michellemakesamess michellemakesamess

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Michelle Irene the Mess Maker  The sewing and making of stuff

Neon POW and trims galore!

I sewed another one of these McCall dresses and I don't know if I can stop.

I love neon and fluorescent stuff. This goes back to the eighties. When I was in Jr. High my mom bought me a neon muscle shirt. I hadn't seen neon before and I thought I had landed in the most juiciest fantasies of fantasies. I wore the neon top with fear and pride to Jr. High. I also had ribbons in my hair—à la Madonna—and mismatched neon socks, gladiator sandals and many-pocket pants.

I was the first kid to wear neon at my school and it caused a sensation. I was painfully shy and although I loved bright and strange clothing, I didn't like attention. Some kid made a point of popping his head in the class I was sitting in, and he exclaimed, "It's like the sun!" and then made a show of popping on his Ray-Ban-knock-offs to block the intensity I emitted. Even though I thought it was funny, I still fiercely blushed and my pink cheeks rivaled any neon color.

I wear neon a lot. Still. I just love the explosion of color and light. I take my daily walks in fluorescent orange sweats and maybe I look weird, but heck, so what?
So this dress....I added a lot of trim. I was curious and wanted to see what it would look like. I had never sewn on piping trim before and so I thought, Why not, let's do this! And then the navy piping seemed lonely in the fabric sea of neon, so I invited some navy sparkly-fuzzy-trim over to join in.

Then I thought, let's not do the sheath thing, let's have a bouncy skirt be part of this experiment, so I cut the bodice short and put in a gathered skirt. The piping and trims reminded me of vintage-fantasy-world so I dropped the waist so that the garment had a kind of 1920s vibe to it.
Oh, and I added a bow, but it's removable.

Pattern: MP662 @mccallpatterncompany

Hello summer dress!

This garment was super easy and quick to whip up. I purchased the pattern and the fabric on the same day, envisioning a bright and lightweight frock for hot California summers.
I like the frilly sleeves of the dress—it’s balanced by the simple cut of the dress. There is another variation with super fluttery sleeves/front panels that I want to try as well, but it requires a lot of fabric, so I need to save for that.
Very happy with this make and the Amy Butler fabric just cheers me up beyond measure.

Pattern: MP662 @mccallpatterncompany

Fabric: Lark Dreamer @amybutlerdesign

This is my Me Made May 2018 outfit today. It's my rosy dress and it makes me feel like I am wearing art or a garden. It is made of a soft, breathable cotton fabric, so it is pleasant to wear on this warm California day.
It seemed like the whole city was at the garden section of the shops today, the lot of us holding gorgeous plant-life, waiting in long checkout lines, having high expectations and good intentions. This dress was the perfect thing to wear while meeting new roses, succulents and geraniums.

This is one of my favorite patterns to sew. It is very easy to make and comfortable to wear. Nothing binds or grabs. This dress just falls nicely over the body, making no squeezing gestures. To sum it up, I suppose, this dress is not a ferocious embrace but rather a gentle caress.
Pattern: @sewhouse7 licensed by @simplicity_creative_group Simplicity 8231

This is my Me Made May 2018 outfit today.
The shirt:
This is a wonderfully soft knit fabric. Soft like velvety smooth. Like running-my-hands-over-my-arms-in-continuous-fascination smooth. It is a double brushed jersey spandex. I thought it would look pretty to have a floral sweatshirt type top, something I could wear that looks like I’m not in my pajamas but yet feels exactly like pajama coziness.

The skirt:
I made this in an activewear knit that mimics leather. The skirt also ranks high on the scale of comfort but the fabric makes it look a little extra nice.

While I was sewing I was just so darn curious to see how the skirt and top would look in these particular fabrics. I think curiosity is a big factor in why I sew. It begins with: How will THAT garment look in THIS fabric? And then once the vision is there, then excitement builds and then I construct the thing like a wild woman and hope it matches the vision at least a little bit.

Shirt Pattern: Linden @grainlinestudio

Shirt Pattern Purchased from: @stitchesseattle

Shirt Fabric Purchased from: @girlcharlee

Skirt Pattern: Bibi @tillbuttons
Skirt Fabric Purchased from: @joann_stores

This is my Me Made May 2018 outfit today. It's a very cheerful thing, this garment. The dress is a vibrant jolt of color and my buttons sparkle.
It took me several days to make this, as there are lots of parts and steps. There was a point, several days into this project, in which I asked myself, "Will this thing even fit me like I dreamed it would?" I guess the fantasy began when I first saw this dress on the Cashmerette website and was delighted when I saw the curved seam at the bust. A pattern already drafted to accommodate the chest? This exists? Yes and Yes! I never particularly wanted a shirt dress until I saw this pattern. The thought of a pattern created to fit my type of body was dizzying.
So I pushed through the construction of this dress and learned so many techniques along the way. Someone asked me once if I was super joyful when I sewed and the answer was, "Not really." I cuss a lot and sigh a lot. I'm frustrated and also delighted at times. I just love the process of construction, though, of building a thing I can wear.
The joy is in the wearing and seeing the final result. The process is deeper than joy, more complicated, I guess. It is quiet, focused work, and it is method, persistence and patience.
I made this slow. It is not an easy, disposable thing. It’s my little treasure of hope, vision and dexterity.

