Friday, June 28, 2013

Shoe Showdown Survivors: The Colorful Comfy Flats Verdict!

Softwaves Wave Mary Jane comfort flats in Citron: Beautifully made and on sale for $85, but too small for my giant feet!

So one of my most commented on recent posts was the "Colorful Comfort Shoe Showdown" where I was trying to find some bright flats to buy with a Mother's Day gift certificate from my mom. You all seem REALLY opinionated about footwear — which makes sense since shoes are one of the few things most of us CAN'T make for ourselves. So I thought I'd report back on the results of my mission of comfort shoe desperation.

In the end I bought three pairs of colorful flats (and returned one), winding up with two comfort shoe winners. Here's the scoop:

#1: Softwaves Wave Mary Jane leather comfort flats in Citron. (pictured at top of post).

  • Pros: Beautifully made, a really unique vintage-inspired style (one of many! I drool!), serious comfort construction and arch support, fabulous color.
  • Cons: The largest size available — a European 41 — was at least an inch too small for my big feet. I wear a 41 in some other European-sized shoes (and a 10 or 11 in most American-sized shoes), but I think I'd need a 42 for these.
  • Do they pass the subway stairs/playground/long NYC walks test? They would if they fit.
  • Result: Wistful shoe sadness. So I exchanged them for a little dose of polka dot happiness...

Polka dot comfort shoe win!

#2: Ahnu Karma flats in "Mood Indigo"

  • Pros: Well-designed cross-strap flats perfect for summer and on sale. Great arch support and a really comfortable breathable insole for your bare feet. Also: internal polka dots and a bright orange sole and spiral stitch detail.
  • Cons: These "yoga-inspired" shoes mostly come in the kind of subdued/earthy/natural colors I generally avoid. Even this colorway is not as bright as I was going for (except for the topstitching and sole).
  • Do they pass the subway stairs/playground/long NYC walks test? Oh yes yes yes!
  • Result: They are so comfortable and seem to go with MANY things. I have been wearing them almost every day since they arrived and there was no break-in period — just instant foot happiness. I REALLY wish they came in bright colors!

#3: Tsubo Aftenia fashion sneakers in "claret" and "silver"

  • Pros: Bright red, cushy insole, cute pointed-ish toe but not uncomfortably pointy, cheap because they were discontinued. And I had a pair of them in brown already so knew they'd be a win.
  • Cons: The insole is well cushioned, but not really shaped for firm arch support. The insoles don't really wick moisture, so they are fine with tights or socks but get a bit slippery/blistery inside after long walks and need to be broken in at the heel.
  • Do they pass the subway stairs/playground/long NYC walks test? Only with socks.
  • Result: Moderate shoe happiness. Z calls them my "ruby slippers." Here they are in action back during Me-Made May (sorry for bad lighting, they truly are BRIGHT red):

Me Made May 29: Bright Hummingbird with Jeans

That's it for my shoe-buying budget for a good long while, but next time I have room in the closet/budget for an accessory hunt, I'm going to check into some of the other new-to-me brands suggested in the comments.

What are your favorite "walk for miles" comfort shoes?

P.S. Forgot to mention... I stupidly broke my toe two nights ago while sweeping up fabric scraps (stumbled and stubbed it on a chair leg). There's not much to be done for a broken toe except "buddy taping" it to the neighboring toe, but the doctor said to make sure to wear roomy, comfortable flat shoes with good support, and the Ahnu Karmas seem to be the only shoes I can walk in without crying at the moment!

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for (and quite likely spent on yarn or fabric to be blogged here!).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Done: "Swim Away!" Wax Print Dress (Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress)

"Swim Away!" African wax fish print dress (Oliver & S ice cream dress)

This little dress has been swimming around my head since back when I was pregnant and bought this "Super Deluxe Veritable Wax Print" fish fabric for $1.99/yard at Sew-Fisticated Discount Fabrics.

So I'm feeling quite pleased with myself for finally completing it before my daughter outgrew the largest size in the pattern envelope (or, say, went off to college!). I was nearly derailed by a few disasters—crappy yoke fabric that shredded like spiderwebs, a loop turner that refused to turn loops...

"Swim Away!" African wax fish print dress (Oliver & S ice cream dress)

But I triumphed in the end and Ms. Z squealed in excitement this morning when I showed her her brand-new "Swim Away!" dress.

It'd been a long time since I made her anything, and I had forgotten how soothing sewing simple relaxed-fit children's cotton clothes can be. Even when the construction techniques are complex, there's no fitting or alterations to make me cry and swear. I just make everything a bit too big, and know she'll eventually grow into it. Only it's not really all that big. Oops!

"Swim Away!" African wax fish print dress (Oliver & S ice cream dress)

The pattern: Oliver + S Ice Cream dress, View A. (Though around here we're calling it the "Coconut Cream" dress — my daughter has life-threatening dairy allergies, so she was very alarmed when she saw the little girl on the envelope holding a cone of "mean allergies" in her hand):

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress and Family Reunion Dress
Pattern Description: Child's color-blocked dress with notched yoke, cut-on sleeves, color-blocked patch pockets and double hem panel.

Pattern Sizing: I bought the 6M-4T envelope, and made up a size 4T (tracing the pieces with my beloved Bosal paper in case I need the smaller sizes again).

My daughter is a big girl—just turned three but already 37.5" tall and 37 pounds in weight... so the 4T fits just right with not very much room to grow, alas! So I'll just have to make her wear it every day this summer. Right?

"Swim Away!" African wax fish print dress (Oliver & S ice cream dress)

Fabric & notions Another stash win!

  • Super Deluxe Veritable Wax Print" fish-patterned cotton, $1.99/yard at Sew-Fisticated Discount Fabrics. Really soft and gauzy, not stiff at all. Used a bit less than a yard's worth.
  • Scraps of turquoise Kona cotton leftover from a quilting project. The pattern calls for a whole yard but with very careful single-layer cutting I was able to squeeze it out of just half a yard with miniscule scraps remaining.
  • Extra button from a sweater I donated to charity long ago.
  • So, a free dress, right?

"Swim Away!" African wax fish print dress (Oliver & S ice cream dress)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None. This was a pure, relaxing "sew exactly as directed" project.

Instructions and Construction: Are great. Oliver + S patterns always make me feel so smart, like I'm taking a mini sewing class. I don't find them easy or quick to sew, but they have such fun details and atypical construction, they are a joy to put together. And I do feel like I've learned skills here that could easily apply to a fitted dress for myself!

What I love about the pattern: Um, everything. It's such a great style for a little girl on the go.

  • The colorblocking.
  • The adorable notched patch pockets (perfect for rocks or toy fish, which is what she put in them this morning).
  • The little bias button loop closure.
  • The cut-on sleeves.

"Swim Away!" African wax fish print dress (Oliver & S ice cream dress)


  • First bias button loop.
  • Lots of nice even edge-stitching (thanks, edge-stitching foot!)

Near disasters:

  • Bias button loop agony. So I have a loop turner and have made spaghetti straps and such with it before, but this thick Kona cotton did NOT want to turn inside out. I literally spent 40 minutes struggling with the loop turner before I finally got it to cooperate. Which is crappy when I generally only have 30 minutes a day to actually sew.
  • Fabric of spiderwebs fail: I originally intended to use a bright red cotton poplin remnant I bought at Mood for the solid color contrast. Except when I went to even out the ends, my FINGERS WENT RIGHT THROUGH IT. Like it was made of butter. Or spiderwebs. Or spiderweb butter. WTF?!:

    Fabric Fail - weird red poplin fell apart when I gave it the slightest pressure, my fingers went through like butter.
  • Toddler non-cooperation: She wanted to run around in the dress and jump and lie on couches, but I could not get her to just look straight at me and smile. Could NOT. Oh well!

