me-mades in the wild (year-end roundup)

2013 dress

This picture shows the first time I made a me-made garment to a significant public event — in this case, to a friend’s wedding in May 2013. I figured there was about a 30% chance it was going to disintegrate at some deeply humiliating moment, perhaps while I was standing in line at the buffet.

It didn’t. I even got a compliment on it.

But now it’s 2015, and I don’t worry about that anymore. That’s big! I no longer consider it a possibility that my clothing will literally fall apart once I’m more than a mile from my apartment! That’s what 2014 did for me.

By tackling my own wedding dress, I learned that if I’m careful and methodical, I can take on projects that are really — let’s be honest — way beyond my actual skill level. And by focusing on quick and easy staples, I learned that sewing can really pay off in the daily routine of what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-wear-to-work.

Things I didn’t learn: How to keep my stash below, say, 50 yards of fabric. (!) I’m working on it.

2014 wedding

[ in 2014, the bridesmaid-dress cambie in the wild ]

So let’s do A BREAKDOWN. Breakdowns (and roundups) are very fashionable right now.

In 2014, I made 24 projects all told:

  • 5 skirts: unblogged plaid wool skirt, unblogged pleated cotton skirt, and three pencil skirts;
  • 7 tops: a handful of lightweight blouses (unblogged) and three Plantains;

“But Sarah, who gives a crap?”

Because when it’s broken down like that, I can see what I wore and what I didn’t, which makes were a waste of time and which weren’t.

My least-worn items:


The delayed wrap dress. In this case, I think the fabric feels too dressy for the pattern. That was kind of intentional — I was hoping the fabric would elevate this pattern into a low-key cocktail party dress. But then, once it was done, it felt like a work dress. BUT THEN, every time I consider wearing it to work, it just looks so shiny. Maybe I’ll try wearing it out to dinner or something before winter ends.


The fabric-failure top. I thought I had rescued this fabric from the never-gonna-sew category of my stash, but I just never wore this top. It’s supposed to be an airy, easy summer top — the split back makes it very cool — but it’s just such a pain to iron. I wore it maybe once this summer before I made a pair of matching pajama shorts and called it a day. After all, I don’t care if my pajamas are wrinkled.

Well, that was depressing. Let’s look on the bright side.

My most-worn items were:


Basic tops. I couldn’t get enough of these.


SONY DSC ????????

Easy dresses [1, 2, 3, 4]. In particular, the ones that don’t have to be ironed.


The biggest winner is probably the simplest, most boring thing I’ve ever made: a black wool pencil skirt. This baby gets trotted at least twice a week.

Notice a pattern? Yeah. “Simple,” “basic,” “boring.” Like me! (Kidding, sort of.) And the failures came from bad choices in fabric. So: I’m a basic, and I’m still making mistakes in matching fabrics to patterns.

The silver lining here is that I only had 2 makes go bad because of poor fabric choices, and that is way, way, way better than 2013. And I’ve got all SORTS of ideas for 2015.


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