me-made-may: round-up

I really meant to write this round-up, what, two weeks ago? But then I got super-busy, and then I got sick, so I’m doing it now instead.

I made a little collage, and it’s really funny to see my wardrobe through a month all at once – especially when it so clearly shows that I have been dressing in grey, white, and mustardy-yellow. I think I’ve forgotten a lot of thoughts I had during and right after the challenge, but one thing has stayed with me: I have competing dressing desires.

When I’m going to work, I want to look sharp and polished and put together, with pencil skirts and structured tops, or fitted dresses. When I’m not at work, I gravitate towards flowey, casual, faded, slightly off kilter things. Which is totally fine, except for the days I dressed really casually and picnicy going to work and felt awkward and uncomfortable. I think I just have to accept that work-me wants to dress differently than leisure-me! Last time I did this challenge, I was a college-student with a school-lab part-time job, and the dress-code for the two sort of blended and was one and the same, so this is the first time I’ve even felt this gap.

And now, for some awards!

Most worn:
     

Tiny pocket tank! I wore this five times, and I didn’t even make it until half-way through the challenge! This one is a winner.

Most worn, runner-up:

The skirt I made from some old trousers has been such a work-horse – I plan to make more in this style.

Honorable mentions:

My honorable mention goes to the two most worn not me-made things; the yellow cardigan and the striped jersey dress. I deduct of course, that I need more cardigans and more easy-to-wear dresses in my wardrobe.

Most festive:

Celebrating Norway’s Independence day with flags and friends! I didn’t have my national costume available to me, so I wore the second best thing: A coat inspired by and based on my national costume!

Most meh:

As I was saying, some clothes belong in the off-time part of my life. This is such an outfit (in reality, I did wear this to work, and I did not feel comfortable – I felt like a bum). Another lesson learned from this challenge: there is a time to get rid of faded, stretched out, pilling beyond repair pieces of clothing. That time is now, and those clothes are it.

Most favorite garments:
 

Coincidentally made in the same fabric, and coincidentally with the same pencil-skirt shape. They just work.

One thing that really stood out to me while doing this fairly self-focused, self-examining challenge, was how clothes made me feel. In particular, I noticed how not-quite fitting clothes made me quite self-conscious. As a result I now have a laundry-list of friday-fixes for my self-made garments; a too-long hem here, a shoulder needing narrowing there… If the fit is off, I just don’t feel as put-together.

I’m really glad I loosened up the demands on myself this time – it meant that I didn’t lose the enjoyment of the project. Taking pictures was not very fun (why won’t if focus on my face?!), but this time I did like that I took pictures outside the kitchen some days too, say, if I was meeting up with John to go out to dinner, celebrate national days, biking home together, or simply used the stairs outside our apartment as the backdrop instead. And in conclusion: yes, I’d do this again.

The breakdown of what garments I wore, and how much. Love pie-charts!

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me-made-may: week 1

me-made-may: week 2
me-made-may: week 3
me-made-may: week 4
me-made-may: week 5
***

~ Zoe’s original sign-up post | facebook page | flickr group ~

me-made-may: week 5

Me-made-stuff: refashioned skirt

Day 28: Coming off a warm spell over a week long, it was hard to adjust to downright cool temperatures, and I was totally underdressed in this outfit. Thankfully, I was spending the day indoors cutting fabric for the choir-dresses I’ve been working on all month, so it was all good. John yelled out “bag-lady” and snapped this picture as I left with all the bags of finished dresses, which was funny. This outfit is a little school-teacher to me, but in a good way I think.

Me-made stuff: Ironwood dress (not blogged yet)

Day 29:  It was Tuesday, and I felt like dressing up. I still haven’t blogged about this dress – I just need to make a photo-date with the library (for some reason this dress just wants to be photographed among stacks of books.. is that cliché-y?). I’ve used that necklace quite a lot this month, which was a gift from John many years ago, but it sits quite high, and that doesn’t work well with all necklines. In a stroke of minor genius I attached a spare chain, and now it sits just where I want it to.

