Me Made May 2016

Me Made May 2016 // Boots and Cats

Welp. We did it everyone, another Me Made May come and gone. It was a different experience for me this year, as I chose not to take the photo aspect of the challenge as seriously as I did last year. Partly because this month was quite busy and the time did not exist, but also in part because the creativity and gussying up required to take photos up to my standards takes a lot out of me, and I can STILL feel the exhaustion I was left with after last year.

On the flip side, because I wasn’t as dedicated to the daily ritual of documentation and thinking up new places for photos, the month went by quite quickly and didn’t have the same mindfulness attached to the challenge as before.

Having sewn quite a few new goodies in the past year, I knew I would have a decent time of finding things to wear. Strangely though there were a lot of mornings that I felt at a loss. I actually referenced last years photos more than once to get some outfit ideas. I also had a unique curveball of travelling to San Francisco for 7 of the days. The weather provided a strange middle-ground of warm but cold that my me-made wardrobe needed some fanagling to accommodate.

Lessons learned:

  • I need more tops! I couldn’t believe how many mornings I was longing for pants but couldn’t because my selection of tops had already been depleted.
  • Solids. Solids. Solids. Nearly all my me-mades are made with a delightful printed fabric, usually bold in colour or design. This mean’s they don’t play nicely with one another. I need some basic cardigans for the dresses, and skirts to go with the tops I do have and general other layerable bits.
  • High-waists please. I am loving the short top trend, and have a few already, but I don’t have many bottoms to pair with them without showing skin. I have a grid print cotton that’s just begging to be a 60s crop top that needs something to go with it.
  • I should take more time to discover new outfits and pair the items I have with each other in creative new ways. I found a few winning outfits this month because I took the time to play.
  • I think it’s time to try to make jeans. It really it would make this whole month a lot easier 😉

In case you were curious, this is what my month ultimately ended up looking like (with the limited photos I do have):

Me Made May 2016 // Boots and Cats

Day 1- Unblogged knit Belcarra blouse. Fabric is so comfortable but the neckline is droopy because I didn’t accommodate the pattern properly for the drapey knit. Perfect for Sunday lounging about, though.

Day 2- Vogue 1236 ‘paperbag’ dress. We were spoiled with a very warm May, so this summery dress was perfect.

Day 3- Lace-backed MC6359. Still one of my favourite casual pieces. This is one of those pieces my future tops should aspire to.

Day 4- Vintage floral print Belcarra blouse. Still a soft, comfortable favourite.

Day 5- Geometric canvas Hollyburn skirt. I made while demonstrating the pattern to some friends last May. I discovered I could pair it with a cropped swing sweater and it was probably one of my favourite ‘new discovery’ outfits this month.

Day 6- Cat Nap print Laurel dress. I like wearing this dress when I will be around people because it’s a great conversation starter.

Day 7- My new Martha dress! I had just finished sewing it and wore it to take photos for the blog, then continued to wear it out and about, until it popped a seam I didn’t reinforce properly. D’oh.

Day 8- Cat Nap Sorbetto tank. Great for layering, noticing it fits a bit small.

Day 9- Julia Cardigan. Only a matter of time before this one hit the scene. I think it was a Monday thing. I almost count this as a cheating piece because it is so comfortable and goes with everything. I wear it all the time, so it doesn’t really need the boost of love Me Made May is intended to give to our clothes. Ah well.

Day 10- Striped Plantain Tee. Another awesome basic. Should make a few more in solid fabric.

Me Made May 2016 // Boots and Cats

Day 11- Shiny gold Laurel dress. I needed to have a photo taken for work and it was a great opportunity to wear this dressier dress.

Day 12- Grey cotton Belcarra. Made of the same fabric as my Vogue 1236, it’s a bit stiff and needs to be broken in a bit still.

Day 13- Knit Belcarra, again. I just wanted to wear something soft again.

