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.

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Me-Made-May 2015, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2015: The summary

I will keep this short and sweet as there are way too many warm weather clothes in this post, which might be an unwelcome reminder to those enjoying the beautiful weather we have. 🙂

I wore 17 me-made garments during the 24 days I managed to keep up with the challenge: 5 dresses, 5 skirts, 3 trousers, 3 tops  and a bag. I decided to take a look at what I enjoyed wearing as well as to look at the resolutions I’ve made after last year’s Me-Made-May. (Quoting myself looks and feels really stupid, but without the quotation marks last years findings don’t make much sense. To me at least. 🙂 )

Dresses

In 2014 I needed: “At least one more backless dress, simple dresses in solid colours. Wrap dresses, and dresses made of knit fabrics. I don’t own any jumpsuits yet, but they should be a great alternative to dresses for summer, so I am planning to give them a try.” – Since 2014: I made a backless dress in a solid colour, and another wrap dress made of a knit fabric. No jumpsuits yet…

Now I need: I think I have enough dresses at the moment, although I tend to wear them a lot, so I will allow myself to make more if I feel like it. I might also give that jumpsuit idea a go this year.

Skirts

In 2014 I needed: “More simple skirts in solid colours, from interesting fabrics.” – Since 2014: I made another velvet skirt and altered a thrift store dress into a skirt. I got the dress because I thought the fabric was really interesting, and you really can’t beat velvet in this category, so I think I’ve done well.

Now I need: I think I wouldn’t mind having a few pencil skirts that allow me to cycle in them, but to be honest I am not in urgent need of any new skirts.

Trousers

In 2014 I need: “Well fitting comfortable trousers that work for summer. Try a palazzo style and a slim fitting one.” – Since 2014: I did make a pair of trousers that are comfortable and they fit well too (kind of), but unfortunately I got oil on them and I’m not sure if I can do anything to make them wearable again. No slim fitting trousers though.

Now I need: More of the comfy summery kind. It’s a shame that I am so scared of making trousers, as they are the best option for summer cycling and not that hard to make at all.

Tops

I need: “More tops, obviously. Sleeveless ones for summer, a few more crop tops, another shirt, the perfect white T, and maybe some woven basic tops.” – Since 2014: I made a crop top out of a thrift store dress, but it does not fit very well and it’s a little short. Apart from that, I made another attempt to modify a blouse, but I got stuck and I don’t think I like it enough to spend time on figuring out how to finish it.

Now I need: I still need more tops. Simple and wearable ones!

It’s a bit of a shame that I couldn’t/didn’t engage too much with others this year around and I think that was the bit I missed the most, but hopefully next year I’ll be able to be more active in this area as well as wear handmade stuff from head to toe!

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Me-Made-May 2015

Me-Made-May 2015: The last week

All good things come to an end, right? This is what my last week of Me-Made-May looked like…or more accurately this is what I looked like.

TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMay - Day 25TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMay - Day 27

Day 25: Wearing my scrap bodysuit on Bank holiday Monday. I spent the whole day at home, so normally I would have stayed in PJs all day long, but we had my cousin’s family over for lunch, so I made an effort. A little one.

Day 27: It’s hardly visible, but I’m wearing the bias cut camisole underneath that black top. We were allowed to wear jeans to work as the kids were off school, so even though I don’t usually wear them, I decided to go for it after much struggle in front of the wardrobe. I think my face says it all…it’s just not me at all.

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Day 28: Wearing that Burda(style) dress again with a vintage kimono. I guess you can tell by now how much I love this dress.

Day 29: The newest addition to my me-made family! A wrap dress made of a very thin jersey. The pattern is from Burdastyle and I still like it a lot after making it up the second time. You can’t really see it but it actually has violet dots on a white background.

TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMay - Day30TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMay - Day 31

Day 30: Wearing my self drafted trousers to pop down to the shop on a day spent by sewing. This was the only time I wore them this year, which might be because of the chilly weather, or because I need to adjust it here and there slightly…

Day 31: Aaand for the final day I decided to go with my favorite dress at the moment (the draped backless number). The top is a RTW see-through knit top which is similar to the one I’m attempting to knit from the reddish mohair yarn I got last year.

