Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monthly Roundup - April '10

After my mini wardrobe, I decided that April was going to be a month of random sewing.  And so, here's what happened...

1) New Look 6932 PJs for Myra
2) Little Mermaid pillow for Myra
3) Vintage Simplicity 2823 dress and bloomers for Myra
4) McCall's 5522 top for me
5) Helicopter pillow for Logan
6) burda style 04/2010-102 top for me
7) Butterick 5042 skirt for me
8) burda style 04/2009-112 top for me
9) Simplicity 4023 shorts for Myra
10) Kitschy Coo Smocky Top for Myra
11) Simplicity 4378 scrubs for Mitch
12) Simplicity 2627 top for Myra
13) Vogue 8649 top for me
14) Kitschy Coo Smocky top (the second) for Myra
15) Simplicity 4023 shorts (the second) for Myra
16) Design it Yourself Tee shirt for me
17) Ottobre 01/2010-13 jeans for Myra
18) Ottobre 03/2008-2 Puffis tee for Myra
19) BWOF 02/2009-125 blouse for me
20) Kwik Sew 2881 running shirt for Mitch - too small!

That adds up to 22 items, 13 tops, 5 bottoms, 1 skirt, 1 dress and 2 pillows.  I know, that sounds like a crazy amount of sewing, but I didn't do anything particularly challenging.  Most of them (11) were actually for Myra.  I got 7, Logan just got a pillow and Mitch only got a set of scrubs, since the running shirt wasn't wearable.  I guess I need to do some boy sewing this coming month!  I sewed 23.75 yards, with 18.5 coming from the stash!  I have been on a crazy fabric acquisition spree this month, so I must stop!!  No fabric buying for at least the next month, but perhaps longer.  I must sew some of this up!

New skills I worked on:
1) sewing from a vintage pattern
2) sewing with slinky knit and rayon jersey
3) drafting a tee shirt

Hmm, not much there.  I really was sort of a sweat shop this month.  Lots of items made, but nothing really challenging.  I was sort of burnt out after the whole mini wardrobe, so it was a relief to "just sew".  Other goals?  I sewed 3 items from burda magazine and have traced several others, so they'll be coming down the pipe soon!  As for sewing outfits...  I don't think that my streak of happening to grab navy fabric from my stash counts here.  I did sew coordinated items for Myra, who desperately needed a summer wardrobe, but I'm still not very good at sewing coordinated items for myself.

Mary Beth's recent post really struck a chord with me.  I make a lot of cute clothes, but I don't have a coordinated wardrobe.  This is a problem.  Do I need a 12 step program?  Hi, my name is Katie and I'm a sew-aholic!  The problem is that I sew whatever happens to tickle my fancy, with no thought for what I will wear it with.  Witness the pink and green silk twill skirt - a  total orphan.  It fits me perfectly, is crazy cute and I've never worn it.  I don't have anything that it goes with.  Not even remotely.

So, I love the way that Mary Beth is attacking this problem and I am going to blatantly plagiarize (with appropriate credit, of course!).  She is starting with a palette of colors on which to build and making pieces in those colors that form a core wardrobe.  I think she's brilliant and will be following her progress with interest!

I'm also going to sew along with the 6 piece Summer wardrobe over at Stitcher's Guild. I think it will help me to stay organized and motivated.  The sewists over there are so amazing and so creative!  A total inspiration!

I think I'll start with the things I've been doing recently.  I don't know if you've noticed, but I seem to have a thing for blue lately.  Between my mini wardrobe and the navy streak I was on, I think this needs to be my core spring color.  Mitch (AKA my personal stylist) has me on a bit of a nautical kick, so I think I'll mix it up with some black, white and touches of red.  Since I tend to gravitate toward "interesting" when choosing fabric and pattern, I really don't have many wardrobe basics, so I'm going to start out with basic tops in white, black and red, a white skirt and some denim capris.  I think I can pull most of these pieces from the stash...
Here is my storyboard for my summer wardrobe.  
Clockwise from left to right, you are looking at a white poplin blouse made with Simplicity 2936, blue denim capris with BWOF 02/2009-117, an aqua cotton pique jacket with Vogue 1099, white pinstripe poplin with Butterick 5284, black and white polka dot lawn with Colette Patterns Ceylon dress, red ITY with OOP Butterick 3344, and white linen with Simplicity 2520.  I've also got a few other fabrics and patterns in mind, so stay tuned...

