Voluminous

I finally made pants.

Actually this is my 2nd pair of pants.

I wrote a big ‘ol post months ago about the Ginger Jeans I made…

Side bar: I made jeans!

Side bar subheading: the Lander Pant disaster of a muslin I made doesn’t count and we’re Not Talking About It.

…but I can’t get decent photos of anything on my body, least of all light-sucking black-on-black denim. I’m really struggling to get photos. I had hoped this was a skill that would improve over time, but there’s no light when there’s time and no time when there’s light,  and there are no uncluttered rooms or pretty backgrounds.

Ah, well. Here’s my messy, cluttered front porch. And my not-jeans.

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Pattern: Mercury Collection by Marilla Walker, view C
Size: 3 waist graded to 4 everywhere else
Mods: I must have short legs. I chopped a lot off. I might shorten them even further to a couple inches above the ankle. Then again, I might not.

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It seems fitting (ha ha, pun intended) that after making jeans I would do a 180 in just about every pants-making respect possible. Linen instead of denim, an elastic waist instead of fly, clownishly wide legs instead of slim, a style whose only fit requirement is that the elastic is snug enough to stay at your waist while being wide enough to go over your tush. They feel ridiculous to wear, but they were super easy to make and I’m pleasantly surprised to find I can wear them without them wearing me. Good enough! One office-wear garment done.

Dolly Dolly Oxen Free

Toys are deceiving. I know from personal experience that beginning knitters misidentify toys as “small projects” that will be “quick” and underestimate the skills they require. Toys are actually really difficult projects to get right – there can be more techniques used in a seemingly simple toy than a simple sweater and when you scale down a project’s size you’re often leveling up its difficulty. I don’t say that to discourage anybody from knitting or sewing whatever they like – do it! Toys can be excellent learning tools for all the same reasons that they’re difficult! – I say it in case you don’t have me in your life to (loudly, probably) reassure you, “Toys are HARD!” if you’re embarrassed to find that, for example, the stuffed pig you made with ad-hoc fun fur wings turns out to have more of a sneer than a smile, crooked bum, asymmetrical snout, and 4 differently shaped and sized legs that collectively cannot support the creature’s weight.

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Pre-printed fabric for easy doll making!

Point is, it takes a little more time and practice to develop the chops to throw a toy off one’s needles that you feel proud to gift to anybody but the cat. The good news is that except in cases such as the crocheted hanging clown doll that lived in my childhood closet terrorizing me at night, the trade off to “perfection” is often “character”. And so even though I knew I didn’t have the sewing skills or attention to detail that would make these dolls keepsake-quality, when MJ picked cooed over, clung to, and generally delighted in the Goldilocks and the Three Bears samples at Craft South (well played, Craft South, well played) I thought, well, what the heck. Why not?

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Uneven, imperfect, and who cares? They’re cute and good enough and MJ won’t get them until her birthday, but I hope she loves them to literal bits after years of use and abuse. Aren’t keepsakes that retain their condition the ones never enjoyed? Or is that a lie I tell myself because we don’t take good care of our things?

I don’t see them available online, but I do see Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel.

MJ wanted those, too, but one has to to draw the line somewhere. Right?

Temp Tempt Tank

I’d put off the Ogden Cami because I felt sure it wouldn’t work on me. All those pretty floral Ogdens during Me-Made-Made May coincided with a sharp rise in outdoor temperatures (in the Midwest you can go from snow to 90’s in the span of a week) and suddenly the temptation to take a chance on a loose-fitting tank was too great to resist.

I dutifully worked up a muslin and was pleasantly surprised: all I would have to do is shorten the straps. I’ve had a string of successful muslin-ing and superstitiously started to believe that whether I make a muslin or not directly impacts how well a pattern fits out of the figurative PDF envelope. The “logic” goes that if I make a muslin a pattern will fit better than if I don’t. My streak ended with a muslin of the Lander shorts, but that’s a story for another time if and when I go back to that pattern. Trust me, you don’t want to see a picture of my too–small muslin in white-on-white printed quilting cotton.img_9241.jpg

Pattern: Ogden Cami by True Bias
Size: 6? I think? I made this pre-vacation. Details are only faintly remembered.

