a (toe)tally awesome mmmay...

warning: this post gets a bit gory at the end...

and another mmmay week comes to a close. it began with me rocking some me-made outfits, and ended with a trip to urgent care. lets begin at the beginning.



top: anthropologie, a beautiful gift from my beautiful mom. just cuz she loves me.
jeans: these ones here that i've been wearing nonstop. seriously. are you sick of them yet? because clearly i'm not...
shoes: shoemint
earrings: old old old...



dress: my ikat blanket dress - blogged here
shoes: frye
beach: beautiful, isn't it?



jacket: draped leather jacket - are you sick of seeing this one yet, too? blogged here
shirt: silk colette sencha - made (very poorly) in the early days of sewing. actually i think this was the first real pattern i ever made. it never fit quite right and i keep thinking i'll remake it, but it looked pretty cute in this outfit.
shorts: old. urban outfitters, possibly? these are actually the only pair of shorts i own. which needs to be remedied...
belt: jcrew
shoes: shoemint



top: vogue 1247 - blogged here
jeans: same as always - blogged here
shoes: falling apart and yet i keep wearing them.

this top always gets worn the same way. i wish i could get more creative with it - but this always seems so perfect!

and its all down hill from here...



top: stripey knit from burdastyle - blogged here
jeans: same as always...
icepack: loaned from a friend...

so today started out like a normal saturday. i got up, got ready (a bit tired so i just threw some clothes on, thinking about how i'm going to have to justify wearing these jeans as much as i do on the blog, and lie about how i swear i'm washing them...) went to work. we had a small event the night before so i wanted to try and clean up from that and in one of those weird accidents where the action doesn't really seem to justify the outcome, i opened a door on my foot, experienced a shooting pain, and looked down to see my big toenail had come off!!!

... thats only a mild exaggeration, it came almost all the way off - but thats what it looked like to me at the time. i remember thinking how that seemed like cruel punishment just for opening a door on one's foot. then i saw blood. lots and lots of blood

now, if there is one thing about me that becomes crystal clear in situations like this it is that a) i have a low tolerance for pain, b) the sight of blood (or really even the mention of it) in general, but especially my own makes me queasy and c) i rely very heavily on the people who love me to care for me when faced with an injury.

but i was alone. so i limped and dragged my seriously injured foot over to the neighboring building where my husband has his studio, knowing that he had a first aid kit in there (my husband is a valiant prince of a man who laughs in the face of pain and is no stranger to gruesome injuries) then i dragged myself, leaving a very dramatic trail of blood behind me, to a large sink where i cleaned my (truly disgusting) toe, wrapped it in gauze and stuck a band aid around it. 

then i limped back to my office - leaving one lone bloody shoe and a manic scattering of first aid supplies behind me, so they'll know what happened to me when they found the body...

and i called my husband. i was certain that i hadn't done a good job cleaning the toe because i couldn't even bear to look at, let alone touch it to clean the nail bed. as i waited for him to come find me in my pathetic state i sensed that i was feeling very nauseous, and i was having trouble breathing.

my prince came to my rescue. then he told me he was going to have to remove the rest of the nail. and the room went white and i felt like vomiting and my husband told me to elevate my foot. this part was just so traumatic its all a blur (wink).

after a quick call to my mother in law, who's a nurse practitioner, we were advised to go see a doctor, who could clean the toe and - possibly - cut the nail away. insert shuddering, heaving breath and room-spinning sensations here.

and thats how my saturday ended up at the urgent care! we waited for about 3 and a half hours till we saw a doctor, who was very nice, but told me he wasn't going to do anything. nothing! that the nail will come off by itself in good time and that i should soak it in epsom salts to keep it clean. thats it!!! no scary scissors, no me having to bite down on a wooden spoon while a doctor hovers above me with a saw and yells "nurse! bring me more laudanum! for god sake woman!" while the nurse vomits quietly into her apron. in other words, it wasn't the hospital scene from gone with the wind. go figure. just some free gauze and instructions to keep it clean, massage the nail bed so it regrows, and...