I will also be participating in Me-Made-May!  So, expect daily posts with my handmade outfit.  My goal is to only wear clothing that I have made.
In preparation, I pulled out all of the handmade clothes that I have and separated them in my closet.  It helped me to realize a few things.  One is that I really like printed skirts.  Funny that I don't wear them!  So, that will be goal one for Me-Made-May - Wear the skirts I've made and make some basic tops that coordinate with them.  I also have a serious dearth of dresses, so I'd like to make (and wear!) a few more dresses.  I tend to be a jeans and tee shirt girl, and I'd like to make a few more pants/capris as well, since that is my typical look.  So, for my outfits, I'll take pics one day and post the following morning - starting tomorrow with today's outfit!  I'm getting the kids in on this as well, but without as structured goals.  I'm going to try to do at least 3 me-made outfits a week for them.  We'll see how it goes!


  1. Wow, Katie, you have been so productive, I'm impressed!

    About combining with that crazy silk twill skirt: How about grey?

    I look forward to seeing all of your me-made-may outfits!

  2. Wow, that is certainly a heck of a month!! And I can definitely understand about having a lot of clothes, but not a coordinated wardrobe. I think part of my problem is I tend to buy fabric just because I like it...not because I have any particular plan for it. I should probably stop doing that...but it would be hard!!!

  3. Holy cow! I think I made one thing in April, hahaha!!! :D I'm with Michelle, I buy fabric because it's pretty or a fun print, or I have sort of a plan but not really for it.

    Which is your vintage pattern, I think I missed it! Are you on We Sew Vintage?? You need to join us!!

  4. I am the QUEEN of Orphan Sewing. But I totally think you can overcome your affliction because you are a very speedy seamstress, so once you set you mind to a plan you'll be able to fill in the gaps fast. (Sadly, the Queen can't say that about herself.) I would think lots of solid knit tops will do you well for any wardrobe and will go with all the skirts (including the silk twill?). Can't wait to see Me Mad May! I can't participate, or I'd have to wear three things all month. Tsk.

  5. Wow Katie. Is 22 a record since you've been keeping track?

    I love the story board background and the plan.

    I also need a personal stylist.

  6. Go you!!! I love how you're approaching your wardrobe. I think most people shop the "orphan" way, too. It's so costly and you end up with nothing to wear. The one time in my life I took some time to pick a few basic colors, write down everything I wanted/needed, identify the holes and only shop from that list I had SO much to wear and very few actual pieces. Your wardrobe is so much more fun when you shop/sew this way.

    You are inspiring me to get back on that horse. My life changed so much with moving to a warmer climate and going from professional to SAHM that my wardrobe is shambles. Thanks for the inspiration. You rock!

  7. You are just amazing! How you find the time and energy to do all the you do is simply incredible!

    You know, I think every sewer grapples with the issues you mention - sewing in an unstructured way produces an unstructured wardrobe. You may have lots of clothes, but nothing to wear.

    Everyone decides their own way to remedy this: some do SWAPs to ensure that their hard work is rewarded with complete outfits. Others, and this is my take on it, simply take the 'orphan' shopping and purchase whatever is needed to put an outfit together.

    I can't bear structured sewing in any kind of way. I have tried to be more disciplined but it doesn't work for me. That's because I am a hobby sewer through and through - the fact I get anything wearable at all is a complete bonus.

    Like you I make a lot of things, but I also turn them over pretty quickly - I'd estimate half go to charity before they've been worn more than a dozen times. So my wardrobe is actually pretty small. I love the freedom to sew whatever I like - it allows me to be adventurous and take risks and I have a lot of fun.

    So there's a whole different way of looking at it!

  8. made more things this month than I made last year! Love your 6 piece storyboard...I'd love to join in but I don't really need any clothes right now.

  9. I am starting to really change my way of thinking to be in line with Mary Nana's. I found the mini-wardrobe competition to be a bit of a chore by the end and (like you) my sewing has been directionless since then.
    However I would recommend making (or buying) some basic pieces in solid colours and I think you will tie your wardrobe together.
    I also like the 'endess combinations' contest idea where the next piece you make coodinates with something you have made previously.

  10. Thank you for affirming my belief that you are actually a cyberbot. No way a human can do all that you do and then blog about it. Go ahead, tell us the truth. We will still visit your blog.

  11. I can't wait to see what you wear each day this month!