Hey there werecats! As fate would have it, earlier tonight I was just sitting on my sofa, watching reruns of Numb3rs with a stinky hound dog and a sicko forester man (as in… illness. Not off color jokes…) I was minding my own business. In all honesty, I was relishing my own business.
I was a bit of a grumpy cat.
That reminds me, kittens. There’s something I think I’ve neglected to mention, although some of you might have sussed it out… since February I’ve been a free-agent, work-wise. The company I worked for was bought out by another, larger, ravenous company who was feeling a little peckish and decided to snack on our poor selves. Actually, it was a good deal, but my marketing manager services were no longer needed after the second round of job-eliminations. So… for anyone keeping score it’s been a BIG year for me and was capped off with my 40th birthday a few days ago.
It’s obviously a time for change. What are we doing here? What are any of us doing here? How do I want to spend the second half of my life? Such are the questions I’ve been reflecting on as of late. And I’ll fill ya’ll in soon on what’s next for me. I’m headed in a slightly different direction and am super excited and equally freaked out!
So back to me minding my own business. There I was, grumping out on the sofa. I’ve got a million things to do. Foresterman is heading back to Virginia for a few days to take care of things and I was watching TV, idly flicking through my phone and plotting about how I plan to fill the next few days up and lo and behold I came across Oonabaloona’s Me-Made-May pledge on Feedly.
For anyone who might NOT know what Me Made May is (OK, from now on MMM14) it’s a month-long challenge during which participants proclaim that a certain number of handsewn/refashioned/crafted/super-glued garments will be worn each day/week/period of her choosing. The standard pledge is to wear ONE handmade garment per day. Some folks go nuts and pledge it all including undies. Some call it in (I stand by my claim that store-bought jeans with quickly sewn in back darts to keep them from driving me insane count as handmade…) Lots take daily outfit photos. Some don’t. You can read all about it here.
The first time I did a Me-Made-May it was actually Me-Made-March, and it was 2011. And very cold, from what I remember. Doing a WHOLE MONTH of selfies was eye-opening for me. I’d already been blogging for a few years by then and took finished-outfit photos, so I was semi-comfortable in front of the camera. Not super comfortable, but I didn’t have a dress form then and the only way to show off finished projects was to slap-em on and take a photo. I’ve never been a girl who loves getting her photo taken and I normally am not keen on the resulting photos, an act which is somewhat hypocritical of me. On one hand, I’m all pro-girl-everyone-is-beautiful… On the other hand I’m my own worst critic… Ugh… the double chin… gah… why do I keep buying such dark framed glasses… egad! I look like I have a dowagers hump and always hold my hands so awkwardly!!
Hmmm… looking back my favorite outfits were the 22nd, the 29th and the 21st…
My internal critic can be… harsh. I try to keep her happy. Mostly through healthy activities like having fun and playing and only spending time on things that are pretty and good and part of my soul. But still… art directing and a strong editorial sense are integral to my selfie happiness.
Back to the Me-Mades… My first time doing a Me-Made month was eye opening. Instead of finished outfit photos I was doing outfit-of-the-day photos. There’s also a strong sense of community in the Me-Made months – or at least there was back then, due to Flickr’s social structure. Doing a Me-Made month not only got me sewing more (gah! need more wearable clothes, less vintage dresses!) but made me a better sewist, blogger and such. The discipline of daily outfit photos + the super support and learning to put it out there even if it wasn’t top-grade for my picky tastes. That’s good for a superperfectionist such as myself!
Back to the sofa earlier tonight. Again. I was grumping out, ran across Oona’s Me-Made pledge and thought idly to myself… “oh yeah… I should have done Me Made May…” – what with all my free time and all. What with my gradual, sneaky tendency to isolate myself, here in my new city with not-so-many real life acquaintances. What with my love of Tolstoy and two different translations of War and Peace calling my name. Plus the Cambridge edition of Sons and Lovers that came from Amazon last week and is sitting on the coffee table also trying to lure me in.