Wear for: Running around all summer and looking freaking adorable. Also for relaxing on polka-dot couches:

"Swim Away!" African wax fish print dress (Oliver & S ice cream dress)

P.S. "Swim Away" is of course a Finding Nemo reference... I never really liked or appreciated that movie until I had a kid with severe chronic health issues, but now I am kind of obsessed with it!

P.P.S. I would like to take credit for the polka-dot couch, but I just bought the fabric. My amazing mom actually covered my old couch for me. In like, an hour. Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Inspiration: Pretty, Pretty Peplums!

Pretty Pretty Peplums collage

"Pretty Pretty Peplums" inspiration featuring a Modcloth striped dress and top and a Stop Staring dress

With the Cake Patterns Hummingbird Sew-Along humming along on day 2, it's time to cut my third Hummingbird top, and I was on the hunt for a little inspiration on what I might do differently this round. Man do I love a peplum...

You might guess I was leaning towards a dress version... maybe with stripes...

And I was. Until I remembered that my daughter's third birthday party is this weekend and I only have two actual sewing evenings before both my parents and my husband's mother and young cousin come to stay in our little apartment for several days...

So I think another top it is—probably View Blue, which has a deep wide neck, with a woven dickey and cuffs. (A little step towards making my first button-down shirt, but way less commitment!). Here's Steph's version for an example.

I'm doing mine in a nice chevron jersey from my recent trip to Mood:

Pinka and purple chevron rayon/lycra knit large print

And the dickey and cuffs in some scraps of sheerish black Swiss dot lawn from the Stash that Must Be Busted, left over from my self-drafted reversible shirred skirt:

Me Made May 7: Black, White & Red All Over

I hope sheerness won't be an issue here... we shall see!

P.S. On another note, this just made my day. I have a bad case of laryngitis and have been very cranky about not being able to talk properly. I got home today and my husband had washed a recent fabric purchase (sorry, can't tell you what it's for! sssssssh!) and put it on my sewing cabinet with this little note:

Pontes and poplin from Mood

So are you pro or anti-peplum?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sketchbook: Knit Franken-dress Ideas

Polka Dot Sketchbook: FrankenDress Ideas

Not going to discuss the state of my sewing queue right now or all the things I WISH I had time to sew (Bonny and a Bombshell swimsuit and a Hummingbird flounce skirt and peplum dress and some Oliver + S for the little one and a top-secret project and my vintage patterns and... !).

But here are some ideas that have been bumping around my head and sketchbook for colorful Franken-patterned dresses I don't even have patterns for.

I love them both but am kinda leaning towards the second one (blue and green version) because color-blocking and flutter sleeves both rock my little sewing world.

Which one would you sew if you were me?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

BlogLove Me Before It's Too Late!

Follow on Bloglovin

Just a quick note encouraging you all to follow my blog with Bloglovin' before Google Reader goes dark on July 1. (You needn't re-follow all your blogs individually, either—you can import subscriptions from other readers).

I know Bloglovin' has some bugs and is missing a few features—the ability to save posts to read later, for example--but I prefer it to the other options for one huge reason: it lets you read actual blog pages in their own design, the way they're meant to look... and it gives bloggers pageviews.

Why do pageviews matter? Many bloggers rely on people actually viewing their sites (instead of just the text and photos from a single post) to earn money from ads, sponsors, Etsy shops and links. When you read a post through something like Google Reader, that didn't count as a pageview. So every time you view an actual blog, or read it through Bloglovin', you are helping to support your favorite bloggers!

I don't make MUCH money from ads on this blog, but I have noticed since folks started switching over to Bloglovin' my pageviews have doubled (30,000/month average now). And instead of $10/month from Google Adsense, I'm seeing $30 or more. (That may not sound like much, but I live on a REALLY tight budget, and that's guilt-free money to spend on sewing and knitting supplies to blog about!)

