Tuesday, May 31, 2016

More Me Made May Outfits

Hi guys, today wrapped up Me Made May, a month of wearing handmade clothes every day. I didn't do it every day, since some days I only wore workout clothes and gardening clothes. I loved this challenge and found it really inspiring. It is fun to make something that I love to wear, and I want to keep doing it! 

My summer capsule will consist of a core of handmade clothes, plus I'll add in whatever store-bought clothes I need or want. I think it's going to be really fun. 

I'll be back tomorrow or Thursday with my homemade capsule. Today the lighting was too weird to get decent photos. Hopefully tomorrow's weather will cooperate with my photography plans.

I shared some of my May outfits earlier, and here are the rest of them:

A photo posted by @tonya.kitchel on

A photo posted by @tonya.kitchel on

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Me-Made Capsule Planning

Hi guys! This month I've been wearing my homemade clothes every day, taking part in the challenge called Me Made May. It's been really fun. I'm going to keep trying to wear things that I've made, as much as I can. I have plans to make a few more things, and I'm currently working on it. 

Here's my capsule plan for this spring and summer:

* The core of my wardrobe will be my handmade clothes. I'll keep those clothes in the front of my closet, so they're the easiest to get to. 

* I will supplement with store-bought clothes. I don't have enough homemade clothes to make the kind of wardrobe I want to wear. I don't have the skills to make everything I want to wear. I have store-bought clothes already that I love and want to use. I don't think I'd ever want to make ALL my clothes.

* I'll keep adding to my me-made wardrobe as I can. I'm psyched to sew more clothes right now, and I've got patterns and fabric chosen to make a few more things. I'll just add them in as they are finished. 

* I don't think I'll have a certain number of items this time; I'll just have my core wardrobe in place to use as my default (things I love and that fit well and that I'm excited to wear). Then I'll use the rest of my clothes as needed or desired. And I can wear all the shoes! 

Unlimited shoes! 


(I bet I'll end up wearing just a few pairs most of the time.)

So here are stock photos of some patterns that I've already sewn:

Sewing Patterns S/S16
Left to right:
Lark tee (for stretchy knit fabrics)
Scout tee (for woven fabrics)
Linden sweatshirt
Moss skirt

These are all from Grainline Studio. I'm loving Grainline patterns because they're great wardrobe basics, which I like to wear a lot of the time. The three tops are pretty easy to sew, and they don't take long. That's awesome for anyone with limited time. You can complete a garment in a few hours. 

The skirt is a bit more challenging (you have to make a fly front, which is a little tricky), but still possible for many sewers to accomplish. 

Here are some fabrics that I've either used or plan to use for tops:

Fabrics S/S16

My color palette is kind of boring, maybe, but I know I will really wear these tops! When I've made clothes with crazy fabrics before, it's been really fun to choose the fabric and sew the clothes, but I haven't ended up wearing them much. So black, white, grey, and blue are good choices for my core capsule wardrobe. I can add in other colors, of course. But my prediction is that I'll wear these the most. 

I'll be back with more tomorrow! I'm pretty excited to continue Me Made May into a Me May Summer. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Me Made May

Hi guys! This month I showed you the results of my 15X15 experiment. I put together 15 outfits from 15 pieces of clothing. Meanwhile, I decided at the last minute on April 30th to take part in Me Made May this year. This is a challenge for people who make clothes by sewing, knitting, crochet, (or anything else?) to wear our handmade clothes every day for the month of May. Many people post photos of their outfits on Instagram and use the hashtags #memademay #memademay16 #mmmay16 and a few others. If you're interested, check it out and join in any time. 

Over the course of these first two weeks of wearing my homemade clothes, I started to wonder if I could make those clothes the basis of my capsule wardrobe. I used to make mostly dresses and skirts out of crazy, fun fabrics, and I didn't end up wearing them much. But recently I've been sewing basics, which seemed like it would be boring, but it has been great! Sweatshirts, t-shirts, and less-crazy skirts and dresses are things that I want to wear all the time. It's way more fun to use my finished stuff all the time instead of just hanging it in my closet! 

