Thursday, May 31, 2012

MMM Days 21-31

Ah, Me Made May, I enjoyed you while you lasted, but man, I missed my sweatpants.

Day 21

Meg WAS NOT HAPPY. This is my not happy face.  The noise level in the HR group sometimes gets a little crazy and I got a headache at work.  

Dress:  Simplicity 2549

Day 22 - 23

I have no idea where those pictures are.  It's like they disappeared into my fabric closet, never to be seen again.  

Day  24:

I finally got to wear the Sassy Secretary Dress to work. Rob told me to pose like a flamingo.  My balance is wretched.

Day 25

This photo shoot was a ton of fun!  And the overalls are insanely comfortable.  I think they'll be perfect in the Autumn when the weather has cooled down a little more.

Overalls: EvaDress 4536
Blouse: McCalls 5929

Day 26 


I have awesome friends who have awesome homes who host awesome sleepovers.  

Socks: Target.  Someday it'll be a hand knitted pair, but we'll just admire the pros for now. :)

Day 27

Sunday is cleaning day at our place.  I am on window duty.

Shirt and Shorts: Lisette 1879
 My view while I'm washing the windows.  I'm pressed up against them while I wash, so it's good that I'm not afraid of heights.

I do hate spiders, though, and believe it or not, we do get spiders crawling through the window seats into our place. I killed 14 in one day before.  Sometimes I find ninja spiders while I am window cleaning and freak out. Again, a good thing I'm not afraid of heights since I'm freaking out next to a pane of glass.

Sometimes the view of the clouds is super lovely.  I love taking cloud pictures.  I've been doing it ever since I was a little kid and I have some really magnificent photos from the years.

 Day 28

My last day of Memorial Day vacation.  I was reluctantly getting ready for bed at a decent hour when Rob snapped this photo.

 Day 29

I haven't worn this dress in a year!  I don't know why, because I absolutely love it :)

Dress: McCalls 5923

Day 30

It got chilly today and my photographer got sassy.

Skirt: Advance 8781

Day 31

A cold and rainy day in Chi-town. 

Skirt: Vogue 8701

Well, we've come to the end, and I learned quite a bit from this month.  I suppose I expected it to be easier than it was, considering how many me made garments are in my closet. Here are some of the things I've realized:

  1. I need more basics.  I need pencil skirts and black pants for work, more blouses, sweaters for the office, and some casual pants (like jeans).  The weather this month made it really difficult to survive in skirts and my few pairs of summery pants.  I need more cake in my life, if you will.
  2. As much as I love color and patterns, I don't like mixing them.  It's not my style to throw on crazy prints and try and make them work - I like having one patterned piece and then a solid colored wardrobe piece to compliment it.  I have many patterned garments, and not many solid.  This created a bit of a roadblock and so I ended up using some pieces multiple times. 
  3. I need more casual clothes.  More sweatshirts, more comfy pants, and a onesie.  A me made onesie would be delightful, and I totally have the pattern already.  
 I'm glad that I identified these wardrobe gaps, but it makes me a little sad to think of how many dresses I have made that didn't get worn at all because of the shoddy weather here.  I am debating on having an entire month where I only wear dresses so these lovely bits get to see the light of day.  I'm thinking August so the weather won't be as much of an issue.  Any one interested in trying out this venture with me??  Let me know in the comments!

Friends, it's been delightful following along with all of you and your gorgeous ensembles!  Here's to us and another great month of me mades!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sew Weekly and Sew Cinematic: The Land Girls Overalls

Friends, this might be one of the biggest surprise outfits of the year.  I did not expect to love it as much as I do!

When I first signed on for That's Sew Cinematic, I was in the middle of the BBC series Land Girls.  I immediately set my heart on making a set of overalls for myself.  I began perusing pattern sites for overall patterns that appealed to me, and when I saw EvaDress Pattern 4536, I was sold.

 It took a little longer to find fabric, though.  I searched through all fabric stores I came across for tan canvas fabric, but kept coming up empty.  I got lucky a few weeks ago when Rob took me to an antique store in his hometown.  On the huge fabric pile was an amazing denim curtain for $10.  This curtain was ginormous - I think I have enough left over for a skirt!

 Finally, it came time to actually cut and sew the garment.  I freaked out.  I became seriously scared of the idea of working with this vintage pattern and cutting out the pieces incorrectly.  I was convinced that these were going to be a mess.  It only took two glasses of wine to dull my nerves enough to cut the pattern out.

