Monday, 3 June 2013

To the End (of May), and Beyond!

Made it, phew!

To recap, I pledged
  1. to wear a handmade garment each day in May with no repeats (oops, I mis-remembered and thought I'd said no repeat outfits! I ended up repeat wearing my new red pants, my new grey wool coat, my green merino dress and my blue cashmere jacket)
  2. to sew at least 2 more garments in May (yessssss! I made two merino tops and a dress)
  3. to wear outfits I like and that I'll wear again after May (I think so.... I'm not looking back with regret at my MMM13 outfits the way I did with MMM12)

PS the "beyond" part of the title is about my long term pledge - and wearing those (loud?) outfits through the year. 

I thought I'd save time by not doing many MMM posts, and that I'd use that time to blog my new red pants and new grey wool coat BUT the Flickr pool was HUGE (412 members... 5,952 photos...) and I was spending a lot of time most evenings checking out everyone's outfits and photos. Which means more for you to look forward to from this blog ;-).

Here's my me made evidence from the second part of the month (first part is here) - and my Flickr stream is here if you want to see the daily comments and chatter:

Day 15 

Wearing my Elisalex dress (blogged here), looking at a flower stand in Martin Place, Sydney. My team had had a shocker of a morning, so Marylene and I went for a walk to clear our heads, buy a treat (I got some nougat) and take the daily photos. This is the first time I've worn this dress for an extended period... and the bad news is that the bodice is overfitted. Truth in advertising and all that: I ended up wearing the zipper half undone under my cardi! This doesn't seem a sustainable practice so the dress may have to change.

Day 16

A lunch time walk yesterday took us to the area of the Sydney CBD near the Botanic Gardens. This photo is taken on a corner of Bligh St I think. Beyond the cafe and sculture is an imposing modern building. 

Wearing my teal blue merino wool dress (Vogue 8511, a great basic that doesn't seem to be available anymore). I didn't make the red trench, but I'm trying it out as an alternative to my matching teal blue Vogue 1098 cashmere/wool jacket (perhaps too matchy matchy). This is quite a loud outfit but the sculpture in the background would win any shouting match.

Day 17    
Yes, I could have worn a hat to work (I own a few) but I wanted an excuse to come here, to the Strand Hatters in the Strand Arcade, Sydney :) This is a really friendly place to buy a hat, and they seem to have a great range of sizes in normal hats. As well as some lovely eccentric hats like a Pith helmet, an OTT Peruvian beanie and a Davy Crockett style hat. 

Wearing Vogue 1194, a DKNY pattern, in a thick and cosy black wool jersey.
Thank you Marylene for the photos again !

Day 18 

Yay for the weekend! It's been such a beautiful autumn day here in Sydney - "sunny and mild" is probably the way the weather man would describe it. I wore this self-drafted long sleeve t-shirt with jeans for most of the day (I changed into the top from day 6 for about an hour when I popped out in the afternoon and was feeling chilly). 

My daughter and I looked through a book on the history of fashion - she thought some of the photos from the 60s were hilarious. 

And this photo reflects my own mediocre camera skills with the remote - why can't my colleagues come over on the weekend to help with photos???? lol

Day 19

Glorious Autumn - a Sunday in Sydney suburbia. Wearing the "pieced" merino top that I wore back I think on 6th May; the basis for this top is a Burda magazine pattern from a few years ago. I'm making another similar merino top at the moment - which will be mostly orange with a single vertical band of cream - but I'm put off by how chilly the evenings are in my sewing room / study.

Day 20    


My camera had a meltdown over the weekend and I'm still trying to remember my usual settings... and my usual weekday photographers are off work sick. So today... thank you Stu! 

Wearing a brocade skirt with a bagged lining, which I made last year using V1174. I think my original blog post (here) has nicer photos; hopefully I'll have my camera working nicely again tomorrow.

Day 21   

Wearing [my] Vogue cashmere jacket (as worn before) and a new-ish Vogue Sandra Betzina ponte skirt. My photographers were still all ill today so I took myself on a photographic adventure at lunchtime, stopping firstly at Hyde Park (where I took photos of tourists by the fountain and then they took photos of me - isn't this an absolute brainwave? I'm going to have to remember this idea of using tourists for selfies in future!) and then ducking into the Hyde Park Barracks for this photo (camera on a bench with the timer set...) when a strange man started following me. 

Day 22   

My photographer colleague Marylene was back at work today, so after lunch (handmade soup dumplings, hot & sour soup, prawn & pork dumplings at Din Tai Fung) we popped into the Strand Arcade for some "old Sydney buildings" photos. And we did zero shopping, in case you were wondering. 

