Me-Made-May '12 - Roundup and Final Thoughts12:26 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.