Final MMMay Roundup

MMMay is over!

  • Day 22: Malaga Pleated Hem Top. The pleats at the hem of this are so good, as is the v-neckline in the back. It hangs from the shoulders down your back in a way that feels luxurious and also like you’re wearing a secret cape. I dig it.
  • Day 23: My sleeveless Matcha, again. I needed some cheering up.
  • Day 24: Wiksten Tova Dress. Brand new!
  • Day 25: Ruby Top. An oldie but a goodie.
  • Day 26: Ryan Top, again. Not pictured: my Weekender Duffle!
  • Day 27: Tiny Pocket Tank. Terrible fit on this, it doesn’t suit me at all and was made out of quilting cotton to boot. But it matches my blue shorts so well!
  • Day 28: Gemma Tank. I love this pattern and think it fits pretty much perfectly, but when I made it with the scooped neck it didn’t fit so well. WHY?
  • Day 29: Bianca Top. This was me reaching for one of those makes that I never reach for. I love his fabric’s hand, hate its color. I mean, mint is fine, but not for me to wear. Pulling this out of the closet confirmed that I need to let it go. I have so many me-made that I love so much. This one makes me sad.
  • Day 30: Sailor Top. This is another one I never reach for. I love the fabric and the pattern is OK, but I don’t know. I think I’m just not in a peasant-blouse place.
  • Day 31: GINGER JEANS. Fresh off the sewing machine. Plus my plain white Akita because I wanted to wear an all me-made outfit for the FIRST TIME EVER. Even though I have several fabrics in my stash that would look very nice with black jeans, I haven’t turned any of them into tops, yet.

Did I meet my pledges? Yes, no, and maybe later.

  • Strive to pair me-made blouses with something other than jeans. Stretch goal: accessorize!
    • Um, no. First off, what was with this goal? What did I imagine myself wearing shirts with if not jeans? The real idea behind this was to accessorize and create outfits. I still have no idea how to “outfit”. I’m a jeans + top sort of person. My only hangup about it is that it makes for pretty boring daily photo sharing, a problem I’ve decided to remedy in the future by not posting daily photos.
  • Get some jeans/pants that I feel good in. Stretch goal: make them!
    • I did both! I bought new jeans! I made new jeans! I am awash in jeans! I have THREE PAIRS that fit! That’s more pairs than I’ve had in years.
  • Wear my unused and forgotten shawls out of the house, each one at least once.
    • I wore one shawl once. Sigh. Maybe I’ll try this one again in the fall. Winter stays late and summer comes early to the Midwest and we just didn’t see a lot of in-between temps like I had hoped for. Actually, how that I’m writing this a shawl would have spruced up the plain white t and black jeans I’m wearing. Oh, well.

My biggest take away was that I chose to repeat some me-made tops rather than wear others even a single time for the whole month. I have some cleaning out to do!


Never Enough Geraniums

I recently contacted my former boss to ask if I could use him as a reference. I had not had contact with him in years, but he was gracious and kind and I found out he’d had a daughter since we last spoke. If you’ve ready recent posts you know that I like making things for babies. This child is not a baby, anymore, she’s a toddler, so I went to the stash and fell back on my tried-and-true, often-made, always-cute Geranium Dress pattern. I kept the sewing simple: no notch, no sleeves, just a piping detail to add a little oomph.


Pattern: Geranium Dress by Made by Rae
Size: 2T


No major mishaps in this make, unless you count the fact that I forgot to cut out two bodices, but then I forget to cut the bodice lining when using this pattern so often that I congratulate myself when I do remember.

Geranium is always a lovely make.

Two Left Feet

Why YES, I have been on a bit of a baby bootie bender, lately. So kind of you to notice and thank you in advance for your patience.

First, the pair that I had cut out at the same time as the last pair I showed you.


I have no sizing labels – I ordered some, once, from an Etsy shop, but they were sold out. I was annoyed that I was able to “purchase” a product that didn’t exist and I’ve never remembered to try again – so I helpfully made these Christmas themed so that the baby’s parents would know about when they should fit.

While I was at it I started another pair for a co-worker and excited expectant first-time grandmother, this time without a helpful seasonal cue.


I was careless and sewed the linings of those booties in the same direction which gave me two bootie linings for the same foot. That wasn’t going to work as people’s feet usually come one on each side. No matter, I thought. Instead of picking a seam out of that fleece and pulling it out of shape in the process I’ll just make ANOTHER PAIR. I then proceeded to make one lining for the correct foot and a third lining for the other. Sigh. Enough is enough even for baby-booties-crazy me and I did pick that seam out without misshaping the fleece too much.


I am left with a single pair of unclaimed booties, this time possibly with a seasonal cue if they find their way to a baby born in the fall. I considered using just fleece for the sole lining since these booties scream springtime, but how could I not line bunny booties in soft furriness?