Day 14- Yellow Lace Skirt. I was attending a bridal shower and wanted to wear something bright and girly. I had a fun discovery outfit with this one too, pairing it with the stripes worked better than expected!

Day 15- Blue Coco Top. The style is great but the fabric is not. I have an ivory one planned on the way.

Day 16- Self-drafted (copied) Batwing top. I loved this fabric and decided to try and copy a batwing sweater I had bought. I traced it out and juuuust squished the pattern onto the fabric. Then I realised this fabric has far less stretch than my original, meaning the sleeves are hella tight. Love the chevron on the sleeve though. Live and learn.

Day 17- Gabriola Skirt. Flowy, floral, fantastic.

Day 18- Julia Cardigan. Crossed the halfway point, feeling lazy.

Day 19- Senna Dress. The fabric has a coolness to it which is perfect for spring. I tossed it with a new cardigan and really liked the combo. Secret work pajamas!

Me Made May 2016 // Boots and Cats

Day 20- New vintage tent dress. Will be blogging soon! Made from a vintage pattern from my Grandma I sewed this up real fast (only 2 pattern pieces!) just in time for my friend’s wedding.

Day 21- Stripe Coco Top. Classic and cool for a (unexpectedly long) day of travel.

Day 22- Stripe Coco Dress. Wanted something bold to wear to Maker Faire, as well the ponte was the right amount of warm for the cool Bay Area air.

Day 23- Lace-backed MC6359. Comfy repeat.

Day 24- Saiph Tunic. Needed to play with some layering, but worked out nicely for walking through museums and parks.

Me Made May 2016 // Boots and Cats

Day 25- Cat Nap Print Laurel Dress. I visited a cat cafe this day. There is no way I could NOT.

Day 26- Polka Dot Linden. Comfy, warm, casual.

Day 27- Julia Cardigan. Lazy travel day.

Day 28- Knit Hollyburn Skirt. Not sure what to pair it with for a warm spring day. Tried to strike gold again with the striped shirt- had limited success compared to the yellow skirt.

Day 29- Striped Plantain Tee. Laundry day.

Day 30- Knit Peggy Dress. Felt like wearing something more outlandish nearing the end of the challenge. Almost forgot to take a photo. Was worn while enjoying cookies.

Day 31- Ice Cream Airelle Blouse then floral print Belcarra. It was a warm, summery day and I decided this make needed some love. I wore it for about an hour, but the shoulders were so tight I couldn’t focus on anything else. Changed into my trusty Belcarra and tossed it into the ‘something needs to change’ pile. C’est la vie.

I am surprised at how often I felt the need/laziness to repeat tried and true makes instead of venturing into other me made’s I have but didn’t wear at all. Luckily, my to-sew list has just grown by a LOT and I can’t wait to dive in.

Have a happy June, and enjoy some guiltless freedom wearing a few non-me-mades this week hehe.

 

Me-Made-May // Week 4 (and a bit)

Me Made May Week 4 // Boots & Cats

And that’s a wrap! 31 days of me-made garments. Thank you for all of you on Instagram putting up with the barrage of selfies for the last month. Though it was annoying at times, I think I might miss this challenge. It was a nice excuse to get a little more dressed up each day. Plus, the community and support throughout this month has been astounding. I’ve ‘met’ many new seamstresses, been inspired to try new things and I have a better understanding of what I need to do in order to support a me-made wardrobe.

This year I pledged to wear at least one me-made item a day for the entirety of the month, and in that, I succeeded. Some days were a bit of a stretch but I made sure to make it happen. After people knew I was participating, it was fun to have them ask me “Okay, what are you wearing that you made today?”, which opened up the conversation to talking about my hobby and passion to people. It can be hard topic to introduce to the conversation sometimes, but this was a great excuse to talk about it as much as I could.

