Me Made May 15 meets Wardrobe Architect: Dress 1 – 4

This year for MMM I decided that rather than pledging to wear a certain amount of me mades I would make an effort to wear many of my dresses in order to evaluate what does and doesn’t work with them. In the process I hope to learn lessons about how to sew clothes that I will want to wear over and over.

For better of for worse I decided I would evaluate the dresses along the following categories:

  • style of dress: how much I like the pattern/cut/overall look
  • fit: how well I did adapting the pattern to my body and how much it works for me overall
  • finish: how well executed the sewing of this dress was
  • colour/pattern: all to do with the fabric
  • self-affirmation: how good I feel when wearing the dress
  • comfort factor of material: purely a fabric consideration. how well it wears
  • ease of care: because I’m lazy and I hate ironing and don’t want to spend a lot of time on looking after my garments

As an afterthought I decided to include skirt/top separates as well. In May it is still a bit cold here for summer dresses, so separates are a usefull addition to my MMM wardrobe.

So here it goes, dress 1 to 4. I have linked to the relevant blog posts if available.

Oh, and I’ve given points out of 10 for each category. May is the month for Eurovision, so I felt awarding credits was de rigeur!


Nr 1: The Siena Dress








Love it! The streamlined look is right up my street, especially when it’s juxtaposed with the flowery fabric 10


This is as close to perfect as my sewing gets. I muslined the bodice especially and adapted it for this dress and the skirt is my favourite ever skirt pattern which gives me room across the hips and thighs while keeping up the pencil shape 10


Pretty good, just the invisible zip isn’t set in perfectly. But I had ruined so many zips by getting too close the the teeth that I decided to call it a day on what I had. Not a biggie in my book. 8

Colour pattern

I love flowers although I don’t wear them a lot because I feel they can be a bit girly/dowdy on me. But because the pique fabric has a sporty rather than chintzy vibe I think the flowers in all their abundance work really well. 9

Self affirmation

Can give extra points for this? This is a definite ten! I feel like me in this dress but like a better, funner, younger version of me. Just putting this on makes me smile. 10

Comfort of material

Fantastic! This pique has quite a bit of stretch in it (I think that is a factor of the way it’s weaved rather than any lycra content) and so it is not restrictive at all. Also, the cotton keeps me nice and cool – always important because I hate to swelter in my clothes. 10

Ease of care

It creases only very moderately to I can get away with wearing it twice without ironing inbetween. However, it’s not non-iron after washing, so that’s a pity. 7


Nr 2: Culottes and boxy top








Slightly undecided about this. The look got a widespread thumbs up from you dear readers, so that makes me reappreaciate the good points. 6


Pretty good in general. The waistband isn’t snug enough, so if I decide to wear these often I will need to change it. The fit of the top is fine, I think. It it meant for drapey fabrics and this one clearly is not, but I like that way it looks. 7


Again, it’s fine. If it weren’t for the fit issues I would not change the finish. But clearly I did not pay any special attention to the finish as this look is in its trial phase. So this is average RTW rather than aspiring to anything higher. 8

Colour pattern

The top is a jaquard which I love, the culottes are a bit more edgy. I think it works better as bottoms than as the top I originally bought it for. 6

Self affirmation

Hmm, difficult one. I’m torn between feeling strange and “fashion” in this outfit. Both is slightly unusual for me. I guess the outfit has to be worn with conviction! 6

Comfort of material

Great! Nice and breathy. All natural fibres, not restrictive in any way. Very, very comfortable. 10

Ease of care

The culottes need ironing after each wear, a bit of a bummer for this ironing analphabet. But it will press really well, so no major issues. 6


Nr 3: The Amalfi Dress








After the first full day of wear I actually like it less than I thought I would. It adds a bit more volume to the hips than necessary and because the skirts sticks out a bit (all to do with the choice of fabric) it looks a bit little girl to me 6


A good fit as such, but maybe I have to resign myself to the fact that wrap dresses aren’t for me. There is a fair amount of gaping, maybe because I am not well endowed enough to hold the bodice taught. So a lot of adjusting required throughout the day, and I still would want to wear a cami underneath. 5


Putting the fit issue to one side (I don’t have the skills to decide if I could have avoided the gaping problem by making fit changes so I’m giving the benefit of the doubt) the finish is good. 8

Colour/ pattern

I love the pattern and the colours, but looking at the dress when worn with a cardigan I think it is a bit much. I think it looks better with bare arms. 7

Self affirmation

The fit issues made me feel a little bit self-conscious, although the gaping wasn’t horrible. Bit I still felt I had to adjust a fair bit, and I don’t like to have the feeling I have to manage my clothes 5

