Lessons learned from Me-Made May, part 2

I meant to post again 2/3 of the way through, but life kind of got away from me there. So here’s what I wore for the remaining 20ish days of the month:

Days 10-17

Row 1: A Kirsten Kimono Tee and my TARDIS-inspired Cake Hummingbird skirt hack// a purchased geeky tee and my Norwegian Wood Sewaholic Rae // my Alice in Wonderland fabric Sew Liberated Matcha Top with the yet-to-be-blogged Lander shorts // my chambray Deer & Doe Bruyere shirt with some bad-fitting black pants (I had an orchestra concert that day, and had to switch to all RTW later to fit their dress code requirements)

Row 2: take 2 of the Jalie Vanessa pants, a thrifted top, and a refashioned cardigan // another Kirsten Kimono tee and self-drafted skirt // a mildly refashioned (re-embellished, really) tank and a hack of the Deer & Doe Plantain into a cardigan // purchased jacket, thrifted tank, hacked Simplicity 7229 maxi-skirt

Days 18-24

Row 1: me-mended jeans, one of my Peekabook Patterns Uptown nursing camisoles and a thrifted tee // RTW jeans, super-ugly rain boots (men’s were all that fit), a refashioned button-up shirt and my Burda raincoat // an old Simplicity 5595 top from my grad school days (pre-blog), and a recently redyed Sewaholic Rae skirt // a Cashmerette Appleton dress with sleeve hack (same day as the previous, but I had a flute choir concert)

Row 2: a purchased graphic tee and self-drafted maxi skirt from the mid 2000’s (pre-blog) // a refashioned McCall’s 6885 shirt and RTW jeans // a Cake Tiramisu dress // a McCall’s 6559 tank dress, worn backwards (so it would cover my bra. Ugh.)

Days 25-31

Row 1: Take 2 of the Matcha top with RTW shorts // a slightly refashioned tank with the Lander shorts, take 3 // all Sewaholic with a Renfrew tee and my “exploding TARDIS” Rae skirt // trying a new mix with take 2 of both the Kirsten Kimono and the Simplicity maxi-skirt

Row 2: My Belle-inspired Colette Moneta/Cake Tiramisu mashup and refashioned cardi with a me-made infinity scarf // later switched to my new Sew Liberated Stasia tee and a refashioned maxi-skirt for a student recital // another iteration of the McCall’s 6559 tank dress

And now, my thoughts on what I learned. I think that this exercise was so good for me, probably more so than any other year that I’ve participated. This was only my second time doing it since becoming a mom, and it’s been a struggle to both figure out what my style is now and to start making peace with the changes to my shape and size since then. But I think I’m starting to get the hang of what practical needs I have, and just need to figure out how to make them my own style. So here’s my takeaways, aside from what I said in the last post…

My main wardrobe issue is lack of cohesion. Which I think I kind of knew. I don’t necessarily have too many closet orphans, but I do have some separates that definitely aren’t living up to their potential. Since they’re all things I still love, I need to plan some things to mix with them for some new combinations. What surprised me was how many of what I consider to be basics (i.e. pretty much any separate that’s a solid color) only go with only one other thing in my closet. Or one thing plus blue jeans. Which leads me to…

I don’t have to stop making prints! Thank God for that, because those are usually the projects that I get most excited about. I just need to start getting smarter about choosing prints that go with tops or bottoms that I already have in solids, that’s all.

How to not be bored with solids. My usual answer is “add a print”. But I’ve also realized through this that I’m much happier in solids where there’s either an interesting design element or some kind of texture. Like the ombre dyed skirt with all over tone-on-tone embroidery. Or the coral tee with metallic gold dots all over, even though it reads solid in the picture. Or my black Appleton dress with the sleeve detail. I’ll need to figure out how to play this out in the future, because…

I’m still lacking basics. The days that were hardest to dress for were casual days at home. Tank tops were a huge issue, as were tees that weren’t graphic. (On the plus side, I think I did a decent job of dressing up a couple of those geeky tees!) And while I had surprisingly few repeat garments this month, it’s very telling that the main things that got repeated were my very few pants/shorts. I’ve been hesitant to go through the fitting process, given that I’m just barely past nursing and have been trying to exercise more consistently. But the shorts boosted my confidence (I promise I’ll post more about those soon!) I also pretty much jumped on the Itch to Stitch Mountain View pull on jeans as soon as they released a few months ago, and I think that just might be the answer to my jeans-loving prayers for now. So I’d like to give those a try.

Bras are an issue. I struggled with that one a bit. I spent this month going from nighttime nursing only to no nursing at all, but have still had to wear my me-made nursing bras for a good chunk of the month. My Mother’s Day gift this year was allocated money and time to get some new ones, since I literally had only one non-nursing bra that was still wearable. And the store I got the gift card to, as it turned out, had very, very few options in what my size seems to be. As a result, I did end up with a few older makes that didn’t get worn because they couldn’t cover the straps and/or cups for what I had available. I was on the fence about whether to try delving into bra-making more, and I still don’t plan to do it any time soon because of the previous statement. But I think that at some point down the road, I’m going to have to suck it up and really learn to sew my own.

I need to stop wearing colors that I don’t love.  I seem to have settled into two different color palettes — the ocean tones/tropical brights that I love this time of year, and a more brown/olive/earth tones that I favor more in the fall, but it still creeps into my warmer weather clothes. (Plus black, because I’m a musician and all.) If I factor in my usual winter feelings of please anything with color because the entire world is grey and taupe and ugggggggh I hate taupe, I think I’m at the point where I need to just get rid of anything in my stash that doesn’t fall into that, where I can’t dye it into favorite colors submission. Let go of the guilt and make room for things I’ll be excited about sewing.

I landed on a really helpful way to organize my thoughts about my wardrobe holes!

It’s a screenshot of something I already shared in Instagram, but I can’t seem to get the embed to work on this blog. Basically, I downloaded a free mind mapping app onto my phone, and have been using it to write down ideas for either things I’d like to make and what in my closet they’ll go with, or things I need to go with things already in my closet.

Casual clothes. I know I already said it, but that’s the biggest hole.  I kind of hate much of the athleisure aesthetic, since I’m not personally comfortable with leggings as pants or looking like I’m heading for the gym all the time. But the fact is that I have two rather active toddler boys. And I do need clothes that I can sit on the floor and go to the park and pull out supplies for messier activities without worrying about permanent stains. So I do need to figure out some things there. I finally got the True Bias Hudson pants pattern, and my mom picked up a cute hoodie pattern that I’d like to try. So there’s some possibilities. But what else can I do for stay-at-home mom clothes that still feels like me?

