Monday, April 16, 2012

Me-Made MAY-be 2012: What I MIGHT wear, if I DID participate

Julia (1984) and Teen Wolf III

Do you think it's a problem that the majority of the me-mades that actually fit me are Halloween costumes? Above: me in 2005 as Julia from Orwell's classic 1984. Unfortunately everyone just though I was Rosie the Riveter. (Oh, and my then-boyfriend now-husband as Teen Wolf, of course).

I LOVE the idea behind Zoe's Me-Made Challenges--challenging ourselves to actually wear what we make, and to find new and fun ways to style our said makes.

But when I called up the Goodwill to ask for all my old wadders back, they just couldn't seem to locate my wobbly-hemmed sequined tank top, my medieval golden gown attempt or my shredded punk rock T-shirt dress.

Seriously, I've sewn or knit more than enough garments over the years to squeeze in at least one me-made per day... if only they (a) all still fit me, (b) were in perfect condition and (c) were actually appropriate for summer weather. (I actually do wear almost one me-made thing every day in the colder months--knitted hats, fingerless gloves and/or socks).

But I'm not going to dash out as many simple me-mades as possible in the next few weeks just to meet the challenge, because I have vowed to only sew what really inspires me, what I really enjoy and want to make. I sew for fun, people. FUN ALL THE TIME.

Anyway, the pitiful inventory of already-me-made things I MIGHT be able to wear in May:

4 skirts

  1. My Sew Grateful colorblocked skirt--a wool jersey blend, but it's lightweight enough, and I've darned the hole in the tissue-thin navy section.

  2. My reversible (counts as two!) shirred skirt--though I probably should take in the side seams, me being about 50 pounds lighter than when I first sewed it and all:

    Finished: My Reversible Shirred Skirt! (36 weeks pregnant)
  3. My $2 polka dot polyester skirt:

    Brown polkadot skirt

1 pair of pants

  1. My triumphant wide-leg trousers... but they're corduroy, and wouldn't work for any hot May days. And I seem to have shrunk a bit since I made them (I blame my teething, nursing-crazed toddler).

    Trouser Triumph

1 cardigan

  1. My flutter-sleeve blue cotton-silk cardigan... but only if I can do some serious surgery on it first... it's really a baggy mess. I knitted it to fit me PERFECTLY with plenty of negative ease and some enthusiastic short-row bust shaping, but neglected to factor in just how much cotton knits grow.

    Teal Flutter-Sleeve Cardigan Flat View, Front

1 pair of socks

  1. My freshly-darned Monkey Socks. We DO set our own rules for this challenge, right? So can minor garments and accessories count?

    Mikhaela's Mixed Up Monkey Socks

3 pairs of maternity underthings

  1. Again, do accessories and minor garments count? Because really, these could be my secret weapon. I certainly can't photograph how they look with the outfits, but if I could count these, it would allow me to wear things like my beloved thrifted sundresses that would otherwise be off limits.

    8. Final near-perfect panties with picot elastic-front

1 apron

  1. The oldest me-made I still own and use. Does throwing it on whilst cooking count for the challenge?

    1950s-style sewing apron

And some MAYBES

  1. I've just (as in, last night) FBAed and cut out the Jalie scarf collar top from my Spring & Summer Separates sketch, and see no reason why this shouldn't work out... and maybe I'll get to the others, too.

    Sea Blue Spring & Summer Separates
  2. And then there's my Joan dickey/bow dress--yes, it's wool, but I do hope to finish it soon (I'm on muslin 2)... maybe we'll get a cool day or two:

    Mad Men Sewing Challenge Sketch: Joan Dress

Too bad I sold my Battlestar Galactica uniform on eBay--restyling it for work would have been quite the challenge!

Battlestar Galactica modified BDUs

So, what do you think readers? If you were me--would you just sit this one out? Or would you wear your Stepford Wives polyester lace dress costume to the office?


  1. Ha! Your costumes are FABULOUS! Thanks for sharing! :)
    I say join in, but make a reasonable pledge, like wearing 3 homemade things in a week. I'm aiming for everyday, but allowing myself accessories, which counts in a whole lot of belts, necklaces and other bits and bobs.
    Alternately, I'll give you this challenge: Each week in May, post a silly picture (with props?!) of you in a Hallowe'en costume or the me-made items you do have. Join in, but make it work for you! :)

  2. Man, I love this post! I don't even know where to start, except to say that I routinely throw out my "beautiful handmade wares" as soon as I realize they kind of suck - and I have improved skill to the next level. The key is just to keep sewing. Then I always have something me-made!

    And I'm intrigued that you did an FBA on the Jalie top. Are you working with a less-than-stretchy fabric? You know my experience of FBAs is decidedly crappy, but I don't think you will need to adjust the bust line with a knit.

    1. Ah, but FBAs are necessary if you don't want your knit shirts to ride up in front. All my rtw knit shirts stretch horizontally to fit my bust.. But then they are several inches too short in front. So I'm adding a little width at the bust and a little length as well. The waist is still fitted.

    2. I hear you - but my knits never ride up - even though the too-small wovens do. I wonder why that is.

  3. Great costumes! It's your pledge, so if you want to pledge, make it fit you. Include thrifted clothes if you like. *Definitely* include undies & socks if you want to.

    On the other hand, the point is to be a bit of a challenge---to maybe get us to wear the less-than-perfect things that sometimes lurk in our closet, and either forgive them their flaws, or get sufficiently sick of them to purge them for next time.

    I'm sitting out this year because I just don't have the time and focus to challenge myself (real life is being plenty challenging right now). If the time isn't right---there's always next year. :)

  4. Phew! I thought I was the only one who sewed loonywear on a regular basis! I love your me mades, set your own standards and have fun....

  5. Reading between the lines I wanted to give you a little mama-to-mama support with your crazed toddler. This too shall pass.

    All your clothes are so lovely,I'm excited to see you wear them in quick succession.

  6. I love these things, you get to see the inside of everyone's closet down to the dregs :-). I think you should count the undies and give it a go..
    And don't bother with cardigan surgery - just toss it into the washer and dryer every time you wear it. Sounds drastic, but it's not wool, it'll really come out good as new every time. It may not last as long in the long term, but at least you'll be wearing it meanwhile.

  7. I say wear what you have, and be gentle with yourself--accessories totally count.

    I love that you dressed up as Julia for Halloween!

  8. I really enjoyed your post! The challenge is whatever you want it to be, right? So aprons and undies definitely count. Having said that, I'm not doing it this time because I think having to think about choosing clothes in the
    morning would be the last straw right now. Maybe next time.


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