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Me Made May

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So, it’s finally over!  As much fun as it was, I’m relieved.  It started to wear on me to take pics and deal with choosing what me-mades I was going to wear each day.  But I can definitely say that I learned quite a bit during the month.  First the round-up:

Day 26–Casual Lady Top

I neglected to get a pic this day, but the top is here if you’re curious.  It was a random cold day, so I wore it with my hand-me-down jeans and zip-up cardigan (shocker…it’s like my daily uniform!).  It was quite comfy since it wasn’t so scorching hot outside.  I haven’t worn it as much as I thought I would, but after this day, I think it will see much more use in the cooler fall/early spring time around here.  I think…

Day 27–Just a Wiksten Tank

Ummm….again I neglected a pic, but I looked just like this, only with shorts instead of pants:

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Day 31: New Tee Yet to Be Blogged

My last day was a new tee I made that will be blogged later once I finish the shorts I have sitting on my ironing board–hopefully in a couple days.

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Also another goofy jump shot.  It wasn’t at all what I was hoping to get, but with ominous storm clouds visibly rolling in, I had to do something quick and this fit the bill.

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And can I just say how hard it is to nail a suitable facial expression for this pose?!  I managed some very put-together smiles while in the air, but it just looked like I was floating weirdly.  Also, by ankles are sore from the 500 jumps I did in ten minutes!

Some Zoe Love

A big, fat thank you to Zoe for organizing this whole Me-Made-May business in the first place!  I’ve only really been following her blog the past year, but her influence on me regarding sustainability in the clothing industry has been huge.  I used to feel a little gross about going into our local thrift store because of a bad experience when I was much younger.  When I began sewing for little man, I decided to take the plunge and start upcycling thrifted adult garments into smaller clothes for Little Man.  After much success (and a learning curve, for sure!), I’ve been looking at the thrift store as a fabric source for myself as well.  But may it be known–around here, you don’t find straight-up fabric–it’s all clothes and blankets and toys.  I’ve learned to go in with a purpose and look for the color and type of fabric I need for a specific project (see this post to see the top that sealed that lesson for me!).  It truly is worth it.  I began to feel conviction about excessive fabric store shopping and hoarding new fabric after following Zoe’s blog for a while–a need for sustainability in the textile industry is a very big deal.  But that’s a post for another day…

What I learned from Me-Made-May ’13:

-It is valuable to take the time needed to create a well-fitting garment.  Otherwise, I’m wasting time and fabric.

-I realized last year that I’m not a dress-maker.  As much as I’d love to wear flowy dresses and skirts, as a mom, I don’t have the energy to worry about my skirt receiving a nice upward gust of wind.  I also gravitate toward jeans/shorts and a shirt anyway.  So that’s what I make, and I should continue on that mission.

-I need to make myself some easy-to-wear comfy clothes that look put together.  On the May days that I couldn’t seem to like any of my me-mades, I ended up in a RTW tank and cardigan.  That was a light-bulb moment for me.

-Taking the time to actually fix my hair from time-to-time isn’t all bad!

-Taking better blog photos is worth the time–even if it means I have to wait a day or two to get the post up.  I’ve been working on it prior to May (hopefully the efforts haven’t gone unnoticed!), but as far as pics of myself go, I’m learning (as is my husband/photographer!).

-In my drive to make some items for summer, I found myself “shopping my stash” and using the old fabrics I had been too afraid to use.  And I don’t regret using them!  Who knew?!  I used a total of five stash fabrics in the past month and a half.  I still have plenty of each left over, but I wasn’t trying to get rid of my stash.  I was just trying not to buy new fabrics.  It’s paid off, because I love seeing that I’ve actually used them and am now able to wear them instead of just seeing them sitting on a shelf.

-After reading others’ posts who committed to no outfit repeats and hated that they couldn’t wear their fave dresses or outfits more than once in the month–I will never be committing to no repeats if I do this challenge in the future.  I also tend to wear my fave clothes more than once before they hit the washer (don’t act like you don’t do it, too! Right??).

There’s probably more that I’ve gained from this, but that’s all I can think of for now.  Thanks for following my Me-Made-May ’13 journey! 🙂

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This week was a bit rough, but I still managed to keep my commitment to three me-made garments this week.  I had to push myself a little to keep from wearing the same shirts I keep wearing over and over.  I guess there is some motivation for variety when I’m actually documenting this for the world–gotta try to keep things interesting, right?