I didn’t have it in my pledge to make anything new, but the challenge did inspire me to complete FOUR new garments this month, which I am pretty sure is a new sew-speed record! Most of these were one or two session makes which are SO satisfying. It’ll be a bit challenge to slow down and tackle a bigger garment now. When I sew with the intention that I want to wear the clothes the next day, I tend to rush and make sloppy decisions. I think a high quality summer dress is just what I need next.

I am so thankful I dove in and participated in this year’s challenge. I had so much fun and I am definitely going to keep my focus on incorporating my me-mades into the everyday rotation. (Which I think was kind of the point of this whole thing!)

Without further ado, here is the last week (and a bit) of Me Made May 2015

Day 22: Ice Cream Airelle Blouse

day22

The photo may need a little explaining. Today’s Friday challenge was ‘animals’. I could have just worn my cat dress again, but I decided to interpret a different way. Meet Hobbes, my stuffed tiger. I was really into the comic in Jr. High so I started hand-sewing him in 7th grade Intro to Sewing. It took about 5 years to slowly complete because I kept forgetting about him. I tried so hard to make him as comic-accurate as possible. The Airelle blouse has nothing to do with this, but I had just finished it the day before and wanted to toss it in the mix. I love the contrast yoke and the silhouette in the back is great, but the front is lacking something. I think I may make a few changes and add the sleeves in. We’ll see.

Day 23: Pink Plaid Sixties Shift

Day23

This is another older make and my first real vintage pattern. It was a mail-order pattern from my Grandmother’s stash and I loved the shape and the little button belt. I didn’t look at the pattern too closely when I first cut out my fabric and it wasn’t until my first fitting I noticed the length was crazy long, past my knees! So I had to chop a good amount off of there to get the look I wanted. I am happy with how it turned out, but I hate wasting fabric like that. It’s also a great reminder about how far my skills have come. I had to re-jig the neckline last summer, but remnants of mistakes (like totally backwards bias binding on the hem) are good little mementos.

Day 24: Soft and Summery MC6359

Day24

We were in a bit of a heatwave this past week and I was quickly running out of options. I had this pattern and fabric in my stash for a few months now and it was time to jump on it. I used the same lace that details my Gabriola skirt to add contrast to the back and it is seriously one of my favourite me mades at the moment. Fun fact: the fabric was actually purchased as a ‘jersey infinity scarf’ for $15. I loved the colour, the feel and the drape and there were no seams or hems so I had to have it. Good knit fabrics just that tough to find around here.

Day 25: Cotton Sack Dress

Day25

Another repeat. +25 degrees calls for a loose summer dress. Had fun playing with different accessories this time around.

Day 26: Geometric Hollyburn Skirt

Day26

You may remember this fabric from way back when. I have tonnes left and used some to make this swishy Hollyburn skirt. I taught this pattern to my friends during the ‘great sewing day’ back at the beginning of the month. Just needed a few finishing touches and it was ready to hit the town. It’s a silhouette and print I don’t usually go for in skirts so I will see how much I like and wear it this summer. It was a great excuse to step outside my comfort zone.

Day 27: Julia Cardigan

Day27

I am so proud I only repeat this baby ONCE! Boo yah. Long day of meetings, running around and a hearty Bday dinner for Rory meant I just wanted to be optimally comfortable (for tree climbing, obviously)

Day 28: Senna Dress Remixed
Day28
In order to keep myself from feeling like I was in a repeat rut, I took this outside the box and mixed in this non-me-made skirt I’d been dying to wear and layered it with my Senna dress to make a whole new outfit! I loved how it turned out and may have to try with different skirt/dress combos!

Day 29: Cat’s Cradle Sorbetto

day29

On Thursday I got a very happy mail parcel full of Lizzy House’s Cat Nap fabrics and I couldn’t wait to pounce! I downloaded Sorbetto and promptly made this cute little tank. Even after adding my traditional 5cm to the waist length and rounding out the hem, it was still pretty short on me! Bust darts are a bit too high as well. Shoulda made a muslin- but it is still super adorable and will look great tucked into skirts, so I don’t mind that much. Also cats.

