Me-Made-May '12 - Roundup and Final Thoughts

12:26 PM

My, oh my! I am waaay behind!  Things became quite busy here after my last post, between preparing for vacation and working on the house/yard. Then, we were off to Texas!  Now we're back and it's time for me to play catch up.  I'll start with a round-up post of Me-Made-May '12 but, I also have two new things to share so, look for those very soon!


Clockwise from top-left:  Simplicity 2246 (Days 1, 16, 25), Simplicity 2584 (Day 2),  Simplicity 2584 (Day 3), Vogue  8380 (Days 5, 11, 26), Two-Seam Top (Day 7), Simplicity 2339 (Days 8, 28), McCalls 4440 (Days 15, 30), Simplicity 2582 (Days 18, 29), Butterick 5153 (Day 22), Simplicity 2451 (Day 23), and Butterick 5285 (Day 27)

You may recall, my pledge for Me-Made-May was to wear at least four self-stitched items per week.  Readers, I'm so pleased to say, I DID IT! Woo hoo!  (And, as an added bonus, Brandon wore his me-made linen shirt on day 28 :-)  )

What did I learn?

  • I have too many "icing" pieces.  I spend many of my days around the house, cleaning, cooking, and sewing so, I tend to reach for comfortable, effortless pieces more-so than girly dresses.  Case-and-point: I wore my shirtdress and my navy knit dress three times each, whereas items like my Degas dress stayed in the closet.
  • I need more separates.  To date, I've only made two wearable tops. Each of these were worn twice in May and I expect they'll get a great deal more use in the coming months but, they need sisters so that I have more options. (I do have another top on the back burner and gauze for another Simplicity 2582 in the stash.)  Also, while I did focus on separates a bit more in the colder months, making five skirts, I've only made one summer bottom so far.  This will not do :-P
  • I need to accessorize.  I don't typically wear a lot of jewelry, generally only pearl earrings or a pearl necklace, and I tend to carry the same purse every time I go out.  I make a greater effort for my Sew Weekly shoots and tried to carry that into Me-Made-May but, I find myself torn. I think my outfits often look plain in photos without extra accessories but, I think too many can look overdone in real life. (The same goes for makeup.)
  • I need to think very carefully about the garments I plan for Sew Weekly.  These Sew Weekly challenges are a tricky business.  I have a lot of fun participating and I almost always love what I make but, they do tend to lead to the issue of the first bullet.  The challenge-related pieces that were actually taken out of the closet in May were those that I decided to make on my own and found a way to fit a theme, rather than those pieces which I made in order to participate. (Does that make sense?)  Luckily, the June themes all fit items I already had on my sewing queue before the new challenges were announced.  Is this cheating? Maybe. But, with 52 potential challenges to complete, something has to give.
  • My sewing skills have come a long way.  Pulling out older me-made items showed me just how much I've learnt.  My zippers now look nicer, my seams match, items fit better, and my finishes are much more professional.  In fact, I've been so pleased with my latest two garments (yet to be blogged) that I've started adding me-made custom garment and care labels for that final touch.

What will I do differently next year?

  • I will focus on correcting/avoiding the issues listed above.
  • I'll up the number of items and/or restrict repeats.  Four per week was the perfect choice for this year. It was "doable" but, still a bit of a challenge and made me wear items that I normally wouldn't have.  However, I'm a bit disappointed that two of my items were worn three times and another three pieces were each worn twice.  This served to show me my wardrobe gaps and I plan to remedy this over the next year. With new, practical pieces in the closet, I'll need to increase the challenge.
  • I will make a greater effort to photograph each outfit.  I did warn that most photos would likely be cell-phone pictures but, I'm a bit disappointed that I allowed myself to be so lazy about them.  I also forgot to take several pictures.  Though each unphotographed outfit was a repeat, I did make an effort to style them differently so, I should have snapped a picture to see how it looked and get feedback.
  • I will make a more consistent effort to document the month.  My Me-Made-May posts this year were scattered. In fact, I didn't post anything past day 15!  I blame this on a busy home schedule, a busy sewing schedule, and a veeeery slow computer.  Next year, I'll try to pick a documentation plan and stick to it.  With any luck, I will have retired this poor old laptop by then and will be using a much faster one, so that uploading photos/blogging is not so much of a chore. (Seriously, I can waste half a day just making one post on this thing!)
  • ETA:  I will further up the challenge to include one me-made item sewn for someone else.  This will be the most difficult and I may change my mind by then but, I'd like to sew more garments for Brandon in the coming year (and maybe other members of my family, though, right now, that would be difficult since they all live so far away) and I think it would be a nice bonus if I could get others to participate in my challenge.
All-in-all, I thought it was a fun month and I'm so proud of us all for sporting our me-made outfits!  I'll definitely participate again next year!

