Me-Made May 2017: Days 15-21 and new makes

Another week, another roundup. Again, there were repeats. But there were also two new garments, which I sewed frantically, stabbing my fingers and going slightly insane with all the tubes of fabric that needed to be turned out (belt loops are not my friends).

 

May 15 was one of those days that forced a costume change. I spent the first half of the day working from home. So first I tried the nightwear-as-daywear trend, donning an Almada robe over a Scout tee sewed in the same fabric (a really lovely rayon from Joann fabrics, which I bought a lot of last year).

Later on I changed into my beloved wannabe ’70s pants and I added a cardigan I knitted a couple of years ago (wool/silk, so pretty warm weather friendly).

May 16-18: a repeat vortex. I wore that Laurel dress on May 16 and again on the 18th, which was a Thursday, so I decided I’d say I did it as a throwback to Tuesday — ha! I have no excuses for the 17th when I wore the Scout tee yet again, but this time with the Beignet skirt.

… And that skirt reminded me of the Beignet skirt I vowed to make right after I finished the first one. I ended up cutting the second one out bit by bit over several months — first the lining, then, eventually, the shell. I had project resistance, which I couldn’t quite explain until I dove into actually making the skirt. It’s not the easiest skirt.

This time I chose to add a lining (thrifted poly print). The belt and shell fabric is a black cotton twill, the pockets are from some sort of a wool/poly remnant.

Excuse the water stain visible in the photo below… and the black on black. Not all photo shoots are inspired, what can I say. I was trying to clean a persistent chalk pencil mark that just didn’t want to go away. I thought it had dried by the time I took the photos but, clearly, it had not.

I still like this pattern a lot. I find it flattering, I love that it has pockets. What I dislike are the belt loops which still this second time around feel like they’re drafted slightly too short and too narrow, like it’s a matter of 2-3 milimeters, but these feel pretty critical.

Another gripe is the belt because, in contrast, it seems too wide. After turning it out I turned it back inside out (ouch, my hands!) to shave off about 1/4″. That’s it for the gripes, it still deserves a thumbs up.

I’m not sure you can spot it in these photos (unlike the highly visible water stain) that my buttonhole luck left me on this one. The fabric wasn’t that bulky, but it was a bit tricky for my sewing machine, whose one-step buttonhole is usually a smooth job. There was some thread bunching on at least two of the buttonholes, which led me to wrangle the fabric from under the foot and push the fabric along. One buttonhole got placed wrong for reasons that escape me. It took some unpicking and creative work with satin stitch to rescue it. It helps that the fabric is black.

Back to the roundup:

On May 19 I wore the new Beignet skirt with finally a different Scout tee (in a lovely Cotton and Steel rayon). And on May 20 I finished McCall’s 6885 and put it on as soon as it was done and pressed. It was sewn concurrently with the skirt — something I do very rarely.

This dress is my second #sewtogetherforsummer project and an ode to shopping the stash. I had a big remnant of that cotton sateen print left since having to buy extra for the first dress I made from it. The gray fabric was a remnant left from this dress.

m6885-1

It would have been a perfect combination if I hadn’t underestimated the stiffness of that tightly woven linen. The dirty secret of this dress is that I can’t button the collar stand: it’s too stiff and the buttonhole doesn’t have enough flexibility. I think I’ll live with that but I’d prefer to avoid it in the future…

This pattern has received some love online. And it’s pretty good but do I have some reservations. Some of them fall into the category “I don’t know if it’s me or the pattern.”

First in that category: the button placket. The overlap is way longer than the underlap and I don’t know what other purpose it served beyond annoying me. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the instructions but I guess you’re supposed to just attach that bottom floppy part to the front of the dress with a mere two horizontal seams and just let it flop about?… Hell no. I just stitched it down around the arrow part… which came out uneven! (Insert your favorite swear word here.) Maybe it’s me, I don’t know…

So I guess it’s just the placket that’s in that category, but that’s not the end of my dislikes.

At the top of my list is the damn tall and narrow sleeve cap.

m6885-slimsleevecap.jpg
I couldn’t help myself. I hate that slim sleeve cap so much.

Whenever I see this sleeve cap shape I want to run screaming. I don’t know who is able to wear these comfortably. I definitely can’t: they turn things into the opposite of secret pajamas. A secret straightjacket.

Rather than spend time altering the sleeve cap I just Frankenpatterned the modified sleeve cap from the dress that taught me so much. It went in woderfully, with minimal easing.

m6885-cuff
Here’s a detail I like: the buttoned tab that keeps the rolled sleeves in place.

Apart from that: No pockets, so I added some at the side seams. The collar was really big so I shaved off a centimeter. I moved the waist ties up about an inch — they fell too low according to the pattern, at least on me. I added my usual 3/4″ to the bottom of the armhole on the back piece and did my usual forward-shoulder adjustment and square shoulder adjustment. Not sure how I feel about the shirt-tail hem. I think I’d opt for a straight hem next time.

