The Fifth Week: MMM ’12

I just realized that I’d mis-labled week four’s update as another week three until I started writing this post! I was trapped in time!

This, my friends, is week five of Me-Made-May 2012.

Day 27: Wearing my flannel shirt; Nathan took this photo at Macrina in Seattle, probably my favorite bakery cafe.

Thanks to Nathan for the awesome photo!

Day 28: Heading off to brunch in my Burda sleeveless blouse – probably my most re-worn item, clocking in at three times – thrifted jacket, jeans and… new Frye sandals.

I can’t remember if I shared my clothing consumption goals here on crab & bee but I decided last year that going forward, I would make my clothes or buy them thrifted. New purchases would be for emergencies only. Shoes, I would aim for 0-2 pairs of new ones. Considering I got married and started a new job with much higher sartorial standards than my old job, I’m ok with the fact that I purchased 3 pairs last year; one for my wedding, and two that were suitable for both walking and work. When I do buy a new pair, they really need to last and be easily repaired, and so far I’ve had decent luck with Frye.

Day 29: My trusty shibori scarf worn with a newish refashion! It’s almost cheating to call the dress a refashion since I just removed some very doofy looking pockets from the skirt part. Funny how very small details can ruin a garment. I wonder if that’s why it ended up in the thrift store?

Day 30: Just a simple black tee made of black wool jersey. One of my goals this year is to get better at sewing with knits, especially since I’ve mostly encountered them doing refashions. Also wearing a pair of thrifted jeans and my very useful wedding shoes!

Day 31: I made it! Part of the flickr group decided to thank Zoe for all of her hard work organizing and maintaining this challenge by making signs and, if possible, celebrating her vintage/nautical/boldly colored style. I was able to procure two self-mades that fit the bill, the new Burda sleeveless blouse and one of my Simplicity 2451 clones in bright blue denim. I wouldn’t have thought to pair these two pieces, but I felt very sprightly and happy all day!

Maybe I’m just tired after all my outfit documentation, but I’m not really sure what new things I learned this challenge except for that I feel proud of how far I’ve come since Me-Made-March ’11! I ran out of steam to sew new things mid-month but now that it’s over, I’m raring to go.


The Fourth Week, MMM 12: Grey Days

The title says it all; I wore a significant number of grey garments this week! I think it’s interesting that I started with all of my brightest reds, oranges and blues and worked my way down to the greys (with the exception of Day 25).

Day 21: I wore a refashioned cotton sweater. It used to have really unflattering batwings, so I re-made the sleeves and took in the armpits. (Gross, “took in the armpits.”) I’d hurt my back from too much desk work and sewing, hence the shorts. Also wearing my Savage Salvage necklace.

Day 22: I made another Burda sleeveless blouse! As I said in my Flickr description, I make everything in twos.  I really liked the other blouse (worn on Day 17 and Day 10), but had a few things I wanted to improve on. I made it longer with a pointed hem, and didn’t nip the sides in so dramatically but compensated by adding darts in the back. The fit is great! And, I was lucky enough to find this polka dotted cotton at the thrift store.

Day 23: I’d bought this tunic at the thrift store because I liked the fabric so much, but it was too big. I took in the sides and re-did the sleeves and hem a bit. Worn with thrifted jeans and the coolest necklace ever (found at the Goodwill). And no, I’m not using hyperbole.

Day 24: The third Simplicity 2451 makes an appearance! I made this one in tribal cotton twill from Gorgeous Fabrics. Worn with a store-bought shirt and tights, as well as a vintage necklace.

Day 25: My trusty blue linen tank made a reappearance (also seen on Day 5 this month). Worn with a thrifted bolero and jeans, and a favorite pair of shoes that had been at the cobbler until recently.

Day 26: Saturday was so lovely in Seattle! I put on my tunic/dress made of linen curtains with Simplicity 2497, one of the Cynthia Rowley patterns. I find this piece a bit challenging to wear because of the low neckline and lofty ruffles. It looks pretty good with a shirt under it, but that would have been too warm yesterday!