I'm wearing this dress I made a few years ago (when I was just starting blogging - it's included in my inaugural post) using Vogue 1013. I do wear this dress a lot because it's so easy to throw on, and I can fit a camisole underneath, but I don't really like wearing black that much... unfortunately I'm getting to the point where the choices are very few unless I either repeat myself or FREEZE by wearing something summery :).

Day 23   

A rainy old day in Sydney - I had to remove a very cosy coat for this photo! This photo is taken on Margaret St, Sydney, outside a chocolate cafe and next to a popular food court (anyone interested in hearing about food? I had some divine freshly grilled chicken in a Portuguese marinade on warm baguette with mayonnaise, lettuce and rocket, then a hot chocolate). 

Wearing my Vogue 1220 dress made from a stretch cotton, plus boring looking neoprene shoes (waterproof) and a freebie scarf. I find this dress a bit dull - I don't really enjoy wearing grey - but I think the blues in the scarf make it a bit more interesting. 

Thanks Marylene for the photo!

Day 24   

Sharon (Petite and Sewing) and I met up today at the Sydney Opera House for the Friday theme. 

In this photo (thank you, passing tourists for the crazy photo that makes me look a giant and Sharon look tiny) you can see Sharon and I in front of the Opera House. The road behind us was busy with workmen coming and going and deliveries being made, but in the evenings you might see performers being dropped off at the door to the Green Room (in that dark area under the steps if I recall correctly - as a teenager I was in an orchestra that performed here several times). 

Sharon is wearing pretty much all me made, and I'm wearing a merino top I finished in a rush last night, made from the 2 coordinating colours in my blue "Giro d'Italia" merino top (Day 6?). The basic pattern for the top is a simple Burda magazine pattern with the neckline dropped. Top stitching is best completed before midnight :(.

Sharon (Petite and Sewing) and I met up today at the Sydney Opera House for the Friday theme. This photo (thank you Sharon!) shows the tiles of the Opera House up close - such lovely geometic details, and the tiles are not all the same colour OR shape, as you might assume!


The view back to the city from the Sydney Opera House.


Day 25   

The rain is stopping and we are back to lovely weather. 

I had a typical Saturday - taking my daughter to her dance class, doing some errands and pottering around the house. I wore this very loud striped t-shirt (no pattern) which gets few wears these days simply because it's too loose. But I realised I could tuck it into jeans just in one spot... and suddenly it's less ugly (what a simple MMM lesson to learn).

Day 26   

Top made from a lovely blue and white striped Japanese cotton and a 70s sewing pattern (I forget the details but if I remember them I'll edit them in here later). 

I was going through my wardrobe this morning and had this one in the "send to second hand shop" pile, but I decided to try it one first. It was uncomfortably tight when I made it a few years ago, but hey presto, it fits me now! I even quite like it... 

Sorry about the poor details in the photo - the top seems to have suffered severe washout. It's actually NOT so muted irl.

Day 27   

The selfies are getting a bit boring... so today I'm hamming it up, pretending to be shocked by something I've seen in the window of the Portico (Christian) bookshop in the old Scots Presbyterian church building on York St, Sydney. It's actually a lovely, unshocking and welcoming little bookshop but I try not to go there too often unless I really intend to buy books :). Or stationery. In fact I am trying to avoid most kinds of shops lately - know your weaknesses! 

I'm wearing a blouse made from pattern #125 of Burda magazine issue 2/2009. The fabric is a beautiful Japanese cotton I bought at Tessuti fabrics a few years back (from their old York St shop, in fact!) but its soft edged flowers are hard to photograph. I consider this an autumn / winter shirt even though it's short sleeved (does that seem mad???) but the puffed sleeves don't help with layering.

Now sitting down calmly on the edge of the old Scots Presbyterian church building on York St, Sydney. Why don't people sit here more often??

Day 28   

This stairwell is part of the Ivy complex (George St, Sydney) and comes off Ash Lane, leading up to a bar I think. I haven't been there but the stripes appealed to me. It was late afternoon and raining outside - the light from the laneway was really dim.

Today was really chilly with an amazing thick fog in the morning, so I layered up. The dress is my Vogue 1257 DKNY dress ( worn before), which I thought I'd try with a cardi. The cardi helps with the fact that the dress design would better suit someone with a real bust ;). And the coat is my new unblogged V1263 coat which I wore earlier in MMM and complained was too itchy. Yes, too itchy over a t-shirt but fine on top of a cardi and a dress (phew, I didn't really want to add a lining). 