So I'm thinking about my super-small summer wardrobe, and about it being a Handmade Super-Small Summer Wardrobe. I'd be able to add other things in, but the core of it would be at least partly handmade. I'll have to look at how many things I have that are appropriate for summer, and how many more I can sew in time. I think this is going to be really fun. 

Here are the clothes I've been wearing so far this month:

Linen pants.

Flannel sweatshirt extended into a dress.

Flannel button-up shirt.

Cropped sweatshirt.

Jersey t-shirt.

Cotton skirt.

Sweatshirt extended into a tunic.

Jersey t-shirt.

Double gauze t-shirt.

Blue sweatshirt.

Cropped sweatshirt.

Flannel shirt again.

Long jersey shirt.

Do you make any of your own clothes? Do you wear them a lot?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Super-Small Summer Wardrobe?

Hi guys! My 15X15 experiment showed me how much versatility there can be in a super-small wardrobe. Now I'm thinking about making a super-small summer wardrobe. Here's how it might work: I'd pick maybe 20 pieces of clothing to be the core of my wardrobe. Then I could add in some extras as needed. I might not limit my shoes. If I needed something fancier than usual, I'd just wear it! 

I'd always have my go-to 20 in the very front of my closet. They'd be my favorites for this summer, the ones that are what I really want to wear right now, that fit well and feel good and make me happy. Then I'd have my extras waiting in the wings to add variety and fill in gaps and step up when I haven't done laundry often enough. 

I think this sounds somewhat like my pre-capsule way of dressing. Like most people, I really only wore a small portion of my clothes most of the time. The majority of my clothes were worn once in a while or never. What's better about doing this consciously is that my core capsule would be carefully chosen to work mainly with its own components, making it super easy to make great outfits really quickly. I wouldn't have to consider all my clothes each morning - only if I wanted to! My default, easy decision would be choosing pieces from my capsule. 

Okay, so I'm not committing to it yet, but I am thinking about it. Would you consider trying a super-small wardrobe for a season?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

15X15 Wrap-Up

Hey guys! Let's take a look at my 15X15 experiment and see what I learned.

Here are the clothes I chose to use. There are 15 pieces of clothing and I made 15 different outfits.
Here are the 15 outfits I made:

I was able to easily make my 15 outfits, and in fact, I could have easily made many more! A 15-piece wardrobe could last me quite a while without me getting bored. 

* Note: I don't need that many clothes to have a good variety of outfits. 

But! Wearing the same clothes so often means doing laundry almost every day. I usually wear jeans two or three times before washing (though sometimes my 3-year old wipes stuff on my clothes, in which case I wash them after that use). I also wear sweaters and sweatshirts multiple times since I usually have a tank top or t-shirt underneath. Shirts and tanks, I generally wash after each wearing. 

* Note: to avoid needing to do laundry every day, have access to multiple shirts and undershirts. That might mean having an exception to your stated number of items used, which I've been doing for a little while with my seasonal capsule. 

I think this 15-piece wardrobe had a good mix of soft and tough, light and dark, long and short, and loose and tight. I love that! I could mix and match so many different silhouettes and create outfits to reflect my mood or attitude. 

* Note: choose at least a couple different styles of clothes so I can vary my style. I don't want to be stuck with all drapey pastels when I need to feel tough and confident. 

I had my doubts about including 6 tops and 6 bottoms. It seems like I should have chosen more tops and fewer bottoms. But this actually worked out great this time. The bottoms are all different (maybe the linen crops and the cropped jeans are similar enough in color and shape to eliminate one). That made it easier to feel like each outfit was really different.

* Note: don't underestimate having a variety of bottoms. They can be more than the plain supporting cast for your shirt.

Would you try making a super-small wardrobe? It's kind of fun! I'd love to see yours, if you make one. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

15X15 #15 Polka Dot Tee, Black Jeans, and Black Booties

Hey! It's the last outfit from my 15X15 experiment. I made 15 outfits from 15 items of clothing, and I didn't have to make any crazy combos that I wouldn't really wear. 

This one's super simple: polka dot top, black jeans, and black booties. This shirt is from Boden and I'm sad to see how crooked the hem line is after washing it. Maybe I will see if I can exchange it, since it looks kinda crazy. Otherwise, I really like the weight, drape, shape, and pattern of it. 