say what?!!? apparently salt water is great for disinfecting, just not the salt water in the gulf of mexico.  blast!! there goes my weekend (and next weekend, and possibly the weekend after that) plans!!

and here ends the gruesome story of sallie and her toe(nail). its tragic, i know. 

now, dear readers (those of you who aren't as delicate as i and actually made it to the end of my sad tale) i have a question for you. what does one wear when you have a zombie toe?? (zombie because of its blue-ish, purple-ish, black-ish coloring. like a zombie. duh.)

do you hide your toe under wrappings and closed toed shoes so the people at the table next to you at the restaurant don't lose their appetite at the site of your ghastly digit? or do you let your zombie toe breathe?

inquiring minds want to know...



ikat, youkat


okay, so this one may not be for everyone. but i'm okay with that.

internet, meet my blanket dress. this is the dress i'm not really sure how i've lived without for this long. blanket dress, you complete me...

i'm sure i've mentioned on here before how much i love a dramatic silhouette. i'm not especially shy of volume. once when i was at a coffee shop in philly wearing a particularly voluminous skirt, a fabulous grey haired lady, herself draped in copious amounts of fabric, came up to me and told me how much she loved my volume. thats what she said, "honey, i love all your volume".  i've long been convinced that the woman was my future self, come back to encourage me to pump up the volume...

note taken, future self. note taken.



this is mccalls 6553 made up in a lovely ikat fabric from b&j fabrics online.  the pattern was ridiculously easy to sew. the sizing is very generous - i made the smallest size, and i'm pretty sure it could accommodate a wide range of figures in its generous folds. i even think it could double as a maternity dress, should i ever decide to go that route (no, mom, don't get your hope up!)

i used leftover silk from the lining of my birthday dress to make the facings and pockets. and rather than try to fiddle with gathering the fabric for the assymetric hem i just serged it and left it raw. i rather like the way it looks. it adds to its overall blankety-ness.  it also closes in the back with a single button. i made a covered button with one of those dritz kits. it looked like it would fall apart in two seconds, but surprisingly it held quite nicely, and adds an extra little upholstery flair.

the pattern came with a wide sash which would help to reign it in, but, call me crazy, i rather liked it billowing free!




also, i can't believe that its been almost 10 months since we've been living in galveston and i've been blogging regularly and this is the first time i moseyed on down to the beach to take pictures! what took me so long?

i don't have too much more to say about this dress! i might be a kook - but i love it and i'm 100% positive that it will be getting lots of love and wear. i'm also pretty happy with this pattern, so I think I'll make it up again.  maybe in a drapey jersey...



mmmay week three!!

high five for the weekend! i plan on spending my two free days thusly: 

spend one day at the beach. spend one day sewing. mix and match. mornings and evenings for cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping et cetera, et cetera, and so forth, and so on.

will you support me in this? good. i thought so.

i kind of felt like i was kicking this me-made-may's butt this week - until today. something happened and every single thing i put on this morning felt like someone else's clothes. i think this was because it was sunshine-y and warm and the only thing that would have felt comfortable was a bathing suit, wide-brimmed hat, and sunscreen. accessorize with sandy feet and salty hair. but apparently thats not appropriate work attire. or so they tell me. jk. i've never shown up to work in my swimmies. yet.

okay! enough chit chat - let the me-made-may week three parade begin!

5/13 and 5/14 not pictured but i wore some combination of my new(ish) stove-pipe skinny jeans, that mint green t-shirt, or some other t-shirt and blue shorts. mix and match. match and mix.


MMMAY 5/15

lets go from the top down, shall we?

hat: random beach store here in galveston
necklace: so old i don't remember
bra strap: you really don't want to know
top: self-made burdastyle, blogged here but i cut the sleeves off (the ties never laid right and i just felt i'd get more wear out of it this way)
jeans: emersonmade
clogs: frye
where: to work. obviously.


