Wrapping up: thoughts on Me-Made-May (and the month in general)

So now that I’m at the end of another month of me-made, here’s some thoughts and stats….

First off, the day I apparently forgot to post, which was day 16:
MMM'12, Day 16
The “If I Had $1000000” dress, worn with a Modcloth belt and those Montego Bay sandals. Jewelry is the “Earth” set from the elements series. I was a bit ambivalent about the outfit, personally, due to the over-poofiness of the skirt. I’m strongly considering chopping out the organza that makes it do that in the lining, and just letting it hang a little longer. (It also feels a little too short for comfort to me.) However, this was one of the outfits that got the most love in the Flickr group, with 7 comments. (A lot for me.)

Now, some stats:
# of me-made/refashioned clothing items worn: 36
# of repeats: 0
# of pieces of handmade jewelry worn (counting necklace/earring sets that were designed to go together as one): 29
# of repeats: 5
# of non-jewelry handmade accessories: 1
Favorite outfits: Days 3, 4, 8, 13, 21, 23 and 30
Least favorite outifts: Days 2, 7, 9 and 31– the common thread in all of these was that I just didn’t feel like the store-bought pants looked good and/or flattering with the tops.
Separates combinations that I’ll be most likely to wear again: Days 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 14 and 17
New articles of clothing made: 1 (the “Zeros and Ones” blouse from day 10)
Articles of clothing discarded: 1 (the Pendrell blouse from day 22, due to unfixable fitting issues).
 I’m still on the fence about the t-shirt from day 19, but I guess with the right pair of jeans, it won’t feel too short. So we’ll see.

Other thoughts:

  • Me-made May, June, July or August is not going to be a struggle for me, for a very long time. I’ve been switching out my wardrobe in pieces due to the up-and-down temperatures this spring, and when I was hauling out the summery-est of my warm weather clothes near the end of the month, I did a quick little count…I could probably go for at least 2 more weeks without repeats, depending on how I mix things. And that’s not counting things that are seasonally inappropriate, like all of those jackets I made earlier this year. (Now, if they ever do a Me-Made December or something, I’ll be in trouble for that.)
  • I am surprised at some of the clothes I ended up not getting to this month. It’s not that I didn’t want to wear them, and I can think of at least 3 pieces off the top of my head that I thought about wearing, but just didn’t get to for one reason or another. Mostly weather-related, I think. It’s certainly not that I still don’t like them.
  • A fashion blogger I am not. It’s like I’ve said everything interesting that I can about an outfit, once I’ve blogged the making of a piece. And I still feel a little silly taking all of those pictures of myself.
  • That being said, I did have fun putting the different outfits together! And I do think that my little unspoken challenge to myself to not repeat outfits (and to not repeat them from Self-Stitched September, if possible), helped me to put together some more daring, interesting combinations than I would have otherwise.
  • Though it’s still my least favorite part, having a boyfriend who really likes taking (multiple) pictures of me every time I hand him my camera definitely helped on the photography end of things.
  • The handmade accessories bit was surprisingly hard! I wouldn’t have thought so, given all of the jewelry I’ve made over the years. But there were some days that all I wanted to do was throw on a pair of dangly metal earrings and be done with it, especially if said dangly metal earrings would have gone with the outfit better IMO. There were also days where I’d wished I had accessory options other than jewelry. So I’m trying to expand my repertoire there a bit–I have one in-progress answer to this, and an idea for a second project that also isn’t jewelry, (I think handmade accessories might actually end up being easier in cooler weather, because then I always have the option of knitting a small project! When things are as warm as they’ve suddenly gotten around here, the last thing I want to do is throw on a knitted scarf or hat!)
  • I know I’ve said it before, but this month certainly reinforced that the biggest holes in my wardrobe are casual knit tops and pants. I have plenty of t-shirts, but not that many that I’ve made, so that part of my wardrobe certainly suffers in the me-made months.
  • Since this seems to be a list of contradictions, I did find that wearing dresses is more comfortable than I thought! At least, this time of year. But I still want more jeans/pants!