Sewists go on about what a great pattern this is for using up odds and ends. To my surprise the only suitable remnant in my stash was the blue linen from my Forsythe Dress. Every other remnant was quilting cotton or too little which left me wondering *again* why I’m keeping it. I was excited to make a wearable version of this pattern and jumped the gun: not only am I tired of this fabric 3 projects later, but it’s a bit too heavy and remember how I was inspired by the light, airy, floral versions? This in no way resembles them so I find myself disappointed even though there is no possible way an Ogden made out of teal linen could resemble one made out of liberty lawn.

The benefit to having made this weeks ago is I’ve worn it and I can report that I need to shorten the straps another smidge. I might even size down; this tank seemed OK at first try-on, but has a mind of its own when I’m actually trying to live life and I can’t abide constantly adjusting, lifting, and tugging so my bra cups don’t show. I’m not sure if this is a sizing problem or a high/small-bust fitting problem, but it’s exactly the issue I had anticipated that made me so reluctant to try this pattern in the first place. Muslins, like swatches, can lie.

Some Assembly Required

I saw this fabric online and had to have it. My favorite shade of blue! And a print reminiscent of that dandelion motif I so enjoy. I had visions of a summer dress.

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Pattern: Willow Tank Dress, Grainline Studio
Size: 6
Fabric: IKEA Ingelill
Mods: moved the bust darts up an inch & made them a little longer

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I’ve cooled on this fabric since I saw that someone online used it to make a privacy curtain for her cat’s litter box.

Also, it wrinkles like, well, like cotton would. I’m not usually bothered by that – I love linen and live with its characteristic wrinkles, and I’m bad at laundry and choose to wear wrinkly clothes rather than properly micromanage the dryer-to-hanger pipeline – but these wrinkles are deep and right across my lap. Meh.

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Boxy style is boxy

I rather like its fashion’s style, but I’m not sure it will fit into my life’s style so well. I don’t tend to “dress”, which here means owning a variety of clothes suitable for various specific occasions and, this is the part I’m bad at, remembering to use them rather than wearing the same dress over and over because it’s comfortable and already ironed (I refer you to my statement above about being bad at laundry). So while I look at this and think it’s perfect for a BBQ or pool party, I haven’t been to a BBQ or pool party since finishing this dress and probably wouldn’t have thought to wear it if I had been.

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I haven’t worn this once since the day I finished it excepting these photos. It seems too casual for the office, too short for chasing after kids, too loud when I’m wearing it, and yet when I look at these pictures it isn’t too casual or too short or too loud, is it?

Maybe if I can disassociate this print from kitty litter boxes it could still stand a chance.

Gaslit

The last time I wore my Wiksten Tova Tunic I had a series of revelations:

  1. Hey, this style is pretty flattering!
  2. Didn’t this pattern have a dress option?
  3. It does!
  4. That fabric I bought way back when for a skirt that never happened would be perfect!
  5. I should make a Wiksten Tova Dress!

And I did and it is SO GOOD.

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Pattern: Tova Top + Dress by Wiksten
Size: Medium
Mods: added 2 inches to the length*

Last week I found myself awake at 2 a.m. too angry and upset to sleep (work stuff) so I got out of bed and sewed it up but for the cuffs. I coulda gotten it all done, too, if I hadn’t tried to get back to sleep between 4 and 5.

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I just love this. It’s comfy and casual, but nice enough for the office. I wore it to work with my red saltwater sandals and on my walk to the car after work I saw another woman wearing a denim dress with red sandals. “We match!” I said without thinking, immediately relieved I hadn’t instead blabbed “we’re twins!” to a black woman.