MMMAY 5/16

topknot: so silly with my short hair
braided thingamabobby: american apparel from many moons ago
jacket: draped leather jacket - blogged here - i've seriously been getting my money's worth out of this jacket!
shirt: self-made from the drape-drape 2 book, never blogged
jeans: emersonmade
shoes: shoemint - not gonna lie, i didn't wear these all day. i just got them in the mail this day and thought they might spruce up my look
where: i might stop doing this, because i don't go anywhere other than work and home! so there. done. not doing this anymore!


MMMAY 5/17

sunnies: rayban!
necklace: madewell from last year
dress: self-made, self-drafted, super soft nani-iro double gauze fabric. made about a year ago, never blogged
shoes: shoemint


MMMAY 5/18

necklace: same old one from 5/15
tshirt: altered built-by-wendy pattern from sew u home stretch, blogged here
belt: jcrew
skirt: self-made, blogged here - this skirt has also been another all-star in my spring wardrobe...
shoes: shoemint, and this time i actually wore them all day

i felt totally awesome in this outfit! i suppose this is me taking part in the "colorblocking" trend but i sort of hate that word and i'd much rather prefer to think of it as "three differently colored things that i happen to be loving right now and i'm gonna wear them all together just for shits"! i gave a little talk in the morning to some middle school kids and one of the girls came up to me and said "i'm loving all of (waves her hand around in the air) this" yeah. thats right, my look was 12 year old girl approved!


MMMAY 5/19

sunnies: rayban
top: urban outfitters, self-altered
tank top: jcrew
jeans: stovepipe skinnies, blogged here
shoes: frye

and i think i used up all my good-outfit mojo on friday because today it just wasn't working. i don't usually do the whole thing where i change outfits 50 times in the morning, but this was one of those mornings. nothing seemed to be working, so i just kind of defaulted to my jeans. it seems almost like cheating, but hey - they are the most wearable self-made article of clothing i've ever made!

and thats it for this week! now if you'll excuse me, i have about 4 yards of beautiful ikat fabric that needs my attention





when do you buy?

                                                                           Source: shopanaise.com via Sallie on Pinterest

i think this is a question for both sewists and non-sewists alike, but it becomes particularly more complicated and convoluted for those of us who have an interest in creating a handmade wardrobe.

lately i've been bit by the shopping bug. perhaps its a reaction to us buying a new car and adding a monthly payment into our budget that has me (ashamedly) whining "but but but... thats less money to spend on me".  or maybe its just that my sewing machines have been a bit quiet the last week or so, but i've been finding myself wandering onto ready-to-wear clothing sites and eyeing up the wares a bit greedily while a sneaky little voice in my head is whispering "buy it". some of these things are affordable and i could easily slip them into this months paycheck without hurting, others are so outrageously outside of my "fun" budget that i can't believe i'm even entertaining the thought! (p.s. all of these images fall into the latter category)

                                                                 Source: shop.emersonfry.com via Sallie on Pinterest

generally i enter into a ridiculous song and dance where i weigh my desire vs. need vs. can i make it? vs. do i want to make it? vs. will it make me happy? vs. will i secretly feel guilty? vs. will my husband disapprove? vs. do i need it? do i need it? huh? huh huh huh????!!!

you get the picture. it gets exhausting. usually this mental two-step is enough to tucker me out and dissuade me from buying anything and the crisis is averted and my credit card stays safely tucked in my wallet. but sometimes... its just not that easy.


                                                                        Source: theclothes.blogspot.com via Sallie on Pinterest

i do try to stick to some sort of priority scale when i buy things - it goes a little something like this (sewing related stuff excluded, of course, because that takes priority over everything!!):

1. beauty products - my number one weakness. whether its some diy ingredients to make an oatmeal and aloe mask or a miracle cream that i'm certain will turn me into a glowing botticelli venus, or a new lippy from the drugstore, this is the first thing that i'll break down on and buy.
                                                                  Source: funkis.com via Sallie on Pinterest

2.  shoes - because i haven't yet (yet!) figured out how to make shoes, i usually find purchasing them pretty justified. plus i just love shoes. but i do already own a crapload of them, so that gives me some pause.

