Tag Archive | MMM14

MMM14 comes to an end

This might turn out to be a long post! First of all, the final photo round-up, and then some thoughts on how Me Made May has worked out for me.

Day 28 – I do love this colour combination

The When Two Become One refashioned tee

The When Two Become One refashioned tee

I wore the refashioned t-shirt from day 1, with a plain black RTW pencil skirt.

Day 29

Another office selfie

Another office selfie

I wore the Blingalicious NotCardigan to work, with a completely different plain black RTW pencil skirt (I happen to like plain black pencil skirts). Thursdays are my half day, and by the evening I had changed, because I was off to la Belle France, for the weekend with my sisters. We were going on the overnight ferry, with a 3 hour car journey in the morning followed by an early afternoon appointment at the notarial office, so I needed to wear something that would be comfy for the car-rides, suitable for on the boat, and respectable enough for seeing the notaire. I also wanted to keep my packing simple, so I changed into…

Day 30 – What a scorcher!

 

A slightly blurry shot!

A slightly blurry shot!

I asked my 5-year-old niece to take this photo, so sorry for the blur!  It is, of course, the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt, teamed with a pink tee. The weather was scorchio!

Day 31 – And finally…

Yes, you've seen it before. A lot.

Yes, you’ve seen it before. A lot. And this one is by a 9-year-old niece. With bonus 11-year-old niece playing badminton in the background.

The return (yet again) of the hi-lo floral circle skirt. Because it was easy to pack, and it’s eminently suitable for summertime wearing. Also, bonus hair-flowers, which were also me-made.

And just for the sake of completeness, I can confirm I wore the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt on the journey home today, teamed with a white and black stripey slightly nautical-looking tee-shirt. I’m not normally one for La Mode Nautique, but it did seem quite fitting on the ferry!

And that’s it for Me Made May 2014.

 

My formal pledge was: “I will endeavour to wear something Me-Made five days a week for the duration of May 2014.” I had kept it limited, because I wasn’t sure I could manage more, but actually, I did far better than I had originally thought, and wore something me-made every single day of May. Furthermore, I managed to photo-document each outfit and post it to the MMM Flickr group, as well as here.

I didn’t find it difficult to wear me-made throughout the month. I deliberately try to ensure that what I make will be readily integrated into my regular wardrobe. I make cake, not frosting. Sometimes my cake may have interesting flavours and ingredients. There may even be frosting on the cake. But it’s still fundamentally cake. The things I make generally do get worn in my everyday life. So it wasn’t *too* much of a change to my wardrobe habits to stick to me-mades. It was sometimes a bit restrictive, because I don’t have all that many to choose from. Hopefully that will be less of an issue next time.

What I did find difficult was the photo-documentation. I found it interesting, but not easy to manage. I live on my own, in a flat that doesn’t have good natural light, with no full-length mirror (“It sounds so charming, Béa, you’re really selling it to us!”) So as you will have noted, photos generally tended to be selfies in our flats’ carpark, or in my office, unless there was someone I could reasonably persuade to take the shot for me (mainly the Gentleman Friend and various nieces). It got harder as the month progressed, and I’m sorry to note that I got more and more lazy about putting on makeup for the photos! I will make more of an effort next time.

But despite those reservations, you can see that I’m already talking about “next time”! I am really glad I did make the effort to photograph what I wore and post it on the flickr group, because the participation in that element of MMM was very community orientated, I became aware of a whole new range of sewing bloggers, and received some very positive and supportive comments from other MMM-ers.

In terms of appraising my own wardrobe, I’ve concretised (is that a word? It is now) some of the gaps I had previously been aware of. Meaning, while I knew I needed certain items in my wardrobe (e.g. I really need some tops) I now have a better idea of what sort of tops I need (e.g. I could really do with a plain white woven top, probably in a blouse or tunic style, and a plain black one ditto, and probably a red top of some description too). The other thing I need more of is jumpers and cardigans. I’m working on that, but knitting is slow! The Teal Slouchy Cardigan is a reasonable starting point, and I will probably make one more of these, with adaptations, possibly even two. But then I have to tackle the new-style in-the-round-top-down-circular-needles sewing that seems to be all the rage these days. I could really do with a plain black cardigan and another neutral one, in stone or camel maybe. I like cardigans, because they’re useful for layering, but I’ll be thinking of jumpers too. It would appear that Andi Satterlund’s Miette pattern is the generally accepted entry level version of these cardigans, but it’s too small for me and I’m not sure how to grade it up, so I’ll probably be trying Hetty, hopefully before the year is out. The other thing I’d like more of in my me-made wardrobe is dresses, two or three more in a range of styles would be nice. Dresses are easy to wear!