Me-made stuff: Elmidae knit top, silk tank, Skaugløtt skirt

Day 31: I decided I should go out on a slightly dramatic note, which also ended up being a nod to the first outfit of the month (oops! I just realized it actually was outfit number two! Huh, I guess I didn’t view cords and knit sweater as dressing up and totally mentally skipped it). You can see I’ve wised up to the weather and actually dug out my tights again, haha! After adding the oft-worn minty green necklace, I decided something else needed adding, and the belt that belongs to my grandma dress was a good fit. It actually sat a little lower most of the day (well, with constant adjustment), and made for a nice transition between the light top and dark-colored skirt.

May flew by, I can’t believe we’re into June already! I’m going to crunch numbers and make pie-charts, and be back sometime next week with thoughts on this years challenge. In the meanwhile, a happy Sunday to everyone!

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me-made-may: week 1

me-made-may: week 2
me-made-may: week 3
me-made-may: week 4
me-made-may: week 5
***

~ Zoe’s original sign-up post | facebook page | flickr group ~

me-made-may: week 4


Me-made-stuff: Tailored Jacket

Day 21: The week begins with a bit of photo-fail, and a bit of outfit-fail too (except I still think it’s cute!). I really loved this outfit as a concept, but 1. It was warm, and this jacket didn’t stay on half-way to work, and 2. Without the jacket I felt like a major kick-back to 90s babydoll-dresses and canvas combat boots, and 3. Something is off with the proportions of this jacket on me, and needs a little Fix-it-Friday-love. Except it will be a little tedious because of the tailoring on the inside. And again – this felt a little out of season, but that just means I have a go-to outfit for the fall!


Me-made stuff: Refashioned skirt

Day 22: I’ve worn pretty much exactly this outfit during my SSS challenge, especially if you consider that I didn’t wear the cardigan most of the day. I didn’t even make it to the bus-stop before it came off!

Me-made stuff: Patterned tiny pocket tank

Day 17: Sometimes I get this really strong urge for preppy dressing. So out comes cropped (well, cuffed) pants, oxfords, seersucker-like jackets, and.. a tribal printed tank to shake things up. I liked this outfit, except the pants went straight back to the get-rid-of-pile for the same reason as last time; baggy knees and stretched out bum – guilty as charged.


Me-made stuff: Bayview Street Cardigan

Day 25: I really like the top picture, I look very impish, drinking my wine, all grandmother-vintage-like with leather shoes and a knit cardigan. Ok – confession: This was not my outfit most of the day. Most of the day I wore a different cardigan, and I didn’t change until we were waterside to take pictures of the sunset and it got chilly and I pulled out this to stay warm. But then John was there with a fancy camera, and I was indeed wearing something I made, so you get pretty sunset pictures. You’re welcome.


Me-made stuff: patterned tiny pocket tank, refashioned skirt

Day 26: This Saturday was just so delightfully warm that I spent the entire day working at home in this outfit, windows open, taking breaks from my sewing to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner outside. Just perfect.


Me-made stuff: near-zero-waste yoga pants

Day 27: Sunday saw us going for a 5-hour hike, that wasn’t really supposed to be 5 hours, except we lost our trail on the way down, and decided we could just wing it. Hmm.. not the best idea. You can’t see the cuts and scratches or ticks or mud all over my butt from sliding in moss and battling underbrush, but you can see my fancy new shoes! They’re New Balance Minimus Trail WT20, if anyone is interested. And I approve of them! That’s a really short version of it, but I’m really excited – these are my first ever serious running shoes, and so far I’m pretty pleased!

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me-made-may: week 1
me-made-may: week 2
me-made-may: week 3
me-made-may: week 4
me-made-may: week 5
***

~ Zoe’s original sign-up post | facebook page | flickr group ~

me-made-may: week 3

Me-made-stuff: Valentine’s day skirt

Day 14: I’m a lumberjackjane and I’m okay, I sleep all night and work all day – you know, the usual stuff according to the world of Monty Python. Well, if you count out the cross-dressing since I’m apt to borrow John’s sweater that I made him. Back to the outfit: this is actually a dress layered with my pencil-skirt, and it’s a nice way to get more uses out of dresses and longer shirts! I can’t get over how versatile this skirt is, and how well it pairs with pretty much anything. The plaid dress seems very fall-like to me, and it feels a little drab for the season.