I may have to bore you a little more with this Me-Made-May madness as I think I need to take a look at what worked and what didn’t, now more than ever (or last year to be precise). Once it’s all wrapped up, I’ll probably get back to blogging maybe even more regularly as I kind of developed a habit of just getting on with the sewing and I have also tried a lot of new techniques recently. So watch this place! 🙂

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Me-Made-May 2015, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2015: Week 3…or 4

I know this is a general theme among those who are doing Me-Made-May (and any living human beings really), but I’m just as surprised as everybody else about how quickly this month has gone by! I managed to wear something me-made for 6 days last week, although I felt like I was cheating a bit when I “wore” the backpack I made on one of the days. Still, I’m going strongish…

TheSecretCostumier - Day 18TheSecretCostumier - Day 19

Day 18: Wearing my green velvet skirt and a crop top that I have not blogged about yet. It was made by cutting a thrift store dress in half and modifying the top bit so that I can wear it backwards. It is not one of my better alterations as it is too short for my taste and it’s choking me to be totally honest, but I haven’t given up on wearing it just yet. 😉

Day 19: Ah, this yellow skirt again. It is still not quite finished, as you can see there are only 3 snaps holding it all together. I’m not in a hurry to finish it off though, as it’s a little too bright for my usual mood.

TheSecretCostumier - Day 20TheSecretCostumier - Day 21

Day 20: I love colour matching different garments and even though it feels a little bulky around the waist worn like this, this dress works pretty well for layering.

Day 21: So does this. Although I feel like I look a little too comfy with the baggy jumper and loose skirt, this is one of those outfits that are great for a regular boring day sitting at the computer at work for 6 hours.

TheSecretCostumier - Day 22TheSecretCostumier - Day 24

Day 22: I knew I’d be cycling all day after work, running to see a friend in the city, then to see another one at the other side of town, so comfort was a priority. Instead of going through my me-made clothes, I decided to pick the Berlin bag for the challenge.

Day 24: We attended a christening/1st birthday party on Sunday so I finally got a chance to wear the kimono dress in public. For real. The baby loved the dress, he enjoyed chewing on my shoulder more than his cake. 🙂

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Me-Made-May 2015, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2015: The first 15 days

Aaand I’m doing Me-Made-May too! Well, I’ve been doing it very privately up until now, but it’s time you saw my pledge and the photos documenting the first half of the month. Yeey! 🙂

‘I, Etemi of The Secret Costumier, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear me-mades as many days as possible during May 2015’

I must admit I was way more excited doing it for the first time – last year, but that might just be because now I have so many handmade clothes that it doesn’t feel like a big challenge anymore. Also, while I really don’t mind repeating outfits, it’s not very exciting when I think about sharing photos of them. For next year I will hopefully be able to pledge to wear me-mades only, which should make things more exciting.

TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 1TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 2

Day 1: Wearing a refashioned thrift store skirt on the first day. I love the jumper (RTW) and pretty much every outfit including it. The skirt is a pencil skirt that can be unbuttoned all the way to the top, so that I can cycle comfortably in it.

Day 2, 3 & 4: Bank holiday weekend spent at home. Leggings made in 15 minutes from an OTT stretchy material bought for testing patterns… Joy. 🙂

TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 5TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 6

Day 5: Wearing a draped dress, with my favourite breton top. This is a pretty versatile dress which happened to be my second attempt at draping, but the invisible zipper needs to be replaced urgently!

Day 6: It’s barely visible, but that’s one of my 3 velvet skirts. It’s a jade green colour in case you were wondering…

TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 7TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 8

Day 7: This is the second version of the backless dress which is a modified version of this Burda number. It was not quite time to wear it in its full backless glory yet, hence the 90’s styling.

Day 8: The latest addition to my velvet circle skirt family – a black one.

TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 10TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 11

Day 10: Wearing the velvet scrap top (made from the leftovers of the velvet skirt – Day 14) and the refashioned jeans. I’m not loving the top, but it makes me feel kind of good that I could save that much fabric from going into a landfill.

Day 11: It was pretty chilly, and I felt uninspired, so opted for the good old military jacket.

TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 12TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 13

Day 12: Oh those red pants! I’ve just gotten some oil on the legs while cycling to Brighton :(. In other news, it fits really nicely straight out of the washing machine, but gets about a size and a half bigger by the end of the day. It’s either plain weird or I’ve cut the waistband on the bias and I shouldn’t have. You be the judge.

Day 13: This marks my first attempt at cutting a pattern on the bias (on purpose)! It’s a copy of my sister’s beautiful little camisole and it turned out quite nicely. It’s made from some poly remnant and was supposed to be a muslin, but I realized that I can actually make it work with some bolder pieces like this skirt/trouser loveliness that I bought in Thailand recently.

TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 14TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May 2015 - Day 15

Day 14: Velvet skirt numero 3 – or the number one, in the prettiest rust colour out there. Still my favourite (I think I am overusing this word now, so forget the others this is the actual fave)!

Day 15: Attempting to cycle to Brighton from London. I have worn this outfit during the first week already, but I thought it deserves another mention as it took me from work, to cycling through forests (thanks for the misguidance Google) and since I got oil on those red trousers, it took me straight into the many pubs of Brighton too.

I got back from 3 weeks in South East Asia recently, which was undoubtedly the best holiday I have ever been on, and since I made quite a few garments for the trip, I will inevitably flood this blog with holiday photos at some point. So here are a few from the weekend just to warm you up. They are mostly of the area around the Ditchling Beacon (it’s this very steep hill with a nice view) near Brighton, which might not be the most appropriate route for a heavy old city bike and someone who has never ridden outside the city…

TheSecretCostumier - Ditchling

TheSecretCostumier - Ditchling

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TheSecretCostumier-Brighton

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Me-Made-May 2014, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2014: I’m in!!!

    Have you heard of Me Made May? If you are already sewing then you most definitely have. If you aren’t, then chances are you’ll stumble upon the #MMMay14 hashtag on one of the social media sites, as well as on Pinterest, and see ladies and gents proudly showing off their handmade garments. The idea, which comes from Zoe, is to encourage people who sew (knit, crochet, etc…) clothes for themselves, to actually make a little effort and wear them as many times as possible for an entire month. This is the first ever sewing challenge I am taking part of and I’m loving it already! My original pledge is this:

‘I, Etemi of The Secret Costumier, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear something handmade at least 4 days each week for the duration of May 2014.’

    So far it’s going pretty well! The biggest challenge is dressing appropriately for the weather, as I have mainly been sewing skirts and dresses, while I usually wear trousers and tops during warmer months. As for most people taking part in Me Made May, this is an awesome opportunity for me to see what I need to make more of (hello Wardrobe Architect project!), as well as to find out which pieces are actually comfortable enough for daily wear. Like the black dress from Day 4. It’s perfectly fine to walk and stand pretty in, but cycling? Impossible. (Without swearing and a jumper around your bum. 😉 )

TheSecretCostumier - Me-Made-May - Day 1TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMay - Day 2TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMay- Day 4TheSecretCostumier - MeMadeMay- Day 5

   Where is Day 3, you ask? Well, on the 3rd of May I was mostly finishing off some pieces (including the pink shirt) while wearing the pink shirt from Day 5,  and since nobody saw me wearing it, it felt a bit like cheating to include it here.

     I am planning on taking photos (with the help of my Sister – hence the change of poses!) during the weekends, but if you just can’t live without seeing my little struggle to put together outfits using my limited handmade wardrobe, then you can follow me on Instagram. By the way, it’s only been 6 days and I’ve already discovered more jaw-droppingly good sewing blogs through the  #MMMay14 hashtag (and it’s numerous versions), than in the past 3 years altogether!

Me-Mades this week:

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