Me-Made-May 2016 Days 27 - 31

Wow, the last week of May!  This month has gone by so fast, but I've been pleasantly surprised to see my handmade wardrobe held up well. 

And after saying that.... no photo for Day 27 as workout gear was worn all day.  I do not make my workout gear, instead concentrating on improving my sewing skills on basics and nicer things to wear as it seems I'm a turtle in the sewing speed department.  ;) 

On Memorial Weekend's Saturday, my family went to see the newly released 'Alice Through The Looking Glass' and my husband, knowing I'd not gotten a photo for this day, insisted we take the time for Melissa to snap this shot, below, on the iphone.   He's not keen on photos in a public place..... particularly a busy movie theater!..... but understands this is important to me, so I especially appreciate his support.  And by the way, highly recommend this movie.  We always get a big bucket of popcorn drizzled with lots and lots of butter, a coke to share..... then off for pizza afterwards to discuss the movie.  Family tradition.  :) 
Day 28
We've had wide temperature swings this month, so it was nice to share cool weather pieces, as well as summertime pieces, like in this outfit I wore to church below. 
Day 29
And I missed Day 30, Memorial Day Monday's photo as our garden needed tending and things needed done around the house so I wore clothes that were not handmade.  And I was okay with missing this second day of photos in this week as May is also about 'real life' and even though a photo a day is important to share my handmade clothes, it is also 'real' that some days..... though not frequent.... I simply do not wear handmade clothes. 

And it seemed appropriate to wear my Monet dress this last day, below, as it was also what I wore the first day.  An early trip to the city for an appointment, then home after eating lunch out.  I really love the comfort of this dress.  
Day 31
Because I've already journaled my month, I shall wrap up everything here by simply saying Thank You so much for following me on this journey to make a handmade wardrobe! 
Journal of Days 1 - 7
Journal of Days 8 - 14
Journal of Days 15 - 21
Journal of Days 22 - 26
Happy Sewing Everyone!


Me-Made-May 2016 Days 22 - 26

Thought it'd be nice to sort of journal May's days and share a little behind-the-scenes happenings without being redundantly outfit overload.   Click on the link below each photo for specific garment/pattern information as I'm not going to reiterate that info here.

I wore this dress and jacket, photo below, to church this day and seems I've accidentally stumbled onto the perfect dress for this jacket!  Love this combo!  But I have to tell you what happened later this day.  My husband and I were at a social event and as I was introduced to this very chic dressed lady, she says 'Oh, I love your dress.'  With that, of course, I wanted to squeal! *, but instead calmly said 'Thank you', when much to my surprise I hear my husband saying, with pride in his voice, 'Oh, you have just made her day because she makes all her clothes'!  With that, this very sweet lady wanted to talk about this gorgeous Toile de Jouy fabric and looked at how the sheep and shepherd were perfectly centered on the bodice.  *Insert big smile here*!  Made my day!!!   How do you respond when folks might compliment you on your handmade garments?
Day 22
A go-to-the-city hot day.....
Day 23
.....and after I got home wanted to share a little of Dragon, as he's been feeling left out lately.   Dragon greets us as we turn into our driveway and always brings a smile to my face.  Tom made him for Melissa years and years ago because she likes dragons.  Our land is blessed (ha!) with rocks and the boulder I'm sitting on here, was already in this location.  All the other rocks Tom scoured from our land, carefully picking just the right shapes to create this rock art.  Dragon is complete with a toothy grin, claws and a long spiny tail. 
Melissa gave him the 'LOVE' sign to hold.  :)
Thrilled to see my hydrangea bush is looking pretty good this year!  Should have blooms soon.  This bush produces both purples and blues.
Day 24
What a fun, fun day, below, with Melissa at Lake Jocassee!  She graciously took my photo for me using the Nikon D3300 set on a tripod.  Such fun as we worked out the lighting and focus together.  She was a great help even though photography is not her thing, and it was real nice having a 'photographer' instead of using the wireless remote.  What was interesting to me, was that I did not feel self-conscious at all, like I do when photographing by myself..... and there was plenty of people out and about this day.  Melissa told me I should not feel self-conscious anyway.  She's a good kid.  :)  We had a lakeside picnic afterwards and spent the morning at the lake.
Day 25
So pretty how the mountains touch the water.

