Tag Archives: Midnight Sun Top

Handmade or Homemade?

One of the things I’ve come to think about during Me-Made-May is how to make my clothes look less homemade. For me there are plenty of things that go into a garment looking too homemade, or Becky home-ecy as Michael Kors would say during a Project Runway judging. Fit, fabric, style and finishing are just a few. As I this year have begun working more with fit, I also need to work on the other aspects to bring my whole look together and make a wardrobe that works, without looking too homemade.

Reading other posts and tips in the subject it was stated that there’s also a difference in looking homemade and handmade. I don’t mind my clothes looking handmade, but if I’m asked the question “Did you make that?” it should be because it looks superior to RTW, not inferior.

For Me-Made-May I make myself look objectively at my garments, anything I don’t find up to par will go. Must go. I should show no mercy just because I made it. Some examples from my very own wardrobe on looking homemade vs. handmade.

Polka Dot Skirt

Burdastyle Vanessa, sewn 2008
Handmade or homemade:
Reason: Bad fabric and pattern combination. Fabric is too lightweight and doesn’t hold the pleats well. The pleats aren’t properly sewn down neither is the belt. Pleats in back look sloppy and definitely not something you’d find in RTW.
Midnight Sun Skirt and Top

Self-drafted skirt. Sömnadsmagasin XX for top
Handmade or homemade:
Reason: Quality fabric, suitable for the garments (poplin). Well-fitting garments. Don’t look RTW as they aren’t looks you’d find in retail, but don’t look homemade as the fabric works and looks finished.

I have learnt plenty during my 8 years as a hobby sewist, plus my standards have increased. What I was proud of six years ago I wouldn’t be proud of today. We all grow and I intend to learn from everything I make, including the mistakes. I’m still proud of most of my makes, even though some so not represent my skills or taste today. Had I made the Polka Dot Skirt above today it would have awful, but when I made it I made it with my best abilities and knowledge. This was before I started finding the online sewing community and really before it boomed and I didn’t have thousands of resources to research fabrics or techniques.

Today I wish for my clothes to look handmade and well-made. Personal and unique. Something you would want to buy in a store (but probably couldn’t afford due to the fact that it is custom-made) in regards of fabric choice, style and finishing. I don’t want to copy RTW and trends, I want to make clothes for me, stuff that fits me and my style, but pay extra attention to fabric and pattern matching, finishing, style of fabric. My clothes should be better than RTW.

Further reading (don’t forget to read the comments, lots of tips there):
Sewaholic: How Do You Make Your Sewing Projects Look Less Home-Made?
Megan Nielsen: How To Aviod Your Creations Looking Handmade

Is there a difference in looking homemade or handmade? What do you think characterize a wellmade garment?


Motivational Post

This is a sad post. This is a bunch of clothes I’ve made that I cannot wear since they do not fit anymore. Two of them are recently finished and they still don’t fit. Sad, sad, sad. I need to cut back on unhealthy stuff and eat smaller portions, I know it will work as it had in the past. I’m not really happy with the way I look, but I haven’t made enough of an effort. Perhaps all these pretty clothes can help me with my motivation.

The Leaf Dress is the dress from the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook in the gorgeous cotton satin that was also used for my Leaf Skirt. I can get this dress on me, but it’s so tight-fitting it’s not comfortable. It seemed OK when it was just the shell, but the lining (which is interfaced) is not as forgiving and I can’t really breathe when I’m wearing it. It is completely finished so I just need a smaller me.

The Peach skirt is a very new make, I worked on it yesterday. Once I’ve finally assembled it I could get the zipper to close, but that was it. Another un-breathable garment. The waist is supposed to be high and fitted, so it almost has a corset feel to it, not that comfortable when it’s a bit too tight. I have to finish the facings of this skirt and hem it before it’s done.

The Elusive Plaid dress is still love, but with the princess seaming and lined bodice, it is very tight over the bust.

The Little Purple Dress fits, but looks better (not to mention feels better), when the bodice to skirt seam doesn’t rise. Plus it clings in the wrong places. The Green Floral blouse has the same problem, the elastic rises too high.

I can’t fit into my Midnight Sun outfit, my October top skims the wrong places, the Orangery Skirt is a little too tight.

See how sad this is? All these great clothes, many of them favourites (plaid dress, Leaf dress, LPD, Midnight Sun Outfit) and they are hanging unworn in my wardrobe. I want to wear them again! I will definitely print this photo and use as motivation when cakes, candy and ice cream are alluring me. Hopefully I can wear some of them during the summer.