Me-made stuff: Tiny pocket tank (currently missing the tiny pocket part)

Day 15: I met John at his work after we both had put in long days, and he brought me hot chocolate from the vending machine and took my picture in the sunset light (I know, he’s a keeper!). After months of starting, but not completing any for-me sewing projects, I really really needed to sew something quick. I’d been meaning to whip up one of Jen’s Tiny pocket tanks for a long time, and it didn’t disappoint! I added a skinny belt to not totally lose my waist, and also a cardigan that happens to match the bias binding on the inside of the tank (I’ll take picture of the beautifulness soon!). I graciously spared you my footwear today – which was clunky hiking shoes to go with my serious rain gear I donned earlier, since it rained very seriously on my way to work this day.


Me-made stuff: “Traces of Thread” collection coat.

Day 17: Today was Norway’s Independence Day, and you get to see lots of pictures of me in my coat, showing off my mad flag-waiving skills! It was a cold, foggy, and rainy day, so the outside festivities didn’t really happen for us. But we did spend the afternoon dressed up and in the company of good friends, drink, and food, and what more can you ask than that?

Me-made stuff: “Traces of Thread” collection skirt, tiny pocket tank.

Day 18: Oh dear, not the best picture today due to some camera-issues, plus it was quite grey outside! I’ve been eyeing different me-made things in my wardrobe, trying to come up with ways to wear them. This skirt was from my senior thesis collection, and it’s sort of dramatic. I first thought something slim-fitting would be the best combination, but for some reason I like what the crazy-print tank does to the skirt. Then came the necklace to add some color, then the cardigan for warmth, then the belt for waist-definition, and bam! I’m rocking a Frida Kahlo-vibe. I also wore my fancy new running shoes to test them out, but they were too sporty looking for the photo, and I usually don’t wear shoes at work anyways.


Me-made stuff: patterned tiny pocket tank, mustard shorts.

Day 20: The return of the patterned tiny pocket tank! That makes thrice worn in one week, and perhaps I’m just experiencing some new-garment-love (much like I am with the striped dress that’s shown up twice in MMM so far), but I really think it’s also filling a gap in my wardrobe, and that, as well as the crazy print, makes me happy. Also happiness-inducing: first sunny, summer-spring like day this year; seeing dear friends from out of town; and being able to finally use the fully bloomed cherry-blossom tree as a backdrop.

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me-made-may: week 1
me-made-may: week 2
me-made-may: week 3
me-made-may: week 4
me-made-may: week 5
***

~ Zoe’s original sign-up post | facebook page | flickr group ~

me-made-may: week 2

Me-made-stuff:  Geithus lace knit top, refashioned skirt.

Day 7: So far May has been a chilly month, and I’ve been reaching for any warm woolen piece I have. Here, it’s the knit top from my final project at school, in combination with this icky-colored cardigan I think goes with just about everything. I even matched my tights to my belt today!

Me-made stuff: Seamless hybrid sweater (again), mustard shorts.

Day 11: A rainy day, so today’s outfit needed to be warm and also fit underneath some serious raingear. I layered the shirt with the sweater to break up the mass of dark wool against my face, added the shorts for the quasi-newsboy vibe emerging, then put on the necklace to soften things a little. Also, I got a haircut.

    
Me-made stuff: refashioned thrifted skirt.

Day 12: John and I had a date this Saturday, and this is from our little smartphone photoshoot in front of the theater, before heading to a Persian dinner and then an Indian movie (well, set in India at least). It’s colder than it looks. I was (am) getting fed up by the lack of spring, so I felt the need to compensate for the tights by wearing some clunky  sandals. Also, I’m wearing my cardigan backwards to cover a gap I’m discovering in my wardrobe: sweaters.

Me-made stuff: Bayview Street Cardigan.

Day 13: More rain. And chilliness. Surprised? I spent most of this rainy day at a friend’s house, cutting fabric for a project we’re working on, so warm wool and wellies was the ticket.

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me-made-may: week 1
me-made-may: week 2
me-made-may: week 3
me-made-may: week 4
me-made-may: week 5
***

~ Zoe’s original sign-up post | facebook page | flickr group ~

me-made-may: week 1

Me-made-stuff: Seamless hybrid sweater (I should probably make myself one instead of borrowing John’s all the time!), and a cowl that has its own post coming up: here.

Day 1: May 1st is a Labor Day and a public holiday here in Norway, so John and I biked downtown, took pictures of my newly made scarf while sitting in the sun, and managed to catch the parade while eating ice cream.

Me-made stuff: Valentine’s day skirt, knit top sewn by me, designed by Elmidae, refashioned silk tank that I’m so impressed is still going strong 8 years after I thrifted and remade it. Wow.

Day 2: An almost entirely me-made outfit! I’ve been wearing this pencil skirt with blousier tops, but I like the slim silhouette with fitted top better I think. Last time I wore this with a turquoise necklace, and that made it a little more fun and casual.

Me-made stuff: Refashioned skirt

Day 3: Feeling the need to be casual and comfy, so grey skirt, grey tank, grey cardigan. Since the top half is so loose and kind of hidden, I decided to highlight my legs by layering some patterned tights over maroon tights, and bring some color into the mix. The tights didn’t like to stay up during the day, and the skirt was hard to bike in. I felt casual, though a little frumpy. The cardigan is hard to style. But I did feel pretty comfy.

    
Me-made stuff: Refashioned trench, knitted cowl.

Day 4: John came and met me at my work to bike home together, so I had him take my outfit picture there instead of doing the tripod-thing in the kitchen. I just got this dress, and while I’ve been lusting after some striped things for a while now, and I’m really pleased with how this has pale peach and midnight blue stripes instead of the traditional black and while ones, softening the look a bit.

Me-made stuff: Blush silk top, skirt sewn by me, designed by Elmidae.

Day 5: Let’s just ignore the dishes and dance to Modest Mouse and go to a birthday party, ok? Ok then.

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me-made-may: week 1
me-made-may: week 2
me-made-may: week 3
me-made-may: week 4
me-made-may: week 5
***

~ Zoe’s original sign-up post | facebook page | flickr group ~

Me-Made-May 2012

It’s getting close to May, and in the sewing/blogging world, that also means Me-Made-May!

I, Birgitte of indigorchid, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one self-made or refashioned garment or accessory each day I get dressed and go out and about for the duration of May 2012.

Last time around, I said I would probably not participate in another challenge such as Self-Stiched-September or as I am now doing, Me-Made-May. So what has changed? One thing I ended up really enjoying about SSS was how it helped me hone in on something close to “my style” – something I felt comfortable in and excited by. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year since moving from Chicago back to Norway, and I like the thought of MMM reviving my sense of style that seems to have gone a little by the wayside.


My self-designated favorites from SSS’10

However! I don’t want (or need) for this challenge to make me frustrated or unhappy. Last time, things started to feel a little forced and less enjoyable by the end of the month, so in line with Zoe’s call to really challenge ourselves in a way that makes sense to us, these are the parameters I’m setting up for myself:

Lessons learned from last time:

• Only real outfits, worn out and about! I don’t see a point in getting dressed up only to take a photo, if I really spent the day in my pjs reading the newspaper and doing laundry. I need this to reflect the daily life I am leading right now, so no outfit = no picture. And no guilt.
• Which also means I won’t be challenging myself to wear all the self-made things I have, like I did last time. Through doing SSS I actually discovered some clothes I didn’t really care for any more, and it’s totally fine if that happens again. I just won’t make myself wear the potentially offending clothes this time.
• I’ll be doing weekly MMM updates. I did every four days last time, and that was too often for me.

What’s the same:

• The challenge for me lies not in incorporating a self-made or refashioned garment, but to incorporate it in my style, but my one rule will still be at least one self-made or refashioned garment or accessory every day.

I made a pie-chart last time to look at what I had worn during SSS’10. I’m already scheming for this years pie-chart!

This year’s challenges:

• My work has a dress code, which feels limiting. In all honesty, it’s nothing worse than “dress neutral and neat and nice, and no shoes”, but it caps how creative I can get with what I wear to work, which is where I go most days. And the no shoes? It’s a bridalshop, meaning we have to keep the floors super-clean, so shoes become part of my outfit only on my way to and from work.
• Between doing a major culling when we left Chicago last summer and the subsequent road-trip/transatlantic-move/unemployment/settling-in-trickery, I’ve had no energy/interest/money for making or buying clothes. Which means, I’m a quite underwhelmed with the state of my wardrobe at the moment, and I’m a little unsure how I will find outfits I’m happy with! But… that’s the point, right? That there is a challenge!

So there it is, let May start! Actually, let it start in a week or so – I have a pile of unfinished stuff that could use some finishing. I’m looking at you Beignet skirt and Minoru jacket. And Marie skirt. And… oh, let’s just leave it at “pile of”, ok?