Sunday, May 25, 2014

Me Made May 2014: Week 4

Another week of Me Made May is in the books.  Just one week of daily selfies left to go.  Phewf. Here's the round-up for this week.

Monday: Work

Dress: Moneta by Colette Patterns
Belt: Banana Republic
Cardigan: JCrew

Tuesday: Work

Jacket: The Limited

Wednesday: Work

Shirt: Express
Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: Gift from the Gap
Shoes: Nine West

Thursday: Work

Jacket: Banana Republic
Shirt: McCall's6604 (pre-blog)
Skirt: The Limited

Friday: Work and sewing

Capris: Loft
Belt: Banana Republic

Saturday: Bike ride

Shorts: American Eagle
Shoes: Keds

Sunday: Brunch and BBQ

Shirt: Camaieu
Skirt: Simplicity 2226 (pre-blog)
Belt: Banana Republic

It looks like this was another week of me-made knits.  Four out of 7 me-made items worn this week were knits. The pattern of wearing my newer makes has continued. Check out how many of the items I've worn this week that are on my blog, a.k.a made this year.  It's great to see that my most recent makes are getting more wear. I'm especially excited about my last two dresses--worn on Monday and Tuesday. 

So far I've been able to not have any complete outfit repeats.  With just a week left, I think that I can keep that up for the rest of the month. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Floral NewLook 0180

I bought this pattern on a whim.  The NewLook patterns are always on display racks at Joann's for just a few bucks.  This one caught my eye because of the fun floral styling.  I couldn't resist and had to make a version of my own. 

This is NewLook 0180. It is a very simple dress without darts or princess seams, just pleats around the neckline for shaping.  I made the version with the lower pleated neckline and straight skirt. The dress is unlined and closes in the back with a lapped zipper. My first lapped zipper, actually. I got a little confused with the top and bottom of the zipper, but overall I think it turned out pretty well. 

Despite its simple shape and construction, I did have some fitting issues with this dress. I made a straight size 8 and ended up with a gaping back neckline.  Fortunately, I have been reading sewing blogs for a while now and had read how others have fixed this problem.  I took a large triangle out of the center back seam (about an inch and a half on each side going about halfway down the back bodice) and re-inserted the zipper. That seems to have done the trick. 

The fabric is a slightly stretchy cotton, also from Joann's, that I love. If they made it in different colors, I would already own it. I bought two yards and have a decent amount of fabric left over.  I'm hoping it's enough to make a pencil skirt. 

The dress is super comfortable, even after a long day of sitting at my desk. I like the versatility of this dress, and the pattern in general.  It is appropriate for work, parties, and maybe even a more casual wedding.

Pattern: NewLook 0180 (the link lists a different pattern number, but the pictures are identical)
Fabric: Floral cotton from Joann's
Cost: 2 yards of fabric @ $10/yard = $20 + $2.50 zipper =  $22.50 ($26.50 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: Approximately 8 hours

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Me Made May 2014: Week 3

Another week down! This week I wore one me-made make each day: 3 black and white dresses, 2 colorful skirts, and 2 patterned shirts. About half are repeats from earlier in the month. Here they are:

Monday, May 12: Work

Dress: McCall's 5972 (pre-blog)
Belt: Banana Republic

Tuesday, May 13: Work

Dress: Moneta by Colette Patterns
Belt: Banana Republic

Wednesday, May 14: Work

Shirt: Banana Republic
Cardigan: JCrew
Belt: Banana Republic
Skirt: NewLook 0116 (pre-blog)
Shoes: Nine West

Thursday, May 15: Work and happy hour

Shirt: Express
Cardigan: Old Navy
Skirt: Hacked version of McCall's 6503 (not yet blogged)

Friday, May 16: Work

Cardigan: Thrifted Jones New York
Pants: Banana Republic
Belt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Keds

Saturday, May 17: Chilly barbecue with friends

Shirt: McCall's 6613

Sunday, May 18: Lunch and shopping

Dress: McCall's 6609 (pre-blog)
Jacket: North Face

Taking pictures of my outfit every day is getting pretty old, so I'm glad that this month is over halfway over. I'm finding that, even though I have more clothes that I've made in the closet, I keep reaching for the same pieces over and over. I think that I may donate the clothes that I still haven't worn by the of the month.  Fortunately, my mom and I are the same size, so she'll get first dibs.

The next week of Me-Made-May will feature at least one new make that I'm pretty excited about, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Black and White Moneta

There are two different types of sewing pattern companies out there: large commercial companies, including the big 4 (Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, and McCall's) and independent, or indie companies.  Colette Patterns and Sewaholic Patterns were the first two independent pattern companies I was discovered when I started following sewing blogs about a year ago.  I feel like sewing bloggers fall into two camps: the Sewaholic camp and the Colette camp. A few bloggers make clothes from both lines, but it feels like there is a divide. I started out in the Sewaholic camp, but just made my first Colette pattern: the Moneta dress. 

