Me Made May – Count Me In!

23 Apr

So… Me Made May.

I didn’t originally intend on signing up for this endeavor, mostly because it’s not really a huge challenge for me – I wear everything I make, very regularly. I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad who does find this sort of thing a challenge, but rather to point out that it seemed kind of sneaky to sign up for something that I can coast along on and call it a “challenge,” you know?

At any rate, regardless of how much I do wear my handmade clothing – I wear them the same way, every time. No mixing up! How boring is that? Plus, I love lurking everyone’s handmade creations long after the “big reveal” – seeing how they are worn on a day-to-day basis. So, with that in mind…

‘I, Lauren of LLADYBIRD, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one (preferably two!) handmade item each day for the duration of May 2012.’

I would love to force myself to wear 2 handmade items every day, but most of my summer (that would be May) clothes are dresses… so the majority of my outfits will consist of one item anyway (other than shoes, but I’m not awesome enough to make my own shoes… yet.). So let’s just put that little “preferably” in there and call it a day, ok?

Yay! I’m so excited! Also, it’s not too late to join in, if you haven’t done so already :)

Now let’s talk about the Bombshell.

I have done a LOT of work on this dress over the past week, and I’m feeling pretty good about it! Here are some photogs of my current progress:

Bombshell dress progress
I cut out my pattern pieces, and underlined the bodice with muslin. That took FOREVER! I actually watched an entire episode of LOST during this part, heehee

Bombshell dress progress
Pieced the entire bodice together – complete with stay stitching, clipping, notching, and lots and lots of pressing. Oh, and twill tape at the top of the cups, for a nice body-hugging curve.

Bombshell dress progress
I made molded cups to give the bust some shape – mine are made with cotton batting, but man I wish I had needlepunch, because it just looks so nice & shapely. Anyway, I know this picture doesn’t look too different from the one above, but there is actually a lot of hand stitching here.

Bombshell dress progress
So then we have a bodice!

Bombshell dress progress
And then I got all excited & started putting the skirt together. I haven’t attached the bodice yet – I have a few more seam finishes I need to complete – so this is just pinned, but doesn’t it look nice?

I just found out that I have a wedding to attend in a little less than 2 weeks, so I’m going to try to bust ass & get this dress done so I can wear it! New deadline, yeah!

In other news, I got my hair did last Thursday!
new hair! :D
They re-dyed my hair a lighter brown (which, fuck yeah, now I don’t have to Photoshop my roots anymore) and gave me these sweet highlights around my face. I love it and I feel like a total babe with babe hair.

next knitting project - u-lock cozy
And here’s my next knitting project – a U-lock Cozy (told you, I can never have enough cozies!). Totally easy & mindless, which is just what I need after frying my brain on that sweater.

Speaking of my sweater, I have worn it every day since finishing last Tuesday – we are going through a bit of a cold snap, which is great for me! :) But now I’m all worried about it getting stinky- so knitters, how frequently do you wash your hand knit wool garments? And do you wash in cold or lukewarm water? Also, do I need to reblock every time I wash? (please say no, I hate blocking haha) Inquiring minds need to know!

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30 Responses to “Me Made May – Count Me In!”

  1. Ms Cleaver April 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    With the exception items I wear directly against the skin (and/or over just a tank top), I don’t wash my handknits very frequently, maybe a couple of times a year. When I do, I fill a plastic tub with lukewater water, a bit of shampoo and wash that way, Unless it’s really lacey, you shouldn’t have to re-block, just lay it flat on a towel and re-shape a bit.

  2. Carrie (blondebeaker) April 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    We have the same interchangable needles! Anyways, unless you were really sweating up a storm, plop it some lukewarm or cold water with some delicate wash detergent (http://www.eucalan.com This stuff is awesome, little goes a looooong way) roll it up in a towel to squeeze out the excess water and lay flat. Reshape if you have to.

    In between washings I just hit my knits with a spray of fabreeze so they smell fresh.

    • birdsandink April 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      I usually let my wool items air out (I never wear them directly against the skin anyways), but when I do wash them, I use this stuff (I have Aquae): http://www.soakwash.com/soak.html

      It works well, it smells nice, and a little goes a long way.

      • Carrie (blondebeaker) April 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

        Heh, I got a bunch of samples of that from a Pucks n’ Purls hockey game. I air my stuff out too but I spritz a bit of homemade fabreeze just to give them a “clean” scent lol. Otherwise a small part in my brain goes crazy thinking its not clean.