So again—please follow me on Bloglovin'!

Have you all made the switch? Or are you going with a more Reader-esque option?

P.S. I believe this also marks the death of Google Friend Connect, which was linked to Google Reader and is being superseded by Google Plus? RIP, Friend Connect! I guess I'll remove it from my sidebar at some point...

P.P.S. If you are a blogger, even if you don't make the switch to reading blogs on Bloglovin', you should still claim your blog over there to have more control when people subscribe to you that way!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My 3 favorite sewing tools (that aren't actually sewing tools at all)

The non-sewing tool I couldn't sew without: an LED headlamp

Good thing you all can't watch me while I'm actually sewing. Because when I'm attacking a pattern I generally look less like this:

Vintage postcard image of woman sewing

And slightly more like this:

WPA poster: Pennsylvania miner
WPA poster from 1930s, click for more info

What can I say? I live in a poorly-lit NYC-sized apartment and I cut and sew on my dining table. A long time ago I did buy a lovely color-correcting Ottlite sewing lamp (similar to this desk one currently on 50% off sale), but I have no idea what happened to it.

And I don't need a light that sits in one spot—I need good sharp light EVERYWHERE when I'm, pressing, cutting, hand-sewing, embroidering and more.

So one day I got frustrated while trying to thread my serger (remember—always UNPLUG while threading and watch that KNIFE!), grabbed the LED headlight I use for camping...

And suddenly I, well, saw the light.

Now I always keep a headlamp in my little sewing cabinet and I'm fairly certain I swear at least 40% less while hemming, changing the presser foot or even unpicking dark stitches on dark fabric. Which brings me to:

My 3 favorite sewing tools that aren't sewing tools at all:

  1. A good LED headlamp with long battery life for shining light on tricky sewing tasks. I use this bright red one but sometimes borrow my husband's boring gray one (I think it has stronger light power).
  2. A roll of 1/2" double-sided mounting tape to use as a removable seam guide for even-width seams. (I can't use magnetic seam guides on my computerized machine).
  3. Ceramic cups and bowls for pattern weights. I learned this from my grandmother Melba who once laughed when she saw me slowly pinning my pattern and fabric together before cutting. (As my mom put it "She scorned the use of pins... a few upside coffee cups on the pattern were enough.")

    Of course you can buy nice colorful pattern weights or use big flat metal washers, but... I like my cups.

So: What's your favorite non-sewing sewing implement?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from some hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for (quite likely to be spent on more patterns, yarn or fabric for me to blog about!).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DONE: Short striped & piped Hummingbird skirt (Cake Patterns #0289)

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Orange Skirt Collage

Until I made this skirt, I hadn't inserted an invisible zipper in EIGHT years. It's probably been just as long since I wore short skirts regularly, too—I got into a rut in 2005 when I decided all skirts MUST BE KNEE LENGTH.

But that is old news now because I LOVE my new Hummingbird Orange denim skirt AND I inserted the invisible zipper with no issues on the first try with help from a little video tutorial linked in the pattern.

But screw zippers. What I really love about this skirt is the fit. Which is, well, PERFECT.

Hummingbird Orange short piped denim pencil skirt:  Pockets & piping

And now that I have a perfect fitting woven skirt, it just emphasizes how ill-fitting most of my RTW woven skirts are—gaping at the back waist, droopy in the rear.

In fact, while wearing my Hummingbird peplum tops (and now the skirt) I've had a number of people spontaneously ask me "Did you lose weight?"

While the body image warrior in me wants to be cranky and ask why that should be a compliment, I do think it points to the perks of wearing well-fitting, flattering clothing. (And no, I haven't lost weight—in fact I've gained quite a bit thanks to oral steroids I had to take while I was ill. But thank you anyway.)

