Sunday, May 1, 2016

Me Made May 2016 Invite, the Pledge...and Life


Editor's Note-I updated the final paragraphs to include my daughter this year!

I left a lot of groups so that I could focus. The piles around the house keep beckoning to me and I've been busy gardening (stay tuned for more photos and the gardening journal update), painting (stay tuned for those photos and a home decorating journal), serving on a jury for my local circuit court...and sewing everyday clothes (and mending) for my daughter and myself. Earlier this year I did a bit of an inventory and some items sadly needed to be tossed. Others needed to be mended. And new things needed to be sewn to fill the gaps. Thankfully I have a fabric stash and a pattern stash to dig into, so that has been occupying my indoor time.

Thus...I have decided to join Me Made May 2016 which is hosted by "So, Zo..." You may too if you'd like. Just pop on over to her blog to read all the details! The premise is not about sewing more. It's more about wearing what we sew more often. I have to admit that when I did a wardrobe inventory a few weeks ago, I was surprised to find far more clothes that I have sewn. Some of them were a bit hidden because they needed mending, adjusting, or partners....with partners being a coordinating blouse. With my inventory made, I started blogging about various outfits in case curious seamstresses were interested in sewing details. I thought I'd simply link to them when I share Me Made May picture proof that I actually wear items that I sew!

In the process a few new sewing categories were created:
It was my hope to have all of my past sewing projects detailed before I made the Me Made May announcement, however jury duty kept me a bit busy! I have linked to the first three. Posts and future links are forthcoming for the latter two.

Although my love is historic sewing, contemporary sewing is quite practical, especially when clothing on the rack rarely fits me. I'm still learning the fine art of fitting garments, but I can usually get a better fit than I do from a store. The same holds true for my daughter. I'm also still learning to sew! Since I enjoy sewing historically, I've enjoyed learning historical connections to how we sew today, which includes a touch of couture where I am learning a tiny bit here and there. I lost my web post on this too, which I hope to soon restore. I've also been debating over a category label for my contemporary sewing. Couture Sewing Journey...or perhaps A Touch of Couture (Hopes)...the debate tugs at my imagination constantly. Also I've gone back and forth on having a photo index of my contemporary sewing (which includes blue jeans) in a new tab above, which then exacerbates my debate on a proper label on what to cleverly call my contemporary sewing. My blog is a work in progress as well as my sewing skills!

I first began sewing the summer vacation after third grade. I had  just become a junior in Girl Scouts and I was totally motivated to work on as many badges as possible. Therefore my mom taught me how to sew. My first sewing project was 3 skirts. Then I learned how to make shorts and pants. Then I learned how to make a few dresses, and then a few simple tops. Everything I sewed was very simple because that is how my mom prefers to sew, even though her mom and aunt sewed more elaborately. My grandma would fit me for hours and that just tortured my mom as a little girl, which drove her to simplicity in sewing. However she has told me about her aunt in Manhattan, an executive secretary to a wall street trader. She sewed finely tailored outfits for herself. A couture seamstress for sure. I loved hearing those stories and was inspired. In high school I began designing my own summer blouses. Perhaps I'll find an old photo to scan and share someday. It's nothing elaborate but I definitely incorporated quite a few basic steps I had learned.  The ultimate though, was when I met a friend in college who sewed dresses that won blue ribbons at the county fair. She is the one who inspired me that perhaps I actually could learn how to sew the types of clothing I'd love to wear. I whipped out a wide array of dresses for me to wear in those years. I never fitted a single pattern. I was so easy to fit back then no adjustments were ever needed.

Then I became a  mom. I gained weight in the waist/hips/thighs. Not a lot, but enough to make an exasperating difference. My pear-shape made me sewing challenged. Nothing fits easily anymore. It is a bear to get patterns to fit. I had a major illness last year and had lost lots of weight. Doing Me Made May 2015 was fun because lots of items I pulled out of the closet fit well because of the weight loss, which were mostly tops that went with lots of old shorts. However when warmer weather hit a few weeks ago, I tried in vain to wear my shorts and capris. Sadly they are a tight fit. I think Valentines did me in. I was completely discouraged and didn't want to participate. However I'm going to push myself to do so. Meanwhile I am exercising and watching what I eat and hope to drop a few pounds so that I can be not only healthier and stronger, but also feel great and easily wear clothes that I had sewn again.

Because fewer clothes fit well, I'm not able to commit to as  much as I thought I would have been able to. However I think I can at least wear a Me Made item about 2 x per week. But the goal is to challenge  ourselves, so I think I'll try to double that. I think that is the same as I committed to last year. I have lost that post but plan to put a review back up.

I also hope to find time to sew a couple of new outfits. That is not what Me Made May is about. However, I need clothes that fit. I hate to sew larger clothes, because my health needs me to go down a size, not up. Therefore my sewing goal is to sew items that accommodate my size, whether I wear a bit more or whether I weigh a bit less. I never gain weight up top, only the bottom, so certain styles do lend themselves to this.

I, Laurie, of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavor to wear at least four items of me made clothing each week for the duration of May 2016. I will also endeavor to make one new piece per week to accommodate my changing size, which seems to agonizingly be a few pounds up and then a few pounds down, (I'm pear shaped). Also I shall showcase at least four outfits each week that my daughter wears, that I have sewn for her.

Editor's Note-I just read So Zo...'s pledge and I was delighted to see that she is including her daughter this year, by showcasing the outfits she wears that her mom has sewn. Last year my daughter wanted to participate, but I thought that only the seamstress could wear and showcase her sewing. However I have taken inspiration from So Zo. I sew quite extensively for my daughter, she wears the clothes often, and she gets lots of great comments! One guy at college told her she looked pretty in her sunset blouse so he asked where he could buy one just like it for his girlfriend. My daughter told him that her mom had sewn it. He was flabbergasted and quite impressed. I had to smile, because I let the fabric do all the work in showcasing that blouse. I have quite a few skills yet to finesse before my work is great. However it certainly made us smile! So I asked my daughter if she'd like to be featured wearing my clothing and she said yes! I asked her how many days a week would she be interested in realistically committing to for the pledge. She said she could easily do it four times a week, since I have sewn so many blouses for her.

So...we'll see how this goes through the month of May!

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