I need a me-made winter clothes challenge. I don’t know if it’ll happen this year. But I always feel like my cold weather wardrobe is so blah, and I’d like to get some similar insights into what I can do to feel better about dressing for my least favorite time of year.

Wardrobe Architect Revisited, part 2

For this episode, I’m revisiting lifestyle and silhouettes.

Lifestyle: I honestly don’t have to rehash the entire worksheet. After all, my history/family background and such hasn’t changed. If you are interested in  reading the original answers, you can do so here. But here are the things that have changed…

5. Activities- How do your day-to-day activities influence your choices?
When I originally wrote this, I was working part-time at the garden center, teaching music lessons, and a newlywed. Now, as a mostly stay at home mom, I need to think more practically about my clothes. If you follow my Instagram, it’s pretty obvious that saying Hobbit is “active” is a bit of an understatement! And with a little brother on the way, I think the bulk of my wardrobe is going to have to be made up of clothes that are easy to care for, easy to move in, and at least for now, easy to nurse in. I still need some nicer things for church and teaching/performing, especially now that I’m also playing in an orchestra again. (Oh, hi, all the black clothes!) But after several months of also following along with some ideas for toddler activities, I’m also realizing that I really could use some loungewear as well, particularly things that either I don’t mind getting messy or that stains come out of easily. I still love (and miss) jeans, but definitely don’t want to go through the fitting process again only to lose the results to finger paint or other messier play! (I might be better off getting that stuff from the thrift shop though, since my sewing time is limited.)

6. Location- Does the place you live inform the way you dress? How does climate factor in?

Well, I still live in the same area, so mid-Atlantic humidity and wacky temperature swings are still a thing. (Wow, this past winter was nuts.) I’m mostly revisiting this because I’ve since discovered that I actually don’t mind wearing skirts when it’s moderately cold, when paired with leggings and boots. And I’ve also reluctantly concluded that I’m going to need  some shorts for our hot days, because moms with little boys hanging on their legs and running all over the playground probably can’t live in just skirts.

7. Body- In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?

This one is probably the biggest change from before. As I said in the last post, it’s been awhile since my body wasn’t undergoing constant changes, given that I’m ending up with 2 kids less than 2 years apart. (Not by more than a few months, but still.) And if you’ve been following me within these last 3 years, you know that one of the things I’ve struggled with is coming up with things to sew that have a flexible enough fit to accommodate the changes in weight/measurements that still feel like me. It’s looking like after I factor in the weight I’m going to lose that’s actual baby, I’m facing an approximate year of nursing plus about 30-35 additional pounds to lose if I want to get close to where I was before all of this started. And since one of the things that my favorite silhouettes before tended to play up was my waistline, and that’s pretty much shot at this point, it’s much more challenging to figure out what feels flattering to me when I’m still also self-conscious about the same areas as before plus that.

Now for the more fun part– silhouettes! The words I came up with to describe my ideal style before were casual, colorful, cozy, artsy, and geeky. And that still feels right to me. But for silhouettes, a lot of what I’d said before involved favoring more fitted silhouettes. Fit and flare dresses, peplums, waistline definition, and so on. That’s where I have to rethink things a little more. Fortunately, I have been collecting inspiration on Pinterest for awhile now, and in combing through the outfits that I liked well enough to collect on my Wardrobe Architect board, here’s some things I’ve noticed:

Jeans and maxi-skirts for days are apparently two of the major things I’m drawn to– there were far more long skirts than shorter ones or dresses. And you all know how I feel about my jeans. (I’ve been dying to try the Ginger jeans pattern for years now, but, you know, double pregnancy fitting issues.) Still lots of jackets/outerwear layers, too. One thing I have noticed about the outfits that I’ve saved over the last year or so is that I do seem to be finding more pins where the shirts are more the type that are still fairly fitted in the bust, but drapier in the waist. That will be much more forgiving for me now, so that may be a good thing to keep in mind for future top patterns, even though I still see a place for tops like my beloved Renfrew. (Assuming I can get a nursing-friendly hack to work for that!)

Incidentally, another thing I’ve noticed about Pinterest is that it’s often rather challenging to find outfits that aren’t just solid neutral everything. SO MUCH TAUPE. And I particularly found it harder to find things with prints, period. But I have also noticed that solids are more palatable when they have some kind of interesting design detail, like that drapey teal top in the top row. But anyway, moving on to some more seasonal stuff

You knew I couldn’t do this without some geeky inspiration, right? I’m seriously in love with that Faramir outfit in particular, and not just because he’s actually my favorite male character in the Lord of the Rings books. I realize that the color palette here reads more fall, but I found it easiest to find silhouettes that would work well for the more transitional weather of spring and fall here. It’s mostly cool enough for pants and boots. I can layer up, like with the plaid shirt and the jacket. And I can wear tunic-type shirts– I think something along the lines of these cream and green ones in the bottom row are a particularly good style evolution for me, because the belts still give them a bit of waist definition, even as the respective pleats and drapiness are better for the weight fluctuations that I’m still getting used to. (I may seriously have to knock off that cream one, since it’s also very nursing friendly!)

Winter clothes have always been a bigger challenge for me. Frankly, a lot of them bore me, even though a lot of that is probably more the palette. But I did find these three that I liked. The long cardigan gives that outfit the artsy element that I’ve been missing. The middle outfit would be a great one for things like running errands and chasing the boys outside, without feeling embarrassed about how I look– I really do feel much more put together in jeans than yoga-type pants! And the outfit on the right would actually be a great casual teaching outfit, with the trouser jeans and the nicer top/cardigan. The pants remind me of the Sewaholic Thurlows, though maybe just a bit straighter in the thigh to give it that wider leg. I miss those pants.

Surprisingly for me, I actually had a lot of trouble finding some ideas for summer outfits. At least, ones that don’t involve a maxi-skirt. The thing is, I don’t particularly feel comfortable wearing shorts, since I don’t like to show that much of my pasty thighs, but as stated before, sometimes they’re just more practical for my current lifestyle. And it’s especially hard to find outfit inspiration where the shorts aren’t super short, even when you plug in search terms like “mom outfit” along with it. Like that outfit with the coral top? Love the concept, since I can get all over a colorful, printed top that’s flowy enough to deal with our 80-90+ degrees plus all the humidity days that we often get around midsummer or so. But I’m pretty sure that Hobbit’s shorts are longer than those shorts, and he’s still under 3 feet tall! (I think.) The length on the other outfit is much better, though I doubt I’d tuck in any portion of my top during those really sticky days. Again, I like the concept, though, and maybe it’s time that I considered trying out a woven tee pattern, if I can find one that wouldn’t just look like a sack once it got past my chest. I do have two on hand that might work (the Sewaholic Belcarra and the Seamwork Akita.) I do have a couple of shorts patterns to try out as well, hopefully this summer since I maybe have one pair of shorts that may or may not end up fitting to get me through the entire season, and I’m hoping that they won’t end up looking dreadful on me.

