May 18, 2013

MMM'13 week three wrap-up

Time for another MMM'13 recap! Are you sick of seeing me standing in the same spot yet? I'm surprised that at this point I still have a few items that I haven't worn yet, which will come in handy since we have two full weeks left. Is it just me, or is this May particularly long?

When I was going through my closet at the end of April trying to assess the Me-Made situation in there, I pulled out this skirt and was a bit shocked at what I found. It's Simplicity 2059 AKA the $2 skirt and it's a lightweight rayon challis. It's a little tough to tell here, but it's a bias cut skirt with an off-center seam front and back- you can see the chevron formed by the front seam on my right leg below:

May 13

Well, despite having (I think) let the bias hang before I hemmed this thing back when I made it, it was seriously misshapen when I pulled it out, with parts of the hem hanging almost an inch longer than others. Last weekend I finally took the hem out and straightened and re-hemmed it and now it can return to rotation. I really like this skirt, and the dark brown tones are a nice match for the Miz Mooz boots I picked up at a sample sale at the office for the highway robbery price of $10.

Last weekend I also finished the first of four garments outlined in my MMM'13 pledge. It's another Beignet, but I just don't know. It doesn't compare to my first Beignet love, and I think I overcorrected with this one after the shrinkage fiasco. This one's a size bigger and it's verging on Frumpsville.

May 14

I think possibly moving buttons three through five or so there at the top might help with that wrinkly pooching, but I'm not sure. I've washed and dried it now so I'm going to try it on again and see where we're at before I do anything drastic. This one does have a fun coral lining, and it will be a nice staple for the work wardrobe, but I really have to pin down the fit. I paired it on Tuesday with more bargain finds from the sample sale- the sweater and drapey neck top above might have cost me a dollar together. Maybe. I love sample sales! 

Bonus points for Junie rockin' some mama-made leggings in the pics above and below! I can't even take credit for it either, David dressed her! Way to represent MMM James family!

After I finished fixing the hem on the $2 skirt last weekend, I also took the time to sew some buttons back on the sailor pants I wore on Wednesday. I didn't make them- they're oldies from Express- but I've replaced every button on those babies at least once, so I feel a special handmade connection to them nonetheless. I've also completely lost faith in my drycleaner, because twice now I've taken these pants in and had them returned to me with buttons missing. The first time they were just gone (five of the twelve, necessitating a full-switcheroo). The second time there were only two lost, and they took the time to sew some (non-matching grey plastic) buttons back on, and again, they didn't bother to make a note or tell me about it. I didn't know until I took them off the hanger to wear them months later. Seriously? What is wrong with this situation? It's Dryel for me from now on. But I digress. Sorry.

  May 15

I am actually wearing an item that I legitimately made as well. Well, refashioned, I suppose. The top is from way back in 2010, made during one of Rae's Spring Top Weeks. It was a button-front shirt of David's that he didn't wear any more, so I chopped it up and made it my own. I never wear it anymore, and I certainly never would have picked it out to wear with those pants if it wasn't MMM. I like the look of them together, but sadly that top will now have to be retired. The fabric is weak and has split down at least one of the vertical burnout stripes in the back.

Thursday was my first repeat, but not because I ran out of me-mades. I still have a couple but I wanted to wear some comfy flats after walking around downtown in those platforms above. I've worn them a few times before with no trouble, but for some reason they really bugged me on Wednesday so I built my outfit around my need for comfort and pulled out my old favorite New Look 6030 denim skirt again.

  May 16

Paired with my fun giraffe haircalf Me Too flats and a Nic & Zoe cardigan from- you guessed it!- the sample sale, my feet were happy and my wallet is too!

That fulfilled my pledge this week to wear something me-made four days, but I decided to go for a fifth so I could try the Lisette tunic in a different way. I was curious to see how it might look belted, so for a casual brunch date with the hubby today I wore it like this:

  May 18

I tried it with the belt at my natural waist and also loosely slung at hip level, and ended up going with the latter. I don't love it this way, but I don't really love this top at all, so it's hard to say if it's the styling or not. I feel like it looked better with the ankle-length skinnies and no belt, like I wore it to work the first week of MMM. Maybe over black leggings it would work too? I don't know what it is. I want to like this top and wear it more, but I feel so weird in it for some reason. It just doesn't really feel like me, however it is that I see myself anyway. Ugh- okay, that's enough navel-gazing for one night!