Day 21–Barely Wearable Sleeveless Button-Down Muslin

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I was feeling/looking pretty gross this day, so I cropped out my head.  I’m sure you’re missing it! 😉 I’m a little embarrassed to even show you this one,  but for any newbies who think I’ve got it all together (ha, yeah right!), you can really come a long way in a year.  This is a wearable muslin from last year’s venture into pattern drafting.  It looks okay with a cardigan over it, but the shoulders and armholes are a mess!  This top was made of some pink lightweight fabric from the quilting section of Hancock, and it has tiny white flowers on it.  Whenever I see fabrics that remind me of my late Grandma, I buy a little–usually with no plan for what it will become.  But this one I knew I wanted to be a sleeveless button-down, because a sleeveless button-down and capris was my Grandmother’s “uniform” for summer.  Obviously, that makes this top a little bit “old lady” as my husband says, but it reminds me of her every time I see it and wear it, and that feeling is one I love.  If you look closely enough, you might be able to see how the upper button isn’t actually buttoned at all and is held together with a safety pin from the inside…yes, that’s right, a safety pin.  I was hurrying to finish it and just grabbed a bunch of vintage buttons that looked the same size (yeah, you know what I’m getting at…).  Well, they weren’t the same size, but my buttonholes are, so that button doesn’t button.  That’s one more for the “why Ashley needs to work on not being lazy when sewing” category!

Day 24 Theme Friday–Floral Sunburst Tee

We went to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum this day, which we do at least once a month for 3-year-old Little Man.  We took the camera along to take random pictures of me for the Me-Made-May ’13 Flickr group‘s “Hometown” Theme Friday.

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That’s me with the cast of a Super Croc (think dinosaur days–there are also some dino casts and I think a couple real deal fossils in there, too), a polar bear that stands 9 feet tall (it’s on a platform–I’m not that short), and on the indoor carousel (on a goat!  What carousel has a GOAT?!).  I told you about this top a couple days ago, so I won’t repeat myself except that it is really the most comfy tee I’ve made.  I habitually was reaching for it to pull it or situate it–just to find that it was perfectly placed and in no need of adjusting!  The actual fit may need some side seam adjusting, but this tee will undoubtedly be worn to shreds.

Day 25–Just a Wiksten

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I blogged this one yesterday, so feel free to check it out for more info.  I’ll just say I like the color, but I’m not sure I’ll be making many more of the original style–the loose woven makes me feel huge even if I don’t look it.  It’ll get worn, but probably more as a back-up when I just want to wear a bright color.

So that’s my week.  Only a few more days to go!  Thanks for looking!  🙂

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Holy cow!  Week Three over already!  Granted, Week One was all of three days, but still–it’s flying!  I didn’t do much spunk this week, though I had aspirations of it.  It’s been rainy and suddenly very, very hot the past week.  And as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been dealing with feuding cats…the bites are starting to heal pretty well, for those who care.  All that’s left are the marks and some bruising around them on one arm (yeah–bruising from a cat bite?!  What the heck?!).  I’m finally done with the Band-Aids, but the cats’ struggling to get along is exhausting at night.  Too little rest kills my spunk.  But enough rambling–on to the MMM round up!

Day 14: Scout Tee Muslin

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I made a muslin of Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee.  I decided to go for it “straight out of the envelope” and make no adjustments.  Ouch, such a mistake.  I’ll detail this one more when I make and blog about the real one.  The fabric is like lining fabric on the inside, but feels like rayon challis on the outside.  The print is better in person and not so pink (I really don’t know how a gray bathroom with no pink in it at all can wash everything in a picture with a pink tone!).  I wore this shirt out with my sister that afternoon, and my face made it look like I loved my shirt, but on the inside, I felt something like this:

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That’s the Incredible Hulk for those who don’t know–when he gets angry, he grows and his muscles get all huge, and his shirt turns to shreds in the process (but I’ve never actually seen this movie…).  Like the Hulk, I felt like flexing my back was going to pop the seams open (and offer much relief!)!  The back is just too slim between my shoulders, and my low armpits were causing ridiculous pulling and pinching.  It was bad enough that I was considering buying a shirt to change into!  So, needless to say, this one will be donated after I get the fit adjusted.  But more on that top later…

Day 17: The “Don’t Be Lazy!” Shirt

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I’m still loving this shirt (even if everyone else is tired of seeing it).  I especially loved it paired with these RTW shorts and sandals.  It was the epitome of comfy!

Day 17: Wiksen Hack Tank

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Yes, that’s right!  The Wiksten Hack Tank again!  But the good news is that after washing, the collar doesn’t stick out quite as much.  Those are RTW jeans as well–lest you think I have gone into the making-my-own-jeans territory.  No, not yet.  But soon!

I didn’t participate in Theme Friday this week (though I had intentions of drawing a giant sombrero on our wall with sidewalk chalk, but it was too rainy), and I felt a little bummed.  But I was too exhausted from breaking up the nighttime kitty fights the past few nights to care enough to make a Theme Friday pic happen.  😦  Oh well, there will be next week!