So, to sum up, it looks like the silhouettes to aim for now are more fitted at the bust/flowy at the waist and hips, and try to figure out a way to fit some pants or especially jeans. Also, it looks like separates are something I lean much more strongly towards overall, though I still love me a good maxi dress. But even though I know I’m not the type of person who can have the 40 hanger capsule wardrobe and be happy in all seasons with that, the potential ability to mix and match more within those mini capsules that I’m still trying to build will serve me well.

Wardrobe Architect, Revisited

I’m sure you remember the blog series that Colette Patterns put out a few years ago, right? I enjoyed the chance to take a really in-depth look at the things I like to wear in hopes of making the most of my handmade wardrobe, though the only place I really got to implement it was when trying to put together my maternity wardrobe. It did certainly help that I already had that base when I added a few thrift shop extras back in the fall to compensate for the overall colder weather that I’ve had this second time around, because I was able to quickly zone in on the colors that already went with the things I had. But I’ve also been thinking that it’s time to take a second look at this process, because a lot has changed since I went through it in 2014.

When I did it before, I was working more, my weight had been generally stable for a long time so I had a good idea of what actually worked on my figure, and I could focus more on form rather than just function. Now, I still need clothes that are professional enough to teach music lessons in and nice black outfits for concerts, but I’m also a mom of two very young kids. (Just haven’t quite met the second one yet.) I only had a couple of months between wrapping up nursing before and the beginning of this second pregnancy, so it’s been awhile since my body hasn’t been constantly changing. It’ll be awhile longer, given that I’ve got all the new baby weight to lose on top of the bit I hadn’t lost from Hobbit yet. And I did a massive closet purge back in the summer, but still haven’t really been able to evaluate how well the things that got left will work for me, since I haven’t been able to wear most of them for months now.

(Most of what’s left, minus the skirts and dresses that wouldn’t fit in the picture. And t-shirts and stuff.)

I don’t think I’ll need to go quite as in depth this time, because the color palette that I like, my love for prints over solids, and the general feel that I want for my wardrobe haven’t changed. But I definitely need to reevaluate the silhouettes that might work on me, and how my current lifestyle affects what I need. And I feel like this is a good time to do it, since my ability to physically sew is limited right now. (Though I did manage to finish the second nursing bra, at least. We’ll see about the third.)  If nothing else, I could use the distraction, because the end of this pregnancy is so much physically harder than I remember the last one being! More to come…

Evaluating the mini-wardrobe

Now that I’m getting close to the end of my pregnancy, and in lieu of my participating in Me-Made-May this year, I thought it might be useful to take a look back at how I did with sewing for  myself in this transitional period. After all, I’d decided to make this more fun/interesting for myself by treating it as a capsule wardrobe, a la Wardrobe Architect. And I did learn some things about what worked/didn’t work for me. Also, in case a second baby comes along down the road, it’ll help me to have a reference of what I might want to consider adding!

Things I think went well:

  • Overall, I’m quite pleased with how well various alterations I made to several non-maternity patterns worked. Especially since pattern hacking is not my strongest skill, and one I’d like to keep working to improve. I would further tweak my Renfrew hack, but the dresses and maxi-skirt went quite well. As did the actual maternity alteration to the Manila leggings, even if the rest of it was a fail. So maybe there’s hope for me yet!
  • I also think I did pretty well at sticking with a cohesive color palette. 
  • I was able to surprise myself with occasionally being able to pull out non-maternity clothes to fill in some gaps. Namely my Plantain top and a couple of buttondowns worn over tank tops.
  • Also, aside from the first trimester, I think I did a pretty good job of sucking it up and plowing through sewing to fulfill needs that I had, even though I’ve still been nauseous at some point(s) every single day of this pregnancy. So go me.

Things I wish I’d done differently:

  • More vivid colors! Even though I did stick with the palette pretty well, I felt like things ended up being a lot heavier on the neutrals–the black, navy and grey in particular, just due to what I was able to find in thrift stores or what I had on hand that was working. By the time winter was wrapping up, I was sooooooo bored and wishing for cheerier, brighter things. (Ok, so I do that every year. But it was definitely worse with the much more limited choices I had.)
  • More prints! Especially tops. Because even with the things I found/made that were in brighter colors, I just haven’t felt quite like myself while wearing so many outfits that were just solids. I’ve tried livening it up with accessories, but a necklace can only take you so far on that, and I was honestly afraid to wear scarves for the first half of the pregnancy because of all the sickness. (Plus, having things close around my neck during the worst of that was really, really uncomfortable for me.) The couple of print things that I’ve made near the end are helping. A lot of this was really just me trying to work mostly with the stash that I had, but I think that, once I make some space on the shelves/if I need maternity wear again, I may specifically treat myself to some new fabric to expand this wardrobe.

Things I’ll need if this ever happens again:

  • More bottomwear. Especially of the pants variety. I refashioned 3 pairs of pants, outgrew one of them by about mid-March (which had been a little small around the waist/hips to begin with anyway, so I could only make it expand so much), and had to pretty much give up wearing the other two by mid-April because they were corduroy and therefore getting uncomfortably hot when spring weather actually arrived. Which has left me with only 2 pairs of jeans to get through the last 2 months, and I will admit that I do feel a little unprofessional when doing music lessons in jeans. I wouldn’t mind another knit maxi-skirt or two either, because the tie-dye one is sooooo comfortable. (I’ve tried wearing some of my older elastic-waist ones over the bump here and there, and they kind of dig into my ribs and gather weirdly under my tops. So it hasn’t been helpful.)
  • Pajamas. I got through the latter part of the winter with an older pair of PJ pants and an oversized thrifted top–but those got worn so much that the top has several holes in it now. Once things started warming up is when things got really tough–I had to resort to buying a shorts and tank set from Target, because I didn’t have anything that fit. (Note to self: Tofino pants do not make good maternity pants. Though I love them as a non-maternity PJs pattern.) 
  • Another pair of leggings or two wouldn’t hurt, if I have another cold-weather pregnancy. Or at least some more stylish knit pants (and casual tops) to wear around the house that aren’t fleece sweatpants that I used to wear under other clothes to keep warm on backpacking trips. That’s what I ended up resorting to on Saturdays/weekdays when I didn’t have to go out to save my jeans for nicer wear, and I felt so frumpy. Which is not the feeling you want when you’re already feeling like a nauseated whale.