Now, to start filling in those gaps.  Happy sewing everyone! x

Other Me-Made-May '12 Posts:
Days 1-3
Days 4-8
Days 9-15

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10 comments

  1. I thought you were suspicously absent from the cyber world for a while! Vacations are a good thing. Great job on Me Made wrap up. Can't wait to see what the summer sewing has in store.

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    1. How sweet of you to notice my absence :-) Yes, vacations are definitely a good thing. It was so nice to be by the water again, even if it was completely different from the beach we grew up near. Thanks! I'm quite looking forward to more summer sewing. Can't wait to stop by and check yours out either!

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  2. I loved your MMM posts! And I like your changes for next year! Well done! I found myself wearing the same couple of separates over and over-- definitely making more!

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    1. Aww, how kind of you! At least we can be confident that our separates will never be buried in the closet - haha. By the way, I haven't had the chance to comment on them all but, all of your me-made outfits were great! Well done to you too!

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  3. Congratulations on fulfilling your MMM pledge! Your wardrobe is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks! Same to you! We did it :-)

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  4. I have some of the same problems as you when it comes accessorizing outfits and wearing makeup. I own maybe 6 accessories (3 belts, 2 necklaces and 1 scarf) - not a lot to play with when trying to be creative with one's wardrobe.

    I can see the troubles with trying to make hand-made items that fit into a work at home lifestyle. It would be strange if you started wearing pencil skirts and heels to scrub toilets and peel potatos. Maybe should make a few aprons ;) (I love aprons and have a few vintage patterns that I am hoping tosew up). Have you thought about Sewaholic's Renfrew pattern? A staple t-shirt would make a great wardrobe addition. How about sewing a pair of jeans or shorts?

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only girl who's low on accessories. Most of what I do have, I've accumulated this year so that my Sew Weekly pictures don't look quite so plain (some of those girls are great at it!). Ebay has been a great friend ;-)

      I had to laugh-out-loud at the thought of scrubbing toilets in a pencil skirt! You're right, I should make more aprons. I've made one and love the pattern - I just don't find myself drawn to making more when there are so many pretty dresses to sew! (And, there's my problem - heehee) Indeed, I've thought and thought about the Renfrew. I'd love to have it but, I must admit to always choosing to spend the $20 on fabric rather than a pattern. I do have a t-shirt pattern that I'm determined to try this summer. Maybe if that goes relatively well, it will give me the push to order Tasia's. As for shorts, they are definitely on my list!

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  5. Hey Jen!!! Been wanting to comment on this post for days now but can't do it on the iphone!! Finally on a computer!

    I completely relate to you!! I think you also commented on my MMM round up and express the same!!

    -ICING: I have ALL icing and feel that CAKE can be store bought!

    - SEPARATES: I only have 3 skirts and only 1 I consider wearable.

    -Accesorize: Haha me too, I apologised in my post for lack of accesories hahah I'm too lazy. And not stylish I guess hahha

    -Sewing Skills: My garments are so much better now too! They are lined and serged. Unlike the forst me-mades - unlined polyester and zig zagged raw edges :)

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I think our sewing behaviour is very similar :)

    xoxo

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    1. I'm quite bad about commenting via smartphone as well.

      Yes! I related to your post also!

      Funny though, I've actually never noticed your lack of accessories (until you mentioned) but, I would certainly say you're stylish. :-).

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