One thing that came out of the month’s photo-documenting of what I wore was how much I felt like I was letting the side down once it came to wearing repeats. Although I knew from the start that I would have to repeat, because I don’t have enough me-made in my wardrobe, and although I wore the repeats in different ways, it still felt like a let-down to the community. Which is ridiculous, really, because as one blogger (and I’m kicking myself for not keeping a note of who it was who said it) pointed out that actually it is totally normal to repeat which clothes you wear, that it’s normal that you wear your clothes in cycles. I also feel that MMM isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about all brand new shiny, it’s about how you integrate your me-made garments into your normal way of wearing the clothes you have at your disposal, as part of your normal everyday experience of getting dressed. Part of what I loved seeing other people wearing was how they styled one item in different ways. For me that’s part of wearing one’s me-mades in a creative way and making the best use of one’s wardrobe.

Which kind of leads on to thoughts about how Me Made May wasn’t supposed to be about making a whole load of new stuff to wear in May and show off to the sewing blog community, but nevertheless I did find myself inspired, excited, galvanised and encouraged by the warmth of the MMM community (and also by attending NYLon) to reboot my sewjo, which had been sadly lacking in the Winter months. MMM14 saw the completion of the Slouchy Teal Cardigan, the super-quick make of the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt and the commencement of the Crazy Swirly Skirt (which is still hanging up, and which I hope to check the hemline on tonight and hopefully complete it). I wouldn’t have got those projects to their present state without the kick-start of MMM14. Not that they were in any way a panicked or forced response to the strictures of MMM, it was definitely an organic part of the making process. I was just feeling the love!

I’d like to think that my me-mades are working towards a cohesive wardrobe overall. The Wardrobe Architect was a nudge towards this, but I stopped participating when it became clear that the aim was to work towards a Capsule Wardrobe. Although Capsule wardrobes are fascinating to me (in the same way that tiny living spaces are fascinating to me), it’s not something I wish to pursue for myself. I do wish to pursue a more integrated wardrobe though, so that my me-mades work together with each other and with my existing RTW clothing. I’m not aiming particularly for a wholly me-made wardrobe, though I have found myself buying less as I have made more, so it may be that as time progresses the balance of what clothing I’ve got will shift from RTW to me-made. But as I say, I want them to work together. So I’m going to be returning to a rule I created for myself when I was a teenager, to help me with Impulse Buys. The rule then was: If I can think of three things I could wear with this, I’m allowed to buy it. It wasn’t a hard and fast rule, sometimes I broke it, but in general terms it worked well. I need to apply the same rule now to what items I make, and further up the line, what fabric I buy, so that the stash is prepared for the Integrated Wardrobe. Hopefully this will mean that next year, when Me Made May comes around again, I’ll be more ready for it, and I’ll have a wider pool of garments to pick from and they’ll all work together really well! A girl can dream, can’t she?!

I would like to try and do one final MMM14 post, to round up a load of links to my new blog-crushes. That may happen, it may not, we’ll see.

A long Me Made Weekend

Day 27 already and I can’t believe I’ve got all this way through Me Made May and have managed to wear something I’ve made or refashioned every single day. I’d been slightly dubious about it, hence I’d hedged my bets with a 5-days-a-week pledge, but I’ve surprised myself. A full Reflections and Lessons Learned post will be forthcoming once May is properly finished.

Onto the photos… As previously noted, we’re well onto repeats now, unless I surprise myself and manage to make something new in the next two evenings.

Day 23 – Friday

A bit grungy!

A bit grungy!

Friday I was at my volunteer job, and it’s generally very casual. I was wearing my pre-blog long tunic-y t-shirt dress. Styled with yoga pants and a hoodie. I thought it was all a bit grungy and down at heel, but my volunteer boss said I was glamorous because I was wearing animal print!

I was *this* close to saying “hang the photographing, I’m tired” on Friday evening.

Day 24 – Saturday

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

Aha! A new item! The previously mentioned Me Made Cardigan. I should have known better than to say it was too warm for using in May. That was just tempting Providence, wasn’t it? It turned cold over the weekend, so although I didn’t think I’d be wearing it much for a few months yet, I pulled it out of the cupboard. It’s a bit formless and unflattering, but it’s toasty and it’s the first jumper I’ve knitted for myself in a good 20 years, so I’m cutting myself some slack, and calling it “slouchy” rather than shapeless.

