crew, Skirt: Self-drafted, Shoes: Hush Puppies

Day 16 - not-yet-blogged Navy Ikat Linen Skirt - for a day out with Brandon - Yep, this rtw shirt and this skirt again... I love them both!  I'm not sure if my addiction to this top means I need more navy tops, more short-sleeve tops, or both.  I'm really surprised how much I love this skirt - I wouldn't have guessed that this print would be "me" but, as soon as it was out of the wash, I wanted to wear it again.  Now that's the kind of me-made item I need more of! (I think this outfit would benefit from bright pink shoes/accessories though.) Grade: A+

Top: J.Crew, Skirt: Self-drafted, Shoes: Aerosoles

Previous posts:
Me-Made-May '14: My Pledge
Me-Made-May '14: Week 1
Me-Made-May '14: Week 2
5.12.2014

Me-Made-May '14: Week 2

My week 2 round-up is a little belated, but, the good news is, I stuck to my goal of five outfits.  In fact, I went out-of-town and wore a me-made item every day I was gone!

Day 3 - Unblogged Brigitte "Teacup" Scarf - to cover my sun-burnt part and glam up a trip to the hardware store :-P.  I don't consider this part of my "five" but, I enjoyed adding a small touch of me-made to a rtw outfit.  I like having a new way to wear this fabric (since styling its sister Sorbetto is a work-in-progress) and I like the little retro polish it adds to an otherwise very casual, modern look.  The rtw pieces remind me how much I love silk/cotton (the top - bonus: I actually own this fabric! I really should make something with it) and that I really should make all of the shorts on my list. I prefer my inseam to be longer than this and it always makes me a little self-conscious.

Head scarf: Brigitte Scarf, Top: J.Crew, Shorts: AE, Belt: Brooks Brothers, Shoes: Hush Puppies
Day 4 - n/a (I wore a knit polo shirt, which I've never been inclined to make since finding matching collars is next to impossible, and a twill skirt, which I'm replicating using Simplicity 2451.)

Day 5 - "That Cozy Blue Dress" - for an impromptu road trip with Brandon (I accompanied him on a business trip to Mobile because one of my favorite cities is only 2 hours away from there).  I'm sure I've said it before and I'll say it again: knit dresses are THE BEST clothing for travel.  6 hours in a car while wearing jeans? No thanks. While wearing a loose fitting, non-constrictive, breathable dress?  No problem!!  I'd almost forgotten how much I love this dress!  Is it glamorous? No. But, it's an "old-friend" kind of dress.  I feel like I've had it for ages though it's only been two years.  I still love the color (of course) and the style - young but not too-young, and not too dressy. I never feel bad in this dress (at least not owing to the dress itself - funny story: when we arrived at our destination, we opted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at a Mexican restaurant. As usual, it was a casual atmosphere, with many guests wearing athletic wear. No problem. BUT, the older ladies at the table next to us took issue with me, the only girl wearing a dress. Get this, they hated that I dipped my tortilla chips in my dip. Many rude faces, comments, and gestures were made. Then, one of the ladies proceeded to blow her nose at the table, while still saying how disgusting I was. So, I ordered nachos!* They loved it! :-P)  Grade: A-
(Sorry, didn't get a photo.  It looked about the same as last year though, except I wore it with coral flats and my Coach bag.)

Day 6 - unblogged 60's floral skirt - for a bit of relaxing at the hotel and a late dinner.  I love this skirt!  It's a half-circle, cotton sateen, and a pretty floral print so, of course I do.  However, being my first time wearing it, I was very conscious of it and wearing it to a "nice" place to eat made me feel like everyone must have thought I dressed up for dinner, which, despite the illusion of this being the nicest restaurant in the city, no one else did.  I think this one will get worn often but, I may need to be selective regarding the setting.  I also wasn't totally convinced the pinpoint shirt was the best pairing but, I have many more options I can play with.  Grade: A
(Gah! I didn't get a photo of this one either.  By the time we remembered, we were going to be late for our dinner reservation.  I meant to "recreate it" the next day for a quick shot but, that didn't work out either.  If I get a chance, I'll add one.  Otherwise, you'll just have to wait for the "Finished Object" post :)  For a sneak peak, here's a wip pic of it:

Day 7 - "Betty's Picnic Dress" - for sightseeing in downtown Mobile and another late dinner.  This is definitely at the top of my love/hate list.  This is the first item I think of when I think of prints in my wardrobe and a huge part of how I developed my current plan/"theories".  I took my time with the fit, love the fabric, love the style and yet, often when I wear it, it feels a bit like playing dress up.  I think it's the all-over print that is just a bit too 50s-housewife (and it never helps that I actually am a housewife, like I have no defense to the snickers.) I think I need to give more thought to the settings in which I wear it.  Once I have a larger variety of me-mades in my closet, it will have it's place and I will love it more.  Grade: B+


Dress: New Look 6886/Butterick 5747/Frankenpattern, Purse: Coach (vintage), Scarf: AE, Shoes:  Hush Puppies, Accessories: Target & Timex
Day 8 - Pool Green Half-circle skirt - for fabric shopping (what? doesn't everyone buy fabric souvenirs!?), driving to our next destination, and sight-seeing/people-watching in New Orleans!  Since this is a recently blogged make, I don't really have any new thoughts on it.  Comfortable, polished, all-around a great skirt. However, this outfit was certainly not Bourbon Street attire.  It was hot/humid, and a day-appropriate look in a city that definitely believes in dressing for the night.  Not that I would have worn something drastically different (I wasn't looking for beads... they hurt when they hit you!) but, darker colors and a blouse rather than a shirt would have been better. Grade:  A

(Sorry for the poor quality phone shots.  We don't have a proper camera bag and didn't want to risk carrying it down Bourbon Street.) Anywho...
Shirt: Brooks Brothers, Skirt: self-drafted, Purse: Coach (vintage), Shoes: Hush Puppies
Location: Vaso, Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, LA - You know what I love about NOLA?  Even on a Thursday night, you can simply stroll down the street until you hear music you like and go in to enjoy amazing food :)

Day 9 - not-yet-blogged navy linen skirt - for more food and sight-seeing.  Yep, I love this skirt too.  In my head, the navy color makes it classic and versatile, while the Ikat print adds a touch of trendy.  The unlined linen in a flowy cut was an excellent choice for walking around in the humidity and it's sure to become a go-to skirt this summer.  Also, since it's a simple two color print in a non-floral pattern, I didn't feel in any way out of place in it.  Lady-like, yes, but never over-dressed.  Grade: A+

(Again, swelling + poor phone camera = sorry!)
Shirt:  Ann Taylor (thrifted), Skirt: self-drafted, Jacket: Brooks Running (color sold out), Shoes: Hush Puppies
Location: Jackson Square, New Orleans

Previous posts:
Me-Made-May '14: My Pledge
Me-Made-May '14: Week 1

*I was already planning to order nachos but, oh how they groaned.
5.02.2014

Me-Made-May '14: Week 1

Woo hoo! I wore a handmade item each day this week! Of course, it was only two days :-P. But, I'd say that's a good start.

Day One:  Unblogged "Teacup Sorbetto" - Fabric shopping, errands, and a casual dinner.  I wanted to start the month with an item I almost never wear: my Colette Sorbetto.  I'd love the blue/white china look of this fabric but, it doesn't drape as well as I would have liked and paired with the loose-fitting pattern, it's looks horribly boxy on me, which is not a shape I wear well.  I tried something new by tucking it into my jeans and, while it didn't like to stay tucked, I did think it helped with the boxiness.  Now, I just need to find something else to tuck it into as I hate how unflattering skinny jeans are.  I was a great, comfortable outfit for a bit of shopping though.  Grade: B-

Top: unblogged Colette Sorbetto, Jeans: Gap, Jewelry: Target and Timex, Shoes: Hush Puppies

Day Two:  "Summer Breeze Top" - Lounging and a long walk downtown. This top I do wear but, really only as a running around town or casual day at home kind of top.  I really struggle with how to pair it.  The empire waistline means I can't tuck it into anything so, boring shorts it is.  This year, I rebelled against the white ones I usually wear and tried to liven it up with pink.  I'm not sure how I feel about how it looks but, it's was perfect for walking CoCo downtown.  Grade: B-

Top: Simplicity 2582, Shorts: Milly for BR, Accessories: Target, Timex, and our dog, CoCo :), Shoes: Hush Puppies

Sidenote:  I hate not smiling for photos!  But, the front of my face is still swollen and my smile is, um, not presentable after my jaw surgery... braces in 13 days should fix that though :-)

Previous posts:
Me-Made-May '14: My Pledge