Already hot and humid this morning, planning an at-home day cleaning and organizing day.  Our Southern Springtime is so full of air-born pollen, it's easier to 'Spring clean' this time of year when the pollen has settled down..... a little.
Day 26
And as I was coming up the stairs couldn't help but notice....
.....Buster has found a most perfectly cool place to spend the day!  Under our front deck's julienne stairs, Tom has planted a fern and bracken 'Secret Garden'.  There's a few Solomon Seals and Merry Bells in here too...... :)
Hard to believe there's just 5 more days to go in May!

Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)

Journal of Days 1 - 7
Journal of Days 8 - 14
Journal of Days 15 - 21
Journal of Days 27 - 31


Me-Made-May 2016 Days 15 - 21

This was a busy week..... but seems I say that almost every week.... but it was, so I was proud of myself that I captured a photo each day this week for Me-Made-May 2016.  You can read each day's journal synopsis and garment/pattern information by clicking on the link under the corresponding photo.  This post is new information so my poor readers won't get bored with redundancy.  :)
Day 15
I practiced learning to be creative in showing my garment for the camera.  I'm also learning to relax in front of the camera, and hopefully it shows.
Day 16
Our area is officially in a drought, so it was with great excitement to have a day of long awaited rain and I waited to take my photo, below, between rain showers..... though it never rained any more after all.  :(  The lighting was odd.  The sky was cloudy with lots of indirect light, yet this photo seems almost over exposed.  The green plant behind my head is our fig tree.  Hmmm, needs to be trimmed back a little methinks.  :)
Day 17
Every year during Me-Made-May I always try to get up to Table Rock State Park and this year found a nice quiet place behind the boathouse on the lake.  No one was about, so I was able to take my time to figure out what 'story' I wanted my picture to tell.  Of course it's all about the clothes, right?!!!  but as I snapped a few shots, it soon became a quiet walk down a little country lane by a lake. 
Day 18
Not many folks travel to this side of the lake unless they want to use one of the kayaks or canoes from the boathouse.... and I think it is one of the more pleasing areas of the park.
A short drive to a summit, I actually struggled to snap this, below, with my iphone.  I am the world's worst selfie taker!  Cool shot of Table Rock and the smaller tree-covered mountain ridges in between.  My head is hiding Stool Mountain.
And felt I couldn't leave the park without showing you Table Rock with Stool Mountain to its distant right.  The Cherokees called this area Sah-ka-na-ga..... 'The Great Blue Hills of God'.  So true. 
Another cloudy day with teasers of rain so decided to work on my indoor photography which has always been poor, in my humble opinion.  Again wanting to tell some sort of 'creative story', this was a lot of fun to set up and do, below!  Carolyn's beautiful fabric is this far along where I've been stuck on lining vs. facing.  Decisions like that tend to paralyze me.... so almost as an afterthought, shared my struggle on instagram and I am so very glad I did!  So many sewists, who have so much more experience than I, who are so much more advanced in all ways of garment construction were so kind and sweet to give me their opinion on what I should do.  The general consensus was line it with rayon bemberg lining and by the time the afternoon was over, I'd ordered rayon bemberg lining made in Japan from Britex.  I figured this is such a special dress, out of such special material, the lining should be the best I knew how to buy.  :)  As an aside here.... I received my package from Britex in just a few short days.  *insert squeal here*  Now I'm ready to finish this dress!
Day 19
It was about all I could do to snap this photo at the end of a pretty harrowing day, below.  If I hadn't promised myself I would not skip any more days (I've already skipped 1!) this would've been the day. 
Day 20
Our poor little toy Maltese Towa, all 5 pounds of her, had a severe allergic reaction to the oral Bordetella vaccine.  She's received the injectable for years with no problems, but not so the oral.  So very thankful she is fine now.
Saturday was spent with my husband literally out of the house at dawn to still out and about at dusk.  We'd eaten dinner out and was about to head home and I asked if we could run by the South Carolina Botanical Gardens for a quick photo.  Ya' know.... didn't want to miss a photo!!!  He was great and said let's go and we had the absolute BEST time!!!!  We never would've walked the gardens if there hadn't been a necessary photo to be taken!!!  Such FUN!  Usually he's not one for pictures, but he got in the spirit this evening looking for the best filtered light and took more than just a few pictures here and there.  He deliberately set up this photo, below, to show the cool steps leading down to this old archway/bridge so this was one that had to be used.  Used the iphone here.
Day 21
Journal of Days 1 - 7 Me-Made-May 2016
Journal of Days 8 - 14 Me-Made-May 2016
Journal of Days 22 - 26 Me-Made-May 2016
Journal of Days 27 - 31 Me-Made-May 2016

Now on to the final days of Me-Made-May 2016!

Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)


Me-Made-May 2016 Days 8 - 14

As we head toward the middle of Me-Made-May, one of the primary things I've noticed, is there's not been many garment repeats.  Maybe the odd neutral pair of pants here and there, but with different tops, it feels like different outfits.  A pleasant feeling to see how the persistence of adding to my handmade wardrobe through the year(s) is paying off.   :)    

This week I took the opportunity to focus on improving my photography skills.  Specifically how to work with shadows and light, and how to tell my camera to focus on me and not my surroundings.  Most of my photographs are self-taken by me, unless I happen to be out and about with a member of my family, using a Nikon D3300 camera with a tripod and wireless remote.

So let's see how this week fared.  I'll share a few thoughts about each day and there's all the garment information with a few more details on the link under each individual picture.
Day 8 was Mother's Day and no photo was taken that day.  Oops.  First day so far missing a photo, so that's really not bad for me.  Enjoyed a low-key day with my family spent mostly in handmade comfy clothes.

On Day 9, dressed in clothes so old and worn I save for cleaning, spent a few minutes fooling around with my camera's settings in our back woods before working around the house.  Later this day I was shocked to find the photo made flickr's Explore page!   This photo was straight out of the camera.  No photo editing was done, other than cropping into a square.  I was pleased to find the right camera settings for the shadows of our woods and figure out where to stand in the filtered light.
Day 9
On Day 10, took a little field trip to the beautiful historic Hagood Mill built in 1845, near my home specifically to catch a little of the mill's wooden water wheel in my photo.  It was a very bright, sunny morning and I struggled with setting my camera correctly for the light conditions.  Also, by the time this photo was properly set up, there were other people walking about and I was beginning to feel kind of stressed taking my photo like this in front of the public.  You can maybe see a little 'stress' in my face there.  ;)
Day 10
I feel the photo above, in hindsight, was edited too much in my photo editing software program, but it is all about a learning experience, so I'm leaving the photo in as is.  A few months ago I invested in Adobe's Photoshop Elements 14 photo editing software program and really, really like it.  It's a stand alone program, purchased for less than $100, and for a person who really knows n-o-t-h-i-n-g about photo editing, it's great!  It has a guided tutorial built in, if you need it like me.... as well as all sorts of cool features for when you understand what you are doing.  I need the guided tutorial..... still.  ;)  Anyway, one more thing..... this mill is an operating grist mill and it is so cool to watch the corn being ground into corn meal.  We are fortunate to have folks interested in keeping old traditions alive in our area.
Hagood Mill wooden water wheel
Day 11, because of my struggle the day before photographing in bright sun, forced myself to work with the camera settings standing in a sunny spot at our home.  After much time, and many photos, it was funny to use one of the very first photos taken this day.  ;)  For some reason I had trouble finding the center of the camera line, and always seemed to be standing off-center and a little too close. 
Day 11
Day 12, this morning got outside a little earlier than usual and caught some of those lovely early morning rays using the surrounding trees to filter the light.  Used the very last photo taken today.  This is another photo with very little editing..... pretty much straight out of the camera.  Learning if your camera is set correctly, there is very little photo editing needed?
Day 12
Day 13, this photo, below, was taken very late in the day when the sun was at its highest peak and most bright and sunny.  Challenged myself to figure out, again, how to use the trees to filter the bright light.  Almost got it right, other than the bright sunspot bouncing off my silver hair.  This photo was also about how to show my pretty skirt's matching stripe detail at the side.
Day 13
Day 14 was spent working outside on our land with my husband all.day.long and I was so tired and exhausted by day's end it was hard to think about a photograph.  After dinner, (and after cleaning up!) and determined to not miss another day, using my iphone, tried to be creative in showing a little of the modifications I made to the dress, pattern m, from Yoshiko Tsukiori's 'Stylish Dress Book' including a little of my favorite mug full of Chai Latte.  I love Chai Latte and only recently figured out how to make my own!
Day 14
So this brings us to the 2nd week's end and almost to mid-month.  Now on to week 3!
Mountain Laurel in bloom at Hagood Mill
Happy Sewing Everyone!
Journal of Days 1 - 7
Journal of Days 15 -21
Journal of Days 22 - 26
Journal of Days 27 - 31


Me-Made-May 2016 Days 1 - 7

We happened to have a most special event happen during this year's Me-Made-May..... our daughter, Melissa's, graduation from Clemson University!  Can we pause for a minute for me to have a proud mom moment.  This pretty young lady majored in English, made the Dean's List and graduated with Honors.  And yes, I cried. 
Day 7
'Life' sort of got away from me, and the sheath dress out of Carolyn's beautiful fabric did not get finished.  That made me oh-so-sad.  It is about half completed and will be finished soon.  There was just more things happening than I expected during this time leading up to Melissa's graduation.