Day 30: YEG Cat Fest

Day30

A friend and I managed to venture out to the Edmonton Cat Fest this weekend and there was no me-made more fitting than the Belladone. Rocket Mama loved it too!

Day 31: Vintage Green S2927

Day31

We did it! I’d reached the end and realized I hadn’t worn this dress yet! This lazy Sunday was perfect for this soft vintage fabric dress. I always second guess myself in this dress, never 100% sure if the style works for me, or how I should do my hair or accessorize it. But I really do like it and I just need to experiment a little more to find out the ideal formula for this piece.

Thanks for following along with me and I already can’t wait for MMMay16!!

Me-Made-May // Week 3

Me Made May Week 3 // Boots & Cats

Another week, another handful of me-mades. This week has definitely been more of a struggle than the rest. I made the discovery that most of my makes are for mild weather, and this week’s heat wave made things a little challenging (not that I am complaining about it! ). I dipped into some repeats but tried to keep creative in how I styled and documented them so I didn’t feel like I was being lazy about it.

Here’s a glimpse into my week:

Day 15: 70s peasant dress

Me Made May Day 15 // Boots & Cats

This week’s Friday challenge was ‘something old’, so I dug out one of the first garments I ever made. My grandma was teaching me to sew the summer before the 7th grade and I picked out this 70s pattern from her stash to make. I love the styling and illustrations on the envelope and I imagined I would be as trendy as them. I told myself I would wear this for the first day of junior high. Well…sizing proportions and fabric choice made this dress far less appealing than on the envelope and this dress was relegated to the ‘costume’ drawer for years. Well I decided to give it a go and guess what? It fits now! Ha.

Day 16: Hand-stitched hair bow

Me Made May Day 16 // Boots & Cats

Today was apartment cleaning day, so instead of running the risk of ruining any me-mades in the throes of it all, this little hair bow was just the ticket.

Day 17: Comfy and casual Plantain tee

Me Made May Day 17 // Boots & Cats

A day at the park with warm sunshine and a cool breeze was perfect for my stripey tee.

Day 18: Self-drafted ‘paper bag’ skirt

Me Made May Day 18 // Boots & Cats

Another A Beautiful Mess DIY dress-up project, I made this a few summers ago, and ran with the paper bag concept by using this burgundy burlap type fabric. It’s surprisingly comfortable and was so easy to make. I walked to the market on this holiday Monday to get some bedding plants to set my garden.

Day 19: Tilly and the Buttons Coco top

Me Made May Day 19 // Boots & Cats

My first repeat (I made it 19 days!), I paired this top with these crazy pants I had custom made for me last summer by Todoruk Designs. I love these pants so much. Retro meets modern. I made the coco with these pants in mind, actually. A 60s loungewear dream.

Day 20: Vintage fabric Belcarra blouse

Me Made May Day 20 // Boots & Cats

It was getting far to warm for any of my other makes, and this lightweight Belcarra is a summer fave, so another repeat but styled with jeans instead of a skirt. This pattern is so versatile, and I am almost finished making my third!

Day 21: Belcarra version two!

Me Made May Day 21 // Boots & Cats

It was a swingy skirt day for sure, and my grey Belcarra blouse paired perfectly with this bicycle Heart of Haute skirt. Blissful.

 

Me-Made-May // Week 2

Me-Made-May Week 2 // Boots & Cats

Hard to believe the month is already halfway gone. Even more had to believe, I haven’t repeat a single me-made yet! I was anticipating to wear some items over and over again (looking at you, Julia Cardigan) but so far everything (weather included) has cooperated and I’ve managed to get a good variety of styles going without sacrificing comfort or practicality.

What has surprised me the most this week was the compliments I’d gotten on some of my bolder makes (the yellow skirt especially), even from strangers. It’s a nice confidence boost and reminder to wear some of these me-mades more often.