Except not really. Indulge me just a little more? I finished my second me-made today- which means I'm half way through my pledge of four new items! I think I have a plan for the other two, but nothing set in stone yet. In reality, I have a lot of ideas for the things that I would like to make next, but I have yet to commit to anything. Ideas are good though! And I picked up a few new patterns last week during the McCall's & Vogue sale at JoAnn. I think there are some good ones this season! How is MMM'13 going for you? Still sewing new things to add to the rotation? Heading into repeatsville yet?

May 11, 2013

MMM'13 week two wrap-up

Well, MMM'13 week two is over, (or soon will be, depending on how you count the weeks) and things are getting exciting! I'm already starting to feel the challenge as I watch my me-mades move from my closet to the laundry, where they have a tendency to sit for extended periods of time. I've got to start getting my wash and iron on, or I'll have nothing to wear for the second half of the month!

Once again this week I didn't quite live up to my own requirements for the challenge. I could go put on a me-made t-shirt and count today (Saturday) but for me the real challenge is in getting my me-mades into my work wardrobe so I'm not going to bother with that. I'm wishing that I had a few more me-made blouses or tops to wear, especially on casual Friday when jeans are the office norm. I have a couple but they're either not exactly office appropriate, or not really my favorite shapes anymore, so that's been a sticking point. I'm thinking more Almas are in order, and I have some chiffon that I'm dying to make into a cute little summery blouse.

But anyway, as usual, my life contains more plans than time. So here's what I wore this week:

May 6

It was my green Beignet on Monday, and it fits much better now that I've let it out a bit and moved the buttons. No breath-holding required! Paired with the ever-versatile striped sailor tee and flat mary-jane Miz Mooz shoes I was comfortable and still felt stylish and put-together.


Tuesday morning my helpers were back and eager to get in on the photo-taking action. Lincoln always wants to be in charge of the remote, and as you can see above- now Junie's first reaction to seeing the camera tripod come out is to go stand in my favorite (only) well-lit picture taking location.

May 7

This is my beloved Tiramisu, paired with a perfectly complementary pair of purple Franco Sarto shoes that I found at Nordstrom Rack. The belt is from Target, and coordinates better in person than it appears to in the photo.

On Wednesday I wore Ships Ahoy! It's one of two dresses that I've completed recently but haven't had time to properly blog about.

May 8

It's Simplicity 2177 (here's my review on PR) and I chose the pattern specifically to make use of this border print cotton that I found on clearance a couple years ago. I'm still searching for some navy flats to pair with it, so for this outfit I went with these metallic studded ones by Me Too, a hard-to-see but truly there silver metal belt that I thrifted, a me-made necklace, and basic navy cardi. This dress is sleeveless so it will be fun for summer all alone, but I can't have exposed shoulders at work, so be-cardigan-ed it shall remain on weekdays.

This next one is admittedly a bit of a cheat as I didn't make anything that I'm wearing. HOWEVER, if it wasn't for my little sewing hobby/obsession/passion, I wouldn't still have the skirt or the top in my closet at all. I relegated the Michael Stars wrap top to my bin of knit fabrics years ago, thinking that I could salvage the fabric for a future kid's top or something, as I didn't wear it often. I found it when I was moving my sewing room recently and decided to give it another shot. That, in case you're keeping track, is yet another point for fabric hoarding. Wheee!

May 9

The skirt is from Old Navy and I've had it forever. It was the palest of pale yellows, which wasn't great for me and my yellowish skin tone. Since I've been dying all kinds of stuff lately in an attempt to give things a new leash on life, one day I decided to throw this skirt in a red dye bath and see what happened. I was hoping for more of a lipstick red, but as you can see, it ended up pink. There are parts that didn't pick up the dye at all, like the poly ribbon at the hem, the button and zipper closure, and the burnout sections of the fabric. That's cool with me, because it means I can get away with pairing this with my mustard yellow pumps from Target (long ago), and I do think it's now a better color for me to wear. So hooray for the make-do-and-mend mentality so persistant in the sewing community. I'm now much more inclined now to try to alter or adjust garments that aren't working for me, rather than just tossing them in the Goodwill pile.