The link below each of these photos will take you to their specific pattern information and a little synopsis of that day's events.

A week into Me-Made-May 2016, a month where sewists from all over the world document their daily handmade outfits, I've noticed this year I've been able to not have any repeats..... yet.
Day 6
With this my third year to participate..... the other two previous years were filled with repeat upon repeat...
Day 5
...but this year my handmade wardrobe seems different.  I seem to be seeing the fruits of my labors with a fresh choice of options to wear each day.  Not just the same-o same-o thing.  I should also mention we have had the craziest weather with wild extremes ranging from chilly and cold to soaring high and extremely hot temps.
Day 4
The daily photographs are also a way to document my 'life' for that day.  Here, below, Melissa and I had spent the day shopping and stopped at Furman University's iconic Bell Tower on their pretty lake for a photo.  Had to laugh when prepping the photo as there is nothing of the Bell Tower and/or lake to be seen!  ;)
Day 3
Still learning how to work the camera's wireless remote and how to make it focus on what I want it to focus on instead of what it 'thinks' I want it to focus on.  This month is great practice.
Day 2
And most of all..... this month is an opportunity to take the time to re-evaluate your wardrobe needs, as well as be inspired by seeing what others have done.....
Day 1
.....and to encourage you to maybe make something just for 'you'!

Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)
Journal of Days 8 -14
Journal of Days 15 - 21
Journal of Days 22 - 26
Journal of Days 27 - 31 


6th pair of Ottobre 02/2015, no. 14 Loose Fit Casual Pants

A 6th pair of Ottobre no. 14 Loose Fit Casual Pants.  What can I say.... this is a good pattern for me!
These were made just like pair no. 1 you can see here.  Pair no. 2 is here, no. 3 here, no. 4 here and no. 5 here.   This particular pair is made of Waverly Inspiration Duck fabric purchased at my local Wal-Mart for $3.97/yard.  I think I purchased 2 yards.  In-seam pockets made of self-fabric.  This fabric wasn't too thick, so I wasn't worried about pocket bulkiness.
Made a size 38 and as always, altered the way I finished the elastic waistband by simply turning the top down 2" and inserting a 1 1/2" wide elastic.  Make sure your elastic is a heavy-duty elastic.  I've used the stretchier elastic before and that is not a good idea.  You really want these to stay secure, particularly if using a heavier fabric.  What's funny is that Ottobre named these no. 14 Loose Fit Casual Linen Pants.... and I've yet to make a pair in linen!!!  Maybe no. 7..... ?!
My asymmetrical no. 10 Sculpture top was also made from this same Ottobre issue and you can read more about it here.
Really like the way the no. 10 Sculpture top goes with the no. 14 Loose Fit Pants.  Ottobre featured these two patterns together in its issue, so it's almost like each was designed to go with the other.
This pair of pants has a 1 3/4" hem finished with a double needle.  Top-stitched the outside side seams.  I like that as it allows the pant to lie flatter and it's also easier to iron.  :)
My sweet husband surprised me with a Rustic Cuff bracelet  just as I began this new project.  How did he know it would be red?!  Anyway, this is an early Mother's Day gift that I love.  Rustic Cuff bracelets are made in Tulsa, Oklahoma with their own personal inspiring story to share.  What is meaningful to me, is that my mother was born and raised in Sapulpa, Oklahoma and her great-grandparents were part of Oklahoma's historical landrush.  With beloved family members still living in that area of Oklahoma, this bracelet is a tangible reminder of my family and my roots.  The amount of inventory at Rustic Cuffs is startling and their cuffs/bracelets are meant to be layered and 'stacked'..... so this is my humble beginning.  :) 
Still trying to get my camera all sorted out.  Some photos are in clear focus and some simply are not.  Scratching head a little here.
Fun to take a few shots of the blooming Salvia.....
...... to find it's a Buster's favorite napping place.  :)
Before I forget, Me-Made-May 2016 has begun and you can find me at my Flickr account as well as my Instagram account.  My daily outfit photo will also show on this blog's sidebar and by clicking that photo, it will take you to specific garment information and links.  The international group can be found on Flickr here, on Pinterest here and on Instagram under the hashtag #mmmay16.

Happy Sewing Everyone!