  3. Cynthia April 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    You’re going to look so hot in your bombshell dress! I’m supah jealous of your sewing skills

  4. quietandsmall April 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    what a great start to the bombshell dress! i loved peeking into the construction of the bodice, i haven’t tried to make something that intricate yet…. good luck getting it done for the wedding!

  5. paintthinnr April 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Wow, that bombshell is amazing! I signed up for the class but haven’t dove in yet because it seems to be cranky with my browser, and honestly I am a bit intimidated by what I have gotten myself into! I took a six week sewing course and it was great, but it’s harder without the teacher in the room so I’m still hemming and hawing about getting started.

    Regarding knitting or crochet, as that’s really my area, I actually gently press a lot of my knit pieces (aka “killing” the fabric if it’s synthetic… ew.) I find it actually looks smoother and retains its shape better. That said, different pieces and materials behave differently. I’d try just laying it flat to dry, and then spraying and blocking only if necessary. It’s really the only way you’ll know. I only wash cold.

  6. Kerry April 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Love how that dress is shaping up.
    You shouldn’t need to wash hand knits too often, depending on yarn type. For pure wool not worn right next to the skin you don’t have to wash much as wool doesn’t hold smell. I won’t tell you how infrequently I wash my knits :) ( ok then once a year is good going, but that’s for thick jumpers)
    If you are washing, a hand wash detergent and very slightly warm water is good.

  7. thesewingmiserablist April 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Lauren, your Bombshell dress is THE bomb! I’m sure I won’t be the first (or last) to say that. Good luck for getting it done in 2 weeks time too. Will you wear a jacket over it and if so what are you planning to accessorise it with?

    • LLADYBIRD April 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

      I have no idea! The wedding is outdoors, but I’m hoping it will be warm enough to go without arm-covering (this is typically the case for early May in Nashville, anyway!). I may keep an eye on thrift stores for a cardigan just in case, though. And again, with the accessories – no idea! Haha I’m such a mess.

  8. Eleanor (undeadgoat) April 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Wool is antimicrobial, so sweat won’t make it stinky. If you let it air out every time you wear it, you’ll only need to wash it when you spill something on it or when you put it away for the summer. And you should really wash it when you put it away for the summer. If you live in a moth-prone building, more often is better, but you WILL have to block *lace* EVERY TIME it gets very wet, because the wool will remain moldable forever and if you don’t reshape it it will crumple. (For cables and plainer stitches, you can sometimes get away with just laying flat to dry.) Funny story, my dad recently asked me for advice in washing a wool sweater vest his mom made for him when he was about my age, 30 years ago. Apparently he had been afraid to wash it for a very long time but had gotten some food on it. Needless to say the wash water did not come out very clear.

    • Eleanor (undeadgoat) April 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

      IMO, wool is actually easier-care than all these cellulose/synthetic blends I have to haul to the laundromat every week because I only have to worry about it once or twice a year. Our culture is caught up in a vicious cycle of laundry where we generally wear clothes that have to be washed with every wear because they are the only clothes a handy machine will clean for us. I will admit to washing a few wool items every time (or almost every time) I wear them–but only superwash wool socks and leggings. Because superwash keeps the stank a little longer, and foot and crotch odor does not dissipate as fast as underarm odor.

    • LLADYBIRD April 24, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      Hahahaha that story is amazing. I’ve actually done that before with pants – didn’t know how to wash them, so I never ever washed them. They didn’t look/smell bad, though!

  9. Jo April 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    That yarn looks so squishy and happy! I love the idea of making cosies for everything in sight! All these thoughts in the comments on washing wool are good to know.
    And of course, your dress is going to be so cool! :D

  10. kristinm100 April 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Ooooh, sexay dress!

  11. smschrader April 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    The only washable things I knit are baby pants, but I rarely need to wash those. Like someone said above, wool is antimicrobial so it resists smell. With wool pants, which I make and use as cloth diaper covers, I only need to wash them maybe once every 20 wears or so, and those are right up against a diaper. My simple method is luke warm water in a sink with the drain closed, a little bit of wool wash, let sit for a few minutes, rinse with lukewarm water, lay on a towel, roll it up to squeeze out the water. Putting it under a ceiling fan will have it dry within a few hours. Lace you will need to block, which is sad panda.

