MMM ’14 – Week Three

More than half the month is over, and I’m still having fun putting outfits together! I could do without the pictures of course, but even that I find less of a hassle than last year because I’m a little better organized.

DAY 12 (Monday)

Day12A comfortable outfit for a very long Monday. I love how there are some tiny flowers on the dress that are the same colour as the sweater. What else can I say that I haven’t said already? It’s the second appearance of the dress this May, and already the third of the sweater and they’ll probably both come out again before long.

DAY 13 (Tuesday)

Day13.1I love that outfit. Yes, it’s a pretty positive me-made week! 😀 It seems like Deer & Doe’s Sureau and Andi Satterlund’s cropped sweaters and cardigans are a match made in heaven: my favourite outfit from last week was another Sureau and Andi’s Miette cardigan (Day 6). The dress, sweater and shoes are me-made. Still the greatest feeling on earth spending your day in me-made shoes!

Day13.2I took a second picture coming back from work because I was wearing the usual me-made jacket and shawl just like every day, but also my fingerless mittens. Not that you can see them very precisely in that picture of course, but I love them and I always carry them in my bag just in case it gets chilly as on that day.

DAY 14 (Wednesday)

Day14A combination of skirt, blouse and cardigan I wear very often. I really don’t know what more to say except that I should make another Hollyburn, another Miette and another Sencha because I really love those patterns. The only thing I don’t like about that outfit is the fact that both the blouse and cardigan have synthetic in them. It’s not that much of a problem for the cardigan because it’s a blend and I never wear it too close to my skin, but the blouse is clearly 100 % synthetic and although the fabric is really pretty and it almost never wrinkles, it’s also not breathable at all and it smells much faster that any piece of clothing I’ve ever owned, which is not ideal when you bike everywhere!

DAY 15 (Thursday)

Day15Now that’s a combination I had never thought to make, but I suddenly realised there were flowers on the fabric of the dress that were reminiscent of the colour of that cardigan, so the outfit went from there. This is the kind of surprises I love in Me-Made-May!

DAY 16 (Friday)

Day16Friday is supposed to be my day off, but I exceptionally had to work on that day, so I tried to stay positive by dressing cheerfully nautical. It kind of worked! I’m wearing a me-made skirt, blouse and cardigan.

DAY 17 (Saturday)

Day17I stayed at home the whole day for that long due date with my sewing machine, and the weather suddenly changed and got MUCH warmer, so it’s kind of a miracle that I even got out of my pyjamas, and I don’t think I would have had it not been for Me-Made-May! I put on that comfortable and unwrinkleable dress and I was good to go! No shoes, it was that warm! Okay, confession time: I spent most of the day with an ugly white cotton sport sock on my right foot (yes, only on the one foot!) to protect it from getting burnt by the presser foot of my very vintage sewing machine which has a tendency to overheat. Very sexy. And I should definitely get that presser foot fixed, I know…

DAY 18 (Sunday)

Day18I’m wearing a me-made tee and a new skirt. This is kind of a sneak peek of the skirt, so I won’t tell more about it except that I made it following Tilly’s Picnic Blanket Skirt tutorial. I wore that outfit to go to a yard sale under the sun and the whole time I couldn’t believe I was wearing sandals and no tights!

Day18.2When the sun got down, I put on a me-made cardigan. It’s weird how different my hair looks in the two pictures by the way: I swear I took them on the same day! Oh, and sorry about the bra lines, one of the perks of that thin rayon knit.

Conclusions of the week:

– My me-made wardrobe is much fuller than I thought at the beginning of the challenge.

– Apparently my hair looks curly when I look at my left, and straighter when I look at my right. Weird indeed…

MMM ’14 – Week Two

One third down! I’m quite surprised at how natural it’s been feeling until now, and I still have some unworn me-mades in the closet, yay! Well, we’ll see how I feel about that in a week!

