Tag Archives: Me Made May 2012

Me Made May Day 27 (Meeting Milkshake!)

On Sunday I went to Greensgrow, a farm/nursery in Fishtown where my parents and I typically buy all of our plants. Did I ever mention I enjoy gardening? I do, very much so, it’s one of things that saddens me about moving to New York. I guess I could join some hipster community garden in Brooklyn but then I’d have to make small talk about vegan desserts and small batch beers, and I’m not a vegan nor do I drink beer, so, yeah….I’ll probably do it anyway, but whatever, for now, I love me some Greensgrow. Greensgrow is amazing. They are helpful and informative and give you so much more than “here are the tomatoes”. It’s more like, “here are the heirloom varieties that grow best in your soil and here are several options so you can have tomatoes all summer long because they have different maturation periods la la la gardening la”. I love it there.

And recently we found out they have a PIG! And chickens! To be honest I think chickens are mean, but I love pigs. I don’t eat pigs much if at all because, yeah, pedestrian of the red sea, so I don’t feel like a hypocrite cooing over their big piggy heads. This particular pig’s name is Milkshake. How cute is that?

But is it as cute as this day’s outfit? You  be the judge.

This is my Mirror Image blouse with the How Many Of These Are You Going To Make shorts. And a vintage scarf, from my Mamala. Thanks, Mamala!

How cute is my mamala? Yes, she is very cute. Also, the best.

I don’t normally include tons of non-sewing photos but I really love Greensgrow, so….

I DO grow my own food! How fun is that?

Anyway, sorry if you’re not into gardening, but I clearly am. Happy Me Made May! And if you are in the area, check out Greensgrow! It’s amazing!


Filed under Challenge, Clothing

The Adventurez Skirt (Me Made May Day 20)

Ah, cloud nine fabrics. Why you gotta be so damn seductive? Every time I think, okay, Leah, yhou’re a grown up person now, no more skirts made of quilters cotton and covered with whimsical design, it’s time for navy twill and sensible styles, like a real person, well, there you are, cloud nine, reeling me back in again. And what did you come up with this year? A far too adorable line called Monsterz featuring little creatures running all over lengths of sweetly colored organic cotton. Sure, maybe you out there might have resisted but I’M NOT MADE OF STONE.

So I managed to acquire a yard an a half of this fabric called Adventurez, a double border print with two delightful scenes of little monsters doing whatever it is they happen to do. So I divided the fabric in half and made a skirt out of one length of the border. The other skirt will be forthcoming, but for now, please content yourself with this:

Cute, no? Not my face, no, that looks likes I’m about to cut someone, but the skirt! How cute is the skirt?

So, I don’t know why this is, but the waistband keeps wrinkling. The hell? I interfaced it, like you do, I pressed it, I did all the right things, and yet, it wrinkles. Sigh.

I can’t even look at you, I’m so upset about this wrinkling business. It was a self drafted pattern, if you can even call it that. It’s  just a bunch of pleats, like you do and a waistband to match. I am against gathering these days, honestly, because it never makes me look like anything but a milkmaid.

Of course, this is the kind of pose you make when you need to get out of the street because a car is coming. Adorable, no?

A little back view for those of you in viewing audience who like that sort of thing. See? Pleats. They look good even over the hips. PS: I also made the shirt, of course, it’s my Define Basic Blouse.

And just in case you don’t get the appeal of these little monsters:

How cute is THAT?

Also,  I simply had to share this with you, my mamala modeled the Renfrew I made for her today and here is how amazing she looks in this top:

How gorgeous is my mamala? She’s the best.

Anyway. that’s me and my new skirt. Is it practical? No. No it is not. And yet somehow, life goes on…


Filed under Challenge, Sewing

Me Made May Days 15-19 (All Over The Place)

Boy have the past 5 days been busy! I’m transitioning between jobs, I’ve been showing apartments (Yeah, I’m a real estate agent. It’s fun.) working for the theater company, running all over town, pretending to be a nice friendly person when really I’m fairly evil and dead inside, it’s been crazytown! But don’t worry, I’ve made the time to catch up on Revenge and Community, finish a project (more on that in the days to come), made catnip mice for all four cats in my life, and, of course, watch Law and Order C.I. streaming. Can we talk about Law and Order C.I? It’s 100% my favorite law and order. Mostly because there is almost no court time, just crimes, getting solved, but also because the crime doesn’t ever stop, it keeps going all through the episode, up until the end! It’s amazing. ALSO, all the best people have been on it. Liza Minnelli, Whoppi Goldberg (oh, she was EVIL!), Steven Colbert (also the villain), my friend Krista Apple (she was awesome), everyone! It’s the best. I’m not a huge fan of Chris Noth (though DAMN does he rock on The Good Wife) but Vince D’Onofiro? Yes. Solve all the crimes with eccentric methods and weird stares. I will watch that every day of the week.