Biggest hits: 
Honestly, aside from the refashioned corduroys (so useful) I feel like the best things I made were the ones that I’m hoping to continue wearing after this is over– particularly the black maxi-dress and the tie-dyed skirt. I may need to do a follow-up post later this summer on how well they actually work for post-pregnancy/nursing.
Maternity maxi-dress
skirt full panel

Biggest misses: 
Not my best project ever.1. The Manila leggings. Though I’m still hopeful that I can successfully revisit this pattern, now that I know that I really need to check the stretch before diving in. And probably add at least 4″ to the legs. But I really just didn’t feel comfortable wearing them very often–the color meant it didn’t work as a tights layer under the two shorter skirts I had (one black and one denim), and I really only wore them twice. One of those was to keep warm under the black dress for a cooler-day music performance at church, and the other was just around the house. And I have to confess that I threw the denim skirt on over it anyway, because even when alone in the house, I just didn’t feel fully clothed when wearing leggings as pants! I’ll probably keep these as a layering piece, but definitely not as a stand-alone.

(I still have to try out my Cake Espresso pattern sometime, too. If that one works out better, I might just transfer the belly alterations to that pattern if I ever need to sew maternity leggings again.)

Ariel-inspired outfit

2. The Ariel skirt. I actually only wore this one once, aside from the photos–I didn’t want to wear it over the winter because of the cold, and when I finally pulled it out in the spring, it just didn’t work well. I had to tie the drawstrings under the bust, which made the length kind of strange, and left a lot of weird wrinkles under the belly of the maternity top that I paired it with. Fortunately, it didn’t take me that long to cut and sew. And since it’s essentially two big rectangles and I still have almost 3 yards of the fabric left, I think this will be a good candidate for a refashion. Or at least a wearable muslin of some other pattern.

On the other hand, I did wear the top quite a bit. Though, as I stated before, I think the pattern hacks would need some tweaking for this to work well in later pregnancy. It fit fine for well over the first half, though.

Other things I won’t be keeping/need to rework: 
1. This isn’t one I made, but I bought this cream-colored maternity sweater at Target. I’m blaming this on poor fabric choice on their part–the structure itself is fine, but before the winter even ended, the color of the sweater just looked dingy and sad. I may just try to overdye it to extend the life.

2.This top. Though it wasn’t a maternity top, it actually worked well to get me through the winter, since it was roomier in the waist than a lot of my usual tops. And it’s not a complaint about the pattern, since I used the same one to make my sparkly knit top from earlier this year. It’s just that since this one was already several years old, the fabric was starting to pill to begin with. And with all the extra wears and washes it got this winter, given that I was pulling it out at least once a week (if not more), it’s just unsalvageable now. I do hate to just throw clothes away, even the worn-out ones, so I’m thinking I might just cut this one up and use it to stuff a toy or something. Stuffing is expensive, anyway.

So, that’s my little wrap up of how my me-mades have been working for me during a period of major physical changes. I already have a mental list of patterns I want to tackle once this baby comes! Now if only I could figure out a way to predict my bust size so I could start tracing or cutting…

maternity wardrobe building

I really have been feeling lately like I have nothing to wear! But now that I’m finally feeling up to some sewing again (yaaaaay!), I thought it might be fun to do a little mini-series about trying to put together a cohesive wardrobe to get me through the next several months.

The big challenges so far:

  • When going through the Wardrobe Architect series last year, I was reminded that the silhouettes I’m most drawn to involve a fitted waist. Which means that, despite actually losing weight overall due to being sick all the time and barely eating, most of the clothes I already had stopped fitting there before my first trimester was even over! On the plus side, I’ve long liked the look of empire waists, but not on me, because I thought they made me look pregnant. So I guess I have an excuse to rock those for a few months!
  • I’ve mentioned this on Twitter here and there, but finding maternity clothes in the stores has mostly sucked so far. It seems like everything is either black, grey, red, or taupe. While black is a wardrobe necessity for any classically-trained musician, and I do wear grey, I don’t really do red, and I loathe taupe. Also, I was having trouble bringing myself to spend money on clothes that didn’t even fit right in my shoulders or left my wrists hanging out of the sleeves oddly. It’s not like those are getting bigger.
  • Also, almost everything I’ve been able to find are solids. Which are fine and actually very important for a real mix-and-match wardrobe, but I’ve missed my prints. I haven’t had great luck finding clothes at Goodwill either, sadly, but I did find one ITY print top recently that will work as a maternity top. The first day I wore that was the first day I really felt like myself again, style-wise.
  • It’s winter. And while I’m trying not to do all long-sleeved tops/make sure I have layerable things, since this will go through the spring, I legitimately do need a few more long-sleeved tops. 

I have found that I do have a pretty solid color palette emerging, at least. So to wrap up this post, I’m going to show what I have managed to assemble so far as a capsule wardrobe.
Wardrobe collage

So here’s what I’ve got, top to bottom:
2 dresses: 1 thrifted, 1 purchased new on clearance rack
5 long sleeved tops. The Simplicity top and my Plantain aren’t maternity, but are fitting ok so far. Hoping the length will stay ok until it’s warmer. Also my maternity Ariel top, a thrifted empire-waist shirt I already had, and a purchased lightweight pullover maternity sweater from Target.
4 3/4-sleeved tops. The black and coral were purchased new on the clearance rack, the blue print is one of my previous refashions that I’m hoping will adjust for the bump, and the other print top is thrifted, and may also not fit the entire time since it’s not specifically maternity either.
3 skirts: 2 thrifted, in denim and black, plus my Ariel maxi-skirt (not pictured).
3 pairs of “work” pants, all refashions, 1 in navy and 2 in black. (One not pictured, because I think it’s in the laundry.)
1 thrifted embellished tank that I already had, but it’s very flowy, so it should have plenty of room.
2 short sleeved tops: 1 teal purchased new on clearance, 1 thrifted tie-dyed in navy/gold/maroon.
3 maternity/long tank tops for layering. Showing the navy, but I also have black and teal.
2 pairs of jeans, 1 bootcut and 1 skinny. Both purchased.
Cardigans/sweaters: Camille shrug, thrifted green 3/4 cardigan, purchased black, refashioned turquoise, and my Roheline.
I also have 1 pair of maternity leggings in black, purchased, not shown. And that is all of it!

Next time: My sewing plan, as it stands so far.

