The Chicken, the Bustle and Me

This is a throwback post published on May 31, 2011.

My local museum’s olde-timey dress up day is fast becoming an annual event for me!
Remember that dress I referenced back in this here posty?
The day for the gown has come and gone, and it was a fantastic one!

Here’s photographic evidence of the fun:
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First of all, chickens. Very friendly chickens, very chill too. I made friends with both of them. You’ll see in a pic below 🙂

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Here we have Tic Tac the mixed breed sheep. Born in February, this babe was sweet and very single-minded. It was all about grass (and somewhat about my knitting basket!)

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Here be me and Spot the chicken. She was so relaxed that, as you may be able to see, she fell asleep on my lap. I also had a bit of fun playing with the photo editor!

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And here’s the final product! What you can’t see are all the pins I have holding the jacket in (with my minimal sewing experience, I didn’t realize the pattern was about 2″ too big for me!), nor can you see the craptastic hemming job I did along the bottom edge of the skirt.
I am rather happy with the (21!!!) buttons on the jacket. As was Spot, incidentally. She had a great time pecking away at them.

Now that the major sewing project has been completed, I’m hoping to be able to share with you some of the loads of knitting I’ve been working on!

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The Chicken, the Bustle and Me

Me Made May 2018: Week 1

mmmay18The first six days of Me Made May this year were gently warm, and perfect for celebrating the spring with rompers and dresses!

There’s a lot of Deer and Doe (two versions of Arum as well as an Ondee top), two pieces from vintage patterns (romper and pink floral dress) and one heavily modified Holly Jumpsuit from By Hand London.

One thing I’ve discovered would be a helpful addition to my wardrobe: a slip! Those dresses you see in the photos are all made of quilting cotton, which can have the nasty habit of riding up as you walk.

Anyone have any simple, pretty full slip pattern recommendations?

Me Made May 2018: Week 1

Frivolous into Fruitful: Me Made May

This is a throwback post originally published on June 9, 2015, reposted here as part of my celebrations for MMMay18!

I started my little Me Made May journey just about a month ago. All I had in mind at first was a fun instagram challenge, where I’d wear something I’d made (whether it be cross stitched or sewn or knit) each day of the month.
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But this initially frivolous exercise did a number of great things over the course of the month.

  • I realized how I’ve been building my sewing skills since last year
    There were dresses from 2015 and ones from earlier, and I could certainly see my progress!
  • I was pushed to get a bit creative with photography
    I used the apps Fused, Aviary, Rookie, and Insta Picframes
  • I streamlined my wardrobe
    Digging through my knits drawer (well, bins upon bins!), I came across several that just didn’t work for me anymore, so I gave away and donated those
  • I embraced a body positive attitude
    Having the camera so often pointed at my face and body forced me to reflect on my own shape and size; there was more than one photo that I thought I shouldn’t include because I was embarrassed, but I did anyway and feel stronger for it
  • Ideas surrounding happiness, motivation, power, and control have now entered my thought process when I make
    If someone asked me why I make things before this exercise, I would likely have had only simple responses and amorphous ideas connected to “it’s fun!”. Now I can respond confidently that my making allows me to express myself visually, provides me a healthy mental challenge, feelings of fulfillment and joy, and an outlet for all my creative energy

The sustained focus on what I have and what I can do has ignited a fire in my belly to refine and make better. So even something that may appear light and silly on the surface can be an opportunity for growth and inspiration.

Recently A Playful Day wrote a fantastic post about creative identity, which in no small part encouraged me to write this post. If this sort of thoughtful reflection sounds attractive, you can indulge yourself along with the community over on her blog, her podcast, and on FB and twitter with the hashtag #creative_identity.

Frivolous into Fruitful: Me Made May

Me Made May 2013: For Real This Time with Neon Green

This is a throwback post originally published on May 16, 2013, reposted here for my celebration of MMMay18!

Now this is a dress I absolutely started and “completed” for MMM’13.

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My friends, I did say that I’m not a sewer.
My issues here are compounded by the fact that
1) I like to learn as I go.
2) I’m impatient.
3) I strongly dislike anything at all that I view as wasting my time.

So, this dress was made by eyeballing up a dress I purchased and very much like.

My problem with this dress is the skirt.  I likely should have flared it out just a bit near the bottom edge, so that it’s much more flowy and less…. almost pencil skirt like.

I’m thinking I can either accept this dress as-is and wear it out in public shamefully. Paranoid. Always thinking people are pitying me and my lack of the skillz.

OR

I can attempt a fix.
I have a very limited amount of fabric left (almost a metre). Maybe I can slit up the side hems and add a panel on each side? Add width to the skirt?
Or, would this be a disaster/waste of time/no help at all?

For all my sewing peeps out there: what do you think?

ps: wearing neon green is amazingsauce.

Me Made May 2013: For Real This Time with Neon Green

Me Made May 2013: Disco Romper Fabulous

This is a throwback post originally published on May 29, 2013, being reposted here as part of my MMMay18 celebrations!

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I’m channeling my inner disco with this one.
And in just under the wire for MMM’13!

This romper makes me so happy I’ve gotta dance.

The pattern is from this 1970s Butterick 4121 “jumpsuit”.

