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Me-Made-May 2016, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2016: Week 4

This is going to be a super quick post, because airport WiFi is not my friend… Me-Made-May is over for me. I’m on holiday, and planning outfits that will work for a number of activities AND¬†will fit into one backpack for 10 days does not have to be made any harder.:)

However, I have made an unusually high number of me-mades for this trip (one is in the making as I type thisūüėČ ), so I feel no guilt about cutting the challenge short. It was interesting, I think it has helped me set new goals about my sewing and wardrobe plans, but I’m going to give myself some time to come up with some¬†conclusion. In the meantime, here is what I wore for my last 5 days:

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Day 23

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Day  24

TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMayDay25 Day 25

  • Skirt:¬†Self-drafted leather skirt made out of 2 leather coats
  • Top: Modified RTW top

TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMayDay26 Day 26

TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMayDay27 Day 27 Dress: The old faithful wrap dress no 2. It’s a slightly improved Burdastyle pattern.

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Me-Made-May 2016

Me-Made-May 2016: Week 3

Week 3 has been and gone. It was one busy week! On Monday (Day 16) I went to work straight from the train station, so I was wearing pretty much what I wore to Paris. By this time I obviously couldn‚Äôt wait to get the stuff off me, otherwise those pants are made for long days! Unlike Saturday‚Äôs (Day 21) black, experimental silky pair…I am so getting rid of those. For getting snacks from the shop next door it‚Äôs just alright, but I am in constant fear of ripping them, they pull at places ¬†and there is that weird flap on the front.¬†It’s everything I don’t want my clothes to be.

Wearing the kimono dress with the military jacket on a great day out on Brick Lane yesterday, was one of those things that remind me why I’m sewing in the first place.:)

TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMayDay16

Day 16

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Day 17

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Day 18

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Day 19

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Day 20

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Day 21

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Day 22

  • Dress: The kimono dress (self drafted)
  • Coat: The military jacket (refashioned)

As I am getting closer to finish Me-Made-May I started wondering what I should do with the clothes I did not pick up ¬†to wear, or those that don’t fit me quite right.

Do you give up your unworn me-mades for charity, sell them or  recycle them?

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Me-Made-May 2016, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May: Week 2

I’m not the kind of person who stands in front of the wardrobe in the morning¬†for ages, trying to figure out what to wear. I usually find a few pieces that I really enjoy wearing and stick with them for as long as the season allows me.

However, having to choose from a very different set of clothes this month makes me totally clueless some mornings, and whenever the weather gets unexpectedly cold and rainy, like this past week, or when I need to dress for a special occasion (going out, travelling, etc), I find myself really challenged to get dressed without being absurdly late for work.

I have spent the weekend in Paris with my sister, where the weather was supposed to be 15¬†¬įC degrees, mostly cloudy with some sunshine. Otherwise known as that time you are unsure whether you’ll be boiling after walking a few minutes if you put on too many layers, or you’ll wish you took your winter coat. I am really embracing spring right now¬†and feel like wearing bright colours all the time, so I decided to keep it simple and wear my favourite red trousers for the whole weekend. They are comfy, surprisingly versatile¬†and I managed to dress them up for a night out too. So apart from wearing the aforementioned red pants for what feels like eternity, this is what I wore last week.

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Day 8

  • Top: Self drafted bodysuit
  • Leggings:¬†Self drafted, favourite/would-not-wear-it-outside-the house leggings:)

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Day 9

  • Dress: Backless dress, modified Burdastyle pattern
  • Top:¬†Cut-off RTW top (this is the only piece I am allowing myself to wear that I have not made from scratch)

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Day 10

  • Skirt: Infinity dress (made of cotton), worn as a skirt
  • Shirt: Burdastyle pattern, oversized shirt

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Day 11

  • Top: same as above
  • Skirt: same as above

We had a parents’ evening that day, the weather was really unpredictable, so I chose to go with pieces that worked earlier that week.

TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMayDay12

Day 12

  • Dress: Backless dress, modified Burdastyle pattern, almost the same as the blue above
  • Kimono: Vintage Japanese, got ripped on the side, then handsewn back that same day…

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Day 13

  • Dress: Wrap dress, Burdastyle pattern-slightly modified
  • Jumper: Ready-to-wear

My favourite outfit of the week!:)

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Day 14

  • Top:¬†(not visible) camisole+ RTW sweater
  • Trousers: Modified Burdastyle pattern

Day 15

  • Top: Camisole-self drafted/copied from RTW + RTW jumper
  • Trousers: As above


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From scratch, Me-Made-May 2016

Me-Made-May 2016: Week 1

Like I might have mentioned earlier, I was not going to take part in this year’s Me-Made-May, as I wasn’t keen on the idea to wear 1 me-made piece/day again, like I did for the previous 2 years. I also didn’t think I had enough garments to ONLY wear me-mades for a whole month. But then I didn’t want to feel left out either.:)

I’ve spent a few days in Budapest recently and while waiting for the plane back home, I started listing the things I’ve made and realized I could actually pull it off with a bit of creativity. I knew I had clothes in my wardrobe that I hardly ever wear, so the objective had to be¬†to¬†not only wear as many handmade pieces as I can, but also to be honest with myself and give away those I don’t enjoy wearing at the end of the month.