2014’s top 5, part 3: Reflections and Goals

Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5 

Finishing up my series today, with what I’ve learned this year and what I’d like to accomplish next year.

1. I am not the fastest of makers. This is especially true when it comes to knitting, but it’s true for sewing as well. I looked back at last year’s reflections, and this was actually the first thing on my list then, too! I think the difference this year is that I’m more ok with it. Looking at my top 5 makes for this year, aside from the Tiramisu dress, everything on there was projects that required more thought and detail– welt pockets, underlinings, linings, bound seams, etc. But they ended up fitting really well and getting a lot of use. Yes, I know two of them are coats, but still.

2. That being said, I’ve also learned that I really like having a quick “palate-cleanser” project between the more detailed stuff. Usually some kind of knit project.

me as Amy Pond3. I feel like I’ve kind of rediscovered how much fun refashioning clothes can be this year. I didn’t really do any last year, but I’ve definitely picked up on that more this year. I’ve ended up wearing these zipper leg jeans quite a bit, as well as my Amy Pond shirt. (Generally minus the tally marks, though.) I’ve definitely been doing more of that lately, since I’m literally running out of things to wear! So I’ve been maternifying unwanted pants. Since one pair I’d had since college wasn’t fitting so great anymore anyway, and the others were pants that my mom was getting rid of, it’s been gratifying to be able to get some much-needed maternity pants into my wardrobe for just the cost of a half-yard of black knit.

4. The Wardrobe Architect project was really an invaluable process for me to go through. Even though I was trying to buy less fabric overall anyway, and I’m pretty sure I succeeded, I feel like what I bought will mostly fit in well with my existing wardrobe. It’s also easier to weed out some of the new patterns now, since I have a better idea of what I actually like the look of on me. Of course, this is all subject to change now, since I also have no idea what sort of a waistline I’ll have when this whole pregnancy thing is over!

5. I’ve actually developed some self-control on adding to the stashes. Though I sort of fell off the wagon at actually tracking pieces of stash used up before buying more, as stated in my Stash Diet pledge, I did a good job of sticking to my plan! Aside from pieces of fabric that my mom gave me because she didn’t want them, almost everything I bought this entire year fell into one of three categories: a) Fabric I bought on vacation, b) Fabric I bought because I needed it for a specific project and I literally did not have anything else that would work (i.e. Thinsulate for my coat, yellow knit for the minion costume, etc) c) Stuff I would categorize as the “extenuating life circumstances” exception–mainly buying a few pieces specifically to make things for the baby, or the 3 things I’ve bought specifically for maternity clothes. I also didn’t buy much yarn at all this year–I think the one skein I bought in Paris may have been it–and I didn’t really buy many new patterns this year, either. Maybe 6 total, and 3 of those were ones I won in a Pattern Review drawing because my Robson coat randomly got picked when they were highlighting Sewaholic. So yay me?

Maybe not. I just looked at the numbers, and I actually added 10 more yards to the fabric stash than I started with at the beginning of the year! But it does look like I used about 70 yards overall this year, and I’m already in the process of using up those baby-related fabrics. So not too bad.

If you had asked me this three months ago, I probably would have said “learn to make bras and/or undies”. I don’t think that’s going to be happening this year, lol! Especially the former. So here’s what I think will be the best things for me to focus on for 2015…

1. Finish a capsule wardrobe that will get me through the first half of the year. I’ve quietly been working on this anyway, between my most recent makes and things I’ve bought. I’m attempting to use the Wardrobe Architect principles for this, and I do have a definite palette emerging. But I definitely need more clothes, since I didn’t have too many things in my wardrobe already to get me started. That’s definitely a downside to favoring styles that are more fitted at the waist! So once I sort out what I need to survive/see if I get any fabric for Christmas (a safe bet, knowing my mom), I’m going to see if I can sort out a decent plan of attack.

2. On a related note, I need to work on my pattern hacking skills. I’ve noticed that there really aren’t that many good maternity-specific patterns out there. I have managed to acquire Megan Nielsen’s wrap top pattern, also this pattern that can double as a maternity and a nursing top. The latter sounds like a really good use of my precious sewing time. But aside from that, I really haven’t found anything that looks interesting to me, so I guess I’ll have to create my own. I’ve got my Renfrew hack to keep tweaking, and I did pull out several other patterns from my stash that looks like they might be useable for this purpose. If I can figure out how to do a couple of other things that will be good for both pregnancy and nursing, great.

3. Get as much sewing for “Hobbit” (what I’ve been calling the baby while we don’t know the gender) done as possible, before June. Obviously, though I may sew a few outfits, I’m not going to make every little piece of clothing. They’ll get too small too fast. But I will need to do some things like curtains for the nursery, and I have some bibs that I’m already working on (which will hopefully be done by the end of December, since I’m using them for The Monthly Stitch’s current theme). I have a piece of printed suedecloth that has stumped me for a couple of years on what to use it for, but I think it would make an excellent gender-neutral diaper bag. And my mom and I are planning on working together over the winter to make cloth diapers. I know it’ll be a lot of laundry, but it’s cheaper to make cloth diapers than buy them, and it’ll definitely be cheaper in the long run than buying all disposables. More money saved means more money to spend on fabric, right? I still need to get most of the supplies for that, but I did get some of the waterproof outer fabric already. Because there was one yard left on the website and it has TARDISes on it. Seriously. I couldn’t pass it up.

4. Since basically everything I’m going to be able to sew for myself for awhile is knits anyway, I might as well work on things like finishing techniques and getting my serger tension right. Right?

5. I think probably the biggest goal for after Hobbit comes will be finding time to make things. I know it’ll be a challenge, and probably impossible for at least the first month while I’m a sleep-deprived zombie cow. (Not the best time to work on a hobby that involves sharp cutting/pinning implements, I’m guessing.) And I do also need to prioritize music time, since I do plan to continue teaching lessons. I’ve been following Cindy’s blog with a lot of interest lately, given that she recently had a baby herself, and I think what jumped out at me the most is the idea of doing one thing a day that lasts, since so much of caring for a newborn is laundry and feeding and changing over and over again. Practicing music can also feel repetitive and like it’s never done, since you spend so much time working on the same passage or the same piece for days or weeks in a row. So hopefully I can find a way to make that happen. Even if it’s just sewing one seam, or knitting one row, or sticking just one picture in a photo pocket. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve gotten more ok with being slow, right?