The leggings are also me-made, repeated from Day 9.

Day 25 – Features one of my lovely nieces

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertant colour co-ordination

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertent colour co-ordination.

My eldest niece*, Sophie, is off to the far end of the planet in the next couple of weeks, she’s flying to New Zealand for a year or two. Or maybe more. I can’t help fearing that some hunky rugby player will steal her heart and keep her there. Her leaving party was on Sunday. Although I didn’t realise it when deciding what to wear, I wore the perfect dress (repeated from Day 14), as the colour scheme for the party was lime green and blue (hence the pompoms).

Most of the guests were the nieces’ friends, it made me feel very old as they were all in their teens and early twenties! But they’re all such nice kids. Eldest niece already knew about MMM as she’d taken the Eurovision evening photo, and, bless her, she was telling her friends all about it.

Day 26 

Selfie Fail

Selfie Fail

Monday (being traditional British Bank Holiday Weather) ended up being a stay in and hunker down day. I wore jimjams for much of it! But I acknowledged that my pyjamas are not me-made. Lesson learned. Next MMM, I’m going to need a cosy onesie or something like, so that if I need to take a duvet day, I can do so within the terms of the challenge.

So I got dressed for the afternoon. Another repeat for the easy-peasy floral hi-lo circle skirt. This is turning into my go-to comfy weekend wear.

I totally failed to photograph myself in it.

Day 27 – Back to work

Total outfit repeat!

Total outfit repeat!

This is a complete repeat from Day 12. In the same outfit too, only the shoes are different. I feel like I’m letting the side down! I love this skirt but today has been a trifle windy, and the walk to my office is a passageway up a hill which acts like a wind tunnel, and I’ve had a fair few Marilyn Monroe moments- eeek!

I just spotted I have “orbs” in this photo. Indeed I have orbs on my orbs. How ghostly! Some say these offices are haunted- it’s an old school, and there’s rumours of a ghost of an especially fierce headmaster, but this particular office is apparently the old lavatory block, and I’ve never heard of a haunted lav!

 

Only four more days to go! Thursday, Friday and Saturday are going to need some planning, because I’m off to France for the weekend.

 

* I am very blessed in the Niece department. I’ve got eight of them, and two nephews. Eldest niece is 22, and Youngest Niece is 5.

MMM – it’s all skirts in this batch

Just a quickie, because we’re mostly on repeats now.

Day 19 – The Counterintuitive Black Bird Skirt

I'm still not fed up with this skirt- I love the birdies!

I’m still not fed up with this skirt- I love the birdies!

Day 20 – The Black Denim Skirt

Another view of my office

Another view of my office

Day 21 – The Minnie Mouse Skirt

It's a full circle!

It’s a full circle!

Day 22 – You’ve already seen the Pretty Splodges Summer Skirt

Here it is again

Here it is again

MMM continues – Days 15-18

I’m astonished that I’m still going strong. We’re well onto the repeats now, but I’ve somwhow managed a) to wear something me-made each day and more astonishing still b) to take & post a photo each day.

Day 15 – Colours again

Bright bright bright colours today

Bright bright bright colours today

I was wearing the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt again, this time with a bright turquoise (RTW) top. I was also wearing my favourite turquoise/green shoes, that matches  the t-shirt PERFECTLY.

Day 16 – Epic Fail

I'm only showing this because I sort of have to. It's an awful photo!

I’m only showing this because I sort of have to. It’s an awful photo!

I don’t even want to be posting this… Friday’s picture is basically an Epic Fail. I couldn’t take a photo in daylight, so all I’ve got is crummy selfies in my bedroom.  The Friday photo theme was Too pretty for pants? As it turns out it was Too late for photos!

This is a repeat of the stripey circle skirt. The first wear was a rubbish outfit, now this second wear it’s a rubbish photo. I’m going to have to wear it a third time some time in MMM and make sure it’s a *nice* outfit and a *nice* photo.

Day 17 – The mahoosive London Blogger Meet-up

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

A much better outfit (well it would have to be) for the Blogger meet-up- the Jif Lemon Dress. It was nice and cool to wear on a warm Spring day, and I got a lot of complimentary comments, and people checking out the appliqués. It’s always nice to get compliments about your me-mades generally, but it’s doubly nice when it’s from people who know what they are looking at!

Day 18 – It’s Déja Vu All Over Again

I seem to be repeating last weekend! Last weekend it was Jif Lemon on the Saturday and the hi-lo hem circle skirt on the Sunday. And it’s the same again this weekend.