Thanks again to my colleague Marylene for photos!

Day 29   

Another glorious Autumn day in Sydney, as you can see! Down at King Street Wharf at lunchtime today (after scrummy a vegetarian Thai meal at Peace Harmony restaurant on Erskine St).

Wearing my new Vogue 1293 red pants with a blue jumper (and my red trench, not shown), totally inspired by crab & bee's red and blue top :). This is a MMM repeat wear of these pants... not a repeat outfit though!

I love wearing colours, and only realised when I went to a meeting in head office how very UNcorporate I was looking. We don't have any restrictions on colours in our corporate dress code, but most people in head office dress in dark or muted colours. 

Thank you Marylene again!

My very lovely MMM weekday photographer, Marylene!

Day 30        

I'm running behind - didn't get to post this yesterday because I swapped my MMM Flickr time for sewing time so as to finish today's dress :) which I'll try to post soon. 

Anyway, yesterday (30th May) I wore this summery looking dress, made from a stretch cotton/something else? from The Fabric Shop. The dress has an interesting neckline shape (which I like!) because I found I needed darts front and back to get a better fit... so I turned it into a "feature". You can see the details - such as they are - in the original blog post here

This photo was taken by the wall of a carpark on Kent St, Sydney, en route to meetings and lunch. Thanks Marylene!

Day 31   

I know, I know - I've ignored the red theme - but I thought a cheery sunflower and a me made jungle of flowers would be a nice way of saying thank you :). So thank you Zoe, thank you SO much for organising another fabulous me made month, and a ginormous thank you to new and old sewing friends and contacts and fellow MMM-ers for your supportive comments, banter, your inspiring sewing, your interesting outfits, the glimpses into your lives, your lovely photos... It's been a terrific month and so wonderfully social, but I have to admit I'm looking forward to an evening away from the computer and a couple of days of wearing absolutely whatever. And a HUGE thank you finally to my amazing colleague Marylene who traipsed around the city with me most days taking photos, and who truly can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear :).

This year I committed to try to wear at least 1 me made item a day, not to repeat my outfits, but also (and this part is harder) to wear outfits I like and that I'll be happy to keep wearing later in the year.

I managed to wear at least 1 me made item a day, and I managed to avoid exactly repeating outfits, but I did repeat a few items (my new red pants, new grey wool coat, turquoise cashmere jacket, green merino dress).

Onto the harder part of the challenge. Probably in the last year I've realised that a bit of colour suits me better than greys and blacks, so even though pops of colour doesn't feel very corporate - and even though I'm normally just a jeans & jumper person on the weekend - I know I wore outfits I liked on most days and I hope I'll keep wearing those outfits through the year. By comparison there were a heap of sombre outfits I wore last year in MMM12 which I haven't worn since seeing myself in them back then :(.

This particular dress, finished last night, is a Vogue 8511 dress with a couple of small modifications as it's just not the world's most perfect pattern. I'll try to post details really soon on my blog. I'm standing in front of a Head On photo festival van that's parked at the top of Martin Place, Sydney.

Thank you again, good night, and hope to see you next year!
- Gabrielle xxx


  1. Well done Gabrielle, I'm so impressed with the effort you put into your photos (that's the bit I find the hardest).

    1. Thank you! Maybe I should have said something about photos when I signed up! Actually I didn't anticipate I'd have decent photos - I thought I'd be desperately trying to get 10 second timer photos of myself - so a huge credit has to go to my friend Marylene, who even made the daily photos fun.

  2. I love the fabric on that V8511! can't wait to hear more about it! I really like you in the V1220 too, I think the colour looks good on you.

    1. It's such a cool fabric, isn't it! Promise I'll try to finish the post soon.

      Hmmm - I am shocked - but I think you may be right about the V1220 colours!

      I saw your post about the jacket you're making btw; love the fabric and those classes sound SOOO good.

  3. You did wonderfully this year. And the locations you chose made me look every harder to find out where you were everyday.
    I like the idea of adding more colour too.

    1. Thanks! I didn't stray too far from the city centre most days. I loved your Olympic Park photos this year - so many interesting / sculptural backdrops!

  4. Well done! Your finale dress was a stunner!! Beautful outfits the entire month.

    1. Thanks Margo, I'm so glad to have found your blog through MMM - I love your style!

  5. You had a great month and love all the colour you wore. Now your last dress is s stunner!

  6. You have been so busy - it must take a lot of stamina to do Me Made May - to say nothing of the sewing over the years. Everything looks great, even the "circus" top.


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