Sunday, May 5, 2013

Me-Made May '13 Week 1!

So it's Sunday! And I've been eagerly reading everyone's posts about their me-made outfits and I'm happy I'm not the only one who has loads of things in their closet that have not been blogged. I even have the excuse that I've only just started blogging my dressmaking attempts....

Anyhow! So you'll recall that my Me-Made-May pledge used both retailor and refashion in it. I used both in a conscious effort to include the garments in my closet that only needed small little adjustments to make them more wearable. These adjustments can mean something like a reshaping of a side seam or a dye bath. I very much treat my clothing in a make-do-and-mend fashion and a lot of my clothes are almost a decade old!

Day 1
The dress is vintage, probably early 1970s because of that elasticated waist and the brand tag is the "just moved to Germany" style. I was looking for a neutral casual dress that would be light and airy but robust enough for picnics and such. This fit the bill with its shirtwaist style, high comfort level (there's a back vent!), and pocket with its pocketkerchief, but there was so.much.fabric. in the bodice. It bloused out and made me look about 10 pounds heavier while simultaneously the buttons popped open ready to showcase my bust at any quick moves. So! I took in fabric into the raglan sleeves while simultaneously easing out some fabric for my bust. With some snappers in between the shirtwaist, it stays shut-pulls but stays shut. The side seams got remolded to counteract the blousy effect of the elastic gathering and here it is!

The belt is my favorite ribbon belt. Look for it again and again as it's the most versatile of my DIY efforts.

The not seen slip is not a successful slip. It's going on my remake pile. It pulls across my hips hindering my movements which is silly considering the volume of that skirt. The waist falls down whenever I bend over. I will see if some shirring will fix it but likely, it'll get torn apart and made anew.

May 2nd
Look at the sun! It's warm enough to not need a cardigan! Second day like this all year!

The skirt is the first appearance of this blog of this zig zag knit and it certainly won't be the last. I usually hate pencil skirts, mainly because RTW woven ones make me look like: "oh the '50s called, they want their birthing hips back!" and then when I turn around the only adjective that comes to mind is "bootylicious". Not that these are necessarily bad things but people have talked to my crotch. Never not awkward. Not this one though, this one instead has inspired loads of people to ask if I've lost weight (nope) and to tell me I looked sleek. I guess it's because the waistband nips into my waist comfortably but the fabric is not working hard around my hips/posterior. The zig zags also probably make the eye wander down to my legs instead of letting them stall at crotch level.

Not me-made: the shirt is a faithful 7 year old band tshirt I got at a Gogol Bordello show. The shoes were bought in Cyprus and I'm looking for an affordable replacement. 

May 3rd
Mountain weather means that when I set up my bookstack it was sunny, it was cloudy when I took this tired looking picture and sunny again when I sat back down at the computer. I love you mountains-always change.

The cardigan started out life as a rather insipid gray color and I wore it mainly because the style was perfect for hot weather/cold office changes while I lived in DC. But somehow it got these strange peach stains (sunlight?) and white under arm circles (sweat) and it was not really a great cardigan. It got relegated to the back of drawers for the 3 times a year I needed something like it. However, when I took a batik class I asked the teacher if I could use the purple vat leftover after class for a more basic fabric dying. I was warned that the sweater would always need to be washed separately and that the fabric might not take the strong batik dyes but I hated the cardigan so much with its gray, peach, and white 'motif' that I dunked it in anyway. It was a good risk because I love its color now (though the gray buttonholes due to the thread being polyester was a little odd surprise).

The shirt is from the odd woodland/countryside fabric I grabbed during a spree in Walthamstow so be sure to watch out for its reappearance in a full blog post. It's a simple box blouse.

Not me made are the green jeans but they are a very odd size: 11 ½. God knows what that means but other than perhaps a little more room in the hips or a shorter inseam (for those horizontal crotch wrinkles) they fit perfectly in a way that I'd never expected from skinny jeans on my figure.

Day 4
The dress was a refashion from two of the photographer's cast off shirts (both are good quality shirts, they just don't fit him anymore). It's a color blocked dress with the blue collar replacing the beige collar and the blue sewn onto the bottom of the beige shirt with full length placket. It may have been the first project with my real sewing machine or it may have been made on the faker. Either way, I've buttoned up the cardigan to hide the worst bust darts in the world. Ok, they're not that bad especially since they're probably my first attempts at brand new bust darts ever but I don't want the sewing world to see them. The skirt rides up a lot so I think it's slightly too long in the torso with tightness right where my legs do motiony things. And the's not really mine. It's quite office-y/preppy and I'm an archaeologist...I suspect this should get chopped in two. I quite enjoy the swoops the skirt is doing (following both bottom hemlines) and think with some shortening/creation of a waistband I'd find it much more wearable. The shirt needs those bust darts sorted out and then perhaps a peplum to make up the length that's needed to make it a stand-alone shirt. What do you think is appropriate for the bottom of a men's button up that ends at natural waist?

The belt is a reprise of May 1st.

The tights are hard to see (like my surprise! red hair) but they have multi-colored polka dots drawn on them. I went around for a week with polka dot legs after making them but thankfully they have not washed out of these tights!

Not me-made are my shoes, the slip you can see peeking out, and cardigans. Those are actually my excavation shoes. Usually my summer shoes are torn apart by August, what with the heat, dust, dirt, and daily wearing through hiking, beach going, excavation, and pavement pounding tourism but these survived the summer and looked okay once they got washed twice. I guess though I paid £5 for them that brand name actually meant they're better quality than my usual £5 shoes? The slip was a clearance rack find with a  sleekish silk chiffon bottom with the finest soft jersey knit top. It's a bit big on me and I shortened the straps but I'm pretty sure that making it myself would've be both more expensive and more hair pulling.

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