Pattern: @Cashmerette Lenox Shirt Dress #lenoxshirtdress

Fabric: Amy Butler Glow Jolie in Berry @amybutlerdesign

#Repost @girlcharlee ・・・
24-Hour FLASH Fabric Sale to receive two color versions of our festival ready Abstract Feather Diamond Hacci Sweater Knits for only $1.50/yard! This trendy knit sews up into stunning garments like this top from Girl Charlee Customer Michelle Irene of @michellemakesamess, similar to the popular Riviera Raglan from @newhorizonsdesigns. Yardage is limited so hurry to girlcharlee.com

This is my Me Made May 2018 outfit today. I'm organizing my artwork for storage and working in my sketchbook, so it is an art focused kind-of-day. But I will probably work a bit on sewing before I go to bed.

I sewed this dress for an art exhibit in which all the artists made work in honor of Frida Kahlo. I had a painting in the exhibit and to celebrate the event, I sewed this dress to wear, working frantically past midnight so it would be ready.
While I waited in line to enter the exhibit, another seamstress approached me to discuss the fabric. She also had the fabric, but in another color and was excited to see this version in dress form. It was so pleasant to talk with someone who was as dedicated to the pursuit and display of fabric as I am.

There is something about fabric and sewing that is approachable. If people are enchanted or curious or amused by a fabric or unique outfit, they often will muster up courage to discuss this.
I added an elasticated waist to this pattern. This pattern is super quick and easy. The design of this dress leaves broad, uncomplicated areas, so that one can basically become a walking canvas displaying the art of the fabric in a casual way.

Pattern: Kwik Sew K3956 @mccallpatterncompany
Fabric: Frida Kahlo Esperanza in Turquoise For The Folklorico Collection By Alexander Henry Fabrics @alexanderhenryfabrics

This is my Me Made May outfit for the day. I made this dress for a Day of the Dead art exhibit I had participated in a while back.
When I first wore the dress I was interviewed for an LA station during the exhibit, which I hadn’t anticipated.
I had just thrown back three Margaritas at an Olvera Street restaurant to celebrate the event. I don’t drink often, but it was a warm happy night, and I was part of an art show that I loved and so, what the heck, I went with the happy hour temptation.
After a delicious dinner of chicken mole and Margaritas, I walked to the exhibit and was immediately corralled towards my painting to participate in an interview. I talked and talked and talked, oh yeah, and I talked some more. Three Margaritas and a microphone, just great.
When I first saw the interview more than a week later, I cringed a little bit but mostly I just laughed and laughed. I didn’t say anything scandalous, but I did seem super jolly.
The leggings are made by copying another pair of store-bought leggings I have. They are comfy and that is mission-number-1 these days. I bought the activewear fabric for the leggings @joann_stores. I bought the fabric for the dress @michaellevinefabrics
My friend Alessa took this photo of me this morning just before we had a scrumptious brunch at Norm’s.

Dress Pattern: The Staple Dress @aprilarhodes

Dress Fabric: Contigo @alexanderhenryfabrics

Woke up to white light leaking through my curtains and I knew that California heat was returning. But still, I didn't accept it and wore this sweatshirt and a jacket anyway. So jacket was thrown off after my daily walk, and now said jacket is but a tiny disregarded mountain of fabric on my couch. Sorry jacket, buh-bye, I guess spring is here. The sweatshirt stays on, though, because the fabric is delicate and light and the wild pattern on the fabric cheers me up.
The Linden sweatshirt was super quick to make and I know I will make others because the end result is comfortable, soft and destined for hardcore lounging.
This is my second post for Me Made May 2018 (I endeavor to post two a week). Pattern:
Linden Sweatshirt
Purchased at @stitchesseattle

Fabric: Red Abstract Feather Diamond Hacci Sweater Knit
Purchased from @girlcharlee

It’s raining in California today. Cozy book weather. Last night and into the early morning, I read Picnic at Hanging Rock. This book was written in the late sixties by Joan Lindsay. I woke up with an eerie feeling that I haven’t been able to shake yet. So now I’m onto another disquieting book.
Today for the first day of Me Made May, I am wearing my frock with all the pleats. When I sewed it, I was in a bitter mood, I must admit, but as the pleats began to give shape to the front I was much delighted. When I look at the dress laid out, it looks like art, both because of the fabric and also because of the design. I’m so afraid of getting it dirty, because I am a magnificent spiller of things, food and beverage avalanches are my specialty.

Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 8414

Fabric: Palm Chart
Fabric Brand @dearstellafab
designer @rae.ritchie
Purchased online @stitchesseattle

Helmi Tunic Dress
Finished this dress after midnight. I must admit, I had bad sewjo yesterday. I ironed my finger, drew blood with a pin, had to unpick five times, oh and more! My mind was occupied, I suppose...so I was trying to sew but my mind was thick in daydreams...like trying to run through a river of honey. I sewed and sewed and made many silly mistakes.
The pattern was easy to follow. I learned new techniques and I mean REALLY learned them, since I had to do a couple of stuff twice, just 'cause, though, the instructions, fabric and sewing machine were in front of me, my eyes were seeing distant places in some fantasy land. I'm glad I had enough grasp of reality to complete the garment and add something new to my wardrobe.

I purchased the fabric and pattern together during a trip to Seattle at a cozy shop named Drygoods Design. It's one-of-a-kind fabric shops like this that seem to carry contemporary indie patterns. I could buy them online, but it is nice to go to a brick and mortar store and hold the pattern and hunt for a fabric to go with it. Also, there is something deeply satisfying about stroking and admiring fabric in real life. This fabric, with is muted colors and tiny mice is so soft and cute and I'm a sucker for cuteness.
Pattern: Helmi Tunic Dress @namedclothing

Fabric: Little Friends @cottonandsteel designed by @alexiamarcelleabegg

Shop: @drygoodsdesign

on my sewing table today

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