This isn’t to say that I haven’t had some longings for my jeans and t-shirts on the lazy days, though. I do feel that pull some mornings to just give in and give up. Beyond dressing outside my comfort zone, I have to keep up the creative energy for styling and documenting everything and it can feel like a drag. BUT, I am very happy with my outcomes so far , so I shall persevere. Only 15 days left after all.

Here’s a quick recap of the last seven days:

Day 8: Self-Drafted Lace Tunic

Me-Made-May Day 8 // Boots & Cats

Today was the first Friday Challenge, which was ‘Your Sewing Space’, so I dutifully posed in front of my sewing ‘wall’ in our living room. The tunic is a self-draft, guided by a project in the long-retired A Beautiful Mess e-course: DIY Dress Up. I say self-drafted, but in reality it was more ‘self-traced’. I laid a tunic dress I already knew fit me on my paper and copied it’s shape. It turned out pretty good in this stretch cotton lace. I also made it reversible so I could wear it with a high or low neckline on the front.

Day 9: Cat Crazy Belladone Dress

Me-Made-May Day 9 // Boots & Cats

A 3 day turnaround from the snowstorm and the sun was shining blissfully. I took a walk down to the market in my kitty dress I made last summer. Got lots of compliments on this one. Everyone loves cats!

Day 10: Made-FOR-me Linden Sweatshirt

Me-Made-May Day 10 // Boots & Cats

Bent the rules a little this day. We went to the park and the sun was hot and the breeze was cool so I needed an in-between piece. Turns out the amazing cropped Linden that Stitch and Cappuccino made for me in the Linden swap was just the ticket.  Looking forward to wearing this through the summer.

Day 11: New Belcarra Blouse

Me-Made-May Day 11 // Boots & Cats

Remember that sewing day I mentioned on Day 2 last week? Well this is the Belcarra I made that day! The fabric is the leftovers from the V1236 I wore last week, and I love that the neutral colour makes it easy to mix and match. Though the fabric is a little stiff and needs to be worn a few more times I think. I have one more Belcarra cut and ready to sew. I love this pattern a lot.

Day 12: Vintage Floral Gabriola Skirt

Me-Made-May Day 12 // Boots & Cats

I have been waiting MONTHS to take this skirt out again! The length basically means it is a no-go for the wet, mucky winter and spring, so I will be sure I get lots of wear out of it this summer. Made from every last scrap of vintage fabric, I love the tapered a-line shape I got by altering the pattern. I may have to find a large quantity of a light flowy fabric to make a full version this year…

Day 13: Striped Senna Dress

Me-Made-May Day 13 // Boots & Cats

The first pattern I had the honor of testing, this stretchy number is dressed up enough for work and comfortable enough for putting your feet up and watching Netflix! I think i’d love to make the top as a separate for a cool weekend piece. Hmm…my ‘to-sew’ list appears to be getting kind of long…

Day 14: Yellow Lace Skirt

Me-Made-May Day 14 // Boots & Cats

One of my first clothing makes posted here on the blog, this skirt is always a crowd favourite. With pleats, pockets and a highlighter yellow hue it cannot be missed. I don’t wear it as much as I should because I find it hard to put outfits together with it. I have an imaginary top in my brain that would go so well, but I am unsure how to make it a reality.

Me-Made-May // Week 1

Me-Made-May Week 1 // Boots & Cats

I don’t know if this week feels like it’s been longer or shorter than usual, but mindfully documenting yourself daily definitely keeps you far more aware of the passage of time.

So far Me Made May has been wonderful, I am finding excitement each morning deciding what items to wear. It’s also dutifully fulfilling it’s purpose for finding holes in my wardrobe. It seems I am quite fond of making nice, lovely, more ‘dressed up’ things. I need to make more comfortable, lazy, ‘I don’t really feel like getting dressed’ clothes. The Hudson pants from the Perfect Pattern Parcel just jumped up a few places in the queue.

