Not pictured.

I’m not posting a photo for Me Made May today because although I’m wearing a self-made garment, it’s basically a house dress and I can’t be bothered to take a picture. Way too low energy today.

This particular dress is a fraternal twin to the knit Staple dress I wore earlier in the month. It’s the same, except that it’s a black and grey floral print. I consider it a fabric failure, because it got extremely pilled only the second time I wore it. We drove to New Orleans last year for our anniversary, and by the time we reached our hotel, the front of this dress had a visible line of pilling where the seat belt had been! I was so sad. It was basically brand new, and already too “worn” to wear out and about — what a terrible, cheap fabric. Ugh!

The dress is perfectly sound in all other respects, though, so I often wear it around the house — and so comfortable that I’m tempted to make another version one of these days.

Maybe I will.

Practical sewing.

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Today for Me Made May I wore the same Comino Cap dress as the other day because I did laundry yesterday and it’s my new favorite. I also wore a self-made apron while I was baking earlier.

I probably wear this apron more frequently than any other handmade item I have — usually every day. I wear it while cooking and while doing dishes and other chores. There was a fad for apron making a few years ago, but most people were making frothy half aprons, which look great in a retro sort of way, but do very little in practical terms. A good apron has to cover your clothes to save them, after all.

I traced off an old apron to make the pattern for this one, and used two layers of quilting cotton instead of one of canvas. (I’ve also made reversible aprons this way.) I used purchased twill tape for the neck and ties, so it was even easier to make. I love that such a simple item gets so much use!

My friend Tanzy came for tea today, so I made bannocks and a hot black eyed pea dip. We also had the refrigerator pickles I made on Thursday, and the blueberry freezer jam I made yesterday. It has been a busy week in my kitchen! I really do enjoy cooking and baking when my energy level permits it. I get a little self-conscious baking for Tanzy, though — she trained as a pastry chef. Today she brought a meringue roulade to share!

But we had a nice chat, and my apron got yet a little more use. (And I made the Hello Kitty tablecloth, too.)

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This pattern has Comino Cap-tured my heart.

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*Groan!* What a terrible pun, am I right? Aren’t you glad Me Made May allowed me to force such dreadful wordplay upon you? Of course you are.

I now totally get why sewing bloggers  went bananas for this pattern when it came out. The t-shirt is great, and the dress is marvelous.

I graded out at the waist and hips again, shortened the bodice by two inches, and added several inches to the skirt’s length. I seem to add length to everything these days, despite being only 5’2″. I’ve got nothing against short skirts on others, but I’m 40-mumble years old and I work in accounting. I’m not wearing anything much above knee level to work. From a stylistic perspective I prefer midi length, anyway — I think it’s more elegant.

Yes, this is the same fabric I used for the tee. Unoriginal, sure — but at least I knew it would work well. I got both the tee and the dress out of 3 yards, even with all that extra length in the skirt. What a great (and economical) pattern!

I would also like to say that this is the best neckband application I’ve done to date.  But then I turned around and made one of the crappiest hems I’d done in a while! Eh, win some, lose some. I’m still very satisfied by this dress, and totally in love with the pattern.

A great skirt for a not-so-great day.

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I’m wearing yet another Collette Mabel skirt variation today (I think I’ve made 6 Mabels total) for Me Made May. I think the boxy top (from Target last year) gives it a mid-90s vibe. This outfit pretty forcefully recalls all of those rib knit skirt and tee combos from Express I wore back in the day.

This is one of the most comfortable skirts I own. The ponte knit is especially soft and stretchy — I wish I’d gotten more of this fabric in other colors. I needed that kind of comfort today. I didn’t do a great job of respecting my limitations over the weekend, and now I’m paying the price.

After two days of non-stop busy-ness, I woke up this morning with super fatigue and mystery pain, and a brain fog so bad that although I was at work for six hours, I only billed out one and a half. I couldn’t think my way out of a wet paper sack today. Not a great day.

But at least my clothes were comfortable.

A really great t-shirt.

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I’m wearing a Comino Cap t-shirt today for Me Made May. I love this shirt, and I really love this sewing pattern. (I think the fabric is still available at Girl Charlee, too, as it was a fairly recent purchase.) I also have a Comino Cap dress almost done (no hem yet), which I’ll almost certainly wear before the end of the month.