Other thoughts on the month in general– I’ve found myself very discouraged about my sewing lately, mostly due to the lack of time. Except for the one weekend where I was visiting friends out of town, every single weekend was taken up with long hours at work. So I barely got anything done, and I sadly have to admit that I really didn’t do so great on the Colette Palette Challenge. The top got done, and I have been working on the jeans (which are being more difficult than I’d hoped.) I guess I can’t really call the skirt a total fail, since it was more a case of discovering that I already had that spot in my wardrobe filled with the red dress from day 4, in a more versatile way than the skirt would have allowed. But I still didn’t make it.

As far as the other goals go, I did succeed at Me-Made-May, with only one flakeout day on the photos (and given that I was at work for 11 hours of that day, I think it’s allowed.) And I did finish clearing out my wardrobe, though the pile is still in my room and not at Goodwill. The knitting project did get worked on, though I ended up ripping out most of it in order to fix an issue with my decreasing–it was too much too fast, and looked awful.

For this month, I do want to keep working on fitting those jeans. It’s one of those projects I can do when I have a few moments here or there, but not when I’m around other people due to all of the trying on and adjusting. So I think my new goal there will be to get the jeans muslin fitted and the pattern altered by the end of the month. I’m going to keep knitting on my Strafford tee, of course. And despite my Colette challenge failure, I am strongly considering the Summer Spark Sew-Along. I mean, I only have to sew one thing. Surely I can manage that, right? I do have one particular project in mind, which will also nicely assist me in my Check The Technique list. But I’ll save that for the next post, along with some show and tell….stay tuned.

    Meet my favorite jeans.

    After a little deliberation, I’ve decided that I am going to go ahead and give this Colette Palette Challenge a shot. I saw a post on the Coletterie this morning where one of the editors had decided she’d just focus on three pieces, and it was a lightbulb moment for me….I can actually make this work without completely derailing my plan to work through those “kits” I’ve made from my stash, and without overwhelming myself with an overly ambitious plan that I just can’t get through while I’m in my busy season at work. (I hope. Given that I don’t have a day off for at least the next 13 days after today, I might not get to sew much at all!)

    So I’m going to use this challenge to focus on three of those pieces, with a rather basic palette of black, white, dark blue and red. The dark blue will be my jeans, which I’d already planned to do this month while working through the Jean-ius class on Craftsy. I’m also going to aim to work on the blouse from the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook, using a black and white print I finally caved on after about a month of deliberation back in December, and the Beignet in a red organic cotton twill that I’ve had sitting around for awhile to make a skirt out of. That seems like a manageable amount for the 6ish weeks that the challenge goes on, and if I can manage to finish all three pieces, I’ll have two complete outfits, since the top can easily pair with both bottoms.

    So, to kick things off and to gear myself up for starting the Jean-ius class, since I’m this close to finishing the convertible dress and will most likely finish it up this evening, this is me taking a look at the jeans I’m going to be basing this class on.

    I bought these jeans a few years ago at Goodwill. The brand is Southpole, which is not one I would have ever picked up new since it’s more of an urban style type shop and that just isn’t me. (Also, their website now says it basically focuses on kids’ and juniors’ clothes.) But they fit me amazingly well.

    They don’t gap in the back at all. And the rise is absolutely perfect–low enough to be comfortable and stylish, but high enough that I don’t have to worry about flashing my undies at people.

    Even the length is perfect–they’re long enough that they work with my heeled boots, but short enough that I can wear them with flats without stepping on the hem.

    These are the jeans I go to pretty much every time I go hang out with friends, when I want to be comfortable but still look good. And they’ve been washed and worn so many times that the fly is starting to pull back and expose the zipper, the fabric around the button is beginning to fray and I’m getting worried that one of these days it’ll just completely fall out, and the pocket stitching is beginning to come undone. And so it’s definitely time to clone them before they fall apart completely, because I haven’t found a pair of jeans that fit as well since.