 

*Folks, as written this dress would be seriously mini. I was surprised when I pulled out the pattern to see that the dress was not a whole lot longer than the tunic. I wonder if the dress is actually an extra-long tunic intended to still be worn with leggings? Or could be that I’m a prude who’s uncomfortable in short skirts; with the extra 2″ this is as short as I can imagine comfortably sitting in. And I really like sitting! I do it all day! Preferably without feeling the seat on the underside of my seat.

Final MMMay Roundup

MMMay is over!

  • Day 22: Malaga Pleated Hem Top. The pleats at the hem of this are so good, as is the v-neckline in the back. It hangs from the shoulders down your back in a way that feels luxurious and also like you’re wearing a secret cape. I dig it.
  • Day 23: My sleeveless Matcha, again. I needed some cheering up.
  • Day 24: Wiksten Tova Dress. Brand new!
  • Day 25: Ruby Top. An oldie but a goodie.
  • Day 26: Ryan Top, again. Not pictured: my Weekender Duffle!
  • Day 27: Tiny Pocket Tank. Terrible fit on this, it doesn’t suit me at all and was made out of quilting cotton to boot. But it matches my blue shorts so well!
  • Day 28: Gemma Tank. I love this pattern and think it fits pretty much perfectly, but when I made it with the scooped neck it didn’t fit so well. WHY?
  • Day 29: Bianca Top. This was me reaching for one of those makes that I never reach for. I love his fabric’s hand, hate its color. I mean, mint is fine, but not for me to wear. Pulling this out of the closet confirmed that I need to let it go. I have so many me-made that I love so much. This one makes me sad.
  • Day 30: Sailor Top. This is another one I never reach for. I love the fabric and the pattern is OK, but I don’t know. I think I’m just not in a peasant-blouse place.
  • Day 31: GINGER JEANS. Fresh off the sewing machine. Plus my plain white Akita because I wanted to wear an all me-made outfit for the FIRST TIME EVER. Even though I have several fabrics in my stash that would look very nice with black jeans, I haven’t turned any of them into tops, yet.

Did I meet my pledges? Yes, no, and maybe later.

  • Strive to pair me-made blouses with something other than jeans. Stretch goal: accessorize!
    • Um, no. First off, what was with this goal? What did I imagine myself wearing shirts with if not jeans? The real idea behind this was to accessorize and create outfits. I still have no idea how to “outfit”. I’m a jeans + top sort of person. My only hangup about it is that it makes for pretty boring daily photo sharing, a problem I’ve decided to remedy in the future by not posting daily photos.
  • Get some jeans/pants that I feel good in. Stretch goal: make them!
    • I did both! I bought new jeans! I made new jeans! I am awash in jeans! I have THREE PAIRS that fit! That’s more pairs than I’ve had in years.
  • Wear my unused and forgotten shawls out of the house, each one at least once.
    • I wore one shawl once. Sigh. Maybe I’ll try this one again in the fall. Winter stays late and summer comes early to the Midwest and we just didn’t see a lot of in-between temps like I had hoped for. Actually, how that I’m writing this a shawl would have spruced up the plain white t and black jeans I’m wearing. Oh, well.

My biggest take away was that I chose to repeat some me-made tops rather than wear others even a single time for the whole month. I have some cleaning out to do!

 

Never Enough Geraniums

I recently contacted my former boss to ask if I could use him as a reference. I had not had contact with him in years, but he was gracious and kind and I found out he’d had a daughter since we last spoke. If you’ve ready recent posts you know that I like making things for babies. This child is not a baby, anymore, she’s a toddler, so I went to the stash and fell back on my tried-and-true, often-made, always-cute Geranium Dress pattern. I kept the sewing simple: no notch, no sleeves, just a piping detail to add a little oomph.

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Pattern: Geranium Dress by Made by Rae
Size: 2T

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No major mishaps in this make, unless you count the fact that I forgot to cut out two bodices, but then I forget to cut the bodice lining when using this pattern so often that I congratulate myself when I do remember.

Geranium is always a lovely make.