If you follow me on instagram (again, how are you even here if you don't?), you already know that I've just finished my first #memademay. If you're not familiar with it, Me-made May is an event in the sewist community on social media where sewists challenge themselves to wear, work on, and/or share their handmade wardrobes. Last year I watched this go by somewhat enviously as I was still in my last semester of fashion school and ironically had no time for sewing for myself. Also I was just not very good at sewing back then. But things are different now and I felt up for the challenge.
Overall it was a pretty cool experience! My challenge for myself was to wear and/or work on something handmade every single day. And I did! I was pleasantly surprised at how much mileage I was able to get out of my makes, how little I repeated outfits, and my dedication to at least work on something even on the days i was too lazy to get dressed (that homeschool life though...)
What I wasn't expecting though, was for this month to be like, super eye opening about both my wardrobe and my sewing habits. Looking back at all my outfits for the month, I noticed that my everyday style is very "top and jeans" with a little "casual dress" thrown in if it's warm out. But that's... not what I usually sew.
It turns out that (surprise surprise) I typically approach sewing projects as a designer. Meaning, I'll get inspired by a fabric or a RTW item or someone else's make and get a vision of how I'd make it my own and then build a whole concept and painstakingly execute it. Now, I'm not complaining because this process creates things like my perfect striped Lander pants, but what it doesn't exactly do is create a cohesive, easily wearable everyday wardrobe. So, moving forward, I want to work on shifting my process to look a bit more critically at what I have vs. what I wear and identifying any "holes" in my wardrobe so that I can fill them. Obviously still with an emphasis on good design and a cohesive concept, just... more product-oriented rather than process-oriented.
Which is where this "exciting announcement" business comes in: for the next year I'm partnering with BurdaStyle to do exactly that! Each month I'll be making a new pattern and posting about my concept, process, styling, and how each new piece fits into the "holes" I found in my wardrobe. And who knows, maybe I'll throw in some things for the kids too...
As I mentioned earlier, Me-made May revealed that while my go-to outfit is a top and jeans, I don't actually have that many "nice" tops, me-made or rtw. Actually, I have exactly two Ogden Camis, two Simplicity 1690s (one of which I hate), two Wanderer Tanks, and an assortment of secondhand flannels and long-sleeve button-ups. Everything else is a band t-shirt or a Rumi Tank. So, my first pattern for this year is this cropped short sleeve button up. This one was a double-whammy because not only does it fill a big gap in my wardrobe, but it's also pushing my boundaries as a sewist because I've actually never made a collared shirt before (no, I'm not lying about going to fashion school...).
I made this one from some like grey woven (fiber content unknown) that I bought from Christine Haynes before she moved to New York. It was a fairly big piece (3-4 yards?) and now I have three different tops made from this same fabric. Say what you will about me but at least I have a very consistent brand. Despite having a little trouble with the collar (I may have folded it at the wrong line) and button holes (in both placement and execution, this fabric did NOT like buttonholes), I did end up with the exact type of top that my wardrobe was lacking: something nicer than a tee, more covered than a cami, but not a full-length flannel. Bonus points, I don't have to tuck it into my high waisted pants (which is... all of my pants). This pattern is definitely going to see a lot of repeated use in the future, especially since the fit on the size 37 was A+ with no alterations.
I feel like this pattern is a really great one if you're wanting to try a collard shirt for the first time, since it's got a really simple shape (no darts!), short sleeves (no pleats or cuffs!), self-facings in the front, a one piece convertible collar (meaning no neckband *praise hands emoji*), and the *four* pattern pieces fit comfortable on *one* yard of 60" fabric. It's like, the perfect small-piece-of-awesome-fabric project. And like I said, this one is definitely getting made again. Next time, with better buttonholes.
You can find the pattern right here, and while I don't have a link to this exact fabric, this can be done in any crisp, lightweight woven as long as you have a little interfacing and three buttons.
So... what should I make next?