3.  jewelry and accessories - see above. at this point i'd be hard pressed to get into jewelry making. same thing goes for things like belts and scarves. i know i could make them, but i'd just rather buy them. also, i don't wear a ton of accessories on a day to day basis so i'm usually pretty cool recycling what i have over and over (and over) again.

                                                                            Source: neimanmarcus.com via Sallie on Pinterest

4.  sweaters - i've knocked around the idea of learning how to knit just to avoid this one, but i get dissuaded every time i imagine all the scarves and boring rectangles i'll have to knit first before i'm competent enough to tackle something like a cardigan. plus, its so slow!! and thats coming from someone who likes to work slow!

                                                                  Source: images.anthropologie.com via Sallie on Pinterest

5.  swimwear and underwear - i have a hard time with this one. because i really know that i can make them. but my desire to make them is pretty low. my desire to buy them is pretty low too, which is why i'm still romping around in an old bikini that no longer fits and every time i get hit by a wave i lose my drawers. and i won't even tell you about the state of my underwear. just know that its amazing my husband is still attracted to me - despite the fact that he's threatened to go through my underwear and burn things...

and there you have it! way low on that list are things like dresses and blouses and t-shirts and jeans, because i feel pretty competent at making all those things - but every now and then i see something, like a beautiful dress with knife pleats all over, or a ridiculous design that i can't find a pattern to replicate, and is beyond my drafting skills, and, oh! the song and dance starts again...

so i'm wondering - when do you take the plunge and buy something? am i the only one that does a mental mambo every time i come across a cute pair of shorts? do you have any weaknesses when it comes to rtw clothes? 

please share...

all images are just some things that have made my breath catch in my throat recently. if i could own them all i would...



mmmay week two

phwew! i'm running a bit behind schedule this week. i was talking to my dad this weekend and he said that since he didn't see a new post up he assumed i was no longer participating in me-made-may! well! how wrong you are daddy-oh! my wearing of me-made clothes is still going strong - and i've got photographic evidence to prove it (except for the weekends...a girl needs a break...)

my camera batteries died on saturday leaving me a bit slow in recharging them and getting these pictures posted. but the greater contributor to my mmmay tardiness was.... drumroll pleeeaassseee ...

this weekend my husband and i decided to do our part as young americans and stimulate the economy by buying a new car. like a real car. not one off of craig's list.  at least this is what i've been telling myself we were doing to avoid the all-consuming anxiety that grips me every time i think about taking on more debt! i think i'm just hardwired to hyperventilate when faced with this kind of purchase, despite the fact that the numbers keep telling me that we can afford this.  there was also a serious need factor involved here. our poor little car was on its last legs - quite literally wheezing and burning its oil - and (perhaps the biggest strike against it) we were facing our third texas summer without air conditioning. we just. couldn't. do it. again.

so my mind has been a bit preoccupied with paperwork and numbers and budgets and the anxiety and exhilaration of our brand spanking new car!!!  you guys, she's so purdy. she even has power windows and locks (apparently thats become standard in the past 20 years...) so yeah. big weekend in the sallieoh house!

oh. you didn't want to hear about my new car?? well fine then - without further ado, my mmmay week two in review:

5/6 and 5/7: not pictured. wore a self-made, self-drafted blue polka dot dress. it'll be worn again, no worries. and yes i wore it both days. don't judge me.


top: urban outfitters, from many moons ago, self-altered (i shortened the hem)
skirt: watermelon silk midi/maxi skirt - blogged here
shoes: frye
where: to work. same old same old. weirdly enough this has been one of my favorite outfits to wear this spring. i'm not really sure why since the silhouette isn't the most flattering. i think i just really like the way it billows in the breeze. i'm a sucker for some billowing...


blazer: christmas gift, several years old by now. from urban outfitters i think.
top: rachel comey for vogue in tessuti silk, blogged here
pants: new stove-pipe skinnies, blogged here
shoes: shoemint
where: work. so much for this top being a special occasion top...