ANYway, on to the outfits!

Day 15!

My Wildcard Clovers with a tunic I bought years ago in San Juan. Why am I barefoot? It POURED this day, and I padded about the office in my bare feet as my whole self dried. Biking in the rain. It’s a fun struggle.

Day 16!

Ah, yes. I failed a coerce someone  into taking my photo so I did it myself in the mirror. This skirt is a new one I made, but I haven’t had a chance to do a dedicated post to it. All in due time….

Day 17!

My denim clovers with a never-blogged Men’s shirt refashion! I used Colette Patterns Sorbetto pattern as the base. I actually really adore this blouse. I gots to make more of these. Thanks, Papi, for the shirt!
Day 18!

This was a great day! I had showings all day on Friday, but in the afternoon my showings took me near Spool, so of COURSE I had to go in. The owner,  Amy, graciously took my photo. Look how happy I am! Spool is the best. The dress is my dumb luck dress.

Day 19!

Ah, Saturday. I have other photos of this outfit from this day, but I decided to use this one because of the guy in the back. Thank you, stranger, for your incredibly creepy expression. Stay weird, Philadelphia! This is, of course, my Completely Uncreative Blouse with my Nautical Bias skirt, along with a vintage German souvenir scarf. I wore this showing apartments all day, and then into the afternoon when my mom and I biked to Fishtown and wandered around the Trenton Arts Festival. And what an event it was. From scores of hipsters to craft booths to the firetruck our friend Jeff bought to a mud pit to these organic local strawberries I’m holding, it was a blast. Oh, Fishtown, never change.

So that’s my last couple of days. Oh, and as a bonus, you should know that my pajamas have been me made this WHOLE TIME. I know, blowing your mind.


Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, New Look Patterns, Sewing

The Completely Uncreative Blouse (Me Made May 14!)

I don’t normally do this, but I totally made a blouse that closely and deeply resembles the cover art of the pattern.

Everything on the left side of this pattern art is bizarre. Why would you ever wear such things, let alone make them? That being said, this is an adorable blouse. It’s really a very nice pattern, I can certainly see why it’s so popular. I have been thinking a lot about size recently so I cut out at 16 rather then my normal 14 because I have heard you should take the desired final bust measurement (if the pattern provides that) rather then the recommended measurement. I like to have some ease in the bust, and I really wanted to get out of doing a Full Bust Adjustment, so, yeah. Cheaters never prosper, unless they DO:

Yeah, baby! And because I cut a larger size, this blouse aced the Mena test (the stretch in the poplin I used, remnents of my Peppermint Pastille, also helped) and I didn’t have to put in the side zipper indicated in the instructions. Life win.

As I typically do the first time I make anything, I followed the instructions. When I make other versions of this blouse (which I’m totally doing, this thing is adorable) I will omit the neck facing, because I hate facings with a passion I usually reserve for exact change and chocolate, and use bias tape to finish the neckline instead. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thought I am curious to see what happens when I make this pattern in a non-stretch woven. Ah, a future adventure.

The pants are my denim clovers. If Me Made May was a sports team, those would be called my MVPs.

A little side view for you.

It’s a bit wrinkled, and it could probably use a swayback adjustment, but what are you going to do? Oh, you can tell here that I didn’t cut the back on the fold, I cut two pieces and added some seam allowance. Really, not cutting things on the fold opens you up to a hell of a lot, fabric efficiency-wise.

Thumbs up for fabric efficiency! Yeah.

This blouse might seam rather simple, but I have to say, I adore the diamond darts and careful drafting, it’s great for curvy women like myself. One shirt, 6 darts. Worth it.


Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, New Look Patterns, Sewing

Me Made May 11, 12 and 13 (skirting the issue)

After a long stretch of pants, the skirts are back!

In my mind, my closet is totally the site of gang warfare. When I close the door the pants and the skirts throw down against each other. They don’t really fight, though, they dance fight. The pants are the Jets and the Skirts are the Sharks and the blouses are like the Cowboys and the dresses are like the Farmers (that’s Oklahoma!, for those who got the obvious West Side Story thing but aren’t as into Rodgers and Hammerstein. Amateurs.)

