Tag Archives: Me-Made May

Me-Made May 2019: recap

So Me-Made May is finished! I guess I will be glad to get back those 30 seconds of photo-taking most mornings (I only missed one day), but it was kinda fun to document my gradual shift into maternity wear.

Some outfits were fond farewells.

Others were old standbys that will probably see me all the way through.

There was even one new maternity/nursing specific piece sundress.

Partway through the month I did a major wardrobe edit, resigning a sizable chunk of my (sizable) wardrobe to storage. This freed up closet-space and cut down on the frustration of digging around dozens of items that just don’t fit right now (frankly, some of them may never fit again but I’ll make that call in a year or two). But it was very weird to have only a few options left to get me through the rest of the month. I mean, I still did it and there are three or four pieces I didn’t even wear during the month, but it was weird.

Now that the month of peacocking is over, I’m excited to feel a little more relaxed about outfit repeats. There are dresses that I love that I won’t likely get more than a couple more wearing a in—I want to squeeze those out as soon as possible, without worrying about how long since I last wore them. I never meant to be a subscriber to the “no wardrobe repeats” mentality, but when I have as many clothes as I do now, ordinarily at least, I like to rotate and give everything a turn. But right now I just want to wear my favourites to death before they don’t fit.

That being said, I am definitely planning lots of dorky bump documentation. Selfies weren’t a thing last time I was pregnant, and I have only a very few photos of my first pregnancies.

Winter, 2000, probably about four months pregnant

Much as I might wish it, this does not document my everyday wear in my first pregnancy. (Though it does illustrate the chronic too-short-sleeve issue that led to me sewing my wardrobe in the first place.)

June, 2003. This was taken the day before Syo was born, actually while I was in the very early stages of labour.

Nor does it give me a record of bump growth. Not that my previous bumps were truly massive… I’m pretty sure the present twin bump will dwarf them both. Probably by the end of next month. Anyway, I’m thinking a weekly record, for my own curiosity if nothing else.

You can find the full record of all the Me Made May photos here, outtakes and derp-faces and all, or find it on my Instagram for a slightly more curated feed, with day-by-day commentary.

Anyway, I’m so glad I did it! What a fun way to grapple with my current wardrobe situation.

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Me Made May 2019

It’s the tenth Me Made May! I remember running into the first one when it was partway through, and being both fascinated and jealous (those were EARLY blog days and I had about two me-made garments.) I was first able to participate in the follow-up “Self-Stitched September” with a pretty limited (and slightly odd, in hindsight) wardrobe, and I’ve been on board, on and off, ever since, with a few years missed for various life-related reasons. (I swear I did 2012 but I can’t find any documentation of it!)

It’s interesting to look back through the years, as I’ve been at some very different places professionally and personally. The long gap after 2013 was caused by working two jobs for five years, which left me pretty much living day to day with no room for any kind of challenge—but I was still wearing me-mades and having quite a lot of fun with my wardrobe, actually. There were a lot of retro-style fit ‘n flare dresses, and they were a lot of fun.

Which brings my to my current pledge:

I, Tanit-Isis, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear me-made every day (except bras and socks) and to go through my wardrobe with an eye to assessing what fits and wearing conscious, thoughtful looks, not just throwing random items together. I’m in flux right now, body and style both, and I want to think about both how I actually look (which is changing) and how I want to look (which also may be changing?)

So there’s a few different things going on here.

  1. I have LOTS of me-made clothes at this point.
  2. My body has changed. Some of the stuff I made a couple of years ago no longer fits (which is killing me but doesn’t seem to be magically reversing).

3. My job has changed. I’m not working nearly so much “customer facing” work, and I find my motivation to go all out is somewhat diminished when it’s just the same co-workers who see me every day. Not that they’re not appreciative, but I’m not making first impressions.

4. Fashion is changing. Boxy silhouettes, wide-leg pants… buzzwords like “comfy”, “relaxed,” and “easy-fitting” seem to be dominating the fashion conversation these days. It would be really easy to fall into this, given the body changes I mentioned above, but frankly those are all the features of the 80s and 90s fashion I grew up with that I hated most. So I’m conflicted.

Given the above, I’ve often been feeling like what I pull out of the closet is either not creating a coherent look, or that the look I’m ending up with isn’t quite what I intended (or that I don’t even know what I intended.)

On top of that, sewing class samples for my teaching has been putting quite a few pieces into my wardrobe that were picked more with an eye to what can be sewn from the kind of fabrics the quilt-shop where I teach stocks, and to a lesser extent what is “hot”, than to thoughtful wardrobe-building for me. I’m not quite sure how to resolve this conundrum, though I could of course just give myself permission to not wear them. But I do like them.

