Me Made March, springtime amnesia and a not-so-successful sweater restyle…

Looking forward to rain… Amy Butler Rainy Days Raincoat
March 4, 2011
Inadvertent equestrian-wear… Vogue 1034
March 9, 2011
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Me Made March, springtime amnesia and a not-so-successful sweater restyle…

Evening firedragons! As your eagle eyes have undoubtedly noticed, I’ve set up a little flickr badge in the sidebar to show off my Me-Made-March activity, so I’m not sure how many me-made posts I’ll do. There’s been a lot of chatter on blogs this week about the Me-mades and Self-stitched months. I find it slightly amusing the wildly different viewpoints out there! I, personally, love challenging myself to wear handmade things every day and I like the sidetrip into style blogging that a lot of people take during the month. It makes me feel like I get to know everyone better, seeing what they’re wearing every day! So here’s my first four days of Me-Made…

Is it just me, or do I look abnormally tall in the last picture?

So, like others have mentioned, I’m somewhat mentally kicking myself for thinking Me Made March would be a snap because it’s ‘spring’. I don’t know about the rest of the country (world!) but here in Minneapolis, it was darn cold this week (like, three below zero on the day I wore all white…) and the weatherman is threatening another foot of snow next week. My wardrobe is sorely lacking in warm things and pants that are me-made and I’m sure there will be lots of cheating this month!

Which brings me to the actual point of this post – my previously mentioned sweater restyle fail! I am speaking of the green sweater in the last photo on the right. This is my first attempt at remaking a thrift store sweater into something I like. I went a bit crazy trimming width from the sweater and ended up with something that I originally set aside, thinking that perhaps I could used some scraps for another project (it’s 100% cashmere!) This morning when I was deciding what to wear and dreading the cold, I decided to take the sweater out of hiding for the month!

I realized that I had never downloaded the before pictures from my camera, so behold the starting point…

While I really like the color (are all readheads partial to dark green?), my first mis-step was in going with the three button henley style of sweater. This caused a lot of trouble when trying to decide how to restyle in a cardigan way.

The Me-made picture really does the sweater more justice than it deserves. Here’s a close-up of the front.

Ah yes, much better. Travesty much more clear. First, I cut a sort of V-shaped neckline, which is alright but isn’t my favorite. The worst part of the sweater is that I trimmed below the bustline and reattached the bottom of the sweater, flipping it so the ribbing that had been at the hem was now right under my bust. I had envisioned it as a sort of waistband, and then I wanted to make the bottom a bit more flouncy and peplum-like. Unfortunately, I made the below-bust cut much too high and if I don’t tie it shut, it lays more over my bust than under it. And there’s nothing I hate more than seeing a big horizontal line right across my bust! The other thing I’m not super fond of is the lettuce edging. It’s alright, and works in some cases, but is a bit more than I really like on my cardigans. Here’s a picture from the back -

Ewwww… look how puckered that seam is going right across my back!

Ah well. I pulled the sweater out anyway and tacked a few pieces of trim to the front so I could tie it shut. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever worn, and it IS soft. I’ll keep it around to help out with the Me-Madeness this month, but then will likely relegate this back to the rag bag! Funny what outfits these challenge months bring out of me!

8 Comments

  1. Tanit-Isis says:

    Sometimes knits get stretched just from handling and washing will smooth them out… Worth a try anyway ;) check out kijiji or craiglist or whatever for the serger… I've seen some really good second hand ones show up around here…

  2. K.Line says:

    I bought a serger in the fall and I use it as often as I possibly can. I even serge whole tops (simple knit ones) on occasion. I'm no expert using it, but I LOVE it beyond belief. I agree with you. And I think you should do whatever you need to to get one. You of all people deserve it!

  3. Miss P says:

    Aw thanks Patty!! Too kind! I love my new colour. My natural redness was fading as I got older, and I've always loved being a redhead. This new colour is Red with a capital R!!
    I am finding the outfit photos and MMM in general an interesting process! You can't help but analyse your choices, wardrobe content and sewing skills!
    Hmmmm….
    Pxx

  4. [patty the snug bug] says:

    Miss P – I found the daily photo taking of self stitched september (and of blogging in general!) to be SO helpful in so many ways – I totally get that it might be a drag for other people to read all the blogs veering into me-made march now, but it's so good for me! Also – what a lovely blog you have, and I was inspired by your hair-color post. My hair is naturally red, but is fading and growing a LOT of grey – in fact a lot of my friends think i'm putting in highlights, but it's really all my new grey hairs that they're seeing! At least it looks alright, but I sort of want the more vibrant red that I used to have but I'm scared of coloring it! I loved your new dark red color!

    T-Isis – Since I like the fabric so much, I'm thinking of trying to stabilize some of the seams somehow – I should just chuck it in the dryer and see if that helps! Although, cashmere doesn't seem to shrink up as much as other wools. Where does cashmere come from? Rabbits? Goats? Mysterious cashmerina beasts? PS – I was half asleep when I did my post, but I was thinking of your post about the odd outfits we wear during these challenges! Sigh. Just wait 'till I bust out my orange brocade muumuu for daywear…

    KLine – I've been trying to winnow those not-great handmade things! I'm finding that the #1 thing to make me feel like my handmade stuff has 100% well made is to use a serger for finishing. I want a home-serger SO BAD!! We have a very nice Viking serger at the shop where I work, but I'm finding that I really want one for little things while I'm working at home. I've been checking out low end ones just for seam finishing and working on lighter weight stuff. I can't justify spending $1200 to get one like what's at the shop!

  5. K.Line says:

    I had to laugh when you said it isn't the worst thing you've worn. I have been wearing handmade clothes everyday this month – more by accident than by design (which is good, I guess) – and occasionally I've thought: I can't do MMM because the quality of my stuff cannot possibly see me through a month. Occasionally, when I wear something handmade I wonder if I'd ever have bought it retail. I would love to get to the point where all the items I make are entirely wearable – and without the flaws I try to obscure :-)

  6. Tanit-Isis says:

    It looks great in the outfit pic, but I can see your frustration. I have a fail to post pretty quick here, too ;). I wonder if some of that unevenness would shrink up with washing?

    I think one of the goals of the me-made months is to push us a bit in terms of "accepting" our less-than-perfect creations… After all, it will stil keep you lovely and warm!

  7. Miss P says:

    On a side note, really do like the frilled effect you've achieved on the cuffs and hem. Even our least favourite projects often have their plus points :)

  8. Miss P says:

    Ha ha, yes, you must be right. I love olive green too ;)
    The whole "daily outfit picture thing" that MMMarch requires is a new thing for me. (still a bit uncomfortable with it if I'm honest!) Like the way you describe it as a side step into style blogging, ha ha. (If it can be called style in my case that is, lol!)
    Px

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