#mmmay18 reflections

Some tops I didn't wear during this year.'s #mmmay. 

Last year, having a pair of handmade jeans made a huge difference in my Me Made May experience—during previous years I had really felt the challenge, but last year it felt a lot more natural getting dressed in the morning.

This year I really felt like I had bottoms covered: I now have gingers in black and white in addition to my original blue denim version, and I have skirts in basically every color (mostly variations of the Sewaholic Rae if made within the past year, or dirndls if they’re a bit older). I also have a collection of dresses that I can easily pull from for any kind of occasion: cocktail dresses, sundresses, work dresses. I reached for a few favorites (my leopard print 60s swing dress and my seersucker 60s fit and flare) several times throughout the month and even did some alterations on an old favorite dress that could fit better (now it does!).

My main stumbling block was tops. I don’t love sewing tops in general—they always seems like just as much work to make as a dress with only half the payout—so I have made many fewer tops in my sewing career than I have dresses or skirts. Additionally, I have two issues with the tops I have made. The first is fit. Several of my tops are just too small for me. I don’t think I’ve gained that much weight recently, so I think it’s mostly an issue of feeling less comfortable in tight clothes now than I was a few years ago—as my fitting skills have improved I’m less tolerant of poor fit and tightness! The second is style. Again, I have a few really cute tops that don’t get worn that often because I have a hard time styling them, don’t like they silhouette, or feel awkward wearing them.

This is the useful part of Me Made May, I think: although I generally wear handmade almost every day already, I don't usually spend a lot of time actively thinking about it. May provides a good opportunity for some reflection and hopefully, a little more focus in my sewing for the rest of the year. Going forward, I want to be a little more discerning in my tops sewing, and focus on making a few everyday-wear tops using patterns I have made previously, I like, and that fit me nicely:

1. Sewaholic Granville: I wore both of my Granvilles (one, two) several times over the course of the month. This is a style I know how to wear and it goes well with both jeans and full skirts: it’s a winner.

2. Sewaholic Pendrell: Similar to the above, this top works well with jeans or skirts, and although it’s super long as written, fits really nicely over my body and has a lot of variations. I just wish it had a real sleeve option! You'll be seeing my first (and probably second) versions sometime soon!

3. Sewaholic Renfrew: Although I don’t love sewing tee shirts, this will be the tee pattern I turn to for the duration of the RTW fast. After the fast, I’ll probably go back to buying tee shirts from Grana. (You'll see my first version of this soon as well.)

Noticing a theme? I have really grown to love Sewaholic patterns—their tops fit me really well out of the envelope and are easy and practical to wear. I'd also like to return to another Sewaholic pattern I attempted a few years ago and could not figure out...

4. Sewaholic Belcarra: I've been searching off and on for a woven everyday top pattern with sleeves for a while. I originally bought this pattern to serve this purpose, and although it didn't work for me the first time, I'm ready to give it another shot. I couldnt get any of the pattern pieces to fit together last time... I suspect it was my super-drapey rayon that was shifting and the pattern is actually fine. Actually, I pulled out the half-completed version I had in a drawer and it's much further along than I remembered and looks fine. 

That gives me patterns from my stash for a knit tee, a classic shirt, a shell, and a nice blouse in addition to my go-to cami (the Ogden). That's really all I need in an everyday shirt wardrobe, right? Better get sewing! First--donating some of my old handmade tees to free up some hangers :)

What are your favorite top patterns?


ps: i also have the bow-neck sewaholic blouse pattern ... i have an addiction!

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  1. Allie, I'm with you on wearing less tight/fitted things as I get older. Like you, my body hasn't changed much in the last 10 years - it's my taste and personal style that have shifted towards more modesty in fit, particularly with tops. However, I do like to strike a balance of fitted and loose across my choices of tops and bottoms; if I wear a flowy skirt, I pair it with a fitted top, and I match fitted pants with looser tops. That keeps me from looking dumpy OR like I painted my clothes onto myself. =)

    Question about the Ogden Cami - I have, of course, seen this top all over the blog realm and I do like the cut and style of it. HOWEVER, I find myself wondering what everyone is wearing underneath it. Is everyone going braless? I am one of those people who really doesn't need an underwire bra for support, but the idea of being top-commando makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I should probably get over that. =P

  2. I love a few Sewaholic patterns too and sadly Tasia is no longer the maker/owner at Sewaholic. She sold the business a few years ago and is completely out of the pattern and sewing business. My favourite top patterns are always Cashmerette because all that bust work is already done for me! Having said that I'm working withe a couple of Deer and Doe blouse patterns now that are really nice and Tessuti also makes some lovely simple top patterns.



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