Me-Made May 2016, part one: a lot of stuff I maybe don’t love

Let’s talk about what I have been wearing this month!

Sunday, May 1


A nice comfy outfit to start things out. These pants were originally sewn as a wearable muslin. I wear them literally twenty times more often than I wear the “finished product” pants sewn from the same pattern, probably because the “real” pants are ponte de roma & the “muslin” is denim. Both have elastic waists (not my fave in pants I may wear outside of the house), but the denim makes me feel more like I am wearing “real” pants. The Plantain is rarely worn because it is a little too small & I did an insanely shitty job sewing the neckline. It looks like I sewed it with my feet. But my stated Me-Made May goal was to both wear something different everyday & go deep into my me-made wardrobe, so I decided to start with a tee that is serviceable but rarely sees the light of day.

Monday, May 2


We had a house to look at first thing in the morning, while it was still brisk outside, so that gave me an excuse to wear this dress. It gets a lot of wear during the transitional months. When it’s truly cold out, I usually turn to jeans, & obviously I don’t want anything fleecy coming within twenty feet of me when the weather is over 70 degrees. But cool spring & fall days? Gimme gimme this dress! Shitty hem & one cross-grain sleeve cuff & all. This was also my first time out in this bra & undies set. My one disappointment: rather than cutting the straps from two layers of Duoplex, I used one layer of Duoplex & one layer of sheer nylon. The result is a strap that really digs into my shoulder. The nylon just wasn’t a good idea. I guess now I know?

PS–The house was pretty okay, but it got rented to someone else. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be living in a van down by the river come August. We just can’t find anything!

Tuesday, May 3


I did put on real clothes at some point on this day, but my friend Rebecca came over in the morning, so I didn’t bother changing out of jammies right away. Surely I am not the only person who prefers to receive guests while wearing my pajamas?

Wednesday, May 4


Ramona woke up pretty sick this morning, so I knew we weren’t going to be leaving the house. I threw this on as something easy to wear while I took care of her. I don’t wear this dress that much. It was one of my first experiments in making a knit dress, & I cut the bodice way too short & had to add a panel to make it fit right, but the panel is on a slightly different grain than the rest of the dress so it always shows weird draglines. Now that I have the Lady Skater pattern & have made several dresses from it, I tend to forget this dress exists. But wearing it today reminded me of how much I love the skirt. It’s a little fuller & swishier than the Lady Skater skirt.

Thursday, May 5


This is another tee that doesn’t get as much wear as one might expect. It’s just a touch smaller than I would prefer, & the neckline is just wide enough to show my bra straps, which is kind of annoying. I also don’t wear this skirt very often (even though Jared said it’s his favorite) because I have gained a little weight since I made it, so it feels a little tighter & shorter than it did when it was first sewn. I also made it before I totally knew what I was doing, sewing-wise, & I used white thread. Especially now that I’m straining the seams a bit, you can see the thread & it annoys me. (You can even kind of see it in this photo.) Oh well. I have lived & learned, I guess. The undies are pretty all right. I just need to remember to cut the back piece a little larger through the legs if I’m going to use fold-over elastic.

Friday, May 6


This is my trusty black Renfrew. I swear, I wear this shirt almost everyday. I have been meaning to make another because it’s not like it won’t get worn! I learned during Me-Made May last year that black t-shirts are a wardrobe staple for me, & I have made it a point to make myself several in the last year. I wear a lot of crazy prints on my skirts & black t-shirts keep me from going full Mrs. Frizzle. Black isn’t the most fun to sew with, & it’s certainly not super-fun to blog, because it’s hard to photograph. But if the goal is to make things that will actually get worn, black t-shirts are the way to go. I did a 2″ FBA o  the Renfrew to get it to actually fit me. It’s the perfect not-too-tight not-too-baggy size now, & I love the banded finishes.

The shorts, of course, are another story. I made them on Mother’s Day of last year & the proportions are so odd. The legs were looking really wide, so I took them in & took them in & took them in, & the result is a pair of shorts that SEEMS to fit well, but in fact there is some weird gaping around the pocket area, where the button closure attaches, so…that’s not super-great. Trust that I DO NOT wear these with shirts tucked in (not that I ever tuck my shirts in anyway). The super-high waist is also not my favorite thing to wear in hot weather.

All right, stay tuned for more! Especially because a lot of the sewing I’m likely to be doing in the next few weeks is going to be for Indie Pattern Month, so I can’t blog about it until next month.

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Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

8 thoughts on “Me-Made May 2016, part one: a lot of stuff I maybe don’t love

  1. Black t-shirts are definitely a wardrobe staple for me too. Somehow, no matter how many I have, I feel like I could use more. I just finished sewing two more black tees over the weekend!

    1. Do you have a favorite pattern? I love my Renfrew, but I made the new Blank Slate Pattern Blanc tee yesterday & it is so easy breezy, both to sew & to wear.

      1. I hadn’t seen the Blanc tee until now–it looks very similar to a pattern from last Spring’s issue of Ottobre Woman that I’ve made a couple of times now and really love. As far as a classic, fitted tee, I’m still trying to find a favorite pattern. With my most recent tees, I used the Cashmerette Concord T-shirt. I like the cup sizing and am happy with the fit, plus I like that it has a lot of neckline and sleeve options like the Renfrew. But it is very fitted, so I think I’ll need some time wearing my new T-shirts just to make sure that I feel comfortable in the cut before I make more.

        I haven’t blogged them yet, but here’s a pic of one of my new Concords:

        1. I think the Blanc tee is brand-new, like just released a week or two ago.

          I’m not sure I will try the Concord. It seems like there’s a lot to recommend it (all the built-in alterations for plus sizes), but it is pricy given that I already have a handful of tee patterns with which I’m reasonably happy. & a lot of the “extras” that come with it, like the sleeve tab & the curved hem, are just not really my style. I guess it’s the kind of thing that I would try if someone gave me a copy or maybe if there was a big sale or something, but I don’t see myself buying it at full price right now.

          1. Yeah, if I already had the Renfrew or the Lark (in other words, a t-shirt pattern with multiple sleeve and neckline options), I probably wouldn’t have sprung for the Concord either. But I was very close to buying the Renfrew pattern when the Concord was released, and I decided that since I was already prepared to spend ~$15 on a t-shirt pattern, I might as well go with the one a built-in FBA. It’s a good pattern, but it’s not so revolutionary that it’s worth getting if you already have a pattern that you’re happy with.

  2. I like the idea of high-waisted pants (no worrying about bending over and accidentally showing off your butt), but always seem to hate them on me in reality.

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