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. 🙂

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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





Me-Made-May 2014, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May-2014: The Summary

   This was my first Me-Made-May ever, and ever since I’ve started sewing about 3 years ago. I pledged to wear something handmade for at least 4 days a week for the entire month, and I managed to do this on 25 days, with some outfit changes wearing a total of 29 outfits including a Me-Made garment. I made one new item (the peplum top) and finished 3 UFOs (pink shirt, silky trousers, asymmetric dress). I took exactly 901 photos, mostly with the help of my sister, and discovered probably over 50 like-minded bloggers I did not know before, doing just the same. It was a bit of a hassle at times, but pretty much the most exciting May of my life so far.

   I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, that I think Me-Made-May is a fantastic idea (thank you Zoe!), it really makes you focus on the usefulness of what you make and gears you towards updating your sewing goals. What I have learned about my style and ways of using garments for more than what they were intended for, will be extremely helpful when I finally get to design a capsule wardrobe for myself as part of the Wardrobe Architect project.

   Reading through other bloggers’ summaries made me realize that we have pretty much all gone through the same challenges: changing weather, changing taste, changing bodies and the lack of certain types of garments (not enough or too much separates/dresses) and I can report on having the exact same issues. But I won’t.

   Just kidding. 🙂 I will of course, even if you are all done with reading these, I feel like putting this all down to  use it later as a reference for when I’m just about to start making something beautiful, that I could wear every 5 years to a friend’s wedding… So here are all the outfits, and if you feel like it, check out the conclusion below the images.

   I pretty much stayed true to the tried and tested silhouettes that I’ve collected for Week 3&4 (Wardrobe Architect project), but I did try out a few silhouettes that I rarely wear. Such was the figure hugging skirt + A-line top combo, or the asymmetric dress, and they both hide my waist and bring attention my legs, so even if I didn’t feel as uncomfortable as I thought I would, I would still avoid making those types in the future. Plus they just don’t work with le bike. From looking over the pictures above, I identified what I need more of and what works already:


The third most popular item, the backless dress proved to be extremely versatile, and I always feel a little sexy wearing it, even if it’s layered under tops and jumpers. The wrap dress was made in no time and I really love wearing it, although it does need to be shortened. As for the Kimono dress and the “Dior one”, I only wore them to make Me-Made-May a bit more interesting, otherwise they don’t quite fit into my everyday wardrobe, not even for date nights,  if I’m being honest. I still need to figure out if I just didn’t make them comfy enough, or the fabric is too fancy to pull it off with trainers…

I need: 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.


I only have few handmade skirts, but the they got the most use throughout the month. The most successful ones were the pleated faux leather one, probably because of the basic black colour and the interesting texture gives. The other often worn skirt was the simplest item I have in my wardrobe, the burnt orange/rust coloured velvet circle skirt, which ticks all my boxes regarding shape, length, colour and the ability to be dressed up or down.

I need: More simple skirts in solid colours, from interesting fabrics.


As for trousers, it looks like fit is everything. The pink ones used to be high-waisted and I liked them like that. Now that I’ve lost some weight they are hanging somewhere between my waist and hip, and the fabric isn’t the best either. The black silky one would have been a good idea, but I really need to take my time to test patterns when it comes to trousers, as a gaping neckline is really annoying, but not being able to sit down in something is really the deal breaker.

I need: Well fitting comfortable trousers that work for summer. Try a palazzo style and a slim fitting one.


I can’t believe I could wear something handmade for almost every day for an entire month with having only 3 (4 with the refashion) Me-Made tops in my wardrobe. Out of those 4, 3 only work with high-waisted trousers or skirts, and the one shirt I made is a bit less than perfect, as well as pretty hard to pair with anything, due to its baby pink colour. Although I am pretty happy with my basic RTW T-shirts, there is definitely room for improvement in this section.

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. 