I am done with booties for now, though not with the gifts.

Booties are stackable!


Me-Made-May Week 3

The run-down:

  • Day 15: My other Willamette Shirt. I love this bright plaid. Like a lot. I think I shouldn’t, but I do, and it surprises me every time.
  • Day 16: Washi Dress.
  • Day 17: Everyday Skirt. My only me-made bottom and it doesn’t match a single me-made top in my wardrobe. Great planning, me.
  • Day 18: Akita Top. I’ve seen lots of very nice Akitas popping up during MMMay, but mine isn’t one of them. Mine is saggy-baggy. I wear it anyways. I tell myself it’s drapey and loose-fitting.
  • Day 19: View Ridge Top. I really like this top. My shoulders got really sunburned that day, which is my own fault and not the shirt’s. Wear sunscreen, y’all.
  • Day 20: Forsythe Dress. I wear this dress sometimes, but I’m still on the fence about it. It’s fine.
  • Day 21: Willow Tank. A quintessential basic when not made up in purple and blue polka dots. Somewhat limiting when it is.

Random observations:

  • Daily picture taking is not fun. This is an experiment I have already decided will not be repeated next year.
  • I question the worth of daily picture taking in my case as I mostly wear jeans. One of my personal challenges was to mix that up, but I really don’t have a lot of bottoms. I’m not sure why I’m dragging my feet on all those pants patterns I’ve purchased with good intentions or that pair of jeans I have cut out. I need to get on it! Fewer baby booties (you have no idea, that’s a post for another day), more pants and skirts!
  • I never realized how much pink I wear. Wow, it’s a lot of pink and it’s really bright and it’s making me wonder who I even am, anymore.

Shake Your Bootie

My best co-worker is going to be a Grandma again. It feels weird to write that because she’s a vivacious woman who doesn’t resemble a granny at all, unlike myselfIMG_7566

Pattern: Menta Booties
Size: 6 months

I love babies and I love acknowledging births even in cases like this when the incoming baby isn’t personally known to me. This is the perfect little gift for such an occasion. I have more planned for this baby and her big brother, some things that will live at Grandma’s house for them, but I’ve really been dragging my feet on baby stuff, lately, if you’ll forgive the pun.

I’ve made this pattern before and I’m feeling more confident that I’ll make it again and work my way through that faux fur and fleece. I’m feeling so confident, in fact, that I’m eyeing some of those add-ons. Note to self: back away from the booties.

Me-Made-May Week 2

Another roundup of my Instagram dump:

Clockwise from upper left:

  • Day 8: Willamette Shirt. One of my favoritest makes. Perfect marriage of collar and pullover. Yay.
  • Day 9: Wiksten Tova Tunic. While wearing this I remembered this pattern doubles as a dress and that I have the perfect fabric for one. I cut it out last night and am hoping I’ll find matching thread in the tin.
  • Day 10: Sleeveless Matcha Top. Photo features Nova. This shirt makes me happy.
  • Day 11: Short-sleeved Archer Button-Up. Not my most successful make. A bit big, a bit too granny-like even for me, someone who likes pink and florals and handknits and thought she was all about granny-style until that one time when I was 36 and at the drugstore with my kiddos and a woman looked at me very closely before asking if my daughter was my grandbaby.
  • Day 12: Bohemian Tee. It’s knit! But this is a rare case when you may be forgiven for calling it crochet. It’s a bit sneaky like that.
  • Day 13: Alice Top. My first me-make. I’ve worn and washed this so much it’s threadbare and showing its age. I still love it. It might not be suitable for work anymore, though.
  • Day 14: Sugar Pop Top. I don’t wear this one as often as I should. Lovely fabric. A bit of pooching occurs under the collar across the top of my bust. Perhaps the fabric isn’t sturdy enough or maybe I inadvertently pulled the fabric slightly out of shape while sewing. I like the idea of peter pan collars, but I don’t reach for them. This top went beautifully with my gray suit which was a happy surprise. That’s the suit I forgot the zipper was broken on and I sewed it shut for the 1.5 hours I needed the suit. Sewing for the win!

Me-Made-May: Week 1

I’m spamming Instagram (@busyhandsidlemind) with photos, so I’ll not spam you here. A summary will suffice.

Clockwise from the upper left hand corner:

  • Day 1: Ryan Top; Icarus shawl. This is my only me-made that has received compliments from strangers in the wild. It appeals to a certain older-skewing yoga-going demographic. It fits perfectly. I need more.
  • Day 2: Farrow Dress. My company’s CEO mistook me for one of our creators one day wearing this. I took it as a compliment. She’s very cool. And has great style, obvs.
  • Day 3: Sleeveless Matcha Top; #22 Garter-Stitch Yoke Cardigan. This is me trying to make an “outfit”. The print and sweater are a great match, the styles not so much.
  • Day 4: York Top. I rarely get to ride my bike to work. I was very visible in my hot pink paisley shirt.
  • Day 5: Fen Dress. What an excellent summer dress. Go make one.
  • Day 6: Willow Dress. Just finished! More on that later.
  • Day 7: Sleeved Matcha Top. I wore this to an interview. No joke, saw my very casual company’s HR director while I was on my way there all suited up. Awkward!