Me-Made-May final thoughts

Me Made May 2014

I sat down with my Flickr photostream and did a quick run-through of the month. And here’s what I found:

  • For silhouettes, the ones I figured out were pretty close to what I actually wore. The top 3 were some variation of the fitted top/flowy or A-line skirt, semi-fitted top with pants, and fitted to semi-fitted top with jeans. There were only a couple of outliers from my original silhouette post, mostly a couple of looser tops with more fitted/straightish skirts, and fitted tops with looser pants.
  • My color palette was also really close to what I actually wore. Since I was counting colors that were part of prints, and jeans mostly as navy, black and navy were definitely the most-worn colors, with chocolate and grey not far behind. For the more statement colors, (not surprisingly) teal and (surprisingly) sunflower yellow popped up the most, with the latter being due to prints and accessories. 
  • If you don’t count various other shades of blue and green that are close to, but not quite, what I marked for my palette, I only had a few instances of colors that weren’t in it.
  • I was surprised to see that there was just as much white as there was ivory. But I think that’s more due to what I already had. I know now to try to steer away from the stark white for future fabric purchases, with the possible exception of mixed into prints, because I do think ivory looks better on me.

So in terms of practical application, I guess I thought through the exercises pretty well, overall!

Other related thoughts:

  • Trying to pick an outfit to wear after my job, without the benefit of time to check it in the mirror/know what the weather is doing is challenging. Working 3 out of the 5 Saturdays was challenging, too.
  • I need more royal blue in my life. And some coral, since I really only had the one shirt.
  • I actually got more comments on my accessories than I did on my clothes! It made me miss making jewelry. So I sat down on Saturday, pulled the beads out, and made some more. I’ll probably post about that later.
  • I need to branch out into some accessories that aren’t jewelry, maybe. 
  • I did have fewer outfits this year that I just wasn’t happy with, so that’s good. When I wasn’t happy, it seemed to be a proportion issue. So that’s something I’ll need to work on.
  • I was surprised at how many things didn’t get worn this month. Mostly in the realms of skirts, dresses, and summer tops. It felt like an unusually chilly May overall here, though we did have some warm days, and I was tending to err on the side of dressing warmer (meaning lots more pants). I have been wearing some of the things that didn’t make the cut since the month ended, though, since it has finally started to stay consistently warmer.
  • That being said, I only had two repeats the entire month! The charcoal Thurlows, and my jeans. Also, Pantsapalooza was a good move, because I would have been in serious trouble without all of those pants to choose from!
  • Going the Instagram route was a good move, too. The daily pictures still got tedious by the end, but a lot less so than if I’d been trying to force my SLR on people.
  • With a couple exceptions, namely my convertible dress, I found that the outfits I was more likely to feel bored about when I really looked at them consisted of all solids. I was less bored when there was more textural interest in the fabric, or instances like on day 4 when I had a printed scarf. I know solids have their place, but clearly, I am a printaholic.
  • I’m also a bit of a clotheshorse, apparently– I was reading some discussion on the Coletterie about how people found they found they were happier with fewer clothes. Me, I like having lots of options!

So how did your Me-Made-May go, overall? Any wardrobe revelations? 

Aside from that, here’s May in a nutshell:

  • Total fabric used up: about 3.6 yards.
  • Total fabric purchased: 7 yards. Though two of the three pieces are for specific DragonCon-related projects, and therefore have to be used up by the end of August. (The third was just a piece of denim-looking knit that was on sale, from Mood, for a very good price!) So not so great on the Stash Diet end of things, even though I can technically count the DC stuff as part of my exception rules.
  • No new patterns purchased, and I did try one new one (the Tofino pjs.)
  • Total sewing projects completed: 4–two refashions that I will post about soon, the Plantain cardigan, and the Tofino pjs. I also made a couple pairs of earrings, about 3 necklaces, and a bracelet.
  • In the UFO realm, I also made some good progress on the Tauriel costume since my last post about it, though the first piece of it still isn’t done. I’m also still knitting away at my grey cardigan, though it’s been very stop and start as of late due to both cramming in sewing time instead, not being home, and the intermittent carpal tunnel issues that always flare up for me in spring.

    Me-Made-May, part 3

    Moving along…trying to get a bit caught up before I fall too far behind and have to do a monster post. This one is monster enough.

    #mmmay14 day 12: new cardigan (based on @deer_and_doe Plantain), me-embellished tank, jewelry. Cropped pants passed on from a friend, @ModCloth shoes.Day 12: I had teaching and then a rehearsal, and it was actually a warmer day! So I wore my new Plantain cardigan with the same capris I had worn to the garden shop earlier that day and a tank top that I swapped the beading out on. Also a funky beaded necklace that I strung.

    WA analysis:  I was pleasantly surprised by the cardigan colors–I’d originally brought khaki pants to wear, but it was too warm, and the lighter tan strips were just the right shade to somehow tie the tan and grey together. Good thing, since those tan sandals were the only shoes I’d brought that weren’t my crappy work sneakers. The cardigan makes my hips look a bit wide in the photo, but I felt pretty good about the silhouette overall while it was on.

    Not my best look, but I had to pack the outfit so I didn't have other options. Me-made skirt, refashioned top and belt. #mmay14Day 13: Another victim of my method of grabbing things out of the closet that look like they’ll go without having the ability to actually get dressed and look in the mirror first.  I thought the refashioned dress-to-top would go well with the peasant skirt that had been out of rotation for awhile– I finally just cut the torn lining out and decided to wear a slip with it. Way easier than taking off and sewing on an elastic waistband just to add a lining.

    WA analysis:  The colors were good, but the proportions were off, and tucking it in just made it worse. In the picture, it looks like a fairly decent silhouette, but I think it would have been better if the top was shorter or the skirt was longer.

    Me-mades: charcoal Thurlows, top, infinity scarf. #mmmay14Day 14: I dressed up for teaching, but the one lesson I had got cancelled at the last minute. Oh well. This is the charcoal Thurlows, the “Time for Tea(L)” top, and the infinity scarf I made out of my leftovers from the teal Plantain.

    WA analysis: Of course I’m happy with the colors, since teal is practically my favorite! I’m trying to be braver about mixing prints, and I think it worked pretty well here since the top is a subtle one. I thought I did a pretty good job of looking polished but comfortable.

    Me-made blouse & jewelry; purchased cami, thrifted jeans, Birkenstocks. #mmmay14Day 15: More teaching, but with a student whose mom is friends with my mom and they don’t care how casual I dress. So I just threw the “spring fever” blouse on with the jeans I’d already worn to work.

    WA analysis: I’m happy with the colors, they feel really fresh, and the brown jewelry went really nicely without being too matchy-matchy, which I am definitely prone to. (It’s hard to see in this picture, but there is brown in the print.) Very basic silhouette, but it works.