ANYway, without further whimsical ado, my Me Made May outfits over the weekend:

Day 10!

The blouse is my Fecund by Thrifty Blouse, and I still get more compliments on this then almost anything else I’ve made. The skirt is my Nautical Bias skirt. Man, I have to make more of these, it’s simple and comfortable and goes with everything. And the earrings, which you can barely see, are vintage.  On this day I worked and then met my parents at synogogue and it was randomly a service honoring grandparents and grandchildren which was adorable, if odd to be attending. Then we went out to dinner, and you can see my leftovers in my hand and the glow of wine on my face. I loves wine.

Day 11!

Heh. The skirt is my My Lips Your Lips Tulips Skirt, which looks a little crazyface in this photo, but in real life is actually cute. The shirt is my Blank Canvas Top with the modified neckline. The guy wearing nothing I made is my friend Aubie. I went out to Malvern (and when I say out I mean OUT, it’s very far away) to see Aubie and my friend Emilie (who was also the photographer!) in a production of A Wrinkle In Time. I can honestly say I never really liked the book as a kid, but I did like the play, so maybe the character of Meg Murry gets more tolerable with age.

Day 12!

And for Mother’s Day I dressed up in my Too Hot for Tzaft skirt and made my mom dinner. Seared scallops and grilled fennel and asparagus, if you must know. I also made her a Fenfrew and a tote bag! With houses on it! Because she’s an architect! It was adorable! But I had to share with you another cat-centric shot because for the time being that’s the only mothering I’m prepared to do.

Goodness, we are almost at the halfway point for this month of me-made-moments. How is everyone doing? Anyone need a breather, or some water, or maybe a stiff drink? We’re going to make it, people. I know it.


Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Simplicity Patterns

Me Made May 7 through 10 (playing catch up)

I realized today that because of my trip to Puerto Rico and my insistance on posting long diatribes for every new garment I make, I’m a bit behind! And I didn’t even get to do a dedicated post for my newest creation, which happens to be the fourth installment in my Spring Palette Challenge! So you are about to see a whirlwind of outfits, and don’t worry about that blouse in there, it’s going to make it’s debut soon, just consider this a preview. Okay, without further ado, Me Made May:

Day 7!

The blouse is a surprise which you shall see sometime in the future, but rest assured, I made it. The pants are my denim clovers. My smile is totally fake, I’m sad to have returned from paradise. Ah, well, all things must pass.

Day 8!

My Wildcard Clovers with an unblogged me-made knit top. My first, in fact, and a rather error ridden thing it is, too, but I still wear it all the time, so whatever. Morse may LOOK like he’s desperate to escape me but REALLY he’s thrilled to be a part of Me Made May.

Day 9!

My Sewing Is Not An Exact Science Clovers with Renfrew #2! I had to work that evening, so I made a co-worker snap a photo before the show.

Day 9!

This day was great because while I had to work and ended up at the gym at 10pm as Parks and Recreation concluded for the season, my new friend Shamus took these photos, and I couldn’t help including two because A. my legs look AMAZING and B. The second one is hilarious.

I made the top, it’s my “Happy Trails by Two Friends” blouse. The rest is purchased, sigh.

Am I growling? You bet I am. At this point Shamus was like “give me your best Melrose!”. Melrose was a character on America’s Next Top Model. Yeah. Kindred spirits, people.


Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns

The Faded Photograph Blouse (MMM Day 6)

It’s an amazing phenomenon that people on vacation dress completely differently then they do in real life. Depending on the locale, in this case, a tropical one, visitors tend to strip down and throw ensembles on their bodies that would never fly in their real lives. As someone who spends a good deal of time on an island that many consider to exist solely for the sake of tourists, it always amuses me to see lobster-red visitors in sarongs and denim cutoffs or shirts made of a single scarf and a distinct lack of taste. I enjoy watching them sip their fruity drinks and loudly ask the waiter if they can have some more “toe-stone-es”, because as well all know, speaking in a very loud tone of voice eliminates all language barriers. That’s just a fact.

But as disdainful as I am, I must admit, I too dress slightly brighter in Puerto Rico. It’s something about the fact that regardless of where you are, the suburbs of Bayamon, the streets of Ponce, a plaza in San Juan, all of the architecture is bright poured cement, faded and grubby at times, but always in a tropical hue. My whole family participates in this, wearing ensembles in San Juan that we would feel rather silly about were we in our homes in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. We just can’t help it. Blame it on the Bossa Nova, baby.