This first week was really challenging, as we practically skipped spring and went straight into summer. Since I wouldn’t wear most of my skirts without black tights on, my options became even more limited. I pretty much struggled through the week, but as I was taking photos yesterday I just realized it doesn’t have to be as hard as I thought.

It turns out most of my clothes actually work well together, some of the dresses can easily be turned into skirts or can be worn as a top. I managed to come up with 21 different combinations so far using 15 pieces, and this is just the number I cared to take pictures of…

So here is what I wore this week:

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Day 1

  • Red trousers: heavily modified Burdastyle pattern(s)
  • Nude bodysuit:¬†Self-drafted/copied from an existing one
  • Bag:¬†Le Barcelona bag, made using scrap leather pieces (current favourite!)


Day 4

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Day 5

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Day 6

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Day 7

  • Trousers: Modified Burdastyle pattern(s)
  • Top: Camisole


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From scratch, Me-Made-May 2016

Me-Made-May 2016

I was gonna skip participating in this year’s Me-Made-May as I thought I would wait until I have a full wardrobe of me-mades. Then I realized I already have that. The idea this year is to streamline this aforementioned wardrobe and only keep those pieces I actually enjoy wearing at the end of the month. So here is my pledge:

‘I, Etemi, of The Secret Costumier, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to only wear clothes that I have made each day for the duration of May 2016, with the exception of jumpers and lingerie.’

Day 1

  • Red trousers: heavily modified Burdastyle pattern
  • Nude bodysuit: self drafted/copied from an existing one
  • Bag: le Barcelona bag, made using scrap leather pieces (current favourite!)

Jumper and scarf store bought.

TheSecretCostumier - The camisolebig
From scratch

Camisole numéro deux

This is the second version of my copycat camisole pattern. This fabric, just like 90% of my stash, was a remnant I got a few months ago. It is probably inspired by that Prada print from 2012 (image source), which I was madly in love with at the time.:)


TheSecretCostumier - The camisole1

I love spaghetti straps and I think camisoles have that pretty sultry, half-lingerie/half-totaly-decent-can-wear-it-outside-the-bedroom look to them. They also don’t use a lot of fabric (although because of the bias cut, there is a relatively large¬†amount of waste), and can be¬†sewn up fairly quickly.

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TheSecretCostumier - The camisole6

I am quite happy to have this particular piece in my wardrobe (although I haven’t worn it yet…), but it needs a bit of tweaking before I can make up the next one:

  • It’s not visible, but the side seam does not run straight down as it’s supposed to. However, when I put it on backwards, it falls just right, so I guess it needs some kind of an adjustment…
  • The whole point of wearing something with spaghetti straps is to show off that tiny piece of fabric against the skin, and bra straps just take away the attention. For decency’s sake it would be nice to have a sort of lining without having to line the whole top. Since it’s bias cut, I am not sure if I can do it without ending up with a¬†longer facing (could be one of the options) all bunching up. I was also thinking of inserting some kind of a built-in bra thing, but knit fabrics and very lightweight wovens are not famous for working well together. Or are they?

Any ideas how to solve this?

TheSecretCostumier - Knitting in progress
From scratch

This knitting thing…

I was going to knit a jumper while on holiday in Japan. At first it went alright, on our 12 hour flight I did knit for about an hour and a half (and was actively trying to force myself to sleep for 10.5…). Then I did knit while my mother and sister dozed off during our train journeys, but surprise-surprise: I did not finish the jumper. I didn’t even finish the back of it.

But it’s okay. I tried to incorporate some colours and textures, but then I also wanted to make something I would be able to wear with most of my existing winter wardrobe. See-through jumpers are not such items I figured. So the last picture of the failed experiment is the one below (the addition of the different yarns is barely visible), just before I dismantled it on our little Airbnb’s balcony with the coolest view of Tokyo in the background.

TheSecretCostumier - Knitting in progress

TheSecretCostumier - Tokyo skyline

Long story short, I now have finished the back of the jumper (top¬†picture), and started knitting the front too. I really want to finish it by the end of this month, but I’m actually writing this post when I was supposed to be knitting, so…it may just not happen.:)

Now I only have one question for those of you who knit regularly:

How long does it actually take to knit a jumper?