    Me-made shirt & earrings, thrifted jeans and necklace, boots from Zappo's. #mmmay14Day 16: See day 15 for the day’s activities, but with nicer jeans. I wasn’t sure how warm it would be, so I wore my Ayden shirt because I knew I could easily adjust the sleeves for the weather. There is a subtle yellow stripe in the plaid, so it was a good enough excuse to pull out these earrings.

    WA analysis: With the definite reddish-peach tones in this top, it’s not exactly in my palette. But I still like it! Besides, they’re more like guidelines than actual rules, right?

    No full outfit today, I blame work. Spent the afternoon in this t and painted TARDIS shoes. Also me-made Tofino pj pants. #mmmay14Day 17: I had to work in the morning (a Saturday), and didn’t want to bother dressing up too much after. The only thing we did, aside from me doing some sewing at home afterwards, was go to the Waffle House for dinner. So rather than a complete outfit, I wore my painted TARDIS shoes along with this super-fun T-shirt, and counted the Tofino pj pants as my garment for the day. I’m skipping the Wardrobe Architect analysis because, you know, pajamas. Though I definitely proudly let my geek colors show with everything else.

    #mmmay14 Made the skirt, purchased top, jewelry previously worn this month.Day 18: I had to go with something fairly versatile and quick-change today, because I was going from church to lunch at my parents’ to playing in a concert! So I pulled out a basic black skirt, a blouse handed down to me from my mom (it looks more coral in real life than the hot pink it looks like here), and the same jewelry I wore on an earlier day this month. I later swapped the boots for sandals and the coral blouse for a black top for the concert. Which was so fun.

    WA analysis: It’s a nice outfit, but I’ve noticed that I feel like I’m being boring whenever I wear all solids! This is the only coral thing I currently own, though, and since I have it in my palette, I wanted to pull it out and test it. I guess maybe this means I need some kind of skirt with coral in the print? Or a funky scarf or something?

    Me-made everything but the shoes. :) #mmmay14

     Day 19: A very me-made outfit for teaching! This was the grey Thurlows, my “Puzzle Pieces” blouse, a refashioned sweater, and jewelry that I made for myself and the other bridesmaids for my friend Julie’s wedding several years ago. With all those neutrals, I wanted a pop of color!

    WA analysis: That pop of color was a good idea, I think. Otherwise, I probably would have been bored again.

    Side note: I noticed this time that the armholes felt a little tight on the blouse. Not enough that I’m going to get rid of it at this point, just enough to be noticeable. But I’m thinking it’s a result of trying to do an FBA, because I had the same problem with that Pendrell blouse that I don’t have anymore.

    Me-made pants, plaid shirt, jewelry. Purchased cami & Birkenstocks. #mmmay14Day 20: Went casual for this teaching day with my Happy Camper blouse, navy denim Thurlows, and a little leaf jewelry set I made back in college.

    WA analysis: The colors are good. Also, denim trousers are the best. They’re basically sneaky jeans!

    Side note: The jewelry is also secretly geeky, because I made this during the era of the Lord of the Rings movies. And I purposely put 9 seed beads between every green bead–one for every member of the Fellowship. Yes, I’m a dork. And proud of it.

    Made the pants/top, purchased cardi/cami. Also one of my favorite me-made jewelry sets ever. #mmmay14
    Day 21: More teaching! So I wore my brown Thurlows (I guess this was the unintentional week of Thurlows), my Sea Flowers top, a purchased cardigan, and–if I may say so–possibly some of my best-crafted pieces of jewelry ever.

    WA analysis: I was a pretty big fan of this outfit overall, both in terms of silhouette and color.

    Me-made earrings, me-embroidered skirt, @ModCloth top. #mmmay14

    Day 22 (yesterday): In the interest of keeping it real, this outfit is called “it got warm on the day where I hadn’t bothered to shave my legs because it had been oddly cold all week.” I’m pretty sure that’s one of the reasons maxi-skirts are so popular! Anyway, I made the earrings, and embroidered the skirt back in college. The shirt is from ModCloth.

    WA analysis: Definitely a better take on the peplum top and skirt look than Day 13! I still think it would have looked better with a shorter top, but I’m pretty sure I did that outfit last year. And I’m not sorry about wearing sleeveless when it was suddenly 80 degrees and humid, vs. the 60s and rainy that it had been the day before! Oh, Mid-Atlantic weather….

    And I’m going to stop there, since I haven’t actually had a chance to get my picture for today yet. Hopefully I can bribe Doug to snap that picture with some homemade pizza….which I actually need to start making.

    Me-Made-May, part 2

    I’m in the opposite boat that I was last week, when I had nothing new to show– I managed to finish 2 projects and my first real refashion in awhile last week! Just need to take some pics and write up the details. For now, it’s time to continue with my me-made wardrobe analysis. (And lots of doggy photobombing.)

    Me-made TARDIS skirt (modified Cake Hummingbird), bracelet. Thrifted jacket, Old Navy t-shirt, Hotter boots. #mmmay14This outfit was a lot of fun to put together! Worn for teaching. I wasn’t 100% sold on the boots with it, but the weather was right on the borderline of too cold for sandals, too warm for shoes. So I decided to err on the side of warmer feet. I was also excited to find a way to wear this thrifted moto jacket and my me-made mahjong bracelet, because I hadn’t found a way to wear the jacket in particular yet at all.

    WA analysis: The grey boots and TARDIS skirt fit right in, color-wise. The jacket is this strange hybrid color between brown, plum, and maroon, so it’s close enough to my palette, I think. (Besides, it reminds me of Martha Jones and Emma Swan, and neither is a bad association. The silhouette isn’t quite one I’d called out–both pieces fitted, cropped top, high-waisted skirt–but I like it. Definitely geek-casual!
    Me-mades: Cake Hummingbird top, bracelet. Also thrifted jeans, Hotter sandals, H&M cardigan, jewelry from Etsy (my wedding jewelry!) #mmmay14Day 7– I didn’t have teaching, but I did have a rehearsal, so I wanted to be comfortable. So I wore thrifted jeans, an H&M cardigan, and my Hummingbird top, along with a me-made bracelet and the Etsy-bought jewelry I wore for my wedding. I like these beads, they remind me of shields.

    WA analysis: The cardigan isn’t the ideal length for the peplum top, IMO, but the knit is casual enough that it works all right. The colors are definitely in my palette! I’d call this one cozy/casual/colorful.

