Me-Made-May is over, but here’s a rundown of a few final pieces I sewed or altered.
First up is a tee which has seen better days and undergone recent alterations.
I made it last year, and I now realise (having re-measured myself recently) that somewhere over the winter I lost a couple of inches in my bust. That’s a couple of bra cup sizes, as well as at least a dress size or more. So this explains why certain things from last year seemed to have ‘grown’. The result was that the neck gaped, and in attempting to fix the fit and the neckline recently, I pushed the fabric beyond its comfort zone. I don’t think the fit is great and the neckline no longer lies flat. It’s okay I guess – don’t love it, don’t hate it!
Another new make for this month was this pink floral top. I actually bought new fabric for this, which you don’t often hear me say. But I was visiting a local fabric store and felt that this fabric would just suit what I wanted, which was 1) something floral and 2) something pink.
I drafted this design myself, and I think it has some fitting issues, but the fabric is the main attraction, so I’ll let the other problems go.
And here’s a whole outfit. This top you’ve seen before, but I took some advice from a reader (thanks!) and took it in at the top, leaving the flared hem. I like it much better. It feels more flattering without being all-over tight.
The navy trousers are thrifted, but I made some alterations. Since fitting jeans, I’ve learned more about how to fit trousers in general and I was able to figure out how to improve the fit of these.
Finally, I rushed to finish this purple tank top for the last day of May. It’s made from yet another thrifted top.
I had another case of neckline troubles sewing this, this time because my original vision didn’t work well in the fabric and had to be re-envisioned. I had imagined the merest ruffle of fabric at the neckline – 1 cm or less – nothing fluffy or frilly, just neat and minimal. But in this stretchy jersey, the gathering of the ruffle was pulling the neckline out of shape. After several tries I opted for a different approach and threaded elastic through the ruffle to make a kind of gathered casing. I actually like the effect, but there are still some ripples where the neckline stretched after all my re-sewing. Perhaps they’ll come out in the wash, but if not, I still love the colour and style of this!
And that’s the end! I did learn a few things, which I’ll summarise:
- I actually have plenty of homemade clothes and could wear them exclusively if I wanted – although there’s no point in avoiding wearing store-bought clothes I own and like! During May a lot of my tops in particular got heavily worn, basically reaching the limit of laundry-day, but I still had enough to have something to wear every day.
- It’s okay to use my time for simple, tried-and-true garments. I can get wound up with trying new ideas, which of course is part of the creative fun of sewing, but in most cases a simple item is just as enjoyable to wear and often more enjoyable to make. When I was fussing with the neckline of that purple tank, I thought to myself, I should have just made a plain neckline and I’d already be done and have enjoyed myself more! In particular, being time-poor and often brain-poor these days, I find that an overly-ambitious project becomes a source of stress rather than relaxation, whereas making a plain top can be done in a couple of evenings of mindful, but not stressful, work.