I can’t believe there are five days left!! There is a slim chance I’ll have a new project before the end of MMM ’12; otherwise, get ready to see some previously-seen, lovingly hand-washed favorites!

The Third Week of MMM ’12

Well! This week was mostly blue and white with a chance of red. Looking at everyone else’s colorful outfits on the flickr pool has got me inspired to try out some other colors for my next sewing projects. After, that is, I finish my dark navy Minoru and tomato red skirt that are in the works.

Day 14: I wore a tank I’d made using a lovely piece of silk that I scored at a fabric swap. I was in the height of my Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity craze and made this tank really fast. I used to just start sewing without looking at the finished measurements or making muslins; this is a good example of how different from real life a pattern can look on a package. Even if it is a bit wide, the fabric drapes nicely and I should wear it more often than I do!

Day 15: I refashioned this last year during Me-Made-March 2011.  (You can see the before/after image here on our flickr account.) This shirt has definitely been one of my more successful refashions! A lot of the other ones from Me-Made-March didn’t survive out the year.

Day 16: Ah, the Melville dress. I’ve probably said enough about this beauty in my blog post on it, but it’s worth noting that it was comfortable to wear throughout the work day. Pattern is Vogue 1236.

Day 17: My sleeveless blouse (seen on Day 10) made a reappearance with thrifted jeans. I just really, really wanted to wear it again!

Day 18: A huge triumph! I managed to refashion a dress I made quite hastily during Me-Made-March last year into something I’m more likely to wear. It didn’t take too much – I just removed the aggressive little cutout sleeves et voila! The original is here if you’d like to see what it looked like before going under the seam ripper. The pattern is Simplicity 2281.

Day 19: I made another version of the shirt I wore on Day 11. I actually prefer the fit on this one and the construction is better as well. It’s pretty festive for being an embellished t-shirt! Pattern is Simplicity 2554.

Learnings from Week 3: My self-made wardrobe is much deeper than I thought!  I was pretty certain I’d have to re-wear a lot of things this week and I ended up not needing to (with the exception of the Burda blouse, although I wore it because I was just so excited about it.) Happy Week 4, MMMers and MMM appreciators!

Melville dress


Hello folks! Nathan was reading Moby Dick to me as I worked on this project. Hence, it is called the Melville dress. I think the tie-dye pattern is very oceanic, don’t you?

I used Vogue 1236, one of the DKNY patterns. For something that’s so simple and fast to make, I really like the end result! I made some minor adjustments – widening the sash, taking in the bust and adding an inch or two to the hips. There is a lot of ease everywhere except for the hips, depending on your measurements.


Melville dress is being worn today for the Me-Made-May challenge, which you can see here. You can also check out our photo pool here and see the awesome outfits everyone else has been putting together!

The Second Week, MMM12: Blue Period

It seems I wore blue self-mades every day, with only one or two exceptions! And with the morning light being as it is, my black clothes also photographed blue.

Day 7: My self-drafted, hand-printed cotton voile tank. I so need to duplicate this project in other fabrics! It’s so easy to wear but still feels a bit fancy.

Day 8: Here is one of my favorite self-mades ever, blogged here. I’d love to make one or two more of this one! I used Simplicity 2281.

Day 9: This was my first attempt at the bustier I wore on day 1 (not counting the muslin I made). I was a little bit sick when I made it, and I rotated one of the pieces. It’s given the garment a slight pouf where I eased in the piece, but I still think it’s wearable. If I get ambitious some day, I’m going to fix it. The pattern is McCall’s 6325.

Day 10: A new, unblogged project! I downloaded the Burda sleeveless blouse PDF. I used the lining leftovers from my Minoru, which is still in progress. I love the blouse but found the instructions to be quite spare! That said, now that I know how to use this pattern, I will probably be making several of these. Also wearing my Simplicity 2451 skirt.

Day 11: Last year, I started Me-Made March with this shirt. It’s just slightly too big through the bust and waist, due to my misunderstanding the pattern instructions (Simplicity 2554, for reference). It was a mix of knit and woven patterns and I mistakenly assumed that it was all for knits. I’d actually be interested in making it in a woven fabric at some point, although the idea of doing a narrow hem on those ruffles again gives me pause!