  12. Sarah W. April 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    I don’t have any handknit *sweaters* but my other handknits I infrequently dry clean.

  13. MarrieB April 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    I don’t wash my wool stuff very often (maybe once a year for scarves, and maybe once every couple months for sweaters). Typically I don’t wear my sweaters against the skin, so just airing them out for a day or so after I wear them is enough to avoid any stinky-ness — wool is so awesome! When I do wash, I like to use Soak (a bottle will last forever) and cold water. Some sweaters (and anything lace) will need blocking but others sweaters do okay just by laying them out to dry.

    And ooh, the dress is looking A-mazing!

  14. Helen's Sewing Adventures April 24, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    The dress is looking amazing – worth all the hard work I think! And I love your fabric choice.
    New Hair looks good too!

  15. Marie April 24, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    I cannot believe you are entering Me Made May…you cheat ;o) Hehe! I’m doing it for the first time ever this year, but I can only realistically commit to wearing self-made clothes 3-4 days a week. Oh well, at least there’s room for improvement next time!

    Your dress is looking really hot (love the fabric so much) and your hair is very babe-alicious, although it always is to be fair!

    I look forward to reading the answers about handmade knits…

    • LLADYBIRD April 24, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      Hahaha I knowwww, I feel like I’m almost cheating because I seriously have soo many me-made clothes (although, I’m counting thrifted clothing that has been altered. It’s still me-made, yes? Kind of?) I’m going to focus keeping the majority of each outfit handmade stuff,and mixing up how I wear them. I think that’ll give me a challenge!

  16. Jane April 24, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    That looks like the bombshell to top all other bombshells! x

  17. neeno April 24, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    Jebus that bombshell dress is amazing the fabric is the bomb!

  18. alllalae April 25, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    I’ve been following your blog for about two months now and find it so inspirational but have never felt a strong enough desire to comment until now. I finished knitting my first sweater back in September. My mother, an avid knitter since I revitalized her knitting passion 12 years ago when I asked her to teach me to knit, recommends hand washing in cold water with whatever knit friendly soap you prefer (Eucalan, Soak) roll up in a towel, re-shape and dry flat. Wash when you feel like it–you spill something on it, it stinks, it gets stretched out of shape.

    Congrats, by the way! Isn’t it awesome to have such a huge handknit project finished?!

    • LLADYBIRD April 25, 2012 at 8:48 am #

      Well hellllooooo :) Thanks for your comment! I think my main concern is the thought of the sweater naturally stretching out of shape – especially since I wear my clothing so fitted. Boo! Hopefully I’ll only have to wash it like once a year lol. And yes, I love my handknit sweater – been wearing it every day since it’s completion! And I bought more yarn to make another :X Haha!

  19. Hannah April 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Just had to say i simply adore your choice of fabric for the Bombshell dress!! Reminds me of a super sexy Maarten van der Horst. Bit jelous of your skills :)

  20. zilredloh April 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Your bombshell is looking great! I’m quite envious. I just signed up for the online class and watched a few of the episodes. Can’t wait till I make it a serious project so I can go fabric shopping. :)

  21. Julie D. April 27, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Yes Eucalan! I use luke warm water, and you don’t have to rinse it out because the lanolin in it conditions the wool. Awesome!

  22. Casey May 2, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Ooooh! I’m loving how your Bombshell dress is turning out! I’m hoping that this month I’ll finally get around to making my own Bombshell bustier (since I don’t need another slightly fancy dress in my wardrobe that won’t get worn very often. I have a slight addiction to fancier/cocktail dresses and they definitely are taking up valuable closet real estate right now. Need to break the cycle! lol.). I really adore that print!

    Oh, and on the knitting front: I don’t think I ever said congrats on finishing your sweater! (I am so far behind commenting on all the blogs on my reader that it’s just sad… I don’t want to flood your inbox with comments either. lol.) Knitting for me lately has been… lackluster. I’m *this close* to frogging something I started last winter, and am working on a rather boring throw for the sofa. (Cheap yarn and simple pattern=good knitting project while watching the hockey playoffs since my team made it! ;) lol. The color of your yarn is *gorgeous*!!!

  23. tank top dress June 1, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    You’re going to look so hot in your bombshell dress! I’m supah jealous of your sewing skills

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