So yeah, I need to think. To evaluate. Decide how I feel both about the current trends and how they fit with how I want to look and how I actually look. Me Made May may not solve this for me. But I’m hoping it will at least give me some more information about where I’m at. I’m planning to document on Instagram, probably via stories, and with any luck I’ll manage a summary post here in June.

Wish me luck!

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May was me-made

Well, I did it. Also documented, although the quality of the pics, as you can see, was not high.

My challenge this year was to wear things I made as Fabricland projects—a way to commemorate my time working there before my store closes this summer, and remind myself that as unhappy with the chain as I might be at the moment, it has also given me a lot. Also a way to contemplate the dangers of free fabric.

Other than some of my days off, I did wear at least one work project item a day.

What it also did was drive home HOW MUCH I have made over the last few years. I have a lot of clothes now—I know that. Way more than I had when I was shopping for my clothes. I was able to do the entire month without repeats—aside from some weekend loungewear, anyway—and it wasn’t even that much of a stretch.

I did manage to wear a few things I haven’t worn out before. This mostly served to remind me of why I hadn’t worn them. I had also been feeling a little bit out of love with my fit ‘n flare dresses, and this month somewhat rekindled that. I love wearing them. I feel cute and girly.

So what did I learn, other than that I have way too many clothes?

The only store bought stuff in regular rotation now are my socks and bras. I will tackle bra-making more seriously at some point, when I have a bit more money and attention to throw at it. Part of the problem is that I like firm, foam-cupped bras—most of which I’ve acquired dirt cheap at the thrift store. The bras I’ve tried making have all been soft-cup—widely considered the best fitting, but not something I’ve voluntarily worn since I stopped breastfeeding. Which, my youngest kid is in high school. It’s been a bit. I might take another stab at bralettes, though. I’m starting to feel an urge for something soft to wear for lounging around the house when I don’t want a tight band and underwires. We’ll blame that on my late thirties, but that doesn’t change the fact.

Probably the only area I could use a few more clothes in is casual loungewear. I have two pairs of Jalie yoga pants, neither of which should go out in polite company. A handful of Tropo and other camisoles which are mostly fairly new additions. I don’t have any shorts, and the capris I’ve made in the past no longer fit.

Really, though, I don’t need clothes. What I should be focusing on is slower and less selfish sewing. Stuff for the house, and the people in it—and there are several projects for family and dear friends that have been on the back burner for literally years.

So–slowing down, taking care, picking my projects.

there were a few things I pulled out I’d been afraid to try, thinking they were too small. Mostly, thankfully, I found they still worked, though it was a bit traumatic to retire the last of my first generation of me-made jeans. (Except the very very first pair, because although they’re in tatters the SUPER stretchy denim still fits)

Now that the month is done, it feels weird not to take my daily selfie. There’s a little caption in my head that I have nowhere to write. I don’t think I really want to start a separate Instagram or anything to document my outfits—it’s pretty boring to anyone who isn’t me—but I can see the urge.

So thank you, Fabricland, for the fabric and the patterns and another venue to show off my creations—but most importantly, thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve worked with there, staff and also customers. It has been my first real-life group of sewists, and I’m so happy to have met each and every one of you.

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Me Made May 2018

I just missed out on the first Me Made May back in 2010—I had just started sewing seriously, had made about three things for me that actually worked out, and only became aware of it partway through the month. But the idea resonated. That first year, Zoe did a bunch of me-made months, and by Self-Stitched September I was IN. You can still see the photos here. (Incidentally it’s actually pretty neat to have that record of how I was presenting myself at that point in time in my life. Even though the answer is: weird) I went on to do several more Me-Made Mays, because they are super fun. But the last one I did was spring of 2013. After that, I started working two jobs and life was this insane slog where I just had to keep my head down and survive. Doing anything extra was not possible.

Which is still kinda the case now, but a few things have changed. My position at my day job is different, both less stressful and more fulfilling. I have a house with bits that actually look nice without massive effort. (Yes, that makes a big difference for these kind of challenges. Also for my mental health.) And, a week or so ago, after years of rumours,we learned that the Fabricland where I’ve been working for the last five and a half years is closing this summer.

