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!


Me Made May ’15 – the finishing line


Yes! I’ve made it! Phew.

It was a bit of a struggle towards the end. May is a long month! I should have read the small prints of my MMM’15 Pledge! Wearing at least one a day wouldn’t have been difficult. But it’s always the paragraphs buried deep in the T&Cs that get you, even if its only self-imposed. Can’t possibly give up half way right?

  • Small print 1: Photo evidence every day please.
    This turned out harder than I expected. I got bored with bog standard selfies quite quickly. And unless it’s a useful mugshot it has to have entertainment value for me. Something interesting. Or beautiful. Or tells a story.
  • Small print 2: Drag every wearable MMs out of the closet. Spread the love a bit more evenly. No playing favorite.
    I’ve been a bad mother neglecting some of the MMs. Do you do that? I mean not just special occasion stuff that we knew from the start we weren’t going to wear much if at all. But also perfectly practical makes that just got forgotten going from one big stash (of the fabrics kind) into another big stash (of the Me-Made kind)? Fast Fashion of the Me-Made kind?

Now if you’ll excuse me I have a big pile of MMs to launder.

Me-Made last 15-sec of fame:

25 May: Top: McCall 6078, Skirt: Burda 2011-08-121, Cardi: self-drafted Dolce & Gabbana Wannabe;
26 May: Top: altered RTW, Skirt: self-drafted;
27 May: Top: Vogue Donna Karan 1282, Skirt: self-drafted pencil skirt;
28 May: Top: self-draped altered RTW, Dress: Burda 2012-04-128a;
29 May: Top: self-drafted wearble muslin, Skirt: self-drafted petticoat skirt;
30 May: Dress: self-draped Fortuny Delphos Wannabe, Cardi: modified Burda 2011-06-139;
31 May: Top: Vogue Genny 1390a Gigli Wannabe, Dress: Vogue Donna Karan 1159;

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Me Made May ’15 – week 4


After the high comes the low. This week was a bit of a slug. Not least because trying to sort out missed US tax returns after emigrating to the UK is sucking all the life force (and mulla) out of me. Did you know that if you’re foreign, but happened to have been born while your parents were visiting America, then the good o’ US of A consider you a citizen and will come after you for back taxes and returns decades later?  Never mind that you have no other ties to the USA and never lived in America…No, not my situation, but happened to someone I know. (He now has to pay Uncle Sam $2k+ to renounce his never asked for citizenship.) Imagine if all countries do that. Imagine if high tax Sweden claim you as their own and want you to file decades of tax returns and pay the taxes + interests + penalties you owe them. Crazy innit. OK, rant over. Back to MMM…

Me-Made Week 4:

18 May: Top: modified McCall 6078c , Skirt: altered RTW;
19 May: T-Shirt: self-drafted, Skirt: self-drafted straight skirt;
20 May: T-Shirt: Vogue 2980, Skirt: self-drafted pencil skirt;
21 May: T-Shirt: Burda 2010-02-122, Skirt: self-drafted pencil skirt;
22 May: Dress: self-drafted best Oops ever!;
23 May: Tunic: self-drafted;
24 May: Bolero Jacket: self-drafted, Camisole: modified Burda 2012-04-128;

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MMM’15 – go forth & be funny

Thanks guys for all the nice comments on my MMM’15 Comic Con Week, especially the thumb up from the Mistress of Wit Ms Pretty Grievance  herself! No pressure then 😉

But I am a mere amateur when it comes to this Funny Business. And it seems like I’ve used up my wit quotient for the month. Witness what happened when I tried again the week after…

Repeat after me: Never crossbred the corpse of Jungle January with late-term Me Made May.

REPEAT AFTER ME…Never crossbreed the corpse of Jungle January with late-term Me Made May.

You know I love you to share such frightful photo with you right?

So to save humanity from further abominations I’m passing on the Comic Con MMM baton. Here are some standard size templates for Photoshop Element / Photoshop that you can use to create your own fun caption photos…

Comics Frame Templates for Photoshop Element



You will also need to download and install these comics style fonts:

If you fancy creating from scratch (eg for photos with a different proportion)…click here for the tutorial I used.

Now go & make me LOL!

Me Made May ’15 – week 2


Not much sewing around here lately. I’ve been bogged down with paperwork instead. My only creative outlet has been these MMM photos. All were taken on the phone – I felt too hassled to even manage a tripod. And as motto of the month has been to “do it with conviction”, I decided to play with the weird angles that inevitably result from too short an arm or propping up the phone.

So here’s Me Made Madness week 2:

04 May: Dress: Vogue 1159 Donna Karan;
05 May: Top: Burda 2013-12-119;
06 May: Sweater: altered knitting Alexander Wang Wannabe, Skirt: self-drafted;
07 May: Top: self-drafted Vivienne Westwood-CdG Wannabe;
08 May: Cardi: self-drafted Dolce & Gabbana Wannabe, Skirt: self-drafted;
09 May: Shrug: Burda 2013-11-111, Top: Burda 2012-05-109 , Trench: McCall 5525 , Tote: self-drafted;
10 May: Sweater: Burda 2013-02-121, Skirt: self-drafted;

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