A C- in Home Ec Me-Made Moment

We went out to dinner last night on the spur of the moment, so I grabbed a tote bag I made from the leftover ultrasuede from my Simplicity moto jacket.

This tote, from an out-of-print Burda pattern, 2562, is hardly my finest work. It would embarrass me if I had any shame. It gives handmade things a bad rap. A C- in Home Ec class if I ever saw one.

I sewed it earlier this year for a PatternReview.com wardrobe contest that I never finished. It was a rush job just to tick a box. I shouldn’t have even made this, but there it is. I’ve made the pattern a couple of times before – it’s useful but basic, with all that implies.

Why keep it? Why use it? Because I believe in showing all sides of the home sewing distaff discipline. My blog will never be one of those showcases where every project is flawless and photographed to perfection. We all make dogs sometimes. Bark if you agree!

Me-Made Lingerie

Yesterday’s Me-Made item was the Florence bralette from Colette’s Seamwork magazine. Most of the Seamwork and Colette patterns have been a bust for me … ba-da-dah! Pun intended … but the Florence bralette iIMG_20160820_152036400s a fave. Here’s a photo of it on my dressform. (The Internet does not need to see a photo of me in a bra.) You make it out of very wide stretch lace and stretch satin or some other stretchy material for the contrast. You get something that looks very time-consuming for maybe 2 hours of work. I used picot lingerie elastic and sewed on a tassel, just because.

I wear this to Pilates since it doesn’t constrict breathing and gives just enough support. It’s a pattern for those small-chested among us, truth be told. I am a B+ or a C-, depending on whether I am having “a cup is half-full or half-empty” kind of day … ba-da-dah! The puns keep coming! … but it probably won’t suit anyone much more well-endowed.

Me-Made Saturday in the Park

It’s cold and overcast for May, so I am getting more wear out of my me-made moto jacket from Simplicity 8174. I took the dog on a walk in the park this morning and tried to get a selfie of me in the jacket and the dog at the same time. I managed to not get a decent picture of either, but it’s cute anyway – part of my jacket and part of my dog’s tail.

I made the jacket from ultrasuede and lined it with silk charmeuse. Fancy lining, eh? It was salvaged and recut from a failed dress project. Never throw out failed projects!

Me Made Casual Friday

I work at home Fridays, so I keep it cazh. Contrary to popular belief, people who work at home don’t stay in their PJs all day. At least I don’t. Most of the time…

Today’s outfit is jeans in black denim from Simplicity 3688. It’s a wide-leg trouser pattern reminiscent of the 1940s. 

Denim wasn’t a great call for the pattern; it needs something much more drapy. But I still got the look I wanted. I added belt loops and contrasting topstitching. 

Day 1 of Me Made May 2017

I woke up this morning and completely forgot it was May. As in #MeMadeMay. Sorry for the inelegant photo of my first day of the me-made pledge, but it was the best I could do on short notice. (Hey, you can only see a little of the toilet, so not a total selfie fail.)IMG_20170430_220955

This jacket is “Bolero Style Jacket” from the Japanese sewing book Happy Homemade Sew Chic by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I changed the pattern a bit to work well with this crazy border print knit fabric I had. I lengthened the body of the jacket and the sleeves, and I added a clasp at the front. I’m wearing a RTW top and pants.

I  don’t have enough seasonally appropriate me-made clothing to wear an item every day all month, but I have ramped up my participation steadily during the past couple of years. I’ll push myself by pledging to wear me-made items five days out of seven in a week.

I, Diane of Distaff Blog, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May’17. I endeavor to wear me-made clothes five days out of each week for the duration of May.

Who else is in?

Sudoku Sewing

I joined the PatternReview.com “Wardrobe Sudoku” contest to sew 10 coordinating items in a sudoku-style grid in two months.

How can I explain this? Here’s a mock-up of my wardrobe idea. All the items in a straight line are meant to coordinate, like some bingo boutique, with shoes. I noted on the right if the pattern was TNT – that is, “tried and true” and therefore, easier, of if it was a new pattern with the added work of fitting and figuring things out.


I already realize that the blue skirt and blue jacket will never work, unless I want to look like a Smurf with a pituitary problem. So I need to rethink the upper right corner.

I finished one item already, the jacket from Happy Homemade Sew Chic, a Japanese sewing pattern book. Here’s a picture. See my other blog, Sewing Japanese, for the details.

Then I started oimg_20170128_182950647_topn the red jacket in the bottom row. It’s a bitch of a jacket – 25 pieces including lining, and most of them interfaced – but go big or go home, right? I am taking Monday off from work and will get a lot of work done on Superbowl Sunday, since I abhor football.

What compelled me to do this? Why do I sew my own clothes, like some peasant? Why I don’t just go to the mall already?

The pull of the Distaff Side is strongest in winter.




I sewed 22 #pussyhats yesterday for myself and my friends to wear during the Women’s March on Washington and the March on Trump Tower in NYC on January 21, the day after our new president is sworn into office.

Here’s a picture of two finished hats and a picture of the assembly line I created.

A couple of women created this project to create a strong visual representation at these events. The hats must be pink – any shade – and handmade, either knit or sewn. You can decorate them as you like. I made these little contrasting ears, and I am leaving it to my friends to decorate them with buttons, whiskers etc.

I posted pictures on Facebook yesterday, and several takers appeared right away, including a friend of a friend who wanted six hats for herself and her friends for DC. I am meeting her tonight to hand over some hats. I am mailing other hats to friends and relatives in Maine and New Hampshire, and I’ll give more to my friends locally. Whatever’s unclaimed I will give to strangers at the march in New York.

To be honest, I am not that keen to wear a goofy, bright pink hat to this event. I am deadly serious about my fear for my country, and for women in particular, with this new president. But, I understand the power of symbolism and image in our digital age, so I will do it. And I understand the desire to take away the derogatory power he and others have tried to claim over women’s bodies, by vulgarizing our anatomy.

For more information and how you can get involved, see Pussyhat Project. The sewing pattern itself is a free pattern from Fun With Fleece. I got 22 hats out of about 3 yards of remnants of poly polarfleece.