Comfort of material

Good! The material has no stretch at all, so naturally it is not as comfortable as a fabric with a little bit of give. But other than than it’s good. 8

Ease of care

It’s easy to wash and the main fabric hardly creases. But those lapels are a nightmare to iron. The keep creasing and creasing… argh!! 7

Nr 4: T-Shirt dress – unblogged, which really says it all…








Nothing special, just like a lengthened T-shirt. I like the scoop neckline, I think I got just the right depth of scoop here. BUT some confidence issues thanks to the midriff-clinging quality. So while I like the style I’m just not sure I like it on me. 6


Judging objectively, the fit is absolutely fine. Not hard to achieve, as it’s made from ponte jersey and will just sli p on. But subjectively, all I see when looking down myself is the tummy roll. I do realise it’s not big and I shouldn’t worry about it, but I still do… So I very rarely wear this dress out in public like I did today. 8/4 (objective/subjective fit)


Good. All serged and coverstitched – I think this was one of the first garments I made using my coverstitch machine. 8

Colour pattern

Hm… The combination really is a little boring. My husband really likes the dress and I get compliments every time I wear it, but for warmer weather it’s just a little drab. 5

Self affirmation

Oh dear!! I’m surprised how much the tummy-roll-issue bothers me, and in fact it goes against all my long-held feminist believes that the exteriour should not dictate a person’s sense of self-worth. But I have to admit that I felt very self-conscious today. 3

Comfort of material

Very comfortable! The ponte has a fair amout of polyester in it, though, so it is a bit more sweaty than I would like.
Lesson learnt: Avoid fabrics with high poly content! 7

Ease of care

Can get easier than that. Wear, wash, dry, done! 10



Goodness, that took  a lot longer than I thought it would. So what have I learnt so far:

  • Don’t be tempted by man-made fibres, because while I like the look and textures I often don’t like wearing them.
  • Don’t underestimate the way in which clothes can change my perception of myself – Siena dress vs. T-Shirt dress are a case in point where I can go from feeling great to feeling quite self-conscious with one change of clothes.


How is your MMM going? Any relevations so far?


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8 thoughts on “Me Made May 15 meets Wardrobe Architect: Dress 1 – 4

  1. Tia Dia May 14, 2015 at 8:09 pm Reply

    Great post. I’m using MMM as a true documentary of exactly what I really wear on any given day, and not trying to look nice and dress up for the camera/MMM audience. So far, there’s a few looks/outfits that I think look fit for the house only, which I have worn out of the house. *shrug* oh, well. I’m not paid to look wonderful every day.

    As for your T-shirt dress, have you thought about wearing shapewear underneath it? I find ponte very unforgiving and shapewear helps my confidence factor. Just a thought. I love how you’ve styled it with the moto jacket, and, quite frankly, would disagree with your “3” rating because I think it looks like one of those fantastic go-to basic garments

    • Chris May 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm Reply

      Thanks for the thumbs up! In fact shapewear is on my list of “things to buy next” . Given that it’s not pounds and pounds I want to make disappear I hope it could work well. I will report back.

  2. navybluethreads May 14, 2015 at 10:36 pm Reply

    I love your take on MMMay this year Chris, it looks a really useful exercise. I really love yor t shirt dress too. I have a RTW one that I often layer up with semi fitted t shirts or lightweight knits on top- might detract from your less favourite area (but as noted above, it actually looks perfectly normal to me).

  3. ellegeemakes May 15, 2015 at 3:10 am Reply

    Wow! what a great way to use MMM! I often forget to stop to analyze why some projects turn into wearable favorites and why others don’t. I just rush on to the next project. As a result, some of my projects hang unworn while I remain confused as to why I don’t love them. I love your approach.

  4. Thimberlina May 15, 2015 at 3:43 am Reply

    Gosh! That’s a lot of thought gone into mmmay for you this year. Good idea tho! Mine has made me realise I live in my jeans and need to get my gingers cut out! 😀

    • Chris May 15, 2015 at 7:42 am Reply

      In fact was feeling quite exhausted after writing about only four dresses. Too much thinking, too little sewing?
      I think the Gingers are great. Haven’t seen a version that hasn’t looked good!

  5. It’s nice that everyone can use Me Made May as their month to realize what they have, what they like, what they need, etc, There are all sorts of challenges out there!

  6. monkeyroom May 15, 2015 at 12:16 pm Reply

    Great way to assess what you’ve made. I appreciate too that everything you sew is not perfect — although it looks that way! I’ve been too hard on myself lately because what I’ve sewn does not fit my body, comfort level or lifestyle 100%. Yes, too much thinking…too little sewing.

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