Lessons from MMM’15

I am glad I joined in this year. I have learned a lot. But I don’t think I will officially join in again next year. It was really hard work and disruptive of my sewing routine because like most of you I can’t sew without making a mess. And constantly shuffling the mess around to make room for less embarrassing photos made it impossible to get any sewing done.

Striking a Pose

mmm15-outtakesOver 850 photos were taken just to get the 31 finally shown. And some of the chosen ones were subjected to photo tinkering – like color ‘correction’ / filtering, ‘cloning’ out distracting details like light switch and any mess I forgot to clear out of the frame. I didn’t resort to digital nip-tuck, but the very nature of the camera angle makes the proportion in some photos look nothing like my real figure. Just saying all this so that you know that any good photo I posted didn’t come easily, and with some effort I firmly believe anyone can look good in photos. So I encourage you all to play around with your photos if you have the time. Let’s show the fashion industry that real people can also look artistic & fabulous!

On the positive side photo-wise, I now have a wider range of approaches to play with. Previously my project style shots were staid full-figure tripod set-up which always takes a long time to set up. Now I feel more comfortable playing with informal camera phone that doesn’t take much set up at all.

Also, it was a good exercise in the discipline of editorial selection. When you take so many photos in a session, the temptation is to post a lot of the same thing. From a reading perspective, that’s fine if each reveals some interesting / useful new details. But otherwise it can get a bit boring after the first few photos. So I’m going to try to be more disciplined and at least vary the photo angle / composition / details if I post more than one photo of the same project / outfit.

What I’ve been working on…

I tried my best, but I didn’t manage to wear every single item I made that’s still in my possession. Some of it was due to inappropriate weather. But a few despite looking OK initially turned out to be duds long term. MMMs shone such a brutally honest lights on these. Some of these I’m trying to fix…

Self-drafted Sari Top:

I never blogged this. It was based on an older bodice sloper and suffered from lack of breathing ease and provision for uneven shoulder. So despite the most beautiful metallic border and luscious red silk I’ve only worn it twice. And with difficulty. You saw me working on this in the last week of MMM’15. But I didn’t finish in time. And the result is still not stellar. But at least now I can breath in it. And the border more than justify keeping it. I must source more of these Indian sari top fabrics! Saris are such beautiful outfits.

Emami / Bradbury Endless Dress + Self-drafted Bandeau Tube Top + McCall 6078 Cowl Neck T :

Again beautiful dress but a PITA to wear. The heavy skirt keeps pulling the tube bodice down. But when worn with the separate tube top, there’s too much overlap resulting in a Shar Pei effect, cute on a pooch, not so much on a lady. I’m in the process of redoing the skirt waistband – I think no more than 2″ in height at most since I’m not fond of yoga waistbands. I’m hoping the scrap will be enough to make a strapless top to replace the separate tube top. I will need to figure out the best way to add a shelf bra for such strapless top. Any suggestions?

The hope is that together these remakes will give me a couple of more wearable options and a more streamlined look when they’re worn together. I also need to tighten and shorten the matching McCall 6078 Cowl Neck T. Using the wrong grain for this resulted in a rather shapeless sack over time. Maybe the offcut will come handy for reworking the tube top.

Ditch or Fix?

Ohhh Lulu Betty Retro Hot Pants
I’m debating whether to fix or ditch this attempt at retro hot pants. The leg holes are like tourniquets. After a minute I feel my legs no more. There’s also pooling in my lower back and crotch. I think these problems are all fixable. But MR calls this my Adult Diaper. And the prospect of wearing it outside the house is zilch. Beach holidays where this might be acceptable will become increasingly unlikely. So ditch?

Burda 2011-08-112 Cape
I was really proud of the worksmanship in this one. And I have emotional attachment to the fabric as it’s inherited from my Mom’s youth. But cape just does not work for me. Despite my precautions I still feel like an short squat American Footballer in this. And cold at the same time with the wind whooshing in & out as it pleases. I’d donate to a charity shop, except I don’t think it’d be ‘properly’ appreciated :.( I wish I had made a normal jacket / coat with the fabric. Wonder if it’s still possible…

One thing for sure, I will never jump on the jumpsuit bandwagon. Like capes, sometimes it’s best to just admire the style from the sideline, living vicariously through the Ladies who Can!


5 comments on “Lessons from MMM’15

      • Wild lady you! But both ideas are definitely up my usual street!

        Try as I might I really am not lady-like enough for these retro fashion beyond the few minutes it take to capture those style shots 🙂

        I love the leather idea. But I will probably have to go with fake ones since leather cleaning is extra expensive in London. How do you ladies elsewhere keep the fancy sewing clean and pristine?

  1. Your cape is gorgeous. I know it’s probably not very practical, but it is truly gorgeous. I do hope you can salvage the fabric somehow. BTW, if you do want to give some things away but can’t bear the thought of them being under-appreciated, have you thought of a Dress for Success organization? We have them here across the pond from you. They’re a non-profit organization that takes good quality professional clothing for women who need a good quality outfit or two to help them up on their feet.

    • Thank you Tia Dia! It’s such a sad fact of life that not everything we love loves us back 🙁 Hopefully there’s enough fabric in the cape to refashion into something more practical, though I’m finding refashioning can be a PITA itself (just in the midst of the mustard knit refashioning at the mo).

      I’ve heard of Dress for Success in the US. Must find out if they have something similar here in the UK. Hopefully my makes aren’t too off the straight and narrow or too poor in quality for these deserving women! Or too tight fitting – always forget that real people need to breath & move!

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