dress: self-made, self-drafted red wrap dress. never blogged. made about a year ago in a post-flu delirium where i began maniacally serging this red modal knit. despite the fact that the hem is uneven and the ties are oddly, like, 6 feet long each - this has got to be my most loved self-made garment to date. and this is because when i put it on i feel like the lovechild offspring of marilyn monroe and sophia loren. bam! bombshell...
shoes: shoemint. 
bod: all mine, baby, alllllll mine
where: yeah. just to work.


sexy rain jacket: not sure what brand, but i got it at the sporting goods store
tshirt: self made just recently. incredibly unremarkable so it won't get blogged.
pants: self-made stove-pipe skinnies, blogged here
shoes: my trusty (and oh so sexy) old lady worifshofers. 
where: to work. the internet told me to expect thunderstorms all day so i dressed appropriately (i even had some awesome galoshes on earlier) only for it to be stupidly sunny. allll freaking day. go figure.


jacket: self-drafted draped leather jacket, blogged here
dress: the second dress i ever made! it also happens to be self-drafted (yeah, i worked backwards...) made a few years ago now and never blogged. its made from some fun poly (!!) knit from the 70's. 
shoes: frye
where: to work. duh. sorry about my stupid face in this picture. my camera battery was dying so this was the only one i snapped before it quit on me. no time to preview and try and arrange my facial features in some way that doesn't look like i'm possessed by the devil...

and thats week two!! i didn't really get any sewing done this week because my mind has been elsewhere. perhaps inspiration will strike this week and i'll have something glorious to post later, but i'm not going to force it!

have a great week, ya'll!



basic uniform

in my heart of hearts and in my soul of souls i am a jeans and tee kind of girl. who isn't? unfortunately, its not always easy to find a good pair of jeans. until this recent pair of jeans, i owned two pairs that i wore in heavy-ish rotation. one was my colette clovers, which i don't think really count as jeans since the styling is more trouser-like. the second was a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans from jbrand that i bought a bit big and the waist has a habit of scooching down from its high-rise heights which leaves me with a saggy crotch problem. not very comfortable! 

so it was time to make a new pair of jeans. not the most glamorous sewing - but necessary! i had this stretch denim from mood leftover from my denim clovers. it was just enough to eek out this pair of jeans! i used the simplicity built by wendy pattern that came with the book, sew u (it looks like the pattern is now out of print, but maybe it still comes with the book?) i've had this book since i was a teenager, but this is the only pattern i've ever made from it.

i cut these in a straight size 6 but after sewing up the inseam and basting the rest of the legs together i had to take them in a whole lot. i think the 4 would have fit better, although i may still have had to take it in a bit. the jeans look a bit baggy in these pictures because, well i've been wearing them non-stop since i made them! time for a washing!! 

this pattern has a really modern fit. a low (but not too low, no butt-cracks please!) waist and a very straight-through-the-hip cut. which is great for me since i'm also kind of straight-through-the-hip! i obviously changed the leg, narrowing them to the knee and then keeping 'em straight and skinny to the ankle, leaving the length long so they bunch up at my foot. 

the built by wendy pattern isn't necessarily a jeans pattern. as a matter of fact, you don't really need a specific "jeans" pattern to make jeans! because when it comes to jeans, the devil is in the details.  when i sat down to sew these i had my pair of jbrands by my side and another super old pair of levi's. i kept opening up both pairs and checking out how the fly was inserted, where were the bar tacks, how the belt loops were attached, and most importantly, what was topstitched and what wasn't.

the topstitching (and perhaps also the pocket shape) are really what says "jeans" on a pair of pants. i've noticed that the "fancier" the jean, the less topstitching it has, and the more casual the jean the more topstitching it has. but almost all jeans have some sort of topstitching around the fly, pockets (back and front) and waistband. some have two lines down the inseam, my jbrand pair has none. i made this pair with a single line of topstitching down the inseam. my double needle broke after using it once around the fly when i tried to ease it over the zipper teeth (woops!) and so i was left to eyeball the rest of the topstitching with more or less accuracy!