    Me-mades: Burda pants (modified to knock off Anthropologie), Renfrew top, earrings. #mmmay14

    Day 8: Another teaching day. I was hoping to get 2 wears out of these pants, since I only wore them for a few hours and they’re a pain to iron, but then one of the goldies drooled all over them when I got home…oh well. Everything was me-made except the shoes (pants, top, and earrings. And wow, I’m wearing more or less the exact same outfit in that post with the top.)

    WA analysis: I felt like the more fitted top and looser pants silhouette was working better for actual wearing than they are in this picture. Maybe it’s the shoes? Or that my hair is pulled back? I’d say cozy/casual, and the green/camel/black, again, are very much in my palette.

    Blue Friday! Me-mades: refashioned shirt, necklace and earrings. Thrifted jeans, Array sandals, Mom's dog. #mmmay14

    My day 9 outfit was worn for a bit of teaching and grocery shopping– I’d brought different pants, but then decided that my student wouldn’t care, and stuck with the same thrifted jeans I’d worn to work. This is one of my Anthropologie-inspired refashioned tops, and I made the necklace and earrings as well.

    WA analysis: Blue is definitely good, and the fitted jeans/top silhouette is one that I’m comfortable in. I do wish that the top had been just a little longer, though.

    Had to work part of the day again, so low-key #mmmay14. Made the jeans/earrings, tee from Universal Studios.

    Day 10: I had to work in the morning, and we took my in-laws out to lunch afterwards for Mother’s Day. So I took the chance of wearing my me-made jeans and earrings to work, and kept my Harry Potter tee on under my work tee so I could quick-change afterwards. I was a little warm at the time, but I’m glad I did jeans and sandals, because then some rain came through and cooled things down.

    WA analysis: Moar blue!! This would definitely fall under casual-geeky, and I still love the jeans and t-shirt look. Especially for weekends. I’m also thrilled that even though they’re tight, the me-made jeans fit again! Especially since I haven’t been able to exercise for about 3 weeks straight now. I need to get back on that. (And make more jeans. With stretch, next time.)

    Me-mades: Cake Tiramisu dress, jewelry. #mmmay14

    Today: I asked Doug which dress I should wear between this and another one, and so he picked my outfit today! It was a good pick, as the Reeses’-inspired Tiramisu was comfortable and cute enough to easily go from church to a casual lunch at my parents’ to grabbing some water ice and doing some cooking when I got home. This is also one of my favorite jewelry sets that I’ve made!

    WA analysis: Finally, a different section of my palette! I like that this dress has a touch of yellow in it, as it’s not a color that I have a ton of. I like the silhouette of the dress as well, and I definitely need to revisit this pattern sometime as well. I found myself wishing that I had some different accessories to go with this, especially to bring out the yellow more. (I’m definitely going to want to play with some beads again before the month is out, I think!)

    Me-made-May, part 1

    As much as I wish I could be posting fabulous new clothing items, I’ve still been very short on sewing time. Although I’m pretty close to finishing some much-needed PJ pants! And I’ve made progress on the costume from Shieldmaiden March (ha!), but nothing is actually finished yet. And that deserves a separate post. So I’m going to use this one to evaluate my outfits so far in light of the Wardrobe Architect component of my self-challenge.

    I also have to say, I’m actually really enjoying doing the pictures with Instagram. I know they’re not the best quality photos, but it’s working for me!   Also, any close-up pics of jewelry are things I’ve made, I just don’t necessarily have specific posts for them, depending on when I’ve made them. On with the show, shall we?

    Day 1 was a teaching day, so I tried to dress the part. 
    Me-mades: the top (Simplicity 5555, pre-blog), the Olive Thurlows, and the jewelry.

    WA analysis: The core words I think of for this one are “casual” and “artsy”. The colors are definitely in my palette, the print on the top adds some interest to the all-neutral outfit, and the silhouette is definitely within the range of what I called out (semi-fitted top & pants).

    On a side note, I keep thinking I should revisit this pattern. I love the funky sleeves.
    Day 2 was another teaching day, along with going to see a local school play (they did Sound of Music, and borrowed one of my mom’s German shepherds to be the SS officer’s dog.)
    Me mades: the “Silk Road” refashioned top, the jewelry, and a skirt passed on from a friend, which I altered to fit me better.  

    WA analysis: This strikes me most as a skirt riff on the “fitted pants, looser top” silhouette, and I think it works. It was pretty hard to get a picture of the skirt that didn’t make it look like pants, though! Again, with all the blues, this fits right into the palette. Style is probably more “casual, colorful”.

    Day 3: This was the day that I didn’t think would happen–if I look like I’m really forcing that smile, it’s because this was shortly after spending over 10 hours at a retail job on a Saturday! In fact, the only reason I managed this outfit at all was because I’d asked Doug to figure out dinner, and he decided to just drive us to the Waffle House. So these horribly faded jeans are the same ones I wore to work–I only bothered to change my top and threw on the “Junior Mints” jacket.
    WA analysis: The layered jeans and t-shirt look is definitely one I’d wear–just not these jeans, as I prefer darker ones. (My “work” jeans are all ones that I got at the thrift store, they fit well enough, and I don’t care about the style because they usually end up covered in dirt and occasionally paint.) The red t-shirt isn’t really my palette, but I love the design on it–they had shirts in colors I like better at this particular concert, but I liked this design the best.  Overall, I’d call this “casual, colorful, geeky.”

    I really wanted to wear something Star Wars yesterday (May the Fourth!!), but realized I don’t own a SW shirt at the moment. Oops. I was running from church to a rehearsal to an orchestral concert, along with killing some time at the library, so I figured I should try to go with a more versatile outfit anyway. So I wore my navy denim Thurlows, and a me-made scarf. I’m really glad I also had my Smauglock coat, because it was a lot colder than it was supposed to be!

    WA analysis: Definitely a “Casual, colorful, cozy” look. The white isn’t quite the palette, but it’s close enough to ivory. Also, it was surprisingly hard to find something to go with this particular scarf, which surprised me, because turquoise and royal blue are definitely colors I gravitate towards! This will have to be remedied, I think.

    Today’s outfit was worn for teaching again. Me-mades: the Eva Equestrian jacket and the “Zeros and Ones” blouse.

    WA analysis: I feel like it worked better in my head than it does in the photograph. I think it’s the pants. They’re just a little too wide and too short for the boots, and the silhouette strikes me as dumpy. But that could also be me being angry that it’s Cinco de Mayo and I’m still having to break out corduroy jackets–it’s usually a lot warmer than this by now! Aside from the silhouette fail, the colors are definitely me. I definitely need to consider whether these pants should stay, though. 

    Overall, I think that days 1 and 4 were the most successful looks for me so far. How’s your MMM going?