Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Me-Made May 2015 Wrap Up

I finished the rest of Me Made May without repeating my handmade clothes!  Before going into this I hadn't realized how much of my wardrobe is actually made by me.  And actually now that May is over I still have a few more things that I never wore during the month, but that I have worn since.  Not even including things that are for colder weather!

Here are the outfits I wore in the second half of the month (most pics from Instagram although some are pre-square-cropping so I can show you more of the proportions!)

May 17th:  I wore this dress out to tea at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku (where Lost in Translation was filmed, although we were on a different floor) with some lady friends of mine.  I haven't worn this dress much, because I struggled a lot with the fit when making it.  Let's just say this is the dress that taught me the importance of making a muslin, especially when the project has multiple darts, piping, a full lining, invisible zip, and fitted waistband--pretty much impossible to alter without taking the whole thing apart!  I blogged about it when I first made it, and I don't know if I'll ever wear it again.

May 18:  Foldover waist yoga skirt.  I made this one out of a thrifted t-shirt and I thought I was pretty ingenious to use the square neckline to make the topstitched pockets.

 May 19th:  Railroad-Stripe Milkmaid Skirt (from this Crafterhours tutorial) and a cardigan I made out of a hand-me-down wrap dress, with a RTW tank and scarf

May 20th:  This is a Sorbetto Top but with a reverse pleat (blogged here) and a Boyfriend Cardi in some fun 100 yen per meter double-sided knit, from the free iCandy Handmade pattern.  I wore it to the Dirty Dish Shop in Tokyo (pictured), an awesome ceramics warehouse where everything is 40% off of retail price!

May 21st:  This was the first new item I made for Me Made May--a sleeveless Washi dress with some bodice alterations that I blogged about here.  It's also my favorite item of the month, and the one I was most excited to wear again when the month was over.

I had to show you a better close-up of the fabric too, because I love it--it's a little crinkly so it has some stretch, and it's nice and airy for hot weather.  Plus it was only 100 yen per meter--can't beat that!  This dress cost me about $2 to make! 

I wore it for our trip to a Sumo match, one of our bucket list items before we move away from Japan! Near the stadium we happened across this giant yarn ball and I couldn't resist the photo op.

May 22nd:  This dress was my Easter dress a few years ago.  It was one of my first splurge fabrics--a silky feeling cotton that was an end-of-bolt cut from Mood.  I think it also marks the first time I actually paid money for a women's pattern!  It's the Gathered Sundress from Pattern Runway.  I didn't make a muslin for this dress so the fit isn't great, but it still gets a lot of wear due to the beautiful print and the roomy pockets!  I think it's about time to give this pattern another try, now that my technique has improved quite a bit.

May 23rd:  Another Washi Dress :)  I LOVE this one in the Melody Miller border print arrow fabric, but being my first Washi Dress I wasn't sure how long to make it, and because of the border print I couldn't shorten it as much as I wanted to when hemming.  Still a winner though!

May 24th:  This skirt is another Milkmaid Skirt, this time made from a thrifted nightgown.  I rarely wear it since it's white, but I did manage to get through the whole day without spilling on it so maybe I'm getting less clumsy!  Or maybe my kids are older now and don't wipe their hands and faces on me as much anymore.  In any case, I think I can bring this skirt into more regular rotation now.  In other news, I loved this t-shirt Merchant and Mills made for Uniqlo--it has a faux measuring tape draped around it!  Of course, it's in centimeters...

May 25th:  Another take on the Scoop Top from Skirt as Top's free pattern.   Hmm, I guess I never blogged about this one.  It uses some sheer woven fabric from a blouse I ordered online that was a terrible fit.  This month made me realize how often I like to make the same pattern over and over--I have three milkmaid skirts, three (at least!) scoop tops, several Washi's, plenty of Plantains, and so on.

May 26th:  The 2nd NEW item of the month!  I found this fun strawberry print jersey for 200 yen per meter, and it made a great sundress for Little Sister but I was a little afraid of it for myself.  But I liked it so much I had to give it a try!  I think the black and white stripe mellows it out enough to be at least somewhat appropriate for a grown-up--but it's still a little crazy!  The pattern is the free Fun Summer tee from iCandy Handmade, and I haven't had a chance to blog about it yet.

May 27th:  Another dress I never blogged about!  I made this one here in Tokyo out of thrifted fabric that I brought with me from home.  The bodice is based on the Sorbetto Tank pattern again, but I'm pretty sure I used the Milkmaid skirt dimensions to figure out the skirt.  It has an elastic waist with bias casing.  And pockets, because duh.

This is another fabric that deserves a closer look, because it's printed on top of thin stripes.  Pretty cool!

May 28th:  A basic RTW black tee with a simple elastic waist a-line skirt (with pockets, of course!).  I  like the ribbon detail on the hem--you can get a closer look on my blog post about this skirt.

May 29th:  What's that, another Washi?  This time with long sleeves!  I made the elastic slightly too tight in the ends of the sleeves on this dress, so I ripped them out in the morning before putting this dress on--now they might be a bit TOO loose?  Maybe I'll put in a bit more elastic and try again.  This was my 2nd Washi dress and since I made the first one too long I overcompensated on this one and made it too short--and of course, I did a visible hem facing so no easy way to lengthen it either.  Grr!  It seems I never blogged about this one, either!

Cool double-sided 100-yen-per-meter fabric!

May 30th:   I based this top off of iCandy Handmade's free cap-sleeve tee pattern.  At first I just cut the yoke straight across, but it felt like it needed more so I re-did it with the sweetheart shape and was so happy with how it came out.  The knit has a subtle stripe that coordinated really well with the slate-gray cotton lace.  And what do you know--this is another project I never blogged about!

Sorry about the blurry pic of the back--it's hard to know when you're in focus using a phone self-timer!

May 31st:  My final outfit of the month was my 100-yen-per-meter Bess Top from Imagine Gnats in this weird map print!  I was pretty surprised to find that I had enough items to get me through an entire month without repeats (and then some!)

And that's it!  You can see my outfits from the first half of Me Made May here.  This was my first year participating in earnest, and I'm pretty happy with the results--the most major of which is realizing that a lot of my favorite things to wear are actually things that I made myself.

I have a few more projects on my to-do list now, some inspired by the great looks I saw from other sewists on Instagram, and some coming from the realization that I have a few dresses in my closet that I wanted to wear all the time, and I only avoided since I was trying not to repeat myself.  That tells me I need to make those patterns a few more times!


  1. I love all these outfits! Congrats on a successful me-made-may!


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