Days 26-29 of Me Made May

I had a moment of terror as I looked at the calendar to work out today’s numbers, which should be the days of the month. It wasn’t lining up, and I was about to go back and re-count every day until I discovered I was looking at the wrong month.

It’s all a blur. I’m so close to the end!



Last week, I got a bit frantic when I remembered there’s a camping trip coming up at the end of this month, and I probably should NOT wear a skirt in the woods! After some quick research, I found a free t-shirt pattern and a not-free-but-well-reviewed leggings pattern, which were added to my Memorial Day Weekend sewing queue.

These are the leggings, made out of a thick diagonal-rib knit, and thrown on immediately after completion for a happy dance (everyone else does this, right?). My favorite thing about them (other than the extreme custom fit) is how high-waisted they are – they probably come up to my ribcage, and were so snug that adding elastic wasn’t even necessary.

I only took one photo, and those sun spots and the weird hair and the chandelier sticking out of my head are meant to distract you from the fact that I’m wearing leggings as pants.


This is the very first version of the pink dress pattern, which due to a slightly snugger fit on the hip and awkward stretching of quilting cotton, makes me look moderately pregnant. It might be time to retire this one and set aside that fabric for an actual quilt.


What a palate cleanser! Now that I’m analyzing all my patterns to find the most flattering, I really am impressed by the sneaky-flattering waist gathers on the Colette Peony. This was my first version of the Peony, and you can’t tell from this photo, but the front bodice is a different fabric from the rest of the dress because I kept making minor alterations to the original. This dress gets the most unsolicited compliments, possibly because of the mis-matching fabrics.

(Since we keep talking about the horrors of quilting cotton, I should tell you this is made of sateen sheets, and it’s so silky and smooth and that’s my sewing tip for the day – buy high quality sheets when they go on sale!)


I didn’t plan on wearing a Peony two days in a row, but it was a sewing/wardrobe emergency. See, I made that cardigan last night, and it needed to be paired well. Want to see more?

Wait. Let me talk about this Peony – it was my second version, made of a lightweight cotton, and I think the main modification from the first was lengthening the bodice a bit. I don’t like the way this high boat neck always rumples, so I’ve not made another Peony bodice since – but the skirt is still magical.

Now, onto the cardigan:


This was a modification of the Plantain Tee (a free pattern, first attempted over Memorial Day Weekend, and I haven’t even shown you the shirt yet). It’s made out of a sturdy ponte knit. I cut the back as instructed, extended the sleeves past the 3/4 length, and the front? I set it as far from the fold as humanly possible, then drew a line straight out from the bottom of the pattern to the fold, then a slight slope from the top of the neckline to the fold. I stitched as instructed, cut the front fold, and then hemmed every open edge.


It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close, and it’s lightyears better than stupid M5241 (which, I’ve said before but it bears repeating – was nothing but a rectangle with sleeves).

Look at how well it wraps around me! I made this specifically for wearing on the airplane, since I’ll be flying to Europe next week and need to fall asleep in Toronto and wake up in Rome. Hopefully this cardigan will get me there.

Days 22-25 of Me Made May

Who’s tried to say Me Made May three times fast? How quickly did you start laughing? I do this every time someone IRL brings up this project.

We’re getting to the less popular handmade items in my wardrobe – things that I barely ever wear, or that were already set aside to scrap (but were pulled out to make sure I had thirty items for May).


This skirt might be the first thing I made with knit fabric. (It’s the same fabric as the Day 19 dress, so it’s a toss up between those two.) I think I simply traced the skirt of a maxi dress, then made a foldover waistband.

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This pattern is a mystery at the moment – I can’t find it in my usual storage locations. It is a v-neck (though my attempt fell short) with multiple shaping darts at the neckline and waist.

When this is hanging, neglected, in my closet, I usually blame the fabric (and the contrast waistband) for how seldom I wear it. But then, once I put it on and the day progresses, I realize that a not-well-fitted v-neck tends to be more low-cut than I like.


Enter the cardigan. Until I take a tailoring class and learn how to raise a neckline well, this might be a prime candidate for a skirt conversion.


I wore this to the CSA farm on Saturday, and immediately took it off and cut it apart. It’s a shapeless vintage pattern, and I might attempt to make this into a wearable top, but it also might merely be repurposed as scrap fabric.


This was a pre-muslin attempt at Vogue 8787. I love the full skirt and the pockets (though I don’t love how they break the skirt line). The waist was absurdly off – like two inches too wide, so I literally just folded it over and stitched it down, adding a big dart to the skirt and extending the seamline of the bodice. If I ever made this again, I’d probably remove the waistband, extend the bodice, and improve the fit with a FBA.


Days 17-21 of Me Made May 2014

The dress I made (and wore) over the weekend. #latergram #mmmay14 #ladyskater

On Saturday, I didn’t wear anything Me-Made, but I made this dress! I almost wore it to a party, but was invited to go for a hike instead, and I do NOT have any handmade shorts or casual t-shirts (which will become a problem at the end of the month, when I’m camping…unless I throw together a Plantain Tee before then)


Since the dress was still clean, I wore it to work on Sunday.