Besides running out of options, one of my biggest fears for this challenge was the aspect of taking photos everyday. I’ve never really been happy with the selfies I take and it’s so hard for me to get interesting shots by myself. So, beyond being merely a clothing challenge, I have taken it upon myself to have this be a solo photography challenge too! I figure if I have to do this every single day this month I’ll have to resort to creativity and break out of my shell (ie, the only 3 poses that I like) if I want to keep things somewhat interesting for myself and for others.

In case you aren’t following along on Instagram (#MMMay15), here are this week’s me-made highlights:

Day 1: Tilly and the Buttons Coco Top

Me-Made-May Day 1 // Boots & Cats

The perfect casual Friday sweater. I LOVE this pattern, and it’s really only my lack of access to quality knits that keeps me from making more. I purposely made this one to look like the one on the cover. It was too perfect in so many ways. I have some crazy printed retro capri pants that matches this perfectly too. That outfit will definitely make an appearance later this month.

Day 2: Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse

Me-Made-May Day 2 // Boots & Cats

I squeeeezed this top from an off-cut of vintage fabric and it is one of my favourite makes to date. This was the garment that set off the lightbulb in my head that I could make clothing that was really wearable for everyday. It also happened that I was teaching some friends how to make that pattern that day! I also taught the Hollyburn skirt and it was 12 hours of sewing madness. I will definitely post about THAT adventure soon.

Day 3: Hand-dyed silk scarf

Me-Made-May Day 3 // Boots & Cats

After the madness of the day before, it was an all-day pajama day, but I added a little flair with my scarf. I dyed this in a silk painting workshop nearly two years ago and I love wearing it up like this, or with the tie in the back for a more vintage feel.

Day 4: V1236 “Sack” Dress

Me-Made-May Day 4 // Boots & Cats

This make is a few years old but is a lovely staple I really should wear more often. I had forgotten the pattern at first, but I dug it out and it’s Vouge 1236 (DKNY). I call it the sack dress because there are no closures and you just slide it on and cinch the waist. The fabric is a little stiff and wrinkly, but I think the shape is really flattering and it’s great for work. And it has pockets. What more do you need?

Day 5: Mouse House Julia Cardigan

Me-Made-May Day 5 // Boots & Cats

I am very proud of myself for getting all the way to day 5 before busting this one out. I love love love my Julia and it’s the best spring transition sweater I currently have made with a super soft bamboo knit.

Day 6: Grainline Linden

Me-Made-May Day 6 // Boots & Cats

That is, if it is still spring after all…yes it snowed on Wednesday, an all day blizzard too. I’m lukcy to have Linden in my aresenal for when things are less than ideal outside. Also, polka dots!

Day 7: We Are Knitters High Line Loop

Me-Made-May Day 7 // Boots & Cats

Though I was just getting accustomed to warmer weather, the chill in the air made it an appropriate opportunity to toss my new knit scarf into the Me Made mix for running errands in the evening. Silver linings?

My Me-Made-May 2015 Pledge!

me made may 15 // Boots & Cats

I first discovered the brilliant sewing event Me Made May last spring a few days before it begun. I opted to sit on the sidelines and watch seamstresses from around the world enthusiastically share their me-made outfits on the daily. It was then I noticed the serious gaps of basics, neutrals and solids in my sewing wardrobe. I kept MMMay in mind as I progressed my sewing throughout the year.

Now the calendar has rolled around and this time I am ready to jump right on in!

“I, Katryna (of Boots & Cats), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavor to wear at least ONE me-made item each day for the duration of May 2015”

I hope to keep up each day on instagram with the tag #mmmay15 and will some recaps here on the blog. I definitely don’t have enough layers to go me-made from head to toe, but I am excited about consciously wearing at least one item and integrating my projects into my daily outfits. I have a feeling my Julia cardigan will be getting a LOT of run time this month.

Take the Me Made May pledge on Zoe’s blog HERE and set your personal handmade challenge for the month. I can’t wait!