Day 12: My thrifted and shredded tank, created last year during Me-Made-March. Here’s the Outsapop tutorial if you’d like to make your own or just read a really cool blog on thrifting and DIY fashion.

Day 13: What’s this? A picture of me outside of my bedroom? Nathan snapped this photo of me between mother’s day events. I’m wearing my blue Simplicity 2451 skirt, an older recently-repaired tank top and a vintage Coach purse from ebay.

I’m getting a little concerned as I’m getting down to the projects that I don’t normally wear. We’ll see how this coming week treats me; there might be some re-styling aka repeats. (I have no qualms about repeating garments weekly in the real world, but it’s more exciting to share new ones during a sewing challenge!)

The First Week: MMM ’12

Without furher adieu, here are my outfits from last week! For those not in the know, I took a pledge to wear at least one self-made item for every day of May as part of So, Zo..‘s Me-Made-May 2012 challenge.

Day 1: Red bustier, never before blogged! I love, love, love this shirt. I used thrifted red quilting cotton gifted to me by the lovely and thrifty Elizabeth of La Vida Desconocida and McCall’s 6325. I have another one in blue-grey stretch denim that will undoubtedly be making an appearance this month.


Day 2: Black 2451 (I’ve used this pattern so much that it’s synonymous with the word “skirt”). I made this one last year right before Me-Made-March 2011. I’ve seen a lot of great skirts using this pattern in the MMM community!


Day 3: Wooly grey sleeveless cardigan, based on Butterick 5528. I’ve had this gorgeous fabric sitting around for nearly a year, and I’m so glad to have put it to good use. I’ll admit to creating this piece in haste. I’ll need to watch myself this month to make sure I don’t put too much pressure on myself to churn out new things. Ideally, this month is a lovely way to measure my progress as a sewist and to savor the garments I’ve put so much time and effort into creating, and I’d really like to focus on that rather than turning my apartment into a sweatshop.


Day 4: My persimmon shirt had her day in the sun (er, the rain). I originally blogged this project here and probably wear it 2-3 times a month. It’s just such a mood-lifter. I’m starting to see signs of tearing around the darts, however, which was NOT a mood-lifter. Is that just what can happen with voile? I’m going to widen the pattern a bit when I use it next.

Day 5: Sunny Saturday! I made this project towards the end of MMM ’11 last year and have been thoroughly enjoying it. The fabric from a full skirt with a tiny waist purchased at the thrift store and I had just enough fabric to squeeze out a shirt. I love the over-sized geometric shapes.

Day 6: the first accessory to make an appearance! Awhile back, I found a piece of silk I’d dyed while working for a textile artist. All it needed was hemming to become this incredibly vibrant scarf. I used string to to bind pinched bits of the fabric to make the circular patterns.

Learnings so far: It seems I have a preponderance of red/oranges and bright blues in my self-made wardrobe. This is probably a good thing as I tend buy neutral greys and muted blues at the thrift store. I’m feeling a distinct lack of pants in my self-made wardrobe, although I’m not sure how much of a problem it is outside of the MMM world!

That’s all for this week; I’m starting my Minoru jacket (eek!) and also have a new dress to share!

Minoru Muslin, Me Made May ’12

crab&beeMuslins aren’t known for their beauty, but this one really takes the cake. (The motley of fabric probably obscured my ability to evaluate the pattern effectively!) It’s a testament to the Minoru that I’m going forward with making one in real fabric.

In other sewing news, I’m entering Me Made May, hosted by So, Zo! I’m super excited and a bit nervous. (I started mentally cataloging my self-made items in my head on the way to work today.)

Me Made March from last year was an eye-opening experience. The closest thing I can compare it to is training for a half-marathon. Getting dressed every morning is hard enough without making sure I made at least one of the items. And let’s not forget documenting!

It’s an exciting way to measure how much progress I’ve made, however, and great motivation to refashion, make new projects, and push myself to really use what I’ve made.

So here goes!