Takeaways so far:

  • If I’m going to meet my goal of pairing me-made tops with something other than rtw bottoms I’d better get to those jeans I basted up weeks ago and haven’t looked at since.
  • I still don’t know how to wear a shawl.
  • I am happily surprised to report I think I need more dresses!
  • I find myself not wanting to repeat outfits which means I’m going to have to find new ways to wear pieces. Which was the point, right? But I don’t know how to do it!



Inaugural MMMay2018 Post

Since one of my goals for Me-Made-May is to actually wear the shawls I have sitting in a neglected pile I thought I’d experiment with ways to wear the things and put together a quick photo guide. Unfortunately, this exercise only reinforced why I never wear them. In no particular order:

The Cold Shoulder: not your grandma’s blanket for keeping warm in cold office environments
The Old Country: on someone else this says “I just drove here in my roadster”. Not to self: borrow MIL’s roadster.
The Neckerchief: only knitters wear scarves this way. You probably don’t want to admit it, but it’s true. Reminiscent of dogs wearing bandanas.
The Headband: was hoping for 1930’s movie star, more closely resemble a pirate.
The Shoulder-As-Clothes-Hanger: my personality can’t keep up with the drama
The Bandit: remain unidentifiable while drawing attention to yourself
The Girl with a Green Ribbon Around Her Neck: keeps your head attached to your body
The Broken Arm: not for use with actual broken arms
The Romani: pairs well with the Headband. Related, but not photographed: the apron. Wear shawls below the waist only with extreme caution.

I don’t wear accessories generally. I’ve wondered if it’s a matter of habit more than style so I’m going to go ahead with my pledge to try to incorporate these shawls into my wardrobe even if I don’t know what I’m doing.

Those books, I should say, are nearly all Hubs’. I’m a Kindle convert.


I started this make soon after finishing the muslin, but it was weeks before I got my butt to the store to get a zipper.


Pattern: Orla by Frenchy Navy
Size: Medium
Fabric: Cotton voile
Mods: Added 1″ to bodice; lengthened bust darts to end 1″ north of where the pattern marks them; did a small square shoulder adjustment, just a quarter-inch off the neckline side of the shoulder.


A zipper which I did a not so-great-job of inserting.


I haven’t decided if I care so much.  I figure I can always decide to fix it later if/when I decide I do care.


Right now I’m operating on the theory that since I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

Looking at this, there are a lot of ripples around the shoulder/collar area, but you can see how they run in the direction of my sewing. It’s not a fit problem, it’s a sewing problem that I hoped would iron out. It didn’t. It never does. It seems like the top layer of fabric is being pushed forward as I sew. Is this something that a walking foot would fix? I didn’t notice it until posting this picture, but now it’s bugging the heck out of me. It wouldn’t take much to fix if I knew how.


I don’t know if this is a color I’ll reach for – in my mind it’s a fleshy color and I’m constantly surprised that it’s so peachy in real life. I really like the subtle constellation print, though.


Those stars feel like a secret since you can’t really see them from more than a foot away.

The Funnest of all the Furs

The material guide gave me pause. I had never dealt with many of the suggested materials listed, and it was a long list for such a small project. I poked around online, but I’m never quite sure if I’m ordering the thing I mean to be and purchase minimums were prohibitively large. Like I said, this was a small project, small here being used to mean “physically little” and not “easy to sew” which it wasn’t, small sewing is often the most difficult sewing, and even 1 yard minimums were simply too much to invest in. I can never predict if I’m going to make 1 of a thing or 20 and it’s better to not assume I’m going to make 20 because goodness knows I don’t need a yard of fun fur sitting in my stash less one pair of booties soles and you know that’s exactly what would happen if I were to talk myself into buying such vast quantities of excess fabric right out of the gate.


Pattern: Menta Booties
Size: 6 Months
Fabric: Quilting cotton, fleece, rubber dots, faux fur, all from Jo-Ann

I’m actually just realizing that the materials guide suggests faux sherpa for the inside sole and that that’s a different material than the faux fur I used. Whoopsies. Let’s call these tres luxe.


I second-guessed every material I used. Now that I’ve made them I can you that it wouldn’t matter too much if the fleece were heavier or if I hadn’t been able to find rubber dots fabric or the insides weren’t a perfect color match. They’d still be cute and functional.

There’s a lot of room for improvement in the next pair. My sewing was imprecise. I think I’ll make some more for fun and practice. Maybe not 20, though.