Well, we are almost in the middle of June and all that documenting somewhat kept me from actually sewing stuff, so I am planning to jump back into it again. Kath, from Bernie and I, had a brilliant idea to keep us all going, by suggesting to make 1 project per week for an entire month. I was going to do it in June, but guess what, I’m running late with finishing the first #1ppw already, but as long as I have 4 finished pieces by the end of June, I will call this a success, so bear with me…

Me-Made-May 2014, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May: Week 4

    I kind of hope that some of you missed my Me Made post from the beginning of the week. I have never gotten this close to being consistent with blogging, and I blame the weather for this minor delay. Sunday was way too sunny to stay indoors and photograph the 7!!! outfits for last week (I wore two different ones on Thursday), so I put it off until I felt so bad about not doing it, that I did what I had to…took photos of myself. Sorry about the lifeless expressions, but I am practically in pain during these sessions, as:

  • I don’t have a tripod, but use some pillows and books to put the phone to the right height,
  • I don’t have a remote control, so I run back and forth between two shots,
  • and I don’t particularly enjoy the neighbourly stares either.

But. I do love this blog, I love seeing other people’s creations and I honestly love the whole Me-Made-May project, so it is still worth it!

    Last week I wore Me Mades 6 days of the week, but I’ve only included 5 outfits here, as I could not possibly take photos of the remaining 2 (see agony above), and I also decided to wear them again this week. While I’m more than happy to repeat outfits, it’s just boring to show them more than once, isn’t it?

    My favourite ensemble this week was what I wore on Day 22, as I felt really confident and modern in the trousers (borrowed from the Sis’), short-sleeved blazer, trainers combo. Day 23’s attire is a very close second though, as I felt clever for using the backless dress as a top and underskirt. Not so much when I was riding and it was impossible to tie the bulky skirts up to avoid getting it between the wheels while cycling…

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    What I really enjoyed this week was the way I reused garments. For example wearing the draped dress or the backless dress as a top, reminded me of the Uniform Project, and how you realise that clothes can do double duty, once you are forced to step out of your comfort zone and make the most of what you have. I must admit I kind of feel like a child wrapped in a blanket, playing dress up, but I guess that’s how I discovered sewing in the first place…

Me-Mades this week:

PS: If someone from a trainers company happens to read this blog, and you are desperately looking for a volunteer to test drive some shoes, similar to the ones pictured above, then don’t be shy, send them over to me. As you can see I’d be doing a pretty good job promoting them. 😉

Me-Made-May 2014, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2014: Week 3

   I can’t believe the 3rd week of May is gone already! I also can’t believe that there is 2 more to go…Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting creative and wearing things differently, but they don’t call it a challenge for nothing! It’s funny how for me it’s hard to get all summery in this sudden hot weather with my mostly autumn appropriate me made wardrobe, while for others it’s exactly the opposite. We all make it work somehow, don’t we? 🙂

TheSecretCostumier - Me Made May - Day 13

    On Monday the fear of repeating outfits made me go into panic mode, and I made a top before dinner out of scrap fabric (Day 13 Velvet top). Yeeey.  My favorite outfit this week was probably the Friday outfit (Day 16) which looked professional enough at work, was fun to have dinner in, and was I little braver, I could have taken my shirt off and dance in the bustier at night too. I wasn’t though, but the top’s been in the making since August last year, and I just had to wear it out. The same goes for the Kimono dress. Tied up and dressed down, it finally made it out of my home and into the streets of London. What a glorious day it was! 😉 (Except for the realization that it is either not silk or it was pretty damn hot in London on Sunday!)

Me-Mades this week:


Me-Made-May 2014, Ready & waiting

Me-Made-May 2014: Week 2

   Here we go with the second week of Me-Made-May. I’m still going strong having worn me-mades 6 times last week (the 7th day was an all-day-PJs day). I even managed to dress a little more office friendly for a few parents related events during the week which was fun, although I’m not planning on making a habit of it until I have to…

   I only have 5 me-mades left that I have not featured here yet (or worn, ever), so from now on you can expect some repeat in the outfits. I’ll have to be very creative if I want to avoid quitting early, as there are still 3 weeks to go! The most challenging bit this week was photographing the outfits. Basically the reason why I don’t blog regularly is that I really don’t like posing for photos, I’m not good at it and I don’t like taking up other people’s time by asking them to do it for me. However I quite enjoy blogs with great pictures and I love using Photoshop, so the battle goes on…

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Me-Mades this week:


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. 😉 )

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   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: