June 4, 2013

Recon-O-Rama!

 I told you there'd be recons a-coming!  Actually, most of these were done right before or during May. They're not complicated to deserve separate posts, but just a quick look at each...

Skinny Khaki Pants:
Why yes, it is the same terrible mirror selfie from when I wore these in Me-Made-May!

    These bad boys were culled the last time that I went through my pants for being too short, which doesn't look good at all with a flared pant.  I had really gotten my use out of them (they were part of my work uniform for Sears in high school!) but I thought I might extend their life a little longer by trying to make them skinnies, which look okay at ankle length.  There was very little method to my madness, which basically consisted of pinning the sides out, transferring the markings to the other side, and sewing them up and trying them on.
Guys.  This is why I don't take process pics. But it shows how much flare I had to take out.
    Of course, the first leg fit perfect this way, but the second one took a lot of tweaking.  But in the end, I like them, I don't think it's terribly obvious that they didn't start out as skinnies, and I can try out the trend for free, while stretching a piece of clothing a little further.  Win.

Brown velvet skirt:


This one is as easy as they come.  One of the few pieces I kept from the stuff I got off Freecycle with my cutting table was a floor-length brown velvet skirt (still with the Goodwill tags on) that was too small for me at the waist, but widened out as it went down.  Solution: hack it in the middle, throw in a new elastic waistband, and boom! New, shorter velvet skirt for one night of work.  Though this really should be a fall skirt, I'll probably try to style it once or twice for spring.  It could be a disaster, but luckily no one at work actually cares what I look like, so no big loss.

Grey sweatshirt skirt:



This one isn't a true recon, necessarily.  It's making a completed sewn item work for me.  I only had a small amount of this soft grey sweatshirt material, and for some reason, I decided I'd like to make a skirt with it.  I used the straight skirt pattern from Sew What! Skirts, and completed it, beautiful invisible zipper and all, before I remembered that I need darts in a skirt waist.  Lots of darts!  I didn't want to rip the zipper out (especially not now that I've given away the machine that actually had an invisible zipper foot) and honestly just wanted to either fix it or ruin it, but either way get it off the table.  In the end, I ended up just taking enough out of the top of the side seam without the zipper to at least make it stay on.  There is a bit of a bulge where it meets the rest of the side seam, but I've gotten it down to acceptable for me.  My BF thinks that this is a really weird item.   However, my ideal skirt is one that can be worn with casual clothes and tennis shoes for work, and I don't think you can get more casual than this.  Again, styling could be an issue, but I think this one might get worn for comfort factor alone, because it is as comfortable as a pair of sweatpants but looks a little more put together.

Alright, I think that's me all caught up with everything accomplished during May other than the Me-Made-May challenge itself.  I'm one hem away from a new maxi skirt, so hopefully that'll be up next!

June 1, 2013

Final Thoughts from Me-Made-May

After careful consideration of the garments I wore and did not wear during Me-Made-May 2013, I've had a few minor revelations about things I need to do from here on out in my sewing.

1. No more crappy poly t-shirts.  While these were great for learning, they both make me sweat more and then hold the smell.  Some of them are getting legit bad.  I'll use up any halfway decent fabrics that are still in my stash, but any new t-shirt fabric needs to be at least some sort of blend.  If anyone has a good source for cotton or bamboo knits, let me know.
Polka dot Renfrew, I'm looking at you.
2.  Get over my fear of wovens.  I reaized that basically everything I wore on my top half was all knits.  I have to learn how to make proper FBA's, and then a whole new world of tops opens up to me.
The failure that was my last attempt to sew a woven top.
3.  I AM MAKING SOME DRESSES, DAMMIT!  There is absolutely no reason that I should get so jealous of everyone else's during this month when I am perfectly capable of making my own.  Argh.
This pattern is going down.  Soon.
     Overall, I realized that despite having another year of sewing under my belt, I really don't have a functional wardrobe of just me-mades.  If I hadn't had my RTW jeans, I would have been hosed.  There are really two ways to view this.  Either I can try to remedy the situation and focus on really sewing the things I wear on an every day basis, or I can just accept that while I'm doing my doctorate an all me-made wardrobe is really not an option and just sew whatever inspires me.  Honestly, I'm leaning towards the latter.

     Since learning to sew, I really haven't bought much RTW at all, but also haven't been sewing at a high enough rate to replace the clothes as they get destroyed.  (I work in an organic chemistry lab; clothes do not last for a "normal" lifetime before they become unwearable.)  So wearable clothes are starting to get thin on the ground.  If I give myself permission to sew whatever I want, then use my super thrifting skills to restock my wardrobe in a sustainable way, I think that would be the best of both worlds.  The longer I sew, the more I think about defining my style, but I can't sew fast enough to bring it to fruition.  If sewing becomes a burden to be restocking my everyday wardrobe, it loses some of the fun for me.  The fact that I can sew also opens up the option of reworking thrifted garments, which is (usually) much faster than starting from scratch, and as I've said before, was my first crafting love.

  So moving forward, the new approach is to focus more on getting more clothes I love into the closet in any manner possible.  Expect to see more reconstructions.  Once I feel like I'm not constantly scrambling to find decent outfits, I can settle back and sew exactly what I feel like, with no guilt about making things that may or may not even get worn.  Time to get started! :D