me-made may: gatsby’s garden

I shot these photos earlier in the month when the trees were in full bloom, with plans to debut them on my birthday. Well, said birthday has come and gone, and because I am an actual dumpster fire assuming human form, I forgot to queue the post. That said, is there any better way to embody the ’20s than “actual dumpster fire in human form”? Nay, my friend. Nay. We’re gonna party until the stock market drops.

For my second me-made 1920s dress, I mimicked an early- to mid-decade style: a longer hemline and a fuller pleated hip. This design was a lot more intuitive to me than the last one. Rather than spend hours trying to make a trash bag flatter me, I approached the dress like the midcentury ones I know so well. Even though I lowered the waist to mid-hip, I simply pleated it just like I would a ’50s frock. It’s a less stereotypical ’20s look, but still solidly period. And less stereotypical looks, I think, actually better embody daily life. We think of “fashion decades” as discrete entities, but there’s no real there there. No solid boundary from one period to the next. The most accurate looks almost always seem a little anachronistic.

On a less navel-gazey note – can you &$%& believe this fabric? I found it in a pile of quilting supplies at Make Life Cozy‘s destash sale last month and just about died. Could there possibly be a print more emblematic of the 1920s? Once again: nay, my friend. Nay.

Dress: made by me

Parasol: antique

Everything else: thrifted

Don’t forget: I’m teaching a sloper-drafting class this coming Sunday! Friday is the last day to register.

me-made may: easter come lately



It was only after I’d shot and edited these photos that I realized: this outfit is a lot more paschal than what I actually wore on Easter. The kitted-out church backdrop doesn’t help. Whoops! Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere.

In my defense, this vintage fabric from Etsy’s LingonberriesAndMoss didn’t arrive until the day had come and gone. You try finding fabric this fabulous and not immediately firing up the serger. I’ve been happily mired in the late ’30s/early ’40s recently, as evidenced by my last Me-Made May post. I’m enjoying doing more with less. I had barely two yards of this fabric, and every inch of it went into this dress. Working with so little margin of error is exhilarating. A baptism by don’t you dare fuck this up.

And I’m delighted to announce that soon you, too, can be baptized! Vermonters can now officially register for the two sewing classes I’ll be teaching this summer. One, running Sundays every six weeks, will focus on pattern drafting; the other, running for a week in August, on historical reproduction. I’m holding the former in partnership with a local maker space and the latter with a local museum, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. And suffering from hella imposter syndrome, but we’ll ignore that part.

Sign up for the pattern-drafting class here and the reproduction class here!

Dress: made by me

Hat: ’30s, Barge Canal Market

Gloves: Mainly Vintage

Shoes: Old Gold


red in suit and claw

Because I live in Vermont, May is the month I’m most inspired to take photos. Also because I live in Vermont, May is the month it’s most maddeningly difficult to take good ones. The sun bounces in and out, weaving between raindrops and poking its insolent tongue at