That being said, this outfit, in its demure and docile tones, doesn’t match Puerto Rico one iota:

Or maybe it’s San Juan in the 40’s, right after the war, around the time of the great migration to the States. A faded image from the past.

I get so poetic when I write about San Juan! Back to reality. The blouse is the 3rd piece in my Spring Palette Challenge, Simplicity 4608, a 1940’s pattern.

I look like I’ve eaten something horrible here. But that’s just my face, look to the clothing! The skirt is my nautical bias skirt, of course. Love it.

This blouse wasn’t all that difficult to put together, but man, blouses like this have SO MANY PIECES. It’s continually amazing to me that a blouse is so much more difficult than most other things I’ve ever made, and yet it’s dismissed so easily! Show people a bright easy skirt and they are like, damn, girl! But show them a blouse and it’s like, alright, fine, that’s nice, more skirts! Still, I love this blouse. I wanted a 1940’s blouse pattern for a while, so getting one and having it fit nicely right out of the bag feels pretty good.

Now I seem happier. Because I’m like, screw you and your desires for skirts, I made a BLOUSE, deal with it.

I finished the neckline with bias tape, as directed, and I hand stitched the facings to the blouse body. I followed all the instructions. I usually do, the first time around. It’s the second and third that things get wild…

Not a happy face here, though. Here I’m being told about the Kardashians and not only do I not care, but I am NOT amused. Still it’s a good collar shot. I love the collar on this blouse. Despite whatever my face might have been doing in this moment.

The (rather wrinkled) back is nice and blousy, with a yoke across the shoulders and gathers.

The sleeves are rather long. When I make this in the future, which I probably will do, because despite all the fussy hand sewing and pattern pieces, I like the final product enough to suck it up and deal, I will shorten the sleeves.

So, I typically tuck everything in. I like my waist, so I like to accentuate it, and also, I feel kind of unkempt if I don’t. But this blouse has these lovely tucks which I think are particularly flattering. So I tried it out for a little while.

See, the tucks in the back make this little blousy “shelf”. It’s kind of cool.

I wasn’t sure if you could see the stripes in the shirting, it all sort of looks vaguely blue from the photos. So here you are, a close up. The material came from my grandfather’s attic, and the buttons from the hoader. So there you are, a completely stash-shopped blouse.

Yeah. I couldn’t live with it untucked. Sue me.

Do you dress differently when you go somewhere else? Apart from coats for the north and swimsuits for the south, I mean? Do you have a vacation persona who looks like alternate reality you? Obviously I don’t, not in a drastic way, I can’t even untuck my shirt…


Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Simplicity Patterns, Travel, Vintage

Me Made May Day 3: Late but with a great excuse…

So I’ve been rather late about posting this so I’m going to keep this post mercifully brief (for me, at least) and make you all quite jealous by explaining that I couldn’t post for the past few days because I was in Puerto Rico with my family and limited internet access. It’s interesting, I’m so plugged into everything on the interwebs (although I don’t play games. What the hell is Farmville? Please don’t tell me, I honestly don’t care), but taking a few days off is really nice. I mean, I have email on my phone, but in San Juan, I sometimes, gasp, leave the house without my phone! WHAT?  I know. Revolutionary.

So that meant no sewing for me. But I did WEAR a lot of homemade outfits, including my Pastille, which made its appearance at my Cousin Jessi’s wedding! Which was absolutely lovely, congratulations, Jessi and Rei, just such a wonderful day. My brother even flew in from LA (And boy were his arms tired! Try the veal!) and I asked him to take some pictures, given that he studied film and in theory he’s the best photographer in the family. But when I made him snap me in the airport for Me Made May (having explained the intricacies of the event) it didn’t go great.

Me, brattily critical: “God, don’t you read sewing blogs? Don’t you know what I want in an outfit shot?”

My brother, patient in the face of my crazy: “Um, no. Make mom do it.”

And so I did. Thanks, Mamala!

Denim Clovers, Cotton Jasmine, a Colette Patterns day! The shoes are Toms, and the vintage element are the earrings. If I look like a huge struggle, which I’m well aware I do, it’s because I had just gotten off of a plane. Who looks good after a flight, regardless of the length? I want to meet those people, and hit them in the arm. Hard.


Filed under Challenge, Colette Patterns

Me Made May Day 2: So it’s spring, right?