But lo and behold! As I sat there thinking about what I SHOULD have done, I noticed that I was actually already doing it! I was wearing my favorite Hot Patterns long sleeved T. And kittens, that’s a little unusual for me lately! I still wear a lot of my handsewn items, but lots of what I HAD were clothes for a different girl and I’ve ditched them over time. These days I wear a LOT of dresses, most of them storebought. I wear a lot of tank tops. Storebought. But here I was wearing a Me-Made item for a change. On May 1st.
Here’s my Me-Made pledge: I will wear one handmade item a day. Or… at least… hand altered.
This leaves me in a pickle, kittens. As I said… I’ve gotten rid of a lot of my handmade items. I need me some separates and some simple dresses.
I combed through my fabric stash and pulled out some likely subjects. Here’s a pile of jerseys, interlock and broadcloth for separates…
Most of these will be simple short sleeved T’s or MAYBE tanks. As far as a flattering cut, I prefer cap-sleeved T’s with scoop necks. But I HATE tan lines, so I tend to stay in tanks when I’m going to be out in the sun. I wear SPF 50, but I still get pretty brown even with that high of SPF. For bottoms I have the grey polka dot on bottom and the roses on top for a few skirts. Obviously, I’m going to need to supplement with a couple solid T’s and solid skirts. I’ll need to go fabric shopping for that!
For dress fabrics I have these:
I’ve shown off some of these recently on the blog. The brown checks, blue stripes and black/pink/white splotches are all knits so they’ll become some sort of wrap-dress. The mustard yellow floral, pink/purple check and cherries are all woven so it’ll be fit’n’flare.
A good start, right? I’ll probably stay in the patterns below. There’s a million things I’d LIKE to make, but the Me-Made, every day challenge = more basics.
New Look 6899 – This is a new pattern. I like the simple T, although the pics I’ve found online do not excite me. There’s a full and half (?) circle skirt pattern too. Good basics, if they work!
McCalls 6887 – This is a basic fit-in-flare dress. Instagram-friends have already seen my (disastrous) progress on this one. I am determined to make this one work! I fell in LOVE with this dress from City Chic and want to make my very own.
Vogue 1027 – Ah! An oldie and a goodie. It’s a fabric hog due to the full circle skirt, but the cap sleeves are perfect and I feel like a ballerina in the ones I already have!! You can see my previous versions here.
Colette 1016 (Ginger) – So… I taught this class, but never actually made the skirt for myself! I made it for the shop owner instead. I’m not in love with in in A-line skirts, but I’d like to find a nice basic one that works for me. Why not start with Ginger??
Colette 1002 (Chantilly) – I showed ya’ll my silk haul that I’m planning for this dress a few months ago. It’s still there in the pile and I think that this style will really work well on me. Holla!
So whaddaya think? You know what I think?? I have some really light poly crepe I’ve been keeping to make a go-to black suit. But where’m I going to wear a go-to black suit? I’m thinking one black full skirt and sew up all those polka dot and gingham knits into some scoop neck T’s sounds like a real good time for the next few days….
Before I head out… I’m going to share a secret-slash-game with you kitkats…
FIRST! Long time blog readers might remember my DREAM JOBS series. It was fun. ya’ll! And it’s coming back. I have some super – cool stuff lined up for you! And we’re talking about perhaps delving into multi-media. What say ya’ll? I’m a reader, myself… but listen to podcasts too. I don’t really like videos unless they are of cute animals. What do YOU guys like?
SECOND! I’m curious. Since you all know me so well… what do YOU think my next job should be?
THIRD! It’s almost all sorted… but there’s a cool, new fabric shop in Nashville and I think I’ll be teaching a few classes there. The owner is the BOMB! and my co-teacher (as in… another teacher. No co-taught classes… yet :-)) is a favorite blogger who is about one million times better in real life as she is on her blog!