I procrastinated on making this shirt for a long time. I was off the size chart at the waist and hips, and the armholes looked almost impossibly tiny. A review at the Curvy Sewing Collective convinced me to try it, and I’m really glad I did. I added the amount I needed at the waist and hips, and the armholes are exactly right, even for my generously sized arms. It fits very, very well — neither too tight, nor too loose, great medium length, almost no pooling above the waist in the back. I particularly like its little cap sleeves — just enough, and not an awkward kimono sleeve. It’s simply ideal; I anticipate making a metric buttload of these tees.

I really am feeling very enthusiastic about this shirt — a feeling apparently shared by both a client and a grocery check out clerk who complimented me today. (Good job me!)

This is the first thing I both cut out and sewed this month — I mean both in May. I still have two things I cut out before May began (one a good long while ago, actually), but I intend to finish them before the month is out. I’m not going to worry about it, though. It has been too nice a sewing month to get all high pressure now.

Good enough.

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Here I am in all my post-workday rumpled glory, wearing a fat cat print Made by Rae Washi dress for Me Made May today.

Having seen a million cute versions of this dress all over the internet, I bought this pattern when it was still fairly new, despite being outside its size range. My first muslin, made way back when, was a hot mess — and so I quickly abandoned it. I ended up making a really great dress for my (smaller) Mom from the pattern, so it didn’t feel like a waste.

A couple of years later, I made an equally unsuccessful muslin for a similar-but-different elastic back quilting-cotton-friendly dress (the pattern name escapes me), and I realized that the Washi dress was much better drafted, and that my pattern alteration skills had improved in the interim. So I gave it another go.

I’m really glad I did! I gave it an FBA, lengthened the skirt a bit, and lengthened the bodice to give it more of a fit-and-flare vibe instead of the drafted empire waist. I might tweak it a little more if I make it again, but really: it’s fine. Perfectly wearable.

I worked in theatrical costuming for several years in my youth. We didn’t build exquisite period pieces or perfectly tailored modern separates. We worked within a minuscule budget, for short run shows, and specialized in “good enough.” I went from sewing as carefully as I could to sewing as fast as I could. I learned to alter and adapt thrifted pieces, too. If it looked good from the audience’s perspective, it was good enough.

My sewing perfectionism got thrown out the window, and thankfully never returned. Sure, I still love creating a quality garment, but I won’t torture myself over every little imperfection. Are my self-made t-shirts worse than Old Navy? No? Then they’re fine. If I found a dress I liked that fit as well as this Washi dress at the thrift store for $10, would I buy it? Yes? Then this dress is fine.

Embracing imperfection can be very freeing. I recommend it.

Seasonally inappropriate.

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Today’s Me Made May garment is a Day of the Dead skirt that I generally only wear, well, once a year.

I used to make a new Halloween print skirt every year or two (to wear to work in lieu of a costume), but my Mom gave me this fabric for Christmas one year, and this skirt became my new tradition instead.

It’s a self-drafted elastic waist A-line skirt, and I wish I could find the pattern pieces again because I made it to accommodate my very tilted waist/swayback, and the hem falls perfectly straight hanging from my natural waist. Oh, well! I probably should just draft a new one, anyway, since this one is really a couple of sizes too large — I just took in the elastic. (That’s why it looks more like a full skirt.)

Anyway, I could make a fairly specious argument that I felt like honoring my ancestors today, but the unfortunate truth is that my laundry pile is out of control…and this was both self-made and clean.

Sometimes that’s the real sartorial deciding factor, after all.

Revisiting the lemonade I once made.

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Today for Me Made May, I’m wearing the dress I discussed in this post last year. The cat’s out of the bag now, I guess: it started life as the Bettine Dress from Tilly and the Buttons. I used the neckline from a smaller size, shortened the sleeves considerably, used contrast bias trim to finish the neckline and sleeves, and drafted a completely different skirt. If I ever make it again, I will also do an FBA on the bodice, and fix a couple of other minor things. The bodice fits a little weirdly, but no worse than a lot of ready-to-wear, so I don’t really mind. Sometimes good enough is, well, good enough.

It’s very comfortable in hot weather, and every time I wear it I’m reminded that I should sew more with rayon challis, because it feels so weightless and breezyΒ in this awful climate. Lemonade is also good on a hot day, and considering this dress’s origin story, I always think of it as my Lemonade Dress.