So, the happy things:
-I don’t like wearing pants (ah! scandalous!) What I mean is, I prefer dresses and skirts. Pants have the nasty tendency to not fit in a variety of places. Because the waistline on this romper is so loose (and it can be, since the rest of it is held up by the top) I actually get to wear comfortable pants. But it’s dress-like. Pantsy-dress. Skirty-pants. LOVE.

-These are my first pockets. Woo! Successful pockets!

-The pattern is for a size 6, and I’m actually something like a 12, so because I like to wing things, I just bumped the pattern out by an inch on each side and voila! It fits! I suspect this is drafting sacrilege, but is forgiven but the roomy nature of the romper itself.

-I conquered the pattern that I totally messed up last year.  I chose better fabric and overcame my fear of zippers to make this happy little disco baby. Or, make this disco baby happy.

The things I would change:

-Let me tell you, people, there will be more than one romper in my future! But for my next one(s), I’m thinking I might change the width of the shorts. The original pattern has (I think) tapered legs, so for this one I had to add a little notch along the side seam so that they didn’t pull in and look too puffy (what with all those pleats!)

-For some goofball reason, the zipper runs along the front to the waist, and then they have you sew on a series of hook-and-eyes to close up the top. This creates some, um, torso-viewing opportunities. I’m thinking next time of making the zipper run all the way up as the closure, or maybe (if I’m feeling brave) moving it to the side of the outfit.

Any way, I loves this outfit. I’m stupid proud of myself for not royally messing it up, too.

So this has to be my last MMM’13 piece. But not my last romper!

Me Made May 2013: Disco Romper Fabulous

Me Made May 2013

This is a throwback post, originally published on May 8, 2013. Reposted now as part of my MMMay18 celebration!

I’m a twitter kinda kid. I dig it.

And on the twitters, my feed has been flooded as of late with beautiful projects from people, hastaged #memademay13 (or something to that effect).

Here’s what it’s about: but basically, make stuff in May!

I’m sort of automatically doing that, knitwear-design-wise, but this whole discovery of Me Made May (MMM’13) seredipitously collided with my SPRING FEVER. Srsly, I have never been so alight with excitement for spring. It’s ignited a desire for pretty me-made dresses.

And that is what I’m hoping to do with my MMM’13.

It’s challenging for me, as I’m not a big sewer. I mean, I have made the odd costume, but that’s a costume. No one will fault you if your hems are wonky (or, you know, held up by copious safety pins).

I’ve been picking up kickass vintage sewing patterns from the second hand shop for years now. The sewing desire has been laying dormant for quite a while.
Here you see some of them.

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My vintage patterns – with a contemporary Cynthia Rowley one thrown in there too!

I’m hoping to chronicle some more sewing adventures this MMM’13, because, you know, I like to keep busy people!

Here’s the first piece I’ve finished (though technically I’ve been working on it since April. Not sure if it really counts as MMM!)

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Me Made May 2013

Me Made May: A Journey

It’s May! And you know what THAT means! It’s time to bust out your me-made clothes and share your talent with the world! You’ll find me hashtagging my heart out on IG for #mmmay18. I’ve made it something of a tradition the last few years. It’s a great way to celebrate your passion for making; hang out on the hashtag and find loads of inspiration!

If you’ve never heard of Me Made May before, it’s essentially a self-guided way to engage in making and using your me made clothes. In whatever way that works for you. The originator of the event is So Zo, and I love how open she’s made it. Would you like to learn a new skill? Increase your making? Utilize your handmade wardrobe? All of that works!

Personally, I’m participating with the goal of making most of what I wear every day my handmade items. I have so many handmade clothes that I pretty much wear something by me every day anyhow! I usually like to use MMMay to create more items, but this May is SUPER busy for me so I’ve scaled back that angle of the challenge and will focus on using and loving what I have.

I’m also copycatting a pal of mine Allyson Dykhuizen and taking MMMay as an opportunity to see the gaps in my handmade wardrobe. Analyzing this way will help me make better-informed choices about what to make next. For example, I suspect I don’t have enough shorts for the warmer weather, but is this really so? I’ll report back by the end of the month!

I love taking this opportunity to cruise around on the hashtag and see all the wonderful, creative things folks make and share. It’s so inspirational!

Over the next few days I’ll be sharing some throwback MMMay posts from my blog. Stay tuned to see how my MMMay has evolved over the past few years 🙂

Are you participating? What’s your goal? Let me know in the comments below!

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Here’s the first #MMMay throwback post, originally published on May 11, 2015.

Remember the other week, when I shared with you all how much I love instagram? Well, here is another reason why it’s great: Me Made May.

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I’ve semi-participated in this month-long make-along before. Essentially, you make at your own pace (many of the makers are sewing their clothing, but knitters and other makers join too!).

This year I’ve noticed that some people (me included) have altered that focus from just making to making and sharing what you’re already made.
Posting a photo a day on instagram, I’ve been more aware of how much handmade I really do wear daily, and appreciative for this collection of carefully crafted clothing and accessories I’ve complied over the years.

Want to see what I’m sharing? This photo gives you a preview of my first six days, but hop on to instagram to see more! Some of the tags you can look up to see even more people’s handmades for Me Made May are: #MeMadeMay #mmm15 #mmmay2015.

Me Made May: A Journey