It's described as a simple knit dress that works for any occasion in every season. The dress has a wide neckline, is gathered at the waist with clear elastic, and has pockets. It has sleeve options (sleeveless, short sleeves, and 3/4 length sleeves), collar options, and an option to line the bodice. I opted for the unlined version with 3/4 length sleeves.

The directions were super easy to follow and the dress came together in just a few days of sewing after work.  It did involve two new techniques for me.  The first was using a twin needle.  My sewing machine came with a twin needle, but I had never bothered to figure out how to use it before.  It turns out to be quite simple, and results in a nice professional finish.  I used the twin needle on the neckline and the hem.  

The other new technique was gathering with clear elastic.  You can see the resulting gathers in the first flat picture.  This step was a little tricky, but once I got comfortable stretching the elastic while sewing, I think it gave a nice result.  The gathers are uneven in one location, but it's my fault.  I got distracted while sewing the elastic to the skirt and forgot to stretch for about an inch long section.  I don't think anyone will ever notice. 

As expected from a knit dress, this dress is very comfortable.  I've already worn it to work and predict that it will make a regular appearance in my wardrobe. I think I will make another Moneta this summer.  I want to try out some of the collar options that are available (for free) online. I'm excited to add another independent designer to my collection!

Fabric: Black and white stretch polyester?
Cost: $12 fabric + $2 clear elastic = $14 ($28 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: 4 days after work = 8 hours

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Me Made May 2014: Week 2

I'm pretty excited to have made it through 11 days of May with little difficulty--and 10 days without any me-made repeats!  This week was a full work week for me, so there are more work looks than in my last post. There are a few unflattering cell phone selfies, but if I'm okay posting them to the internet, hopefully you'll be okay looking at them.

Monday, May 5: Work

Dress: McCall's 5972 (pre-blog)
Shirt: Express
Belt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Nine West

Tuesday, May 6: Work

Shirt: McCall's6604 (pre-blog)
Pants: Cynthia Rowley c/o Marshall's
Belt: Banana Republic

Wednesday, May 7: Work

Dress: McCall's 5972 (again, pre-blog)
Cardigan: Old Navy
Belt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Nine West

Thursday, May 8: Work

Shirt: Express
Skirt: NewLook 0116 (pre-blog)
Belt: Banana Republic
Bag: Vera Bradley
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction

Friday, May 9: Work and shopping

Shirt: H&M
Cardigan: Bought in Paris
Skirt: Simplicity 2226 (pre-blog)

Saturday, May 10: Embassy open-house and lunch

Dress: Purple knit McCall's M6347 (pre-blog and the first knit garment I ever made)
Sweater: Maxx Studio
Belt: Target

Sunday, May 11: Mother's Day spent with my mom

Headband: Gap
Shorts: American Eagle
Sandles: Kenneth Cole Reaction

What I'm learning is that I have a few wardrobe staples that I like to wear over and over.  They include my skinny black leather belt, orange cardigan, and white button-down shirt.

I've now worn all of my knit garments. I think that means I should make some more, since clearly they are what gets worn. It appears that I tend to wear dresses and skirts to work, and pants more on the weekends.  I think that pattern holds true whether or not it's Me Made May.  I own quite a few pairs of dress pants, but hardly ever wear them.  Most of them are hemmed to wear with heels, which I've been trying to avoid due to a running injury.  I could shorten them, though. Hm...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Me Made May 2014: Week 1

I've made it through the first week of Me Made May!  The first week was just four days, so it was nice and easy.  I went to work on Thursday and then took a long weekend trip to North Carolina, so you'll see one work outfit and three casual outfits.  Here they are. I'll apologize in advance for some cell phone pics. 

Thursday, May 1: Work

Dress: Houndstooth Coco by Tilly and the Buttons
Jacket (in my arms): Blue tweed Sewaholic Cordova (pre-blog)
Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: Gift
Shoes: Nine West

Friday, May 2: Road trip to North Carolina

Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Keds

Saturday, May 3: Apartment hunting and botanical gardens in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Shirt: Gap
Skirt: Blue Simplicity 2226 (pre-blog)

Sunday, May 4: Driving home and grocery shopping

Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Keds

So far, so good. This week I've worn more casual wear than in a typical week.  Interestingly, I wore mostly knit pieces this week, whereas most of my makes are from woven fabrics.  I'm curious to see if that trend continues in the coming weeks. I also seemed to wear my most recent makes, seeing that on 3 of the 4 days I wore things that I've made this year.  I'll keep on eye on that too.