I will eat no candy, cake or ice cream before my vacation (in three weeks), perhaps with one or two exceptions. I will try to get out more and ride my indoor bike three times a week.

Until then, I’m working on an elastic waist skirt. Elastic’s forgiving, right?

And Me-Made-June goes on

I’m not very good with keeping up with my me-made-June posts, but here comes another badge of outfits.

Day 16
Blouse – The Azalea that Wasn’t
Pants- H&M

I really like this blouse, the neckline, the sleeves. I feel comfortable in it and I think it’s totally work appropriate. Picture taken in my office.

Day 17Midnight Sun top and skirt

I did vow to wear the top and skirt together and I did! I feared it was a little too much, but wearing it I made it my own and I didn’t feel overdressed. I can wear pretty things if I want to.

Day 18-19

National Day Shorts
White tee

Just chillin’ at home in some me-made shorts. The weekend consisted of running, playing with the kid, sewing and grocery shopping. This is what I look like then.

Day 20

Not a Maddy blouse
Cardi – Target

The fit on this blouse isn’t perfect, but under a cardi it works fine. It’s an interesting blouse and I wish the fit was better. A third attempt perhaps?

Day 21Just Floral Top
Cardi – H&M
Jeans (as a side note, I bought new pants today, so perhaps this jeans overload will end)

My first repeat garment, the top. I matched with a lower cut cardigan this day to show off the neckline which was lost last time.

Day 22

The Indian Shirt
Exclusive Skirt (just finished, not yet blogged)
Obi belt – Le Chateau
Tank – H&M

I really like this outfit! I like the contrast of the soft colours with the black belt. Also the contrast of flowy on top and straight on the bottom.

There you go, a few more days. Now it’s midsummer time, celebrating of the solstice, and we’re going away all weekend. In me-made clothes.

Midnight Sun Outfit

I had some leftovers from the Long Wrap dress, so they were to be used. A cotton poplin, while I had quite a large amount of fabric, I could not cut big pieces. I decided on a top.

So, I chose a top from Ingelise, a tank top with paneled front and back. Both the front and back are made up byt three panels in total, giving the top a very sculptured look.

Closeup of top

The top has gathered shoulder straps as well. It closes with an invisible zip in the back. At 40 cm it sounded like a long zip, almost as long as the back piece, but it is needed as the top is very fitted.

After the top was done I still had some fabric left and I used that to make a matching skirt. I did a six-panelled A-line skirt, same as my Red Skirt, but without the pleats. It’s a quick skirt to sew, it only took me one evening from idea to finished skirt.

Full outfit

This outfit is so completely different from anything I’ve done before. I really like the sleek look of the outfit, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s too much. Or too dowdy? Is it something a 28 year-old can wear?

Sleek side view

I vow to wear this whole outfit at least once (and in public). I must do that in order to know how I really feel about it, the same goes for all of my creations. I must dare to wear my creations with pride!

Project Summary
Pattern (Top):
Ingelise 2008-05-1
Difficulty:2/5 – magazine’s rating. I agree, it was quite simple. I made a few stupid mistakes, but I could have avoided them, had I read the instructions properly.

Fabric: Printed cotton poplin
Notions: Interfacing, invisible zipper, thread

Pattern (Skirt): Self-drafted from pattern book
Difficulty: Simple

Fabric: Printed cotton poplin
Notions: Invisible zipper, button, thread

Project rating: Something totally unlike me! Both parts were easy to sew (despite many stupid mistakes on the top). An outfit with a sleek silhouette. I’m not sure how I feel about the combination, but I can always wear them as separates if I feel it’s too much to combine them.

I Need a Photoshoot

It’s not that I’m running out of creations to present. I’ve just run out of photographs of said creations.

It’s hard to photograph yourself and I’m getting tired of my inside the house pictures. The goal, long-term, is that all photos should be in an inspiring environment, so it feels pointless to do so for the new creations. Just going outside to the garden would be enough. It’s just that it needs an effort, I need to change clothes, be outside, put outerwear on the kid, look good in general and take my own pictures. Yeah, I’m lazy (and comfortable).

Sneak Peak

Here’s a little sneak peak of three of the four unpublished creations. The beige Just Floral Top and the Midnight Sun series of a top and skirt. The elusive plaid dress is nearly finished (it just needs an eye and hook) but at the time of the sneak peak photo it was drying after being washed.

The goal is to get these creations up before I go on vacation (in ten days!) but I’m also thinking that the vacation could provide some great photoshoot moments. I can always update the posts, I suppose.