Me-Made May 2016, part two: summer is my enemy

Saturday, May 7


I knew it was going to be an unpleasantly warm day (by which I mean a high of like 85, which is twenty degrees cooler than it usually is when summer really gets going in Kansas, which begs the question, why the hell do I live here?), so I wore my sleeveless gingham seersucker shirtdress. This really is a great hot weather dress. Heat causes me suffering no matter what I wear, but it was slightly more bearable while I wore this. I wore turquoise tap shorts underneath because the fabric is a bit on the sheer side.

Sunday, May 8


Mother’s Day! Honestly, I wore pajamas for most of the day. Jared let me sleep in until 10am. When I finally got up, he was on his way to the playground with Ramona, so I got to put on some podcasts & do some sewing alone in the house. I whipped up a wearable muslin for the first Indie Pattern Month contest. The theme is “new to me” so I tried a Blank Patterns dress. The result is technically wearable, but definitely needs a lot of fitting tweaks. Anyway, after that was done, I made their new freebie t-shirt, the Blanc tee. Love it! It’s only two pattern pieces & the expansive size range means I didn’t have to do any grading. From cutting to wearing, it took less than an hour. I teamed it with this skirt that I still kind of hate, but wear surprisingly often. It’s just easy to wear, probably because it’s too damn big.

Monday, May 9


I didn’t realize until it was too late that the wrist strap on my camera is photobombing me here. So, this was my first short-sleeved Lady Skater, to which I added contrasting neck- & armbands, a faux-side slant pocket, & lace along the hem. The sewing quality on this dress is pretty eh. I rushed the hem & it’s a little wobbly, & the pocket is really the product of not knowing how to make a real side-slant pocket. (I did eventually figure it out.) I bought some new storage stuff for my sewing area at IKEA a few weeks ago & wore this dress while I painted it, so…now there’s paint on it too. Whatever. It’s comfortable, & the fabric was like $3 a yard.

Tuesday, May 10


It was tooooooooo hotttttttttt. Why is it so hot? It makes me so cranky. I got upset because I was looking for a pair of shoes & I couldn’t find them & it was too hot to live, let alone move around looking for shoes, so I picked up the entire bin where we keep our shoes & whipped it across the room. Shoes everywhere. I did not care. Anyway, I spent most of the day wearing these shorts & an old RTW tank top from like six years ago because we have a big picture window in the living room & the police officers working in the station across the street may have frowned on me strutting around nude. We really need to put in the air conditioners. I cannot be held responsible for my actions when it’s over 75 degrees out.

Wednesday, May 11


  • Blank Slate Marigold dress
  • turquoise & pink Shelley bra

This is my wearable muslin. I wore it today to Show-Off Day at Ramona’s gymnastics class to get a sense of the fit & determine what changes need to be made for my real version. All I will say for now is that this fabric is black chambray woven with glittery silver Lurex threads. I got it with a gift certificate that Jared’s brother & his girlfriend gave me for my birthday a few years ago, to Gather Here, a fabric store in Cambridge, MA. I was there on vacation, visiting Jared while he was on a research trip. I fell in love with the fabric & hoarded it to make something really exciting, but I’m glad I wound up blowing it on a muslin because it SUCKS to wear. Those Lurex threads are so itchy. I don’t think it would bother me so much in cooler weather, but 80 degrees plus 95% humidity plus Lurex rubbing on my skin plus the fit issues intrinsic to the muslin process = me literally ripping this dress off my body the second I got home.


Bonus photo of Ramona & her teacher at gymnastics. Show-Off Day is the last day of the session, so this was Ramona receiving her certificate of completion & not understand how photo ops work. She was so hilariously the worst one in the class as far as gymnastics skills go. She had me & all the other parents in stitches, but props to the teacher for really trying to work with her & give her the specialized attention she needed to achieve the basics. One of the other moms said, “She may be last in gymnastics, but she was first in cuteness.” Not that it’s a competition. I mean, they’re three years old.

& in other non-sewing news, we’ve been offered a house. It’s less than we pay now & only three blocks away from Ramona’s preschool, in a nice, quiet, very family-friendly neighborhood. It’s just kind of overwhelming to think that we are going to be moving in less than three months, on top of everything else we have going on: Jared’s parents are coming to town tomorrow, & he’s graduating on Saturday. I have a million things in my sewing queue. The heat is oppressing me. We have an ant infestation in the kitchen (one of a million reasons we’re moving–there’s a hole between the kitchen window & the wall, so there’s not much we can do to stop bugs from getting in). Ramona is finally starting to get her pronouns straight, but she will END YOU if you call her anything other than Ladonna. Even if it’s a pet name.

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.

2 thoughts on “Me-Made May 2016, part two: summer is my enemy

    1. I didn’t realize it would be so itchy! I have other sparkly fabrics that don’t have this problem. I bet I could mitigate the issue by binding the seam, but it’s hard to get motivated to do that for a dress that doesn’t really fit right anyway.

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