DAY 5 (Monday)

Day5The week starts with my least favourite me-made outfit EVER! And that’s including Me-Made-May ’13 of course! The colours are okay, but although I love that dress and sweater, their shapes don’t go well together at all. You can’t really tell from the picture, but really, least flattering outfit ever. I was feeling a bit under the weather, so this explains that. Also, I made the dress so long ago it’s really starting to show signs of age…

DAY 6 (Tuesday)

Day6Ah, feeling much better, both physically and sartorially! This is an outfit I wear very often and I love it. The shape, the colours, the comfort, the fact that I made my shoes… Both the dress and cardigan are among my most worn me-mades. The cardigan is made from what I thought was a low quality yarn, but it seems like I was wrong when you see how well it’s been holding up. The buttons on the other hand have faded like crazy, but I don’t really mind.

DAY 7 (Wednesday)

Day7Another favourite outfit to get back on my feet after the disaster that was Monday! The dress (see MMM’ 13 – Day 1 for more information) and cardigan are me-made and really belong together I think. Also a very comfortable outfit, though not ideal for getting rained on while biking from work (but what outfit is, really?). My tights are normally a shade lighter but they (as well as my shoes and the skirt of the dress) were drenched!

DAY 8 (Thursday)

Day8I had never thought of wearing that skirt and that sweater together, but I liked this outfit very much. The top I’m wearing under the sweater is also me-made. I felt very comfortable and cheerful all day.

DAY 9 (Friday)

Day9To think I almost threw that skirt in the trash for some silly detail I don’t even remember! I’m wearing two sweaters with it: the one you see best was one of my most painful knitting experiences but it’s been so worth it since I wear it all the time (this is already the second time I’m wearing it in May! – and this is my first garment repeat of the month), and the one I’m wearing under it used to be restricted to summer, until I realised how much I liked it worn under the other one.

DAY 10 (Saturday)

Day10The dress, cardigan (second repeats of the month) and hat are me-made. It was raining again, hence the rubber boots.

Day10HatI thought about taking a picture of my outerwear for once! These are the jacket and shawl I wear literally every day except in summer. The acrylic shawl is now five years old and still going strong! I made the hat in February, for Valentine’s Day, but I hadn’t worn it yet because I thought it was a bit too tight and uncomfortable, so I wanted to cut the lower part and make it into more of a bowler hat. But I felt like wearing a hat on that day, preferably red to go with the boots, so I tried it on again… and wondered what was wrong with me the first time I tried it on! It fits pretty good, and its shape makes it stay on the head very securely even when there’s a lot of wind like on that day. I think I could even wear it on my bike!

Day10HatDetail

DAY 11 (Sunday)

Day11I had planned a day-long date with my sewing machine and I was wondering what to wear to stay at home, but I had completely forgotten I was supposed to go to one of my best friends’ housewarming party! Luckily when she didn’t see me coming she sent me a text, so I grabbed the first garments at hand that kind of seemed to go together, took a picture and jumped on my bike to head to my friend’s place. I was pretty happy with my outfit, especially seeing as I really didn’t have time to think about it for too long. It was actually much more flattering in real life, but the way I’m holding the blackboard hides my waist and makes me look much thicker than I really am. Ah well, it’s already kind of a miracle that I even took a picture, so I’m not complaining!

You’ve already seen the blouse (see Day 1) and cardigan (see Day 6 this week) this month, but it’s my first time wearing the skirt.

Conclusion of the week:

I think I’ll manage with what I have for a month, but I wouldn’t mind a few more cardigans. You are about to see the three I own and my Winter Heather sweater a lot this month!

MMM ’14 – Week One

Four days into May, this hasn’t been too difficult yet. Especially since I haven’t had to go to work: I don’t work at weekends, nor on Fridays this year, and May 1st was a holiday, so four days at home left me plenty of time to plan my outfits and take the daily pictures.

In addition to what you see in the pictures, I also wore my me-made jacket and shawl every day, every time I went out.

