Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Because Everyone Needs a Bathrobe

Friends, I have been wanting to make a bathrobe for YEARS.  I knew I wanted a colorful, floor-length, extra long-sleeved robe, complete with pockets, belt, and epic collar.  Thankfully, the lovely Michelle gave me the perfect pattern during a swap: McCall's 4719 (which is part of Marlo's Corner?! AWESOME. I didn't know that until just this minute).

I bought this green and white medallion terry knit two years ago, and have been staring at it every since.  I waffled back and forth on whether it would turn out to be a robe or if I should continue my search for other colorful robe fabric.

With the polar vortex hitting peak intensity this week, I finished the robe and knew immediately that I had picked the correct fabric. I love the finished result, and the warmth it gives when working from home or getting out of the shower is exceptional.

I made the sleeves extra long, just the way I like them.  My last bathrobe ended up having 3/4 sleeves because I didn't stop growing.  That one has probably been gone ten years now, so this bathrobe fills a tremendous gap in my closet/loungewear needs!

The collar is disco-riffic.  You could poke your eye out on those points.

I love the pockets.  They are nice and deep, meaning I can haul around my cell phone and chap stick without any issue.  Brilliant.

Friends, have you ever sewn a bathrobe?  What pattern and fabric did you use?

Stay warm and snuggly, friends!!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Me Made 2014: January 13 - January 27

Me Made 2014 is in full swing, and I am learning lots of things about my wardrobe:

- I don't have nearly enough separates.  
- It's cold. I need more trousers.
- The Catherine Jacket is the best thing I have ever made and I will never let it out my sight.
- This whole project is forcing me to be creative with how I dress. I don't want to wear the same thing every day.
- I have many Renfrews, and I want to make many more.

January 13

Back to work! I wore a sweater of Mama Grand's that I had altered and an altered hand-me-down skirt from my oldest sister.  The sweater has the most amazing beading, and the skirt is a lovely black and white check.  This is the first time I have ever paired them together, and I think this will definitely happen more often.

January 14

Knitting with Liz and Michelle at our favorite hang out.  I wore my sparkly white Renfrew (unblogged), my pinstripe pencil skirt, wine colored tights, and snow boots.  Snow boots are ESSENTIAL to my happiness in Chicago at this point in time.

January 15

A new Jasmine blouse!  I actually tackled this and the January 3rd Jasmine at the same time.  I like making two blouses at once, so I get two finished objects for slightly more effort.  I paired this Jasmine with my grey Simplicity 3688 trousers (my favorite trousers ever).

 A close up of the fabric and bow.  I love the light blue background with delicate flowers sprinkled here and there.  I'm working on bringing more floral patterns into my wardrobe, and I think this was a good place to start.

January 16

Laundry day!! The dryers really don't work in my building, so it's necessary to hang almost everything up to dry.  This is how I do it.  It turns my apartment into a magical fairyland, really.

January 17

I failed in getting a picture of myself, but I wore my favorite Lisette/Simplicity blouse and jeans.  I love jeans day at work. I'm comfortable and productive. What could be better?

January 18

The What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? Party! For my friend's birthday, she hosted a themed party, and we were asked to dress as what we wanted to be when we grew up.  As I wanted to be a dancer, I knew I needed to make leg warmers, a leotard, a Flashdance sweatshirt, and a tutu.  

I also decided to use all of the weirdest, unloved fabrics in my stash.

To start, I used a tutu I already had.  I added all the random magenta tulle in my stash to make it fluffier, which worked wonders.

For the leotard, I used a bodysuit pattern in my stash.  I didn't want to make a raglan bodysuit like the pattern called for, so I hacked the Renfrew pattern to make something a bit more my style.

I overlapped the pieces, pinning down the bodysuit pattern to adjust for the Renfrew neckline.  I cut along the Renfrew lines for side and waist (as the bodysuit pattern was considerably larger), and then used the bottom portion of the bodysuit piece to complete the leotard.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Repeat for the back, continue sewing as for the Renfrew for neck, shoulder, sleeves, and side seams.  Then move onto the directions for the bodysuit to complete the bottom of your leotard.  I followed the directions to add a zipper in the back and snaps in the crotch area, but I would have been fine with just the snaps.  The swimsuit material from my stash has enough give that a zipper isn't necessary as well.