I’m not all that into talking about the weather. It’s just not a passion of mine. Don’t get me wrong, I care about the weather, I obsessively check weather.com and monitor every cold front and hot spell so that I’m prepared for every eventuality. What can I say, I like to know what’s going on and how to layer appropriately. I just don’t feel the need to discuss it all the damn time. Still, today was cold. And rainy. Do you know how annoying it is to bike in the rain? I do. Oh, I do….

Still, I try not to let the weather I constantly check completely alter what I wear. So for Me Made May Day 2, I went with a skirt. Wool in May. What are you going to do about it?

The blouse is the thing I made, it’s my “I don’t believe in UFOs blouse”. It’s grown on me, honestly, though I haven’t worn it all that often. The skirt is vintage, it belonged to my grandmother, I think, my mom and I aren’t sure if it was Isolda’s or my mothers. Ah, well. People always ask me if I made it. I did not.

And the other vintage thing? This brooch:

It came from the hoarder stash. How lovely is this brooch? Very 1960’s. I adore it.

And there you have it. A rather dreary day two. No scraps today, just rain and red blouses. I’m off to San Juan tomorrow. so expect a gap between postings, and then a flurry of new projects. How is Me Made May going for YOU all so far?


Filed under Butterick Patterns, Challenge, Vintage

Me Made May Day 1- Let’s Do This Thing

Happy May, everyone! In fact, happy Me Made May, for those who are participating in such a thing. And as for the rest of you, you be happy too. Not AS happy, but happy nonetheless.

I have to say, I’ve really been looking forward to this month of celebrating what I’ve made. I feel like I’ve really upped my sewing game since last May, and I’m excited to show the world exactly what I have been up to. Yes, much of what I’ve made has been documented here, but some things haven’t, and I have a suitcase full of brand new me-made items I’ve been stockpiling for my trip to Puerto Rico this Thursday for my cousin’s wedding (felicitaciones Jessie!). So prepare yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, for all that.

But for today, here is my Me Made Outfit!

Not only did I make the pants (my denim Clovers, of course!), but that shirt is my 4th renfrew! Oh, I’m making all 9 versions. It’s happening. Get on board, or get out of the way.

The v-neck is…not perfect. But if wishes were horses…Still, I adore the color, and I can live with the collar. In fact, I even got a compliment on it the other day, well, sort of. A friend was like, you didn’t make THAT, did you? But I think it was a “you couldn’t possibly have made that because it’s too stunning to have been made by human hands” not “you didn’t make that because even your taste isn’t that horrible”. I’m pretty sure it was the former not the latter. 98% sure. 87% sure. Give it an even 75 to 25, really.

And the vintage item? The scarf!

This came, as so many things have, from my grandmother. I have no information on this designer, has anyone else heard of her?

So that’s the outfit. But I want to add one more thing to my pledge, if everyone is cool with that (I’m just kidding, someone as caffinated as I doesn’t ask for permission she asks for forgiveness!). I think this month I’m vowing to try and make different projects with scraps. The scraps in my life, the spare lengths of fabric, all the things I’ve been given or found in attics and hoarder’s apartments, they are driving me CRAZY. And I’ve been working on a big scrap project I will now plan to unveil at the end of the month. But for today, let me show you what I made last night

Sachets! Lovely lovely sachets. They only use 4 inches square of two pieces of fabric and something sweet-smelling in between and there you go, sachet away.

I straight up made 9. Like you do. Mondays. I used pine instead of lavender, because it was literally what was on hand.

I got the idea from this post on The Purl Bee. Do you ever visit the Purl Bee? Let’s talk truth for a moment. I do adore the Purl Bee, it’s a great site full of ideas, and I know full well it’s supporting (and therefore selling stuff) for Purl Soho, an gorgeous and extremely bourgie boutique crafting store in, you guessed it, Soho (New York, not London). All that being said, and with all adoration and respect, I have to honestly say that I can’t imagine a point in my life when I’m going to go out and buy a fat bundle kit of Liberty of London fabrics to make, oh, I don’t know, a wall hanging or a children’s toy. Beyond the expense, which is of course exorbitant, I just have so much scrap, even when I cut carefully, I can’t imagine BUYING something just for a small scrap-appropriate project. Am I a crazy person? How do you feel about this subject?

(PS: Thank you all VERY much for your kind and lovely words about my recent sewing snafus. I so appreciate the support, you are very nice, internet people, thank you.)


Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewaholic Patterns, Vintage