DAY 1 (Thursday)

Day1Hello, favourite skirt and sweater! This is a combination I’ve been wearing a lot these days, except I usually wear a store-bought black long or 3/4 sleeved tee under the sweater. This time I substituted a me-made blouse (pattern from this book) for the tee and I was really pleased with the result. This blouse is the first piece of clothing I ever sewed, so I don’t wear it often, but I can’t part with it and I still wear it every summer.

DAY 2 (Friday)

Day2I’m wearing a refashioned dress and a sweater I recently knit. I’m wondering whether I shouldn’t shorten the sweater a touch, even more than what I already did, because its body still has a tendency to bunch up a bit under the arms.

This is the kind of outfit I would never wear to work because of the short skirt, though I have no problem wearing very short dresses/skirts outside of work as long as I’m wearing tights. Oh, and if you’re wondering why my hair looks better behaved than usual, I went to the hairdresser’s that day.

DAY 3 (Saturday)

Day3“Who’s that straight-haired girl?!” is the question I asked myself every time I saw my reflection that day! 🙂

Anyway, I’m wearing the first sweater I ever knit and a Renfrew dress you may remember from not too long ago. The sweater has become a little too big for me and I don’t like the fact that it’s polyester (made from recycled bottles, that I like!), but I still love it so much, I’m pretty sure I’ll knit another one in a better yarn someday.

Had it not been for Me-Made-May, I’m not sure I’d have thought to wear this dress and this sweater together, but since I don’t have a lot of me-made cardigans or sweaters that go with the dress, I had to be more creative than usual!

DAY 4 (Sunday)

Day4.1The weather was much warmer than the past few days, so I only wore a me-made dress for most of the day. I still love the style of that dress and it’s also very comfortable, but the fabric has seen better days so sadly I think it will have to retire soon. Ah well, at least it will leave more room for future makes!

Day4.2The evening was a bit chillier, so I put on a me-made cardigan I often wear with that same dress. When I made a quick inventory of my me-made wardrobe before I wrote my pledge, I realised I actually only own three me-made cardigans. This is one of them and it has also been showing signs of age, so I’m planning on knitting me some new cardigans in the near future. Seeing as my daily uniform is a dress with a cardigan, I don’t know how I didn’t realise that sooner!

Conclusions of the week:

– I need some cardigans!

– A whole year is too long a period between two haircuts.

Me-Made-May ’14!

MMM14logolargeWith May starting the day after tomorrow, it was high time I decided on a pledge and signed up for MMM’14!

I’d been sure I’d participate again this year for a long time already, but I’d been mulling over what pledge to take for at least as long a time… The thing is, I was afraid my ideal pledge, which is wearing only me-made clothing (with exceptions such as shoes, underwear…), would be too big a challenge, one that I would be bound to fail.

But then I took a closer look at my handmade wardrobe and I actually think it can be done. It will be harder than last year, that’s for sure, but I also think it will be even more rewarding, and I’m pretty sure there’s no better way to help me identify the holes in my me-made wardrobe!

So here’s my pledge! 🙂

‘I, Tassadit of Rue des Renards, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear only me-made or refashioned garments for the duration of May 2014, with the exception of shoes and underwear.’

Stash Diet: 2014

Stash-Diet-BadgeWhen I mentioned in my end-of-the-year roundup post that I wanted to stop amassing fabric, Andrea of Stitch Parade was kind enough to let me know that she and her friend Gail of Today’s Agenda were hosting a challenge called Stash Diet: 2014 whose aim is, as is pretty clear by the name, to buy less fabric and use fabric from your stash instead.

I immediately jumped at the chance and joined Stash Diet: 2014 as I felt sharing with more people in the same situation would be of great help in attaining my goal. Everyone has to lay down their own rules, so here are mine, well here is mine, which is pretty simple:

I am allowed to buy one piece of fabric every five projects that use fabric from my stash.

This excludes: lining, interfacing and other notions needed for the projects. If a project absolutely requires a contrast fabric of some sort, I can buy said contrast fabric, but only on a project-by-project basis. This means I can’t buy it unless I’m starting the project right away.

Of course, I don’t have to buy a piece of fabric every five projects. If I don’t buy a piece of fabric after five projects, this means I can buy two pieces after ten projects, three pieces after fifteen projects, and so on… (yeah, like I’m gonna be strong enough to wait for so long before getting my fix!).

By the way, you may have noticed I didn’t mention anything about patterns. I’m focussing on fabric, and not patterns, because I’m still in denial of my pattern addiction I don’t think my pattern stash is problematic (yet) as all of my patterns (excluding books and magazines of course) still fit in two shoeboxes. Though I must admit I haven’t used most of those patterns yet.

Now, regarding the fabric, it may seem like having to wait for five finished projects before being allowed to buy one piece of fabric is quite strict, but let me just tell you about the extent of the damage…

My friend Mimolette and I recently decided, in accordance with our resolution to use fabric from our stash, to organise our stash in a way that made it easier for us to know exactly which fabrics and how much fabric we owned. I personally stash my fabric in plastic boxes I store in this very weird 1,60 m deep / 0,75 m wide / 1,20 m high under-the-rafters cupboard, so it’s not easy checking how much yardage I own of a particular fabric, or how two pieces of fabric would match, and so on. So we thought it would be really neat to cut a swatch of each fabric and paste them in a notebook with information such as yardage, composition, place of purchase, planned project(s)… And so we went to work.

SwatchAlbum

“It is a crag! … a peak! … a promontory! … A promontory, did I say? … It is a peninsula!”

I decided to use Bristol board cards and to place them in a photo album. Very soon I realised the pocket-sized album I had bought was way too small to contain all the cards I had already completed, so I bought a much bigger one, which allowed me to place all of my cards once I had completed them. Then I counted the cards. I’m kind of ashamed, to say the least. Do you want to know how much fabric I own? Okay, I’m just gonna say it: I own exactly 160 pieces of fabric. 160. One hundred and sixty.

I can’t believe it. How did I buy and not use 160 pieces of fabric? My name is Tassadit and I’m a fabricaholic. One piece of fabric every five projects doesn’t seem so strict anymore, does it? I should even stop buying fabric altogether, shouldn’t I?

More seriously, even though counting my fabric was scary, I’m really glad I did it because it not only truly helped me gain some perspective on the extent of my stash, but it also simply reminded me which fabrics I own, which will make it easier for me to reach for them instead of buying some more for my future projects. And with my fabric swatch album, I feel like I can browse the catalog of a shop that would sell only fabric I love, for free, with instant delivery! This will be the greatest tool in this challenge!

SwatchPage

I haven’t filled in the pattern suggestions yet, but I did take the time to classify the swatches first by weight, then by colour and theme!

Are any of you participating in the Stash Diet: 2014 initiative or any other similar challenge? And, more importantly, does anyone own 160 pieces of fabric or, even better, more than 160 pieces of fabric?

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

1943:1944I love reading stuff like that, so here’s my review of 2013 sewing and knitting wise!

I sewed 15 items and I knit 11, which sums up to a grand total of 26 projects in a year. That’s one project every two weeks, which I know is not the most impressive compared to what some others have achieved, but to me it’s a HUGE progress compared to my ten projects of 2012 and who knows how (not) many of 2011 and before! I’m quite sure starting a blog played a big part in my productivity, as did meeting friends who sew and knit of course!

2013

The 26 projects in chronological order

Out of the 26, only one was not for me. What can I say? I like sewing/knitting for ME and I’m not even sorry. Ok, I’m just sorry that one of my best friends is still waiting for the skirt I promised to sew for her birthday, which was in May, oops!

Miette+Hollyburn+Chuck+Sureau+Chardon+BagI’m pretty proud of how much I’ve been wearing my 2013 garments. The most worn are definitely my Miette cardigan, my Chuck sweater, my Hollyburn and Chardon skirts and my Sureau dress. I wear those so much they barely know the inside of my closet: I wear them then wash them then wear them ALL THE TIME! Oh, and I almost forgot about my refashioned bag, which I’ve been carrying with me everywhere, too.BlueStone+RefashionFive of my 2013 projects have been worn either never or rarely and/or reluctantly. I haven’t been able to wear my last refashioned dress yet, nor my blue short-sleeved sweater, even though I LOVE them and I can’t wait to wear them… because I don’t have anything to wear with them. The sweater needs a black skirt or black trousers or shorts (my attempt at sewing said black skirt was scuppered, to say the least), and the dress, because of the thickness of its three collars (which creates an unsightly lump under any of my cardigans), needs a cardigan with a back low enough to stay under the collars instead of on top of them.

July21.7Also, I loved wearing my playsuit in Brussels, so I packed it to Spain. But when I took it out of my luggage to wear it, I realised the seams of the shoulder straps hadn’t survived their last wash, so I wouldn’t be able to wear the playsuit again until I fix the straps. I cried. Still haven’t fixed it.

Menthe+DulcineaThen there are two projects I simply don’t like all that much: my mint cardigan, still too big for my liking, and my Kelly skirt, that kind of duplicates this older skirt I wear a lot. I hadn’t realised that until I put it in the closet and saw the two skirts right against each other, but knowing the second skirt has a few issues, it means I usually (more like, always!) prefer wearing the first one. So I’m pretty sure I’ll be donating both the skirt and the cardigan in the foreseeable future. I’m especially sad about the cardigan because I still love its colour so much. Ah well, I’ll knit another one someday!

Anyway, I’m definitely happy with the outcome of my sewing and knitting this year. I was convinced I had completed about half what I actually completed, and with twenty items I wear regularly and only two I would call failures I’d say firstly, it seems like I’m not as slow as I thought I was, and secondly, I really know what I like, what I wear and what suits/doesn’t suit me.

Now, there are still things I would like to improve on in 2014. First and foremost, I would like to stop amassing so much fabric and to sew more from my (gigantic!) stash. Teaming up with Ms Mimolette, I’ve decided I’m only allowed to buy some fabric every five pieces I use from my stash.

Then, even though I’m happy enough with the outcome of my sewing/knitting in 2013, I would like to sew/knit more projects in 2014. I don’t want to decide on a number I would have to attain, that would be too stressful, but I would like to be more productive. I think using up my stash might provide a great motivation towards that goal, too.

And lastly, as I wrote in this post, I’ve started a sketchbook where I draw each sewing project I begin. So I would really really like to keep up with it so that I’m more confident with my drawing skills at the end of 2014.

Oh, and maybe I should add “sew my friend’s skirt already!” to my resolutions! Preferably before her next birthday!

Thanks for reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Merry Christmas!

BuÌ‚che1 BuÌ‚che2I’m spending Christmas Eve at my in-laws, where I’m bringing the homemade bûche de Noël you see in the pictures. It’s the best kind of bûche: chocolate cake with chocolate cream and chocolate icing, yum! I baked one last year for the first time and I’ve since decided to make a tradition of baking (at least) one each year for Christmas.

I hope you have a nice Christmas Eve and a very merry Christmas!

¡Hasta luego!

SpanishDollI’ll be in Spain for the next three weeks!

I had to leave my sewing machines at home of course, but at least I did find some space in my luggage for the materials for my next knitting project.

Oh, and I have to say it’s a nice feeling when you realise you’re packing more and more me-made clothing each summer!

Now off to take some Xanax for me to be able to set foot on the plane (I’m not even kidding)…

¡Hasta pronto!

Let There Be Sun

SeaI’m leaving today for a long weekend at the North Sea! 🙂

I was hoping I would be able to wear my last sewing/refashion project during my trip, but I couldn’t finish it on time. I didn’t want to rush through and end up with a botched up result, so I forced myself to stop and put the project aside until I come back. I’m so glad I did because I realise there was absolutely no way I was going to have the time to finish it properly and I know it would have ended up in tears! 😀

Have a nice weekend, I’ll see you next week!

Me-Made-May ’13 – Week Five / The End!

It’s over! I can’t believe I made it to the end and I stuck to my pledge!!!