My outfit was already very pink thanks to my fluffy tutu and hot pink legwarmers, but the lighting at the party helped :)

For the final piece, my Flashdance sweatshirt, I used some material a friend had given me.  It's furry/fuzzy/a texture I have never known in my whole life.

When all worn together, I call it 'The Outfit of Misfit Fabrics' because I would not have had another occasion to use the pink furry stuff, the pale green swimsuit material (not a good color on me, I think), magenta tulle, and hot pink acrylic yarn.

It's so obnoxious, there are no words for it.

January 19

Golden Globes! Hanging out with my bestie, wearing my knit Sorbetto tank, an altered sweater (had to chop off the sleeves due to a bleach accident - sad), and jeans.

January 20

Work! Wearing an altered white top (made from my sister's graduation dress - the stained skirt became sleeves) and my grey Simplicity 3688 trousers.

January 21

 At first glance, this outfit doesn't look like anything special. It's just a crimson knit top and my black Simplicity 3688 trousers.

And when I say crimson, I mean crimson.

The back story here is that I decided I wanted to dye a handful of things that I've been putting aside for years.  With $50 to JoAnn's, a coupon for free shipping, and nothing to stop me, I ordered fabric paint and dye.

Recognize the top? It used to be white.  Well...grey. It had gotten grey.  Following the package instructions to use two packets when the fabric was a blend, I threw this favorite shirt into a boiling pot of angry red liquid.

 After I pulled the shirt out and began washing it out, I made the horrible mistake of dumping my leftover liquid into my bathtub. 

Thanks to the power of Facebook and Comet powder, I went from the above... this.  I am satisfied, and have learned a very important lesson: dump all leftover dye liquid into the stainless steel sink.

January 22

Another Renfrew! This is my favorite pattern, and I have so many versions ready to be sewn for future wear.  In the meantime, here is an unblogged sweater version.

Actually, I did blog about this fabric once.  It used to be a BurdaStyle Batwing Top, which I never wore after blogging about it.  I reworked the fabric into a Renfrew, and consider it a huge part of my winter wardrobe at this point.

A random picture of loungewear: my plaid pants and orange knit tee. I need more loungewear - those plaid pants have about had it.

January 23

Can you tell I love my black Simplicity 3688 trousers?  (I NEED MORE TROUSERS).

These trousers + my Ingenue sweater = warmth.

January 24

The Catherine Jacket is (hands down) the warmest thing in my wardrobe. I paired it with jeans, my knit bow blouse, and some sweater tights to head into the office.  

January 25

My apartment tends to be pretty warm when the temperature drops below freezing.  The radiators are running at full blast, so I usually lounge around the house in mini bloomers and thigh highs.  Since the plaid pants need mending, this works just as well.  I'm wearing my long sleeve Renfrew, grey mini bloomers made from sheets, and my thigh highs from Sock Dreams.

January 26

A lazy Sunday with no engagements on my calendar.  I'm wearing my Lisette flannel top, blue mini bloomers, and purple wool thigh highs (also from Sock Dreams).

January 27

I got to work from home since the temperatures are dropping quickly here.  I got the plaid pants out of the mending pile to pair with my bubble gum pink Renfrew, and threw on the Catherine Jacket for good measure.

The Catherine Jacket will finally get a breather once I get this green and white monster off the machine...

Friends, stay warm where you are! We're bundled up here in Chicago, hoping this Polar Vortex business will soon be over :)


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cambie and Anna Go To A Party...

 Friends, working for a large company can be quite fun ... especially when its time for the holiday party and they rent out a museum to celebrate.
Such a party was had at the Museum of Science and Industry here in Chicago, and I was super lucky to have the most awesome date there: my bestie, Stephy.
In order to mark this momentous occasion of free food, drinks, dancing, and an all you can eat ice cream bar, I made a Cambie dress for myself, and made the Anna dress for Stephy.  It was down to the wire for the Cambie (I ironed it on my body as we were going out the door), but both turned out super well for the evening!

Stephy and I went fabric shopping at the Textile Discount Outlet for her Anna fabric, and she settled on this lovely heathered cotton blend with velvet cutouts. I have not seen another fabric like this anywhere, so I was excited to work with it.  My fabric is actually from my first meet up trip in New York!  It took me FOREVER to find the right pattern, but I love it as a Cambie.

