Sunday, May 26, 2013

MMM Week 4 Wrap-Up

Home stretch! Only a couple more days left in the month.  I know I'm a little late on this post, but I had a really busy weekend with Mike's brother's wedding that I'm just getting around to it now.

Still loving my homemade clothes, still sucking hard at taking photos.  I resorted to selfies this week.

Day 18,  I spent most of the day running around and doing errands, and I wore my chambray Colette Sencha blouse again with pink Gap jeans.  Later that night we went to a friend's birthday party and I changed into a non-me made dress.

Day 19, I was pretty lazy and spent a large portion of the day in pajamas.  Later that night, we headed to Chicago to see the Shins play at the Aragon Ballroom. It's a nearly 2-hour drive, so I wanted to wear something that would not wrinkle, and also be cool and floaty since it's always approximately 120 degrees in the Aragon.  I wore my blue chain-print Butterick Retro, which I have worn and you have seen a million times, so I didn't take a picture.

Day 20 was super hot and sunny, so I wore my Bernie Dexter ripoff Paris dress. I love this dress a lot.  My version was $170 less than the original! You can also see a peek of the curtains I made in the background. P.S. brand new carpet!!

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On Day 21, I wore my pink and white striped derby dress again.  I'd worn it previously this month, but it was my first time wearing it to work!

Day 22 got chilly, so I wore jeans and blouse that I never blogged about. It's a McCalls pattern from the 70's, and I used my Marc Jacobs bird-print silk that I got at Mood. I'm not 100% happy with it. The elastic waist is too tight, and I did a godawful job hemming it. I will get around to fixing them eventually. The sleeves turned out really sweet and I'm super proud of them. The cuffs look great.

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Day 23 was also cold, and I wore my Simplicity 40's Retro reissue pattern blouse I made when I had the flu, for the first time. I don't know why it took me so long to wear it, but it is cute and I DO like it, I just am not sure that skinny jeans are the best thing to pair it with. I wish I had a navy skirt.

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And finally, Day 24 I was a failure and wore jeans and a tee for the drive up to the wedding, and then a J. Crew dress to the rehearsal dinner.

Something I was NOT a failure at this week was vintage shopping. I tried to make a dress for the wedding (more on that later) but it was a disaster. I tried on everything in my closet, but I didn't want to wear any of it. Which meant an emergency trip to my old standby, Antiques on 2nd. It's never let me down, and it sure didn't this time either. I first found this dress for $38, which is kind of plain, but I love the shape and the sheer overlay, and I have plenty of accessories to make it more exciting.

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Then I saw this one for $20, and although I'm not 100% sold on the length, it fits great and I can always shorten it. For $20, I couldn't leave it there.

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I ended up finding The Dress, hanging all by it's lonesome, with no price tag. I was super scared I wouldn't be able to afford it, but they offered it to me for $48. Um, YES.  Come to me.

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So I wore that one to the wedding. I felt like Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer. It is by far my favorite thing I've ever worn. Now, onto the last week of MMM!  I also still need to blog about my 4th Chantilly, and another Sewaholic Alma that I started on today. Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 17, 2013

MMM Week 3 Wrap-Up

Otherwise known as, the week that I got tired of taking daily pictures. I tried guys, I really did! One day I took a good picture and accidentally deleted it, but I have no good excuse for the others. Just laziness, I guess. I am still wearing/loving all my homemade items. In FACT, I am thinking that I might be done with store-bought clothes for a while (with the exception of underwear, knits, and jeans) and just make things or buy vintage.

Day 11 I sewed a white eyelet top and put it right on. It's not really what I would consider a "going-out" top but I really really wanted to wear it anyway. Mike and I went out for Mexican and margaritas, and then met a bunch of friends at a reggae show.

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Day 12 was Mother's Day, and I wore Chantilly #2. Not much more I can say about this other than it's my favorite pattern ever and I have more white eyelet and if my sewing room was not in shambles again I would probably be making a 5th.

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Day 13, I wore the white eyelet blouse again. DON'T JUDGE. No one but Mike saw me wear it twice. On Day 14, I wore a white sailor dress sewn from vintage Simplicity 5891, but I neglected to take a picture. I can't find where I originally blogged about it - I'm guessing sometime in spring 2011? I think this dress would look really cute with a red cardigan (I wore a purple one) so I will be on the hunt for one. It has some issues, which I will probably get around to fixing. The collar comes up too high in the back, the zipper teeth show a little too much for my liking, and you can see the armhole facings through the fabric.

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Day 15 I wore my Michael Miller Bicycle dress. It's Bike to Work Week in Milwaukee and since I can't do that, I wore a dress WITH bikes TO work. That counts, right? This is the day I took a picture and accidentally deleted it. So, sorry for the recycled photo. I really tried.