I also love:

  • The smartphone-sized panel pockets, just right for my so-old-it-can't-run-any-apps first generation Apple iPod Touch. Of course I lined my Hummingbird Orange pockets in, well orange:

    My Hummingbird Orange has orange pockets!
  • My striped piped seams (try saying that five times fast)—they look like a dotted line! Yes I should have made them more even and no, I don't care. I cut 1 1/2" wide strips, pressed them in half, and basted them to one edge of the fabric (raw edges to raw edge) before stitching the seams:

    Applying flat piping to my Hummingbird Orange Skirt

Anyway, on to the juicy details:

The pattern: Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top and Straight Skirt 0289. (Disclosure: I draw illustrations and flats for Cake, but I don't get paid to sew, blog or otherwise promote Cake!)

Pattern Description: Hummingbird view "Orange" woven skirt with no gape panel pockets sized for smartphones, back zipper and simple straight waistband. Optional back flounce, aka Hummingbird "Pink". (There's also a knit top with sleeve and neckline variations and optional dickey and cuffs which I have made twice already.)

Pattern Sizing: Full hip sizes ranging from 35"-57", with waist size cut by actual size. I cut the size 40" with a 30" waist. (My full hips are 38.5" and my waist is 29").

There is a "fit check" step in the instructions where you baste the side seams to check and adjust fit, and I ended up taking in the waist by about 3/4" on each side (or 3" total), the hips about 1" (4" total) and the waistband about 3". This is mainly because I was working with a stretch woven—I think in a plain woven I would have taken out half that. After that, it fit PERFECTLY and I made no adjustments to the darts or anything else.

Hummingbird Orange short piped denim pencil skirt:  Back view

The skirt is designed for this side-seam adjustment, and can be taken in up to 1" on each piece (4" total) without distorting the pocket design. Here's a photo of me pinning the waist and hips in to fit—can you see the chalk and pins?

Hummingbird Orange: Pinning the side seams to customize fit

Fabric: All from the stash, aren't I a good girl?

  • Dark pinstriped black stretch denim I've had since high school—less than a yard.
  • Scraps of orange stretch cotton sateen for the pockets from a $1/yard FabricMart sale three years ago.
  • Bits of gray and white cotton/lycra blend knit, $6/yard from Spandex House a long time ago (also used for panties and my Tiramisu test top).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added flat knit piping to the front and waist seams to create a dotted line effect. If the piping hadn't been so uncooperative and shifty I would have gone all out and done the pockets and side seams too, as in this lovely Milly skirt.

Wear for: Work (with flats or boots) or weekend (though maybe not going down a slide on the playground or riding a bike?) and definitely for a date with the husband.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird top and skirt


  • My first invisible zipper in EIGHT years. Smooth and perfect!:

    Hummingbird Orange closeup back flat view
  • First time attempting flat piping—it totally works, even though it's not perfectly even.
  • Second waistband EVER. (I used a hook and eye closure).
  • First time sewing with stretch wovens. I used a small zigzag stitch (1 mm wide, 2 mm long) for most seams to prevent popping.

Cake Patterns Hummingbird top and skirt

References used (in addition to instructions of course):

I can't wait to make my next pencil-style Hummingbird "Pink" with fancy back tailfeather flounce during the sewalong (join us! orange envelopes are in my House!), in a nubbly turquoise linen blend from ancient stash.

Hummingbird Orange short piped denim pencil skirt:  Pockets & piping

So, do you wear short skirts? How short is too short for work (or equivalent social settings?)

P.P.S. Notice the new red flats, after my agonized blog post on my search for bright and comfortable shoes? Little Z calls them my "Dorothy shoes!"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Yarn & Fabric Shopping Overload + 2 Cardigans in Progress

Visiting Hub Mills yarn store on my birthday

Don't look at me like that, it was a birthday yarn shopping emergency!

Part 1: A Tale of Two Yarn Sprees

I've been TRYING to be a good little stash-buster. The first two tops I made last month were from the stash, as were my TARDIS socks AND the denim Hummingbird skirt I've almost completed.

