Final MMM recap

I can’t believe Me-Made-March is finished. It felt arduous and but seemed to pass quickly. “The years go fast but the days go so slow” – perhaps an overstatement but I can never resist inserting that lyric into situations where it seems even mildly appropriate.

Anyway!! Here are my last four outfits:

Day 27. I have to confess that I let my desire to wear my refashioned striped tee with short shorts dictate whether or not I worked from home. It was a great day.

Day 28, new dress new dress! It was a pretty compulsive creation: I wanted to make something desperately, had the Simplicity 2281 pattner lying around, and went to Joann’s to buy fabric. Made it over a weekend. I did make sure that my compulsive desire to create didn’t overtake my quality control, thankfully. The only change I would make with the design is making the sleeves smaller; they didn’t look quite this wide on the package.

Day 30, a refashion of my own creation and the inspiration for the “just cut the bottom off of it” post. It was a dress that was in a permanent state of wrinkles, as I mentioned earlier.

Day 31. WHOOPEE! I made it. Back in front of the mirror after frustrating the fiance to no end with my photographic demands.

I think it’s important to analyze findings in any experiment and MMM11 is no different. Here’s what I left with:
  • I love dresses. It does seem frivolous to say “well, I’m making another dress”, but I wear them all of the time! I plan on making more of them.
  • As long as my self-made clothes are made well and suit me, I don’t really distinguish between them and everything else.
  • I became totally unsentimental this month about keeping clothing that I’d made just because I’d made it; I took a lot of projects to sell at Buffalo Exchange that I didn’t have any desire to wear or refashion. Bonus: o far, they’ve bought all of them!
  • I’d written this at Week 1, but I’m still pleased and proud at the high percentage of thrifted items I have compared to store-bought
  • A full-length mirror is key to putting together good outfits. Never again will I attempt to do without! I blame much of the badness of Week 4 on the lack of mirror. In fact, I just bought a beautiful one on craigslist that I can’t wait to show off here.

If you haven’t already seen the flickr pool for MMM11, check it out! There is enough inspiration there to last for a year or so.


Week 3 of Me-Made-March – The Lost Week

Between moving and being really sick, I totally forgot about Week 3. Here is the recap!

Day 1, another Simplicity 2451 skirt in an ikat fabric obtained at the Goodwill.  I also got to trot out a rarely worn cowl sweater (thrifted, of course). You can see we’re about to move based on the empty bookshelf in the back.

Day 2. This is a favorite refashion of mine, a thrifted American Eagle tank. I removed the elastic hem and used the t-shirt shredding method from Childhood Flames. Mine is a pretty tame example of what is possible with this method!

Day 3, I had to show off a new thrifted goodie, this tank. Worn with the black Simplicity 2451 skirt. Oh look, someone packed up the other bookshelf too! Also, please notice the one cat ear belonging to a certain Mr. Orson lurking at the bottom of the photo.

Day 4, a new project!! This dress is made from Simplicity 2450, and it’s so stinking cute. I love the sweetheart neckline and the pleated/darted/tucked bodice. I was really surprised to also like the spaghetti straps. Next time, I’m going to make a size smaller (there is an absurd amount of ease in most of the Cynthia Rowley patterns) and scooch the straps in.

Day 5 is a refashion of one of my first projects. Actually, this shirt has been through three stages so far, all of them months apart; one, sewing, two, screenprinting, and three, chopping off a waistband and hemming. The print is my Dia de los Muertos design.

Day 6, moving day! I’m wearing a refashioned and screenprinted tee (again with one of my designs). Thanks to Desomniac for taking the pic! And for lifting every single piece of heavy furniture we have!

Day 7. I broke out the Christmas dress again! The fiance and I went on an excursion to Tacoma so I thought a little dressing up was in order. Also, I was celebrating the fact that our new apartment looked pretty decent for having moved in the day before and that it was 1,000x better than our old one. And I’m not just exaggerating. Other people have made the same comment.

So there you have it! Week 3 of Me-Made-March.

Week 4 of Me-Made-March: the dark ages.

I started this post thinking it was the Week 3 recap – as it turns out, I totally forgot to do one! So that will be coming soon.

I’m not going to lie – Week 4 was rough on the self-made fashion front. I’d mostly run out of new things and was heading into the land of repeats. The weather has been getting warmer, and I’ve made it an annual practice to dress awkwardly right about now. Finally and perhaps most problematic, I don’t have a full length mirror in our new apartment. Sigh. Luckily there was some good with the bad!

Day 1, I trotted out a scarf I made a couple of years ago, my silk-screened mussel design on cotton/silk voile.

Day 2. Ok. Here is one of the failure outfits. One I probably wouldn’t have worn if I’d had a full- length mirror. Self-made skirt, normally quite cute, and thrifted everything else.

Day 3, a freshly made tunic, refashioned from a full linen skirt with a great print!

Day 4, an “eh” sort of outfit. I keep on meaning to do something else with this silk tank. I love the print but I made one of the Cynthia Rowley tunics that are just too big and boxy. This picture will motivate me to refashion it!