and speaking of details - what's a jean without the rivets! again, this is a totally optional detail - some jeans have them, some don't. i bought my small rivets and rivet button for the waistband from taylor tailor - who makes some pretty awesome jeans! i'm not gonna lie - they were a tad bit harder for me to get in than taylor makes it out to be in his tutorial! I did a lot of pounding to get them to stay put... but i think it was worth it because it is those little details that makes these look a bit more professional.

since i was on a built by wendy kick i decided to open her other book, sew u home stretch, and make up the crew neck tshirt from the pattern provided. i compared the paper pattern to a favorite tshirt of mine from american apparel and saw that my shirt was about an inch narrower than the smallest size on the pattern. i made the necessary adjustments and what seriously seemed like two seconds later, i had this new mint green tshirt! the fabric is the minted cream organic cotton knit from tessuti that i bought on a whim with my last purchase. it sort of looks like i bought it at american apparel...go figure... 

also! i replaced my twin needle aaandd... twin needles for finishing knits! who knew, right?!?! oh...everyone but me? oh. ok then. well i'm happy to be joining the club!



mmm...(mmmmm!!!) week one

well we've got one week of may under our (possibly self-made) belts! i'll be doing my "week in review" posts on saturdays, since my work week is technically tuesday through saturday and thats just how my brain works.  i'm still contemplating if i want to photograph myself on the weekends. i might leave that optional...

so... me-made-may totally took me by surprise on tuesday morning! for all my posts and putting little gadgets in my sidebar and such, i found myself woefully unprepared! at 8am on tuesday morning i was lazily flicking through my blog reader when i came to zoe's "happy me-made-may" announcement and i exclaimed "shut the front door!! is it may first?!?" to my husband who just raised an eyebrow in the affirmative. dammit! i hadn't done my laundry! and i was really hoping that one zit would heal before i had to start taking pictures of myself daily...

ah well, thats part of the lure of participating in (and seeing everyone else's) me-made-may challenges, isn't it? its a bit of the "warts (zits) and all" thing.  so without further ado, here's my un-momentous opening act to the me-made month!


top: jcrew jackie cardigan in navy
skirt: silk midi skirt, blogged here
shoes: shoemint
where: to work, where it is very cold because of the blasting a/c! 


jacket: self-made draped leather jacket, blogged here and here and here
dress: self-made (and self-drafted) yellow striped handkerchief hem dress. made about a year ago, never blogged.
shoes: shoemint
sunnies: rayban (my one and only, signature pair)
where: to work, for a very busy day filled with meetings and appointments that left me in no mood to have my picture taken!


top: urban outfitters (kimchi & blue) 
belt: jcrew
pants: self-made modified colette clover denim trousers, blogged here (tutorials here)
shoes: frye
sunnies: raybans!
where: to work, to run errands.


top: not sure anymore...possibly jcrew? or urban outfitters? its super old...
jeans: new!! self-made stove pipe skinnies, modified from the built by wendy simplicity pattern. a proper blog post to come soon (because i'm super excited about them exclamation pointssss)
shoes: can't really see them but they're the same frye sandals from up above and down below.
hat: from a random beach store here on the island
where: to work for a day where, as is often the case with my job, i needed to be able to get a bit dirty.


top: self-made, rachel comey for vogue patterns. blogged here
jeans: self-made, stovepipe jeans, same as above (i'm obsessed with them!)
shoesies: my comfy frye sandals
where: to work for a quiet day.

and thats it my friends! as i've more than hinted, i'm pretty psyched about my new jeans. they will be getting their own post shortly.  also, for all of you that asked for tips on working with delicate fabrics, a post is in the works! i'm just trying to figure out the best way to do it because sometimes, ya know, pictures just don't cut it. so i'm looking into (gulp) video... yeah. we'll see....

i hope everyone had a good may day and me-made-may week one!