‘I, Joanne of Zoe Livana, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear a handmade or refashioned item each day for the duration of May 2013. In addition, I endeavor to make a pair of pants or skirt (hopefully both) in May 2013.’
In honour of accepting this challenge, I’ve decided to give you a brief history of my sewing experience. Read on if you’re interested.
I’ve only been blogging since the beginning of the year, but I’ve been sewing for much longer than that. I’ve been sewing since junior high, and my first project was a pair of boxer shorts, which I finished so quickly that I was able to do a second project, which was a little bag that looked like a miniature gym bag (I still have it back at my parents house filled with old makeup). The following year, I chose a more challenging project, which was a stuffed bear, which I gave to my Oma when I was finished.
In high school, I made several garments for myself. My favourite was a pair of wide-legged trousers I made from bright turquoise corduroy. The pattern I used was vintage, and was missing the fly pieces, and not knowing anything about putting in a fly, I just attached a zipper like you would to a skirt, not even lapped! But I lived in those pants! They were so comfortable and I got loads of compliments on them at school.
I kind of commandeered my mom’s sewing machine, so for my graduation present she got me my very own sewing machine. Yup, while my classmates were wishing for new cars, all I really wanted was to sew! My first job was at Fabricland in Calgary, a job I started in my last year of high school (mainly to pay for gas) and kept about a year after I graduated. I went on a trip to Europe after that a few months later when I came back, I found a job at another fabric shop! It was during these years of working at fabric shops that I accumulated a lot of what’s in my stash. Not that our employee discount was so great, but we could always watch the sales, and know when nice fabric was being marked down for the bargain basement.
Anyway, fast forward a couple of years and I find myself in The Netherlands studying for my bachelor’s degree, during which time I sewed a few small projects using the sewing machine belonging to my boyfriend’s mother. I hadn’t had my own sewing machine for about 5 or 6 years, so in realizing that I probably wasn’t going back to Canada, I took my sewing machine back to The Netherlands with me one holiday. I bought a special converter for it and everything so I wouldn’t fry the insides and I’ve been using it ever since, sometimes on a daily basis, and since I’ve started blogging “regularly”, definitely every week!
Now that Me Made May is in sight, I immediately see the holes in my sewing wardrobe, namely no pants that I’ve sewn myself. I made tons of pants back in high school, but I’ve grown (wider, unfortunately, not taller) since then, and haven’t sewn pants for myself since, I think. Ok, that’s not entirely true, I made a pair of leggings a few months ago that turned out horribly. They were designed for teenagers, I think. You know, the thin ones who wear everything on their hips. I know I did at that age. Nowadays, if I wear pants on my hips, I also have a bad case of plumbers butt. Yes, I admit it! And muffin top. We like muffin tops to stay on our muffins, not on our pants.
You may see a pattern going on in my blog so far, that is, I like to make dresses and tops, which is why I’ve also challenged myself to make pants and a skirt next month. Right now, surprise surprise, I have a top and a dress on the slab, and if I can squeeze it in, I also want to make a party dress for an event next month. My sister-in-law is also due at the end of the month, so I want to make her a Perfect Nursing Top as well. But I did recently cut out the Kelly Skirt and the Thurlow Trousers. These are definitely on my to-do list.
I am going to visit my parent’s in May, so I’m hoping that when I pack, I will be able to choose a travel wardrobe filled with self-stitched items. I was already going to challenge myself to take a small amount of clothing and mix and match when I get there. My sister has already told me that I can use her fancy new sewing machine and her Fabricland membership while I’m there, so I might have to take those patterns with me and whip them up there. Also, I should have a look for some photos of those awesome corduroy pants to show you guys!
For guidelines and to sign up for me-made-may, visit So, Zo…’s blog.