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Today it is cold and rainy, but I decided to ignore the weather and wear a dress anyway. I'm running out of me-made tops, and I don't know where my jeans are because my whole bedroom is crammed into the hallway (for carpet installation). I never blogged about this dress because it's pretty basic. Also, once I got to work I realized I had it on backwards and I had to go in the bathroom and turn it around.  It's a poly remnant from Vogue Fabrics, and I didn't use a pattern.

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I traced this dress, which is probably my most-worn item of clothing. I bought it last year in New York at a store called Necessary Fashion, which was basically Forever 21 but things were actually normal sizes.

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The neckline binding isn't perfect (I didn't have enough fabric to cut it on a true bias), but otherwise I really like this dress. It's comfy and cheerful. So that's it for Week 3, and I will really try to take better pictures next week!

Monday, May 13, 2013

More Chantilly

I finished two more Colette Chantilly dresses, bringing my total to 4.  The pattern is now safely buried away so that I don't end up making 4 more. This was actually the second one I made (before the navy blue hearts) but I haven't gotten around to blogging about it until now. This one didn't turn out as good as the others, and I am blaming the fabric. It's not as drapey as the others I used so the gathers don't look as nice/even.  It was really hard to press, too.  It's some mystery synthetic from an estate sale. Not poly. Maybe nylon or acetate? It feels silky and cool to the touch and a little plasticky. In fact, I wore this dress on Mother's Day and dumped flourless chocolate cake all down the front, and it wiped right off with my napkin. It didn't even leave a hint of a stain. Magic!

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It's pretty. It's a little twee for everyday wear but it would make a good baby shower/bridal shower dress. I thought it was basically perfect for Mother's Day.  It was a really nice Mother's Day!  My parents and sister came over and we had brunch at the restaurant at the end of my street.  I had a bloody mary and crab cakes benedict, and it was dreamy.  Afterwards, my fam came over and we had cocktails and mischief in my back yard, including taking approximately 1000 photos.  It was impossible to get a good picture of us all at once (which I take full responsibility for - my patience for posing for photos is limited to oh, one).  Mom's not even looking at the camera and my eyes are closed, but this was honestly the best of the lot.  At least my sister looks pretty. 

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This one's better but dark.

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I'll do a separate post for the 4th and final Chantilly!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

White eyelet Alma

Yesterday when I did my Me-Made May wrap-up, I noticed that I tend to wear a full-skirted printed dress with a cardigan nearly every day.  Not that it's bad to have a certain silhouette you favor, or anything like that.  I just don't want to get into a rut.  I woke up this morning and decided to do something about that!

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I made a Sewaholic Alma with the piece of ivory eyelet from February's Magical Estate Sale. I underlined it with some ivory mystery fabric from Bethesda thrift store. I've made a couple Alma's before (one good and one very bad) so I made a couple changes. I added about 2 inches of length to the hem, did bias tape instead of the facings, and significantly lowered the neckline. The original neckline was kind of choking me, and I didn't want to have to draft new facings, so: bias tape. As always, it worked wonderfully. I am thinking I will probably never do another facing again. This one went together pretty easily. I would say it took 4 hours total. I didn't have a lot of the fabric, so laying out the pieces was really fiddly. The sleeves are not on-grain, but it totally doesn't matter. The only mistake I made was with the lapped zipper. It laps the wrong way. I don't understand why sometimes it is the right way and sometimes it is the wrong way, when I swear I do it the same every time. Hmm. It's not very nice out today (it's sunny, but cold as shit. I thought I saw a snow flurry this morning.) but I'm wearing it anyway. It's May, I'm wearing what I want, weather be damned.

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I lowered the back neckline a couple inches, too. This is SO easy to do with bias tape. You just pin it where you want your new neckline, sew it in place, and trim the excess.

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I always look the same in photos, so I tried to smize.   I still look the same.  Sorry, dudes.

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So, Mike always takes my photos for me, and when I was uploading them, I noticed this one. Ha! It was too funny not to share. Thanks, hon. I'm SURE he was just trying to show you how sweet my hand-sewn hem is.

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So there you go, one quick top that is a little bit different than what I normally wear!

Friday, May 10, 2013

MMM Week 2 Wrap-Up

The first full week of Me-Made May is done!  I am sticking to my pledge and loving everything I've worn. The only thing I am NOT enjoying are the daily photos.  I suck balls and posing and I feel so awkward.  And is my bun always so crooked??  Jeez.  I need a new pose and a new hairdo.

On Day 4, I was heading to brunch and a Kentucky Derby party in the daytime, and then dinner and drinks for a friend's birthday in the evening.  My BIL is getting married at the end of the month, and my husband was hosting the bachelor party.  At 12:30, 10 dudes were descending upon my house to drink beer and grill meats.  At noon sharp, I made my exit.  I came home twelve hours later to find puke splatters on the toilet bowl, so I think I made the right choice in getting the hell out of there.  ANYWAY, I wore my new pink seersucker dress that I blogged about earlier this week.