DAY 27

Day27The skirt is me-made, you’ve seen it twice already (on Day 2 and Day 21). I said before I was sure I would be wearing it a lot more during the month since it is one of my favourite pieces, but the fact that I didn’t have to resort to it too often is actually a good sign: it means I did find other things I was as happy to wear. But on Day 26 I was feeling bizarrely fed up with the whole choosing an outfit thing (and taking my picture, as you can see by my face – this is the picture where I least looked like I wanted to kill myself!), so I was glad I could turn to my “uniform” for days I don’t want to bother but still want to feel cute: this skirt with black tights, T-shirt, cardigan and accessories.

DAY 28

Day28

You always have more time to pick an outfit on days when you don’t work, so I was able to experiment a little more than usual with my me-made skirt (seen on Day 7 and Day 18). Still don’t know whether I really liked this outfit or not. But do you see how dark the picture is (after I lightened it A LOT)? There was so much rain on that day, it was like taking a picture at night.

DAY 29

Day29A me-made cardigan (worn on Day 24) with a vintage dress (from the eighties I think) I love. Not the most flattering combination and the colors are a little bland, but I liked the twenties flair of the outfit anyway.

DAY 30

Day30The skirt (also see Day 17, Day 19 and Day 25), cardigan (see Day 23) and hat are me-made. Looks like I needed cheerful colors on a very gloomy day.

Day30Hat

I had totally forgotten about this hat and rediscovered it by opening my biggest hat box which I needed in order to carry the hat I’m working on to and from millinery class. It’s the very first hat I ever made! I made it two years ago in this two-day millinery training I took; it’s a one-piece felt with hand-molded brim. There’s a blue stain under the brim and I picked grosgrain instead of petersham ribbon for the sweatband and the trimming, plus I didn’t sew that grosgrain very professionally, but I still quite like the form and I sure LOVE the bright color!

DAY 31

Day31I didn’t know what to wear, then I realised I hadn’t worn this cardigan (the link is in French) I love yet, and I thought it would pair nicely with the me-made dress I wore on Day 6. About the dress, I think it looks better with flat shoes than with heels. The cardigan is a little short (especially the sleeves) but I still love it (it has bows! And it sparkles!).

And that’s it for Me-Made-May ’13! I was so happy not to take my picture this weekend!!!

Though Me-Made-May was not as difficult as I had anticipated (i.e. I actually made it to the end of the month), I must say it was still really challenging to find 31 different coherent outfits throughout the month. I’m really glad I took part in the challenge as it had me experiment a lot more than I usually do with my outfits, and it also highlighted a few gaps in my wardrobe (trousers, relaxed clothing and a dressier jacket) and helped me see how I should also sew more separates to be able to diversify my outfits a little more (though I still love wearing dresses and will never stop sewing those!). Also, it made me totally comfortable wearing hats on a more regular basis, yay!

There are still a few me-made pieces I didn’t wear during the month, for various reasons:

– this winter sweater is too warm, even for such a cold month of May (especially at work where the heating is still on and we have to open the windows in order not to faint because of the heat – nope, we can’t turn it off or down and nope, that’s not so green!).

– This knitted blouse (link in French), my beloved Datura, a refashioned T-shirt and two summer dresses are going to have to wait for warmer days for me to be able to wear them.

– I fell out of love with a blouse and a dress I made at the very beginning of my sewing “career” and I’m going to either reuse the fabric or donate them, like the dress I wore on Day 5. The same goes for three sweaters and a cardigan I knit that look like sacks: they’re going to the “unravel and reuse the yarn” pile, no regrets.

– This jacket I don’t know: it’s cute but not very practical with its 3/4 sleeves and especially the fact that it has no pockets. I’ve NEVER worn it. Not once. I’ll keep it for now because I’m not ready to part with it yet (I put a lot of work into it) and I’ll reassess it in the future.

Wow, I now also have a sort of record of all of my me-made clothing (minus some hats and scarves)! Thank you Zoe for hosting such a great challenge!