And I deliberately chose the Delancey cardigan I'm knitting now to use up some lovely DK-weight merino I'd had lying around for over five years. Here's a progress shot (it is SO fun to knit, you start with two triangles and then join them to get the chevron effect going:)

Delancey Cardigan pattern by Alexis Winslow—progress!

But last weekend while riding the Bolt Bus to Boston with my husband and daughter, I reached into my purse for the Delancey AND IT WAS GONE (left at the office, thankfully, and not at the bus stop!). That meant two five hour bus rides WASTED and LACKING IN CARDIGANS.

Worst of all, it meant NO KNITTING on my BIRTHDAY, which was the following day. My husband came to the rescue, and gamely agreed to take me yarn shopping as a present.

Which is how, on my 33rd birthday, I ended up desperately pawing through the shelves of the...

Hub Mills yarn store (see photo at top) at the Classic Elite yarns distribution center in Billerica, Massachusetts.

When I was learning to knit in high school, Hub Mills (located in a scenic canal-side factory in downtown Lowell) was my Local Yarn Store, but although the new Billerica location isn't as nice, the yarns are still soft, colorful and yummy, there are lovely samples on display and the staff are super-helpful and knowledgeable. I came away with:

My husband (man knows what I like) also got me a gift certificate to a local yarn store for Mother's Day. So today I went to:

La Casita Yarn Shop Café in Brooklyn.

This tiny little store and café/bar is just blocks from my home. It's jam-packed with all kinds of beautiful yarns from budget to super-fancy-expensive, some of them tucked into cookie jars and little baskets just to find space.

I especially love that they are so kid-friendly and even have kids' knitting classes and a kids' summer knitting camp. (I say this because I've had some unfortunate experiences with staff in another local yarn store that I won't name who were really rude to me and my daughter even though she hadn't touched a single skein).

Anyway, after some deliberation I bought:

  • Enough yarn for my NEXT cardigan, Cherry by Anna Bell.

    I decided to make a candy pink Cherry, with a coral for the body and a slightly brighter fuschia for the ribbing and belt. The yarns shown are Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK, a mostly merino superwash wool blend with a hint of cashmere and silk, and Filatura di Crosa Zara, a soft merino superwash. (I'm going to knit it extra-small to combat the growth properties of superwash).

    Candy pink DK yarns...

Part 2: Mood Print Madness

Oh, and the fabric. Yeah. So I already have quite a bit of knit fabric, but I have a lot of summer tops and dress plans, and I'm getting a little sick of just solids, stripes and polka dots. So last month I went on a printed knit binge at Mood and got:

  • A lovely monochrome purple-and-white rose print rayon/lycra jersey:

    Purple and white rose print rayon/lycra knit from Mood
  • Pink and purple chevrons! (also rayon/lycra jersey):

    Pinka and purple chevron rayon/lycra knit large print
  • The print of pure color chaos... I'm thinking a sleeveless Jalie scarf-collar top (I know, AGAIN).

    Amazing chaotic rayon/lycra print knit

  • Not to mention the Hummingbird-esque fabric I used for my second Hummingbird top:

    Hummingbird-esque rayon/lycra knit large print
  • And for slight balance, some soft stretchy double-knit (or ponte?) RPL for a Bonny top:

    Blue doubleknit RPL

Phew! Confession time over. I think I have a lot of stash-sewing in my future before I can justify setting foot in a yarn or fabric store any time soon...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Love Letter to a $4 Vintage Peplum Dress

$4 vintage find: vintage 80s does 40s black velvet peplum dress

Dear $4 vintage dress,

We've been through a lot together in the past 12 years and you've always stuck by me. I remember the first time I saw you squeezed on the back of a rack in Cambridge's Garment District thrift store. I was running my hands across the rack looking for something bright and pink or orange, but your soft velvet burnout caught my attention.

And then there was your neat little 80s-does-40s peplum, and your adorable little front bow. And you know I can't resist a sweetheart neckline...