Have you bought a Lady Skater Dress pattern yet? Weren’t you won over by last week’s red dress? If not, I think this is a stronger argument. Differences between the two: higher neckline (because I messed up my first neckline and had to cut it out and re-make, a lesson that only had to be learned once), slightly higher waist (I shortened the bodice by an inch-ish), slightly longer skirt (actually 2-3 inches longer, but I was able to hem this version).

I LOVE THIS DRESS! I will probably wear it to pieces. Bonus: the fabric was reclaimed from an old convertible dress with a MONSTER circle skirt, so it was a zero-cost endeavor.

(Eagle-eyed readers will notice that this was taken later in the week, based on the state of the clutter behind me, and that’s because I was too busy managing an event to take a proper photo.)


Dress is my first knit version of the pink dress pattern, and yes, it’s still unhemmed and held together with safety pins at the top.

Cardigan is M5241 which I do NOT recommend you buy, because it has no fit and slides off the shoulders like they don’t exist. But, since I made it out of a fun heathered sweater knit, I still wear it, grumbling every time about the pattern and dreaming of the day I’ll rip it apart and remake it with some shoulder seams.

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More shots of the dress in action. And of me boxing up files!


This skirt – a simple, self-drafted wrap skirt made from a failure of a faux-wrap dress – begs the question, “Hipster? Or sister-wife?” I can’t ride that divide too often, but always enjoy it with this skirt. Also, it’s a dreamy soft knit, so I always feel like I’m wearing pajamas.


The top is a version of the ikat shirt that I cut from a trifted men’s shirt! The button placket is stitched together at the neckline, but not at the bottom, so I could technically unbutton and tie it at the back.


Oh hey! Another version of the pink dress pattern! I originally planned on wearing them all in a row (all 6 of them), but couldn’t bear the monotony.

We’re getting down to the dregs of my handmade wardrobe. It’s a lot of skirts (mostly made from cutting apart RTW dresses and adding waistbands), one fancy dress, a few maxi skirts, and a few dresses that are only hanging in my closet for Me-Made May, but would otherwise be in a box of Things To Fix.

Any predictions for what I’m going to sew over Memorial Day Weekend?

Days 13-16 of Me Made May 2014

HELLO. I’ve reached a point of exhaustion with this challenge. Not only because my handmade wardrobe is just skirts and dresses at this point, but also because self-portraits take time and effort. But I will persist! This has been a great learning experience. CARRY ON!


This dress is made from a modification of the BurdaStyle Double Layer Dress, but the concept has been in my head since I bought this wide stripe fabric five years ago during a fabric crawl in Calgary.

It’s fun and summery, and though I can see a handful of potential modifications, I doubt I’ll attempt this particular concept again. (One can only have so many bright chevron dresses in one’s wardrobe.)


This is the Lady Skater Dress and I love it so much more than I thought I would!

I feel like a total bombshell when I wear it, particularly because of this vibrant red fabric. It’s far too comfortable to be relegated to bombshell-worthy events, so I tend to pair it with a cardigan or just turn up the self-confidence on days I wear it.


I plan on making another one this month, out of a darker solid. My main modifications are to shorten the bodice by an inch and lengthen the skirt a few inches. (This was too short to hem.)


This is a remake of the Day 5 skirt. I realized how simple and flattering it was, and had this stretch cotton on hand. It’s wrinklier than I’d like, but it’s something I’ll wear all summer with tank tops – loose, lightweight, and uncomplicated.

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Why yes, I HAVE been taking pictures of the back side of every item this month! I’ve not been sharing them all with you, but keeping them for future fit reference.



I made this skirt last night, as I was finishing a few orders for others. It’s a self-drafted, super simple straight skirt with an elastic waist. I’ve also decided that I prefer this skirt in the shorter length, so my blue version might be chopped soon.

There! Four more days! Huzzah!

Days 9-12 of Me Made May 2014


Skirt details here, along with some more flattering photos.

I was distracted on Friday, because I had a plane to catch right after work. (And tired, because I woke up at 5am filled with excitement/anxiety, and couldn’t go back to sleep.)

The rolling hills of Cincinnati. #roadtrip #family Mom always sits it the back and makes me navigate. #engineersneedprecisedirections
This kid. #benjaminbartlebystein His new backyard. #neigh
Photo Taught Ben how to feed the donkeys.
Lunch date! O-H-

It was a whirlwind visit with family, which included a last-minute flight change, a roadtrip with my parents, seeing my brother and sister-in-law’s new house, celebrating my nephew’s 4th birthday, Mother’s Day with both Mom and Gramma, bourbon tasting, outlet shopping, and a long walk around the neighborhood where I grew up!

I tried to sneak in some outfit self-portraits, but there were so many other, funner things to do.


This is my second knit version of the pink dress pattern, and it’s perfect for running around outside with a nearly-4-year-old and his friends. (And my dad, who is the biggest and loudest kid of the bunch.) My only complaint is that it’s maybe too short for climbing in and out of the back seat of a minivan with your grandmother watching.


Oh hey! Same dress as above, made out of a quilting cotton from JoAnn’s (which my mother picked out, so it was perfect to wear on Mother’s Day), and this was taken at the end of the day in a Meijer bathroom.

Here are the only other attempted self-portraits from the weekend:

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We shall call them Blurry and Boozy.


I wore this version of the ikat shirt with black skinny jeans for both sets of flights, and was either too rushed or too shy to set up a photoshoot in the middle of any airport. So here it is, crumpled on my floor, happy to be home