Warning: Bad Selfies Alert.
Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?! Well … Me-Made-May is over, and boy, am I glad it’s June. The painfully serious selfies of the past five weeks have sucked up my entire year’s quota of concentration-face. I’m now going to look entirely vacant for the remainder of 2015.
Ok, I’m being silly – I do like wearing me-mades! And I managed to fulfil my pledge to wear me-mades five days each week. A quick run-down of the nine outfits pictured above, from left to right:
- Vogue 8615 aka ‘The Philippa Dress’, in Liberty lawn (with hidden cats on it!)
- Cheongsam in blue, white and silver quilting cotton – worn for swanky-swanksville dinner at Morston Hall, Norfolk
- Sew Over It 1940s tea dress, fabric from Misan, Berwick St, Soho
- Liberty bicycle lawn Sorbetto
- Green crepe New Look 6070
- Colette Violet, fabric from the Cloth House, Berwick St – contrast collar and my first go at piping – oh, the joy of piping!
- Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe knit
- Liberty pea lawn pyjamas
- Liberty sweet pea lawn Violet
Against my own expectations, by doing Me-Made-May I actually discovered a couple of new things about myself, and my style. Firstly, I now understand why so many people describe their first impression of me as ‘demure’. It’s an impression I rapidly dispel, and was always kinda baffled by, until now. I mean, look at those pictures! I look like the sort of person who’d host Miss Marple on one of her (many) weekends away from St Mary Mead, greeting her at the door with a freshly baked quiche and a small, endearing terrier. Not to say that that isn’t actually my fantasy life, but what interested me was the stylistic difference I suddenly perceived between what I make, and what I buy.
Whilst I tend to make clothes with a vintage aesthetic, in delicate, feminine prints, I tend to buy sleeker clothes with more overtly sexy appeal – tight trousers, cropped tops, sheer blouses, pencil skirts. Perhaps this is partly because when I see something sweet and simple in the shops, I automatically think ‘meh, could make that’, and then do so, whilst up until recently I lacked the patterns to create a more contemporary outline at my sewing machine (hell-o, Martini!).
But isn’t it also something to do with the environmental influences surrounding the purchase or creation of clothing? When out shopping for RTW, I’m surrounded by mannequins, sales assistants and other customers subconsciously steering me towards a more fashion-conscious, 21st-century ‘look’, whilst a background soundtrack of current hits invades my mind with images of cocktail bar dates, Pimms-fuelled picnics and spur-of-the-moment roadtrips. Then when I’m at home, I’m surrounded by books, cushions and throws, plants, baking paraphernalia, retro artworks, usually accompanied by an uber-cool soundtrack of period drama reruns.
Some people would be immune to all this; they have their style and they stick to it. And some people would argue that the way I’ve styled my home says more about my true tastes than does my susceptibility to H&M’s latest ad campaign. Nevertheless, if I want to build a truly useful wardrobe, where every item collaborates with others in multiple ways, accommodating each aspect of my lifestyle (because yes, some people do like to party all night and then watch Foyle’s War all day…), I need to find more effective ways of merging vintage and 21st-century silhouettes. I need to think in terms of entire outfits, rather than allowing a vast rotation of star pieces to dominate the show. And, as said in my last post, I need to make more basics (*sigh*).
On which final note, Tilly and the Buttons basically read my mind and have launched an online workshop for sewing knits on an ordinary sewing machine! Oh yes, people, I am going to get KNIT SKILLZ!
(P.S. Sorry this turned into another fix-Nina’s-wardrobe-self-help-session, but if you’ve read this far it can’t have been too bad. Or you’re my sister. Hi, Amy!)