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On Day 5, I sort of cheated. I went to a Cinco de Mayo party and wanted to wear something Mexican-inspired, but I hadn't sewn anything that worked. So I wore this vintage dress. It IS homemade, just not by me. It was a little chilly that day, so I wore my blue coat. That can count as my me-made item.

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 Days 6-10 (aka, the work week) I wore a bunch of dresses you have all seen a million times before.

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Day 6: Butterick Retro 5209 sewn January 2011
Day 7: Colette Chantilly sewn March 2013 (recycled photo, I couldn't get my shit together that morning)
Day 8: New Look 6457 sewn December 2010 (also a recycled photo.  I looked at the one Mike took and immediately went inside and fixed my hair)
Day 9: New Look 6723 sewn sometime in Winter 2011
Day 10: Sewaholic Alma blouse sewn August 2012

I bet everyone is thinking "girl needs a new cardigan and a new style of dress".  Oh wait, that is what I am thinking.  Looking at these photos, I am seeing that I basically always make the same style of dress (fitted bodice, gathered skirt) and I could stand to try something with a new silhouette.  There are definitely some holes in my wardrobe I need filling. For sure I need more blouses, and dresses with tailored skirts. 

I have a pretty packed weekend ahead, so I'm excited to wear more of my "going out" dresses.  I hope everyone else participating in MMM is enjoying it as much as I am!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Vintage Inspiration Dress DONE!

I had a super busy weekend, but I still managed to squeeze in some sewing. My scalloped trim arrived from eBay on Friday, so I got up early Saturday to finish my dress in time for the Kentucky Derby. I didn't end up using the floral appliques I bought on eBay. My friend Marylee let me pillage her stash and she had some that were WAY better! I sewed the scalloped trim on by machine, and the floral appliques by hand. I am thrilled with how it turned out. Just like the original!

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Marylee could only find 5 flowers but thought she had more of the same somewhere else, so I just put on 4 and saved room for if another one turns up. I bought buttons too and totally forgot to sew them on! Whoops. I went to a Kentucky Derby party on Saturday and I couldn't decide between these two dresses, so I took a poll on Instagram.

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Pink won!  It was SUPER bright out that day and I was squinty in every picture that was in the sun, so sorry for the dark shaded photo.  You all know what my face looks like.

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I did wear a hat, but I completely forgot about it when I was taking pictures. It was a vintage 60's fascinator with three huge white silk roses. I originally wore it for my bachelorette party because I felt silly in a veil. I was happy to give it another wear! The derby party was really fun. I missed the actual race due to having early dinner plans, but it was still really nice to get dressed up and have a mint julep and see everyone in their fancy hats and dresses. I love any excuse to dress up!

I have a wedding that falls during Me-Made May, so I am making a dress! It's going to be a very Betty Draper cupcakey dress. I'm using a Vintage Vogue pattern and this great fabric from an estate sale. It's lined and underlined, so it's slow-going. I did the muslin on Saturday morning and liked how it was turning out, so I cut into my good fabric yesterday. I've almost gotten the bodice assembled.

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I hope to have it done by the end of the week, because I have about a million other things I want to start on!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Me-Made May '13 Week 1 Wrap-up

I'm so happy I decided to do MMM this year!  The last time I tried to participate, it was in March, and I totally failed.  I made it 5 days before I quit and went back to sweater dreses and leggings.  I tend to not care how I look in the winter and default to something warm and cozy.   But the second that snow thaws, I am all sundresses, all the time.  Coincidentally, that is what I love to sew most, so I have a huge abundance of summer clothes.

Day one! It was hot and sunny outside, so I decided to take advantage of the weather and start with a dress that doesn't work well with tights or a cardigan.

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Simplicity 5822 from 1964, made by me way back in June 2011 out of cotton eyelet.

Day two!  The weather got chilly so I skipped the dresses and went for a blouse with my favorite pink Gap jeans.

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Colette Patterns Sencha from February 2011 (one of my oldest homemade garments still in rotation!), made out of thrifted chambray and vintage white shell buttons.

Day Three!  Even colder out, and it's Friday, so I decided to wear another blouse with jeans.

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Another Sencha, from sometime in Summer 2012, this time with the keyhole neckline.  Made with rayon challis from Vogue Fabrics and vintage gray shell buttons.

Bonus day!  This was from Tuesday when it was 90 degrees out.

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Thrifted vintage dress and cardigan dyed by me.

I didn't actually make anything I'm wearing, but the dress is thrifted vintage that I altered to fit. It was too tight in the waist, so I let out the side seams a bit and two pleats in the skirt, one on either side of the zipper. I have been looking for a yellow cardigan forever with no luck, so I bought a white one and dyed it. It's my ode to Zooey.

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I'm really looking forward to the nice weather in the upcoming week and more sundresses! Plus, a derby party tomorrow!