Because I was so freaked out, I cut out the largest size available.  I transferred all the marking accordingly, and got to sewing.

I was extremely pleased that my machine was able to handle the denim.  It has major issues with bulkier fabrics, but those denim needles rocked it like a champ. I didn't break a single needle.  This is a record for me as I practically own stock in the Singer company.

I did make some alterations to the pattern: I added four inches to the leg length, and it's a good thing, too!  I ended up having a 3/4" hem in the end.  I wish I had put in the pockets as I am used to putting them in pants - the directions called for attaching the pockets after the pant legs have been sewn. It was a bit difficult to maneuver, so I recommend attaching the pocket pieces to the pant legs and then sewing up the outside leg seam.

I used navy thread for all seam and top stitching - I wanted the shape of the overalls to stand out, not contrasting stitching. I adore the sweetheart neckline - it's one of the main reasons I bought the pattern in the first place!

I used the biggest buttons I had in my stash for the back opening. This allowed me to spread out and cover more distance, which meant the vent opening at the bottom would be more securely closed.  The last thing I wanted was to leave too much space between the vent opening and the button so underwear could be seen.  I feel a bit more modest now!

The belt is a great addition - it's a bit off center due to my moving the button spacing around, but it works nicely to keep the back from springing open and the sides cinched in.  These have turned out to be some very shapely overalls.

Would I make this pattern again? Probably.  I wouldn't necessarily make these in the overall style again, because I don't see the need for having more than one set of overalls in my closet, but I could definitely make the playsuit style of the pattern.  I'm contemplating the playsuit in a fun plaid with big colorful buttons down the back.  It's not out of the question. but I have a few more projects that I am working on first.

Though the pattern illustration shows these without a blouse, I decided to pair it with my McCalls 5929 (the first blouse I ever made).  I have more of this checked fabric in my stash, so I may make a short sleeve version to pair with these overalls ... or a red flowered blouse would be equally lovely.

Friends, have you ever thought about making overalls?  I plan on wearing mine around the house and to upcoming art fairs and festivals.  Where would you wear yours?

Have a great weekend, all!!  Enjoy your three day weekends, for those who live in the States :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hellllooooo, new Butterick patterns....

Friends, the new Butterick Summer/Fall collection is out.  There are a few that I'm in love with, but please let me know your thoughts below!

I love this simple knit dress.  I think I have a similar pattern already in my stash, but yes - something simple like this, in grey, with colorful tights and some boots.  And a scarf.  WAIT.  Am I really planning an outfit for Autumn and Summer isn't even here yet?!

*sobs quietly, needs sunshine*


 I do love knit dresses though, and I know that this one would be perfect for the office.  Knit dresses with long sleeves are fabulous for office air conditioning systems. And all those bodice options? Love. I realize this could be made by taking a simple knit dress pattern and adding two long strips to the side seams.  I totally get that.  I would've never realized it, however, had it not been for this pattern. 

 I've always been a big fan of wrap dresses, but this wrap tunic is really stealing my heart. It would be amazing in yellow, I think. I love the crisp, clean lines, especially paired with jeans.

 And finally...

OK. Do not buy this pattern for the bolero.  Don't.  Because the same pattern is here on BurdaStyle for FREE.   And how is this the Making History pattern of the collection, anyway?  Where are the lovely vintage dresses that we've grown to love so much?

I did buy a Butterick pattern a few months ago that I think you might like if you are into vintage styled dresses.  It's in the out of print section, but once they have another sale, snatch it up.  The bodice and sleeve shapes are very retro to me, especially paired with that bow on the neckline. It's not sold as a vintage pattern, but I'm using it as such.


Friends, any favorites of yours from the collection?  I know I won't be buying any more patterns in the foreseeable future.  I decided I want to be out of debt before I'm 30, so there needs to be some cutting back and making do with what I have on hand.  Oy, grown up goals and student loans - you kill me sometimes.

Have a great night all!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

TSC: The Love Story Dress

Friends, I may not be the biggest fan of the movie Love Story, but I am a HUGE fan of the clothes that Ali McGraw wears throughout the film.

One of my favorites would have to be this dress:

image found here
I loved the way it moved, but I knew I was not going to be working with silk.  I settled on finding a knit dress pattern and decided on Vogue 8685.  I loved the midriff detailing, which mirrored the original inspiration dress.  I also loved that it allowed for a fuller skirt and long sleeves.  Perfect.

