Me Made May ’13: Week 3 and oops, dropped the ball

So, it is July 7 and I am finally getting back around to wrapping up my 2013 Me-Made May posts. Week 3 started off strong, pairing my gray blouse with one of my favorite RTW skirts that I picked up at a GAP outlet store years ago. I seem to shy away from bright articles of clothing (which is something I want to discuss with you soon), but this skirt manages to pair nicely with many pieces of my wardrobe. Likewise, this light neutral gray blouse I made last year, while I have been mostly wearing it with denim pants or skirts, has the ability to be paired with most colors in my wardrobe.

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Ah, yes. My first knit shirt. This bamboo-cotton jersey blend is starting to look old, even though it is only a couple of years since I stitched it together. I do not know if it is the organic bamboo, but his jersey pills very easily. It is also clear that the pattern allows for more wearing ease than I would prefer. Pairing it with nice trousers (with a self-altered waistband!) and a vest (albeit an ill-fitting one) helped make this shirt more presentable. I had been hoping to get through MMM13 without relying on this shirt, but I clearly started to run out of options.

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You’ve seen this skirt before. The shirt is a semi-me-made garment. It is RTW and has always been a little loose. I finally got up the courage to try altering the shirt side seams and armhole seams. I was mostly successful. The alteration was not the cleanest, but even though I notice some odd fitting when I initially pull it on, it is not something that is noticeable in general to others.

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And then I went on a long MMM13 hiatus. A combination of school, work, and life got in my way and I woke up a little stressed trying to meet my MMM13 challenge. I continued to work on two projects, a knitted short-sleeve shirt/sweater and the Cambie Dress below. At the least, my goal was to wear the Cambie Dress by the end of the month and I succeeded!

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A few construction notes on the Cambie Dress. I have had the pattern for over a year and finally dove in. With the exception of the waistband interfacing, the entire dress and lining meet the stashbusting challenge! I used the same king-sized bed sheet that I is featured on the corset shown at the top of my blog. The lining is a patchwork of a brown cotton (which I used up completely) and a maroon cotton bed sheet. But you’d never know. 🙂

I love the pear-shaped design of the pattern, I did not have to make any bust or waist or hip adjustments. The only pattern adjustment I made was to the shoulder seam. Initially the sleeves were too loose around my shoulders, so I added another 3/4″ to the seam allowance and it fit perfectly.

Having clothes that truly fit is such a treat. There is no odd gaping or bunching from being too loose or too tight. I feel comfortable and more confident in clothes that I have made because I am not worrying about having to adjust this or that every time I walk or sit down. It is like a second skin at times. And I think people notice that. I am humbled by the number of compliments I have received on some of my Me-Made clothes. –You think this shirt is from Banana Republic? Really? Wow, thank you!

As I have mentioned in a few of these posts, many of my existing Me-made clothes have limited range. The colors or shapes only match a couple of other clothes, which limits my ability to choose outfits to fit a variety of weather or social settings. This summer I am committed to evaluating my wardrobe color trends (inspired by Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow and Morgan at at Crab & Bee). I need to make sure my fabric stash choices line up with my wardrobe palette or else I am going to have a bunch of things I can only wear with one other garment. (This is a problem I had with impulse shopping for RTW clothes too.)

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4 thoughts on “Me Made May ’13: Week 3 and oops, dropped the ball

  1. Love the bedsheet Cambie! And especially love that it’s red. It’s funny how we sew so as to get better fit/style than RTW, and yet it’s such a compliment when someone who doesn’t know thinks that our me-made item is a RTW piece!

    1. I had not really stopped to think about that contradiction. Now I want to know if we are unconsciously struggling with the perceptions of handmade clothes from when we were younger. The clothes my mom made for me were well constructed but very few of them would be considered “trendy” or “cool.” Even though we sewists know that not all sewing or knitting projects save money, I remember a time when I used to associate hand-made clothing with the inability to buy the famous brands of RTW clothing.
      So now, do we feel like we have tricked the audience when someone thinks our me-made clothes are store-bought? Even though in all likelihood, our me-made items will last longer?

  2. Your Cambie was such a treat to see in person! Nice to see it on your blog as well. And I’m interested to see the colors you end up with in analyzing your wardrobe. Personally, I think you look great in dark autumnal colors like the dark teals, navy, and maroons you wore in this post.

  3. I love your Cambie dress!

    I totally agree, the best compliment is when someone thinks I purchased my clothes RTW. I think the fact that we can conceive of something, then make it, and have it look “professional” is what’s exciting.

    Also, I agree that one of the reasons I started sewing was because I remember wanting cool clothes when I was a kid, and not being able to afford them. Now when I see something I like at a store, I feel empowered knowing that I can make it myself.

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