And yes, I only did three me-made outfits this week (except pajamas), but that’s what my challenge was for myself.  I’m glad I stuck with my gut for what would be a doable challenge for me.  With the weather change, it’s been frustrating some days, but it’s also helped me see what kinds of staples I need in my wardrobe for days when nothing feels like it fits right.

Thanks for looking!  How is your MMM ’13 adventure going?

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I made it through Week Two!  This pic wasn’t used for anything, but my husband said my facial expression best captures my personality.  So I thought I’d share it with you, since it makes me laugh.  You’re welcome!  😀  I love doing jump shots–they’re fun to do and fun to see the outcome.

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Anyhow, moving on.  Last week, I was proud of myself for wearing me-mades every day including pajamas on days we didn’t go anywhere (even though my commitment was only for 3 days a week).  This week, I skipped two days during the week, but still kept my commitment.  It has been uplifting to put a little more effort into myself, since I’m getting my pic taken every day.  Hilariously, I’ve forgotten what my hair looks like down!  Here’s my week in pictures:

Day 6 Monday–The “Don’t Be Lazy!” Shirt (that I should probably re-name ‘cuz I’m tired of typing out that uber-long title!)

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I really am so glad I made this shirt.  It is one of the most comfortable shirts ever (me-made or not!).  I’m stoked to have a sloper/block for future makes, and I plan to start using it again soon!

Day 7 Tuesday–(old) Banskia Top

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This is my sleeveless Banksia Top I made last year.  It’s made from super-soft quilting cotton with light coral vintage buttons that my sister-in-law gave me (that her grandmother gave to her, but my sis-in-law doesn’t sew or have any use for them–she actually gave me a whole freezer Ziploc bag of buttons!).  I finished the arm holes, neckline, hem, and side seams with light pink bias tape.  And the placket doesn’t actually pucker because of bad sewing…I neglected to straighten it out before my sister took the picture.  The jeans and cardigan are hand-me-downs from my sister.  My husband thinks this top looks a bit “old lady”, but it’s comfy and I like it!

Day 8 Wednesday–Wiksten Hack Tank

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I wore my new Wiksten Hack Tank to the local outlet mall with my sister.  I rarely go to a mall now, so it was truly fun seeing all the fashions I can easily construct on my own.  I don’t miss shopping at a mall!

Day 11 Saturday–Peacock Renfrew and Theme Friday!

Theme Friday in the MMM ’13 Flickr group was “Creative Space” and can be interpreted however you like.  Instead of showing you my messy kitchen, I chose this:

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Here are the full pics for more detail (and I really did wear the jeans and Renfew that day):

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And here’s a detail shot of the peacock print on the Renfrew–I tried to mess with editing the coloration and such in a way that would make more contrast to actually capture those peacocks in a pic.  Still not great, but at least you might know what I’m talking about when I say there are peacocks on my shirt when it looks like it’s just white.

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So that’s week two!  I’m amazed at how quickly this month is flying.  And happy Mother’s Day to those fellow mamas out there!  Little Man was nice enough to let me sew for a really long time today without complaining once that he wanted me to play instead (I’m not scum–I played with him for a while before sewing)!  Tomorrow, you’ll get to see some of how he entertained himself during that time.  😉

Thanks for looking! 🙂

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My challenge commitment was 3 me-mades a week.  But I’m only counting my pajamas when I have to from not really going out (and I have lots of those that are me-made!).  So far so good…

Day One was pjs, so here’s Day 2 with my new Casual Lady Top.  (By the way, this picture totally cracks me up and looks like a high school senior picture styling!)

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Day Three was my old orange linen Crescent Skirt.  It was also Theme Friday with the theme “Water.”  This was my take on that:

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Perfect jump shot courtesy of my awesome husband!  I came downstairs with a big box of sidewalk chalk and said, “I need you to take my picture.  It’s Me-Made-May and today’s Friday theme is water.”  He looked at me funny but did my bidding without question (which is quite out of character but great)!

Here’s the outfit normally:

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And today was mini marathon day.  I employed my old peacock Renfrew tee to be extra comfy in the cold and rain while my husband ran 13.1 miles.  There are actually lots of small light green peacocks on it (I’ll probably give a better detail pic later in the month.), but J took this for me after he ran.  He’s been quite the photography trooper lately!

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Week One is done!  I always wondered what was really to be learned about doing this, and only 4 days in, I’m already starting to get it!  I remembered the peacock Renfrew as too small and uncomfortable.  Needless to say, I remembered wrong! 🙂

UPDATE: go here to see a detail shot of the lovely peacocks!

The Flickr group is crazy amazing if you want to check it out!

Thanks for looking! 🙂