Me Made May : Week 1

Week 1 of Me Made May is officially over! Here is a round up of what I wore and what I learned…

Day 1:

Charlie Caftan Pattern by Closet Case Patterns in a cotton voile from Rifle Paper Co.

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Day 2:

Chi Town Chinos Pattern by Alina Design Co.  in khaki bottomweight twill from Fabric Mart Fabrics

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Day 3:

Ogden Cami by True Bias made with Robert Kaufman seersucker with embroidered lobsters.

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Day 4:

Sallie Maxi Dress by Closet Case Patterns in black knit.

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Day 5:

Toaster Sweater #2 by Sew House Seven  in Art Gallery Knit and Ginger Jeans in stretch denim from Fabric.com.

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Day 6:

Toaster Sweater # 2 by Sew House Seven in fabric from Finch Sewing Studio.

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Reflections:

It is funny how only a week of wearing me-mades changes your perspective. I have thought more about my clothing in the past week than every before. Because part of my challenge is taking pictures, I’ve been worried about being “put together” every day. This might seem like a negative but it’s actually been great!

Knowing that my outfits will be photographed has made me try new things to create “interesting” outfits. For instance, I never thought I’d wear a Toaster with wide legged pants, but I did it on Day 6 and loved it.

Another added benefit has been the confidence of wearing things I’ve made. Though I know this is partially due to the care I’ve taken getting ready, it is also because I know my clothes fit and that my own efforts made them. It’s so easy to respond when someone says they like my outfit – “Thanks! I made it!”

Have you had any revelations after 1 week of Me Made May?

Choosing a shirtdress pattern – a denim Kalle shirtdress

This post originally appeared on the Cali Fabrics blog. The fabric was provided by Cali Fabrics but all opinions are my own. 

The time between March and May is difficult dressing season. Waking up in the morning, it’s freezing but by lunchtime you feel ready to don a summer dress!

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A shirt dress is the perfect solution – easy to throw a cardigan over but still cool and casual.

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You may remember this isn’t my first love affair with a shirtdress; last year I made the Alex Shirt dress from orange chambray. Though I was skeptical when I first made it, it’s one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe.

When I saw that March was Kalle Shirtdress Month forProject Sew My Style, I decided it was time for another pattern in my life. I used the Medium Tencel Denim. 

The fabric was perfect for this project but required a few modifications in terms of cutting. It has a tendency to unravel when moved around too much after cutting. I would suggest that you serge the edges as soon as you can.

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The Kalle shirtdress didn’t disappoint. It’s different from the Alex in many ways, certainly enough to justify having both in my wardrobe. If, unlike me, you’re trying to decide which pattern is right for you, I made this handy table:

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Both dresses feature excellent instructions, a back yoke and pleat.

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If you’ve been intimidated to sew a shirtdress, the Alex shirtdress is certainly a little easier, with fewer moving pieces. If you’re ready to have something with more options, try the Kalle.

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So there you have it, my perfect transitional piece! What do you like to wear in early spring?

Royal Wedding Sewalong – the Red Dress

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Everyone who has met me in person, knows that I am a total Anglophile. I live by the Samuel Johnson quote, “When a man tires of London he tires of life.” In fact, this blog started out as a travel diary for my year abroad at the University of Exeter.

When McCall’s announced they were doing a Royal Wedding Sewalong and contest, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to sew up a dress (or two) and take pictures.

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For my pattern, I chose New Look 6262 but after looking at my favorite tried-and-true dress pattern, Simplicity 2444, I decided to switch the gathers to pleats.

This dress is made from red poppy print stretch sateen from Stylemaker Fabrics. Funnily enough, one of the sewalong leaders, Lindsey from Inside the Hem, chose this fabric as well. I guess great minds think alike!

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You bet I got into character and bought a fascinator just for these pictures! It’s amazing how much more festive you feel with a little hat on your head!
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I am very proud of the fit on the back of this dress. Look how smooth it is! The invisible zip went in very well too.
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There isn’t much to say about constructing this dress – it’s a very easy to make dress! I opted for a lined bodice made from stretch cotton sourced at Fabric.com. I was worried that a non-stretch lining would make the stretch sateen main fabric pull funny.
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I’m ready for some royal spotting!   Are you excited for Harry & Meghan’s wedding?

Getting Back Into Blogging

In honor of Me-Made-May  2018 I thought it would be nice to start up my blog again! A lot has happened since I stopped blogging over a year ago, but the biggest thing is that I am now sewing every chance I get! Thought this blog was a primarily reading blog before (and a travel blog before that), now it will be primarily about sewing, with some posts about librarianship and reading thrown in. If that isn’t your cup of tea, you won’t hurt my feelings if you head out!
So you might be wondering – what is Me Made May?
Me-Made-May’18 (#MMMay18 for social media interaction) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more. This challenge works on both a personal and community level. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them (more on this below), and aim to fulfil that pledge for the duration of May 2018. Some participants also choose to document their challenge photographically (though this is in no way compulsory for taking part) and share them with other participants.
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My Me Made May pledge for 2018:
I will try to wear one Me Made item each day in May. I will take note of all gaps in my wardrobe and incorporate these into my summer sewing. I will make new items ONLY from my stash during May and will mend items that need it.
Since I promised more sewing, here are a few things I’ve made since I last posted on this blog.
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Rae skirt in Carolina Gingham from Robert Kaufman.
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