Please to ignore the fact that my skirt has swivelled around my waist!

Please to ignore the fact that my skirt has swivelled around my waist!

Tonight I was at the Jazz Café at Reading’s football stadium, for a dance showcase. I’ve only just realised that it had got twisted around my waist by the time Trish took this photo for me! I should just call that a Styling Decision. You also can’t tell from this particular photo that I was wearing crazy high platform wedge court shoes with it, and I don’t know how I managed to not fall over and break an ankle.

Technically this was a twofer day- in addition to the skirt, I wore a pair of me-made leggings (the ones I wore on Tuesday evening) to dance in, but I don’t have photos of that. I’ll see if I can post a link to some pics later when they’re up on Facebook or elsewhere online.

 

I need to take stock a bit, see what the next week holds and what clothing I’ve got available to wear. I’m quite excited that I’ll soon have the pretty red & grey splodgy skirt to add to the list.

It’s hard keeping track of what MMMs I’ve posted already

We were up to Saturday night and Eurovision, weren’t we? So the round up from there is as follows:

 

Day 11 – Sunday Chillin’

A lil bit girly!

A lil bit girly!

I made this circle skirt a couple of years ago, pre-blog, and it’s another easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy knit circle skirt with an elasticated waist. This is a very thin knit, and the hem doesn’t even qualify as a hem, because it isn’t actually hemmed! Over time the hem has dropped so far from hanging in my wardrobe that I took a pair of scissors to it, on Sunday to even it up so that I , and I decided I’d leave the back un-cut and see how the skirt looks with one of those hi-lo hems. I quite like it! I’ll have to try and do it deliberately some time. Also, can I fit the word “hem” in any more into this paragraph? Hem. Yes.

Day 12 – The fixed Squares & Triangles Circle Skirt

I do love this skirt!

I do love this skirt!

Today I was wearing my Squares & Triangles Circle Skirt. I love this skirt, but the waistband was too big and it had taken me a while to get my fixing head on and re-do it. I did it on the Saturday, so that I could wear it in Me Made May with honour (and with certainty that it wouldn’t fall down).

It is a full circle, and Monday was quite windy so I had a couple of Marilyn Monroe moments!

 

Day 13 – My first repeat

Another view of my office

Another view of my office

I was wearing the Red Square Skirt, with a different type of top. I think I prefer this outfit.

But Tuesday included a bonus Me-Made. I teach bellydance on Tuesday nights, and I decided to wear a pair of me-made cropped leggings.

Bellydance Leggings!

Bellydance Leggings!

These are a repeat of the leggings from Day 9, but shorter. The lycra is thicker and not as stretchy, so they feel completely different, but it’s still the same basic pattern.

I’m quite chuffed that I’ve made it this far without repeats, and I still have one item left* that I haven’t worn. And I’m full of optimism that I can finish my teal cardigan before May is out.

 

Day 14 – The Blue Roses Dress comes out for the sun!

Summer dress comes out for the sun

Summer dress comes out for the sun

I do love the Blue Roses dress, but it’s a bit, um, dressy. I wore it to work today and it raised a few comments along the lines of “You’re looking very summery”, as though I was slightly unhinged! But today has been lovely and sunny, and just the right sort of time to wear a nice summery dress. I only wish I had more of them right now. But, man, do my legs look pasty!

 

I can’t believe we’re very nearly half way through!

 

* I’ve got a couple of really badly made skirts in the wardrobe that I am not willing to own up to in public! I may be cannibalising them for parts soon.

The ivy update

MMM – Day 5

Yesterday was lovely. The Gentleman Friend and I went up to the Mount (a big hill in Guildford) for a picnic lunch. Actually we bought fish & chips, but if you’re eating it in the open air, while sitting on a big grassy hill, then it counts as a picnic. Then we went on to  Bramley, to visit Birtley House Sculpture Gardens. Birtley House is a nursing home, but once a year they host a sculpture exhibition in their beautiful gardens.

I’m not going to bore you with the photos of All The Sculptures. This is me with “Negentropy 2”, which is as dramatic as it looks.

A work of art - the sculpture not the skirt

A work of art – the sculpture not the skirt

I was wearing the Counterintuitive Black Birds Skirt, along with a grey striped t-shirt top, and ballet flats. I think it all worked out well.

Hang it, no, I’m going to bore you with just one photo, of this lovely little feller:

This is Know It Owl by Abby Martin. Isn't he adorable?

This is Know It Owl by Abby Martin. Isn’t he adorable?

