August MAGAM: Awesomely Average

August was certainly an awesome sewing month for me, but by no means average: I sewed up a great number and variety of things, and surprisingly all of them were successful!

The theme for Make a Garment a Month was Awesomely Average August, meaning we should focus on “simple patterns, simple clothes, simple basics… [the] workhorse garments of your everyday wardrobe.” This fit in perfectly with my plan of making an all-me-made capsule wardrobe for my travels in August and September (one week in Budapest and two weeks in Kent). I have quite a few homemade pieces, but tying them together into a capsule wardrobe took a bit of thought.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

1) This is the one thing that isn’t me-made; I bought it second-hand years and years ago and it is my all time favorite garment. If I were running out of my burning flat and could only save one thing, my entire hand made wardrobe wouldn’t stand a chance against this cardigan.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

2) This isn’t a new make; I made it last May based on this tutorial.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

3) A  navy-and-white striped cardigan is something I’ve been wanting for a while; I used a variation of the Plantain pattern. I would have been better off using an actual cardigan pattern, but I was so high on my Plantain shirt successes (see below) that it seemed like a good idea. It’s not too bad, certainly very wearable, and I love the pearly snaps.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

4) Also not a new make; I made this ages ago based on one that Handmade by Carolyn made.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

5 and 6) I made two tops and a cardigan from the amazing free Plantain pattern. After seeing this pattern everywhere for months I finally realized it was free (duh!). Before printing it I looked around for any sort of negative reviews (because bad reviews of patterns are inevitable more helpful than praise) and found zilch. And now I understand why: this is quite possible the best free pattern I’ve ever sewed.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

For the black one I cut exactly as the pattern directed… almost. I ran out of room and cut the neckband perpendicular to how recommended, which I think worked better in the end. I cut full-length sleeves and then folded then up to make a cuff at 3/4 length. The navy shirt was cut a few inches longer.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

7, 8, 9, 10) What can I write about tank tops? They’re all self-drafted and none of them new, although the cream-colored one got a band at the bottom to make it longer. Exciting stuff, really.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

11) This isn’t a new skirt; I wore it several times during Me Made May, but I finally got around to buying a few more inches of fabric and lengthening the skirt. I added some pin tucks to the bottom, which make it an incredible 2 inches longer. Also super exciting, amiright?

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

12) This green skirt is another oldie, blogged about here.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

13 and 14) I made two waterfall dresses from a self-drafted pattern; both are made from cotton jersey and are incredibly comfortable, although the dark colors were not the best choice for summer dresses. The anchor fabric is one of my favorites. I fondled it for months at my favorite fabric store but never got around to buying any, then was briefly heartbroken when they ran out, then recovered when I found it at another store.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

15) This was another new dress this August. Basically it’s a tank top lengthened, with cap sleeves, a collar and placket. To be honest it came out a but tight around the tummy and I would only wear it with either a slip under it, or a cardigan over it.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

16) This Safari Dress is a free pattern; I shortened the sleeves and made it a bit wider and longer. It’s made from a nice crisp cotton that wrinkles like – well, like nice crisp cotton – so I’m skeptical how useful this will be in a travel wardrobe. Fingers crossed.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

17) Another old make. The skirt is based on this wonderfully extensive pencil skirt tutorial and uses this amazing technique for lining (actually underlining) and finishing seams in one go. Seriously, if you’ve never made a skirt this way, you don’t know what you’re missing.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

18) Last but not least, the jacket. I was in two minds about whether I needed a me-made jacket or would just bring my regular one; I had decided on the regular one but Pinterest had other ideas and threw this my way: a really cool jacket from my favorite Polish free pattern site. I had no choice, really.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

I keep waffling back and forth between sheer glee (“OMG I MADE A JACKET, PEOPLE!”) and false modesty (“Well I am an okay sewer; it’s not like following instructions is hard or something.”). I’m sure I’ll settle in the middle somewhere, probably at the moment when someone compliments me as I simultaneously rip the pocket out accidentally.

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

And one last picture of my dear helper:

capsule wardrobe Fall 2015

 

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9 Responses to August MAGAM: Awesomely Average

  1. Trish says:

    Looks like you’ve put together a really good travel wardrobe. I like the jacket best.

  2. felicia says:

    I love the waterfall dresses. But … but …. but how does one make one?

  3. therealjlow says:

    I love this so much! You’ve made such great pieces! Do you have any tips as to where to start when planning on making your own clothes? I’m a pretty good sewer once I get started but what I have wanted to make has been clothes and has always scared me a little! Any tips for a newbie? Jess x

    • Emily Handler says:

      If you like skirts, they are one of the easiest things to sew and there are tons of free patterns. Free dress patterns are also easy to find and there are many good easy ones. If you want to try knits, a tank top might be a good thing to start with. Or for a non-knit top, many people have used the free Sorbetto top pattern (personally it didn’t work for me, but that was probably my own fault).

      Let me know what you want to sew, maybe I can help you find a free / cheap pattern 🙂

  4. Pingback: Hits and Misses of 2015 | Hungarian Housekeeping

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