There wasn't enough of Stephy's fabric on the bolt for the maxi length dress (I so desperately wanted to give Stephy the thigh high split), but I think the knee length version worked out just as well.  We're saving the maxi length Anna for summer.

The best part about running amok in a science museum was definitely playing in the exhibits!

Favorite moment: playing in the tornado after three cocktails.  I AM A WIZARD, YOU GUYS.

After seeing how easily both patterns came together, I can definitely see more versions of these in the future.  I think Stephy would look great in a Cambie, and I would love an Anna of my own.

I was able to wear the Cambie on New Year's, but sadly, Stephy's zipper has gone haywire, so that will need to be fixed asap so my girl can get back to looking glamorous:

That fabric is glorious to touch and has a lovely drape.  Steph added a belt to break up the pattern a bit, giving it a touch of punk rock awesome.

Here's to a great night with my bestie ...

and to conquering new dress patterns!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Starting Off Me Made 2014!

Friends!  2014 is a success so far (at least on the Me-Made front):

January 1:

I rang in the New Year in my new Cambie, made for my work holiday party (separate post to come later...)

...and once the hangover wore off and I felt less like death, I put on my Ingenue, my new long sleeved Renfrew, and my trusty jeans so I could head to a New Year's Day party.  Oy. 

January 2

Back to work! My Amy Pond blouse and altered khaki skirt from Mama Grand paired well with some sweater tights and my winter boots.  We may wear skirts in the winter here in Chicago, but we do not joke around about the undergoodies.

January 3

Fridays are jeans days in the office, so I threw on a Jasmine blouse, a knit Cinnamon camisole, and my jeans.  Casual and fabulous, you guys.

Colette Patterns Cinnamon camisole - hot pink knit fabric remnants put to good use at last!

There are some bagging issues of the fabric along the side of the cup pieces due to use of the zig zag stitch, but as I plan on using this mostly for warmth underneath tops, I can live with it.

I stumbled on this fabric in an antique store as part of a $5 bundle. Lucky for me, it was justenough to eek out a Jasmine blouse.  LOVE.

I love the design of the red and white, with hints of purple thrown in.

I don't particularly like using facing pieces, so the inside of the collar is done in bright red bias tape.  I think it's quite fun if it shows a little while I am wearing it.  (Scandalous, I know!)

January 4

My Love came home today, so we spent the day snuggling.  I wore my t-shirt that I tie dyed in high school Chemistry (totally counts for Me-Made, right?) and my epic plaid pants.  

(Also, this is my peach and black bathroom. I love it.)

January 5

The temperatures begin to drop, so I throw on my Catherine jacket, my flannel PJ pants, and a long sleeve tee from high school that I took in (why did I buy an XL in high school?).

January 6

The Polar Vortex punched Chicago in the face, and I went to work with tights and multiple pairs of socks, and tried to keep feeling in my toes during the hour ride into town.  Thankfully, my boss told me to leave early and expense a cab home.  My main work outfit was my grey Renfrew and my Simplicity 3688 trousers.

January 7 

POLAR VORTEX.  I wore PJs all day, so here is a compilation of all my me made PJs:

I wear Colette mini bloomers to sleep in constantly.  Also in the mix: a refashioned nightgown of Mama Grand's, an altered tee that I got from work, my flannel PJs made from old sheets, Renfrew tee, knit Sorbetto, and a pair of PJ pants made into shorts.

January 8

 Back to work! Simplicity 3688 trousers (black) and my preacher shirt.  I blend in at the office when I wear all black.

January 9

Today was a frustrating day, hence my distance in this photo.  I wore the black Simplicity 3688 trousers again, along with the Optical Illusion Renfrew.  At least I was comfortable?

January 10

Working from home! I wore the Perfectly Plaid pants and an altered sweater of Mama Grand's.  I love the mustard color and the button detail on the sleeves.

January 11

Walked around the neighborhood with my Love today, and since the weather was warmer, I wore this altered sweater of Mama Grand's and my Minoru jacket.  Perfect :)

(these hot pink wonders are my new legwarmers - coming along, slowly but surely!)

January 12

Just got done watching the Golden Globes with my bestie, and my outfit of Catherine jacket, pink bubble gum Renfrew, and jeans was perfect for vegging out and ignoring acceptance speeches.

Friends, I hope your 2014 is off to a great start!  Hugs and kisses to you all :)