Week 4 of MMM ’12 was something of an “off week.” I had field work, which required a specific wardrobe. That said, the pants I wear for field work were acquired during a clothes swap with my graduate school friends. So they are re-used.
As I mentioned last MMM post, I had run out of completed handmade clothes. Week 4 ended up being my most productive week. I’ve been taking a pattern making class through the University of Washington Experimental College. This particular class is taught by Pennie (of Simone & Sylvia) and we’ve been meeting in the Pike Market boutique every Wednesday evening this month. Pennie has taught the four of us how to draft and sew garments based on our own measurements. I am now the proud owner of a [close-fitting] knit shirt pattern block, a skirt block, and a [Japanese] bodice block. This class was well timed. With the pattern blocks, I quickly made two more garments for Me-Made May. We wrapped up the class on May 30, during which we drafted the bodice pattern blocks.
I was in the field again for Week 5 and I tried to wear my handmade clothes for my after-work activities, but jet lag got the best of Greg (and by extension me). I was often too tired when I got home to do anything, including change into a me-made outfit. But I did have two items worn in week 5.
The Me-Made Outfits
Goldfinch Sweater: In direct opposition to the early morning clouds and raindrops on Memorial Day, I donned my newly assembled cotton/acrylic handknit sweater. Previously blogged about here, I altered the sleeve pattern slightly–rather than knitting elbow length sleeves, I chose to pick up stitches around the armholes and knit only the lace pattern to make it a sleeveless/capsleeve sweater.
I am beginning to understand why many people prefer to knit sweaters top-down and in the round. This method allows them to try on a garment as it is being knit and adjust the circumference accordingly. I am still not 100% happy with the fit of my summer “Goldfinch” sweater, but it could be worse.
Straight [line] skirt: I wore the skirt out to a friend’s birthday dinner. The pattern was self drafted in my pattern making class. I found the skirt fabric (mid-weight, cotton blend with some stretch) at Stitches in Capitol Hill, Seattle. I’ve been wrestling with my wardrobe recently, and I didn’t really need another straight skirt. But this was the in-class project, so I set out to find a fabric that would compliment the majority of my existing wardrobe. A neutral color was a given, and the linear texture was a happy surprise when I saw the bolt at the store. I’m tempted to try another skirt with the linear pattern horizontal…if I can justify the addition to the wardrobe.
When I put on this skirt for the first time, a skirt made specifically to my body, I realized that two RTW (ready to wear) skirts I own and often wear are perhaps just a little small. I assumed they rode up because the waist was too loose…nope, the hip area of the skirt is too snug. I will never have to another skirt (unless it is thrifted, and awesome).
Me-Made in May, but sadly not worn
Knit shirt: The knit fabric (similar to swimsuit or yoga pants) was provided by our instructor. The pattern was drafted by me (according to the instructors lesson). I plan to wear this under some of my short-sleeve cardigans or blouses in the cooler months. I just ran out of days to wear this.
Alchemy Top: Looking through my past blog posts, you’ll see that I’ve been messing with this shirt for a while. The purpose of this project was to REUSE an old garment. It started as a pair of jersey gauchos pants. I wanted to turn it into a shirt, and I am generally satisfied with how the body fits, but I am not fully satisfied with the front collar–it needs a more concave shape. I’ll come back to it in a while. I need to focus on other projects for for the immediate future.
To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s first Law of Equivalent Exchange. ~ Alphonse Elric, Full Metal Alchemist
I feel good about how my first Me-Made May went. It forced me to finish a couple of projects that were in limbo. I enjoyed following the Flickr group and seeing the other seamstresses out there blogging their creations. Maybe next year I’ll feel more confident about sharing my photos with the Flickr or Facebook groups.
I learned that…oh. dear. lord….I need a better mirror or at least better lighting.
I learned that even in sewing my own clothes, I am still not seeing the full outfits when I choose fabrics. I think a wardrobe cull is in order before I add more me-made items to my project let.
Thanks to Zoe, for starting this years ago.
And another BIG thank you to my college classmate whose blog last year introduced me to these clothing challenges and inspired me to dive into sewing.