$4 vintage find: 80s does 40s black velvet peplum dress

You were the perfect combination of structure and comfort, with your boned front bodice and your super-stretchy elastic shirred back. Really, you're everything I could want in a dress:

$4 vintage find: 80s does 40s black velvet peplum dress: Back shirring view

Thanks to that shirred back, you've survived many a closet purge over the years. My weight has gone up and down, but you almost ALWAYS fit.

You make me feel glamorous and put together and thrifty all at once. You've accompanied me to many a dance over the years, and even a Zombie Purim party (sorry about the fake blood, but it washed out):

Mikhaela & Mary dressed for the Zombie Purim party

Plus, even though I got you second-hand you were originally union made in the USA (thanks International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union!)

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for coming with me to my college reunion last weekend. It was my 33rd birthday and I was grumpy about spending it back at Harvard and I barely saw anyone I knew (that's what I get for taking a semester off and graduating with the class behind me!) and I soon realized why velvet dresses aren't generally worn on 90-degree summer days ... but I had so much fun getting dressed up and dancing with my husband in his rented tuxedo.

$4 vintage find: 80s does 40s black velvet peplum dress

Love and kisses,

P.S. You are so hard to photograph, dear dress—but that's the black velvet I suppose. Here you are in an overexposed shot for more clarity:

$4 vintage find: 80s does 40s black velvet peplum dress

--Black velvet strapless sweetheart peplum dress, vintage--
--Fake pearl necklace my mom and I both wore to our weddings--
--Vaneli silver leather strappy sandals, bought for my wedding in 2007 (similar here)--
--Pleated silvery gray clutch, now covered in cranberry juice stains thanks to a drunken reunion attendee (similarish)--

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the ready-to-wear hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for (and quite likely spent on yarn or fabric).

Friday, June 7, 2013

Me Made May 2013: VICTORY (and Takeaways, Lessons, and/or Morals of the Story)

Mikhaela's Me Made May 2013: Polka Dot Overload blog

Click my month of me-mades mosaic to enlarge. By a lot!

Readers, I did it. I started the month with just two skirts, two tops, one dress, one pair of trousers, one cardigan, two pairs of socks and three pairs of panties. And I only initially pledged to wear at least one me-made item four days per week.

Instead I wore something at least one me-made EVERY day for the entire month (sometimes as many as four or five in one day), and made three new tops, one new pair of socks and one "new" (refashioned) cardigan. I even had days when my daughter was also wearing her me-made dresses and sweaters as a bonus.

It was fun and inspiring but exhausting... and by day 31 I could not WAIT to wear some thrifted or vintage clothing as a little break.

Anyway... here I am at in my office on May 31 after the end of the work day, in my victorious final Me Made May outfit for the month:

Me Made May 31: VICTORY outfit

Me-Mades (just one):
Hummingbird knit top by Cake Patterns with four-leaf clover peplum in polka dot ITY jersey.


  • bias striped knit skirt
  • Wurishofer 711 amazingly comfy leather "granny" sandals, red leather version
  • red coral necklace bought at Renegade Craft Fair ages ago, can't remember maker
  • pink cotton cardigan
  • I also had a little special post MMM day yesterday, actually. I was wearing my chartreuse Georgina cardigan and polka-dot ombré knit surplice dress and I got tons of unsolicited random compliments on both. A woman stopped me on the subway to ask me "Did you make that sweater? I LOVE IT!" and my boss asked me the same thing later.

    Best of all, when I got home my toddler jumped up into my arms and squealed "Mommy, you're wearing the pretty green sweater you knit. I LOVE IT!" and kissed my cheek and then the sweater. (Girl really knows how to butter up her Mommy!)

    Oh yeah... and a big thank you to Zoe of So Zo for all the inspiration!

    **Disclosure: Actions you take from the ready-to-wear hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for (and quite likely spent on yarn or fabric).