There are a LOT of feelings about that, but chiefly a deep sadness. I have met so many wonderful people through working there. Anyway, that’s a whole nother post. Working at Fabricland has had a profound impact on my sewing, as you may have noticed—a substantial chunk of my posts in the past five years have been shop projects. But the projects also influenced WHAT I chose to sew, both in terms of fabric—many of which i wouldn’t’ve been able to afford otherwise—and the patterns. Having the pick of anything ButMcVogue or Burda envelope, really let me try out a lot of new things, and I probably sewed a lot fewer TNT and Indie patterns than I might have otherwise. It also reduced the practicality of my sewing—instead of focusing on basic wardrobe needs, the party-dress temptation was pretty much irresistible.

Anyway, the upshot is that I have decided to take another stab at Me Made May 2018, with a focus on wearing things I’ve made as Fabricland projects. I want to document them, as kind of an homage to my time there, and also as a way of looking at their place in my wardrobe more critically. Do they work? Do I keep them? Or was it a poorly-judged whim?

I’m going to aim for daily outfit shots of some kind (probably mostly crappy mirror pics like above). I’ll post daily over on Instagram (@tanitisis) and probably make a Flickr album again. I’ll try and do a wrap-up post here at the end of the month but I kinda suck balls at those so who knows.

I’m hoping this will help me sort out some of these feels. I guess we’ll see.

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An Un-Blogged Shrug

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Vintage Shrug, Teal

I’m pretty happy this year with keeping my Me-Made May posts off-blog—the outfit shots seem to make sense on Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr—but since I never actually blogged this little shrug, I thought I’d throw it in here. After I made my Tiramisu last winter, I had just enough of my green wool jersey (exclusive of moth holes) to squeak out another version of my vintage shrug pattern, something I’ve been meaning to do for AGES. However, I finished this one (they are very quick to make) and promptly stuffed up royally on the buttonhole. I seem to recall putting something in the instructions about making the buttonhole before you attach the neck band, but why would I read my own instructions? /headdesk. Because getting a buttonhole centred on that little band (in a knit!) after it’s attached is nearly impossible, doofus. Inserting a wee bit of interfacing inside the end of the band would probably be a good idea, too, come to think of it. Hindsight 20/20, etc. Anyway, due to this stuff-up, it languished for most of the winter until I finally bestirred myself to sew a hook and eye on (I was dreaming of a pretty black knotted frog clasp, but was far too lazy to make that happen. Yet, anyway.

Even wearable, it’s not as versatile as my cream and black versions are, because I’m still a bit hesitant in my colour pairings. I tend to only want to wear it with something black. Frankly, I tend to only wear it with this dress. But I do really like it with this dress.

Original, First clone (size medium), and second clone (size small)

I have noticed something about the shrugs—I really like them to fit SNUGLY. I never wore my first clone (or the original, for that matter) much because they were a bit loose around the body. When I graded the pattern, I made my cream version out of the size small and liked it MUCH better. Last fall some time I got up the courage to do surgery on the first (black knit) clone. I didn’t change the sleeve length, but I did take in the entire under-arm seam on both sides, just a little bit at the arm (which is quite close-fitting)  to a couple of inches off the side. This adds a seam to the hem band at the side, but made the whole thing fit just how I like it—like the picture on the right. Being able to do this alteration right at the end is handy given the way knits sometimes stretch unpredictably, too.

Of course, if what you like about the shrug is the loose, batwing look, please go for it! 🙂 And if you have a version, I’d love to hear about it, too. 🙂

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Just under the wire

Me-Made Months Past

I, Tanit-Isis, of Tanit-Isis Sews, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear me-made clothing for everything except socks and underwear each day for the duration of May 2013. And to take photos of it, which I’m thinking will be the hardest part this time around.

Better late than never, right? I’ve loved Zoe’s Me-Made-Month challenges since the first time I did one, about six months into sewing my own clothes. These days, it’s very rare for me to leave the house without wearing at least one me-made item (plus most of my jackets are me-made at this point). But I have been relying on my surviving RTW knit tops for a fair number of things, so going all-me-made will still be a challenge. And the photographs… last time I did a MMM, I was blogging every day. (I like to think my posts, though less frequent now, are more in depth. Yes, no, maybe? Sometimes?) I don’t think that’ll happen, plus outfit photos get boring for some people. I will probably post them on twitter (@tanitisis) and Flickr, of course. I am expecting a lot of iPhone photos this time, though, so be warned. Quality is not guaranteed. (Considering I haven’t had a really good photo shoot since maybe last August, I guess if you’re still reading you’ve adjusted to my crappy photos these days? I mean, I’ve never been a photo guru like Carolyn, but even I get tired of fuzzy indoor phone pics.)

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