Day 5. This shirt is from a dress that I wore out. I’m talking a 6″ rip out the rear of the dress, nowhere near a seam! I was scrounging for quick projects and found my poor dress in the scrap heap. Inspiration struck! I love it.

Day 6. All right. This outfit was good in my head, but probably would have been modified with a view in the full-length mirror. I really like the bright blue with the neutral jacket, but the shapes weren’t quite right. Note to self: figure out how to wear loafers!

Day 7. I needed an antidote to the failure outfit from the day before. Thankfully, I really liked this outfit, and I found that this shirt tucks really nicely into my self-made skirt.

So there you have it. Probably the spottiest week yet, but I think next week will be a significant improvement. I already have a new dress to show off, and, from the sounds of it, will be purchasing a damned mirror.

A Refashion of a Self-Made

There’s very little I like more than getting rid of something that isn’t working for me. I am 90% un-sentimental and 100% brutal when it comes to giving a piece of clothing the ax (one notable exception being things that belonged to my grandma Kiyomi, a professional seamstress who made all of her own clothing).

That said, I also really like altering things to become useful. I created this dress last fall from Simplicity 2472. I took one cute picture in it and promptly shoved in the back of my closet. It was made from a stiff cotton-poly blend I’d nabbed at the Goodwill and wrinkled if I so much as thought of sitting down.

Here I am, creating permanent wrinkles

So on this, the second-to-last day of Me-Made-March, I chopped off the skirt and made it into a shirt! I can safely say that I will be wearing this often.

Standing, but unafraid to sit down!

I worked the same magic on a store-bought dress that I’d worn to death. (Last summer, I bent over to get something out of the hallway closet and heard a HUGE rrrrrrrrip – the product of which was a 6″ rip right over the right side of my rear).

Are you ready to see it in shirt form?

So, I highly suggest this as a valid refashioning method; if you are like me and having a sewing machine, you’re set! If you don’t possess one of these indispensably handy machines, I suggest buttering up a sewing-machined friend for lessons or trade.

Coming up: an Me-Made-March outfit summary for last week (I’m behind)!

Six days of self-made: The first week of Me-Made-March

I made it! I managed to put together outfits for six consecutive days with one or more items made by me.

Day 1, the full outfit: self-made shirt with thifted jeans and store-bought boots. Photo and greenface by sister dearest!

Day 2, self-made salvaged linen dress and t-shirt. Thrifted boots and store-bought tights. Linen wrinkles emphasized by unfortunate office lighting. Photo by lovely coworker and friend Kristin!

Day 3, self-made shibori scarf with thrifted jacket, shoes, pants and store-bought white tee. (Yes, that is an Arnold Palmer next to my keyboard. I was celebrating a springy day!)

Day 4, out hunting for apartments in my self-made blue demin skirt, thrifted jacket, purse, boots, and shirt, with store-bought tights and knit hat. Photo by Mr. Fiance!

Day 5, I started to feel like I was running out of clothing and pulled this self-made dress out. I love the color, and it was a very thrifty little dress made out of a tablecloth runner from the Goodwill, but it does something bad near the chest area. I tamed it for the picture, in which I think it looks quite flattering. Thrifted shirt, necklace from my grandmother, and house-shoes (well, in fact, the highest heels I own, but I like to totter around the house in them) from a super fun clothing exchange.

Day 6, it felt like spring! I went for a self-made dress, thrifted purse, belt and cardigan, gifty earrings, and store-bought boots and leggings. I was cold. I’m looking suspicious here and I can’t quite remember why – perhaps I didn’t trust seeing this much sun all at once.

I took some time on Sunday to take stock of the rest of my self-made or refashioned wardrobe. Realized I’m running a little thin. So yesterday, I high-tailed it to the Goodwill and found a bunch of tasty items for re-fashioning! You can expect to see some new goodies in the next three or so weeks.

Also… not to toot my own horn or anything, but documenting my daily outfits really shows me what a significant portion of my clothing is thrifted! If I had to guess percentages of self-made, thrifted and store-bought new, I’d put it at about 20% self-made, 70% thrifted and 10% store-bought. AND the store-bought items tend to be leggings, tights, etc and a couple of pairs of boots to go with everything. So nice to prove to myself that I can be satisfied – nay, thrilled! – by the outfits I put together with second-hand and self-made clothing!

Me-Made-March 2011

Here I am on Day 1, in a shirt I made myself.
Feeling optimistic I can meet the challenge.

Friends, I have decided to take on my first internet sewing challenge.

This month, I will be wearing at least one self-made garment or accessory every day as a part of Me-Made-March 2011. Me-Made-March is run by Zoe of “So, Zo…” and you can read more about the event here!

Two immediate benefits to participating:

  • I will repair sub-par garments I’ve made that haven’t made it into regular rotation – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, floral silk tank top!
  • I will find out where the gaps in my self-made wardrobe are. Like the fact that I haven’t made any pants, ever. Desperation may spur me on to pick up some new sewing skills!

Since I will be documenting my outfits daily for the group flickr pool, I will do a weekly re-cap here so you can see what I end up putting together.

Do you make any of your own clothing? Do you wear what you make with pride?