Since I pledged for four days of me-mades per week, I had intended not to count Thursday's cheat and wear something me-made on Friday, but it didn't work out. As I mentioned above, I need to get better about doing laundry and make myself some new tops so I can get in on the casual Friday action a little more easily. Things were also complicated by the fact that there was a Mother's Day celebration at Lincoln's preschool, so I wanted to look nice but also wear jeans- first world problems, etc. I was also up for many hours in the early morning because Junie wouldn't sleep, so in the end, exhaustion won out over my good intentions. Luckily, Lincoln offered redemption in the form of a custom handmade brooch that I was proud to pin to my off-the-rack top of shame.

Mother's Day Celebration at Creative Minds Academy

The bunny ears and Ziplock bag bow tie are from Lincoln's most recent accessory collection which, despite appearances, was NOT sponsored by Playboy. The kids performed a rousing rendition of Some Korean Song About Bunnies, complete with hopping and hand movements and general adorableness.

Lincoln as bow-tied bunny

We devoured plates of international cuisine and desserts galore while the kiddos serenaded us in no less than four languages and spelled MOM and LOVE with their bodies, causing the hearts of all of us helpless mommies to melt into puddles of goo all over the floor. It was precious.

So that's week two wrapped! I'm having so much fun checking out everyone's outfits on their blogs (trying, at least- I'm way behind!) and in the Flickr group (which has 399 members! Awesome!). How is MMM going for you if you're participating? Feeling the strain yet? Is laundry the bane of your existence too? I feel like those piles NEVER go away!

May 5, 2013

MMM'13 week one wrap-up

Hey-o! How was everyone's week one of MMM'13? I'm satisfied with my showing thus far, despite the fact that I pledged four days per week and only did three. It was a mini week so I'm cutting myself some slack. Besides, I totally could have dressed in something me-made on Saturday but I was grumpy and couldn't be bothered to take a picture or care about what I was wearing, so I just decided to skip it. Whatever- moving on!

So I kicked off MMM'13 with my newly olive Butterick trench dress. You might recall that this dress (B5598) started it's life more army green-ish, but an unfortunate accident left some spotting at the hem from the not-so-color-friendly stain remover. I bathed it in two bottles of RIT black, and now it's a nice deep olive green, which was a totally pleasant surprise. I didn't really want a black trench dress, but I didn't know what else to do. And since the topstitching was already black, this new darker shade works great. I just had to change out all eleventy million buttons to black, and it was good to go.

May 1

I love this dress! It's super comfortable and the pockets are awesome and I love that the bright (still) watermelon (it didn't take a speck of dye- that's all poly right there!) lining peeks out just a bit at the sleeve. It's such a fun surprise, and the colors are great complements.

On Thursday I pulled out an old standby. It's my tried and true New Look 6030 denim skirt, and I paired it with a favorite orange beaded cardigan and my fave Miz Mooz boots.

May 2

This outfit is pretty much quintessential Tiffany. I wear this look in one way or another many days, just mixing up the cardigan with another much like it, or trading the skirt for another much like it, or maybe switching to jeans. It's not a terribly exciting style, but I guess it is what it is. Comfortable and not completely slovenly. That's my goal! Also my badass vintage leather moto jacket is new and was my treat to myself when I started my new job. I foresee it being worn to death over many years, and those are the kind of items that I'm happy to invest in.

I followed up with a decidedly less "me" look on Friday. It's a Lisette Portfolio top that I made what feels like forever ago now out of a lightweight bedspread from Urban Outfitters. I seem to only wear this top once or twice a year, and not because I don't like it, I swear! It comfy and well-made, but there's just something about it that makes me leave it hanging in the closet.

May 3 (with toddler photo-bomb!)

And look how sweet Junie is! She saw the tripod come out and she walked right over and struck a pose. Adorable!

Hooray! We made it through the first week- just four more to go! And thank god for that, because I still haven't finished my first of four promised new garments. But four weeks is practically a whole month, so there's still hope! How's it going for you? I'm behind on reading, but I can't wait to see how everyone's getting their MMM on!