On the upside: I didn’t need an FBA. The fit in the bust is fine. The fit in the hips is okay, too, though if I make this again I might grade up to the next size.

Last day of my roundup: May 21 and some ’90s inspiration with an Adelaide dress over a black tee (RTW, this one).

MMMay21

So moving on to the last full week of Me-Made May. This one may be my last blog roundup because I’m traveling at the end of the month and will be offline in early June. I plan on wearing me-made clothes but I know I will be away from the blog and IG for a while, so most likely won’t document any of that. And apologies in advance for the silence.

How is Me-Made May going for you? Are you in the no-repeats camp or, like me, going with whatever calls to you?

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14 thoughts on “Me-Made May 2017: Days 15-21 and new makes

  1. I love the shirt dress! It is awesome, and love the hem – for what it’s worth. Why do you do the following: “I added my usual 3/4″ to the bottom of the armhole on the back piece”. Clearly I’ve probably missed this in earlier posts, but I’m always interested in ‘standard personal adjustments’ and because I will heading into shirt territory soon too…

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    1. Oh, I need that adjustment for my super broad back. I wouldn’t be able to move my arms in this dress otherwise. I only discovered that thanks to sewing, though shirts never fit me if I didn’t go for the oversize look.

      I still keep wondering whether my dislike of blazers isn’t just that motion range issue… I probably need to make one to find out 😉

      My “test” (if you can call it that) is to muslin with sleeves and then move my arms in the garment. If there’s too little room for comfortable movement, I slash the back piece near the armhole and take a picture with my arms stretched in front. Then I try to gauge the resulting gap. I never have a helper nearby, so the “gauging” meant me trying adding 1/2″ on the second muslin, then I went up to 3/4″ and that worked. That was with a McCall’s pattern.

      Now I mostly compare pattern pieces to check how much I might need to add and adjust “the lazy way.” I do still make muslins, just not for every new pattern I try.

      I’m glad you like the dress. It’s definitely growing on me with every wear. That’s the story with most garments I make. I need to get used to them first. It’s as if I finish something and have a hard time comprehending that it is now part of my wardrobe not just something I’d been working on.

      And thanks so much for your lovely comment. I think I’ve overstretched myself recently with sewing. I just kept going with the projects, so it’s nice to actually pause and talk about sewing rather than sew 🙂

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      1. Oh, a bit of a tense mix-up in my comment above. That came from the fact that I now often fall back on comparing pattern pieces rather than muslining and slashing the muslins 😉

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      2. I have a broad back too. I think I am going to chance a ‘wearable muslin’ on the Quinn, but may trace it out a size bigger just in case, and then I can tweak from there. I have all my trouser tweaks down, but shirts are a new nut to crack!

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  2. I’ve been trying to vary my outfits so I can wear all of my me made items at least once this month. But I’ve had a handful of repeats (most notably my two favorite tops that I’ve worn 2-3 times already this month, oops). I think finding the things I’m always grabbing for is a good thing because now I know what I need to make more of and what I should probably avoid making again because I don’t find myself wanting to wear it.

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    1. I absolutely agree! I get a bit self-conscious about the repeats when I’m around people who try to avoid them but, overall, I’m fine with having a relatively small wardrobe and even getting into a bit of a routine, especially if it simplifies my mornings.
      Lovely to meet you 😊

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  3. I love your new shirt dress, and that Adelaide dress! I’ll need to remember that adjustment as I could definitely do with that on a Mccalls shift dress I’ve made a few times & wanted to make again – the ones I have are quite constricting round the arms.
    You’re so productive!

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    1. Thank you, Kathryn! I overstretched myself this time. I need a break, and I need to slow down to enjoy sewing more.

      I learned about the broad back adjustment from Sunni Standing’s blog A Fashionable Stitch. It changed my life 😀

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  4. Hello there! I love love love that Adelaide. The fit, the colour – it really suits you! You have definitely been busy girl! I’m impressed with the stashbusting shirtdress too – gorgeous. I’m just about to kick off on an Alder because I really want to join in on the sew something or other for summer thing you did (what was it again?). I love shirtdresses and I’ve no idea why I haven’t tried one yet. Oh yes, because I’ve been making t-shirts and other easy.stuff. Hee hee. As you know, I am definitely doing repeats on Me Made May. I have discovered that my aim to produce some neutrals over A/W has worked so well that I 1) have an almost entirely monochromatic wardrobe when considering the items that currently fit me and that therefore 2) my more brightly coloured pieces don’t go with anything any more. Ha! It was quite a surprise I can tell you, but it’s the sort of thing I was hoping to find out by joining in with MMM and it’s definitely refocused me back to colours. Don’t be gone too long, but I hope your trip is fruitful!

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