For my version, I used some red knit that I snagged out of a remnant box during the NYC meet-up.  I had been waiting for the perfect project and this was it:

I LOVE this dress. Positively love it.

The dress has been completed for over a month, but I was only able to get out and take pictures now that the weather has warmed up a bit.  I've been wearing it to work often because it's so comfortable and definitely business-like when I pair it with a black jacket and heels.

I made some alterations to the pattern as I went along, but the main one was eliminating the zipper.  I initially put one on down the center back seam, but the dress ended up being too big in the bodice.  Once I removed the zipper and took in the dress in the center back seam, I was still able to pull it on over my head. 

The neckline came out a little stranger than I would have thought, but I think that's just because of the knit I used - it sticks out instead of laying flat.  Though it's evenly stitched, when it sticks out, it appears to have a few waves in it.  I'm wondering if I should double edge stitch it (like the other seams on this dress), but it's not bothering me too much to stop wearing it.

I did come across a problem with the dress while we were taking pictures, unfortunately...

I am definitely going to have to be vigilant against gusts of wind!

Overall, this is probably one of my favorite things I've made so far this year.  I will definitely be making this pattern again, probably in a blue or green... or maybe pink, since I appear to have a large amount of pink knit in my closet :)

Friends, how do you feel about Love Story?  Love the story or love the fashion?  Or both?

Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!  XOXO!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

MMM: Day 13-20 and the NATO Summit!

Oooo...lots of new goodies this week, but I am especially loving all of my NATO bedsheet creations!

Day 13:

Heading out for some shopping with my bestie, Stephy

Pants: Burda 8488

Dressed for uber comfort and maximum style.  Hold onto your hats, DSW!
Day 14

Ah, work clothes.  I never stray too far from you.

I was distracted by watching the Coast Guard set up shop outside our windows, but also by a piece of lumber that I initially thought was a body floating in the Millennium Spire hole.  We have been using the binoculars a lot this week while watching the city set up for the NATO summit.

Day 15:

We made several attempts to take good pictures, and this was the best one of the bunch.  I had just had three molar cavities filled and the entire left side of my jaw was completely numb.  Good news: only two more out of the original cavities are left to be filled.  Somehow, this doesn't reassure me.

 Sweater: Altered black sweater - taken in on the sides and sleeves adjusted
Skirt: refashioned shorts to skirt

Day 16:

Work clothes again, but at least I can eat solid food today - hooray!  

 Dress: New Look 6643

I love this dress.  I love the purple plaid and sheen of the fabric - it's got enough give to be comfortable during the day and enough color to enliven the office environment.  

Day 17:

This dress has a post all its own tomorrow...

...but for now I can tell you that it's Vogue 8685

Day 18:

NATO Summit work from home day!


Cheese, crackers, and pears - delicious!

This outfit was one of the best parts of the day...

OCCUPANTS! (My friend came up with the name - he gets all the credit here)

Top: Refashioned t-shirt from this cardigan
Bottoms: McCalls 6514

The pants are made from old bedsheets, so the color varies on each piece based on the amount of wear in each area.  They are definitely threadbare and a bit holey, so they are strictly housepants.  However, they are very comfortable housepants, and I am so very pleased with them!

Day 19:  

No pictures due to a going away party that got a bit crazy (I was wearing this dress) - I totally forgot my camera, but would like to share with you a quote from my friend, Dan: 

"It takes me a while to grasp onto things.  It took me forever to catch onto monkey bars."

I laughed so hard I ugly cried.

Day 20:

NATO Summit is well under way!  We've been listening to helicopters all morning and the harbor is practically empty.

I made something special for the occasion - an ACTI-VEST.  I tried pairing these with the Occupants, but it was just too much grey bedsheet action for one outfit. 

Shirt/Vest: Simplicity 5800

This is an incredibly comfortable piece, and definitely fitting for a day when we cannot leave our apartment.  I got the pattern from the NYC meetup, and it's only taken me three months to complete it - I despaired over every single step - so many facings!  A drawstring!  Buttons!  For some reason, I felt overwhelmed.  I'm glad it's done, but I probably won't attempt this pattern again.

Well friends, I hope you are having an amazing weekend!  I am off to grab my binoculars and look for any action happening outside.