Tomorrow I'll do a little wrap-up about what I learned while trying this experiment. Tonight I have to go to bed early since I had some sort of bad reaction after getting fillings at the dentist. Wah. See you tomorrow!

Monday, May 9, 2016

15X15 Experiment, Outfits #10-14

Hi guys! Sorry I missed a few days of blogging, but the good news is that I get to share five more outfits today. My 15X15 experiment is almost done. Here are outfits 10 - 14. 

Linen button-up, green skirt, and black booties. This outfit makes me sort of want a pair of camel-colored ankle boots. Not enough to buy some, but wouldn't they be perfect here?With these lighter colors, I think the black looks kind of jarring.

Polka dot top, cropped jeans, and clogs. I think this outfit is really cute. The shoes have to be swapped if we're running up and down the sidewalk all afternoon (Violet doesn't need training wheels anymore! Bodhi is so fast on his balance bike! I'm not that great at running in wooden shoes!).

Apricot v-neck, white jeans, and tan oxfords. This one's pale, pale, pale. I cuffed the ankle jeans to change it up a bit. This outfit feels so springy and soft to me; I love it. 

Black cropped sweatshirt, polka dot top, linen cropped pants, and black booties. Here I like the black boots better than I would like light-colored ones. It's balanced by the black sweatshirt. I like the bit of polka dots sticking out at the collar and hem. 

Linen button-up, linen pants, and clogs. So comfy! So breezy! So wrinkled! I think the button-up shirt keeps this outfit from looking like pajamas (and maybe the structured shoes too - imagine if I had slipper shoes on! 

I hope you had a good Mother's Day and/or called your mom. Tomorrow I'll share my last 15X15 outfit! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

15X15 #9 Striped Tee, Cropped Jeans, and Black Booties

Here's outfit #9 in the 15X15 experiment. It's a somewhat fitted shirt with wide, cropped jeans and cropped boots. The two cropped pieces together are so funny to me. In a decade or so, people will wear them to '10s-themed parties!

As you can tell, I don't think the cropped pants look is timeless, so it's not something I would spend a lot of money on. What about you?

Everlane heavyweight tee
Cropped wideleg jeans
Clarks Spye booties

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

15X15 #8 Apricot V-Neck, Linen Crops, and Tan Oxfords

Hi guys! I'm sharing Outfit #8 from my 15X15 experiment. Are you liking all the cropped pants this spring? I think it's fun, and sometimes funny, and I know I will look back and think everyone looked crazy wearing them. They make such different, interesting silhouettes. I especially keep noticing how stick-thin my ankles look when they're exposed but my calves are hidden. Usually, they just look normal/ unremarkable. 

Playing with clothes can be really fun, from mixing and matching weird outfits to trying different shapes and colors, to trying to make a bunch of outfits from only a few pieces of clothing. And then when I'm tired of that, I can create a uniform and wear a version of the same outfit every day. 

V-neck top, cropped linen pants, and tan oxfords.

Monday, May 2, 2016

15X15 #7 Black Cropped Sweatshirt, White Jeans, and Clogs

Hi, hi! Here's my seventh outfit from my 15X15 Experiment (can I make 15 different outfits from 15 pieces of clothing?)

Black cropped sweatshirt - I made this out of scuba material.
White tank top from Everlane - I love these layering pieces. 
White jeans from J. Crew Factory
Clogs (similar)

Are you trying this at home? Are you getting bored? There's definitely some repetition happening, but if you're wearing your favorite clothes, it feels good to wear them a lot.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

15X15 Outfits #4, 5, 6

Hi guys! I have three outfits to share from my 15X15 experiment (can I make 15 outfits from 15 pieces of clothing?) (Yes!)

Black cropped sweatshirt (homemade)
Polka dot top
Black jeans
Clogs (similar)

Yellow cardigan (similar)
Linen pants (similar)

As you can see, with only a few pieces of clothing, sometimes you'll probably end up wearing the same piece two days in a row. I do laundry almost every day anyway (with two little kids), so it's not that big of a problem for me. If you only do laundry on the weekend, you may need more clothes in the rotation!