Day 6 – Back to the office

I know you’re all dying to know- did the man come to cut down the ivy? Oh yes he did, I walked in to find the windows all clear of greenery and light streaming through the newly liberated windows.

Before & After

Before & After

In some ways, I’m a little bit sad to lose the Rapunzel’s Tower feel of our little office. But I now have an unimpeded view of the town and surrounding countryside, and it’s so much lighter.

I’m a bit disappointed with today’s outfit, I have to confess. It’s a stripey circle skirt, another easy-peasy circle with an elastic waistband made pre-blog, out of a substantial stripey jersey, with a bit of spandex which gives it a bit of weight and bounce. It’s a nice skirt to wear. Except that it has got quite a wonky hem. I’ve picked a photo that hides the wonkiness! But the skirt is so swishy that it’s not too noticeable.

Nice skirt, shame about the top

Nice skirt, shame about the top

But the top is another story. It’s an old F&F t-shirt type top, and today made me realise it’s time to retire it- it’s a bit shapeless and really not very flattering. However, because it’s a pretty colour, and because it’s a good fabric weight, it’s going into the scraps bag, or maybe the refashioning pile.

Me Made May – the first weekend round-up

I decided it would be unrealistic for me to post every single day in May, as well as getting a bit samey for anyone reading, so I’ll try and do the outfit posting in blocks.

Day 2 – My Minnie Mouse Skirt

Channelling Minnie Mouse

Day 2 – Channelling Minnie Mouse

I made this skirt a couple of years ago, when I first started thinking about sewing my own clothes again. It was the easiest quickest make EVAH! Just a circle with a hole in it, some 3″ wide black elastic made into a waistband, and because it’s a really stable jersey I never even bothered to even hem it. Two years on and countless washes and wears later the “hem” is still absolutely fine! It’s always been the Minnie Mouse Skirt, for obvious reasons. One of these days I’ll fish out the scraps and make myself a big red and white dotty hair bow.

This is one of my rare forays into a different colour family- usually I’ll stick with pinks/purples and turquoise/teal/greens. I have a couple of reds in my wardrobe, and this is one of them. I usually integrate red in with black (my go-to neutral), as I did here, but you’ may be seeing the Minnie Mouse reappearing later this month with some of the turquoise/teal/greens.

I wore this outfit to my volunteer job (I help at a local mental health charity on Fridays) and it was making my boss giggle! The Friday Photo theme on the MMM14 Flickr pool was “Cocktail Hour”, so this is me after work, in my local, the Stoke, enjoying an end-of-the-week Rioja. The photo was kindly taken by the Gentleman Friend, who put up with me bossing him about directing him from in front of the camera (“You’ve got to make sure the skirt is showing. Yes all of it. That’s the whole point of taking these photos!”).

 

Day 3 – the Denim Skirt

Day 3 -

Day 3 – Denim

This was one of my early blogged makes. It’s a black denim with a pale pink weft.  Do I mean weft? I mean the thread that goes across the weave of the material and in the case of denim creates the back colour on the wrong side of the fabric- white in normal blue-jeans-denim, but in this case pink. I love that the inside of this skirt is a lovely sheeny pink, and the right side is rough tough denim with a slight hint of pink. I’m thinking of upgrading this skirt. I picked up a gorgeous silky embroidery thread when I was in Penzance, and I’ve received some embroidery patterns from a giveaway, so that’s put some ideas in my head. I need to think it through.

I also realised later that it was another Twofer day- I made the hair flower clips I was wearing. Nothing terribly clever, just some silk orchids, some hair clips and a well-deployed hot glue gun.

Hair flowers

Hair flowers – it’s really hard taking a selfie of the back of your head!

 

Day 4 – the Red Square Skirt

I’m seeing a theme emerging here- it’s been all skirts! I don’t have many me-made tops (yet), but there will be some seeing the light of day this month, I’m sure. Anyway, it was a nice enough day today to pull out the Red Square Skirt which until now has been rather too thin for the weather.

MMM Day 4 - the Red Square Skirt

MMM Day 4 – the Red Square Skirt

Today you get a different view of the car park at my flat. My usual spot, which is a bit more discreet, was catching the sun beautifully and the photos were coming out completely washed out, so I had to change my angle. I think this is the first photo of the skirt on this blog that has shown its correct colour.

I mentioned above how I try to integrate my colours, but for now I don’t see much colour co-ordination happening with this one. It’s very starkly red & black. I think I can possibly bring in a white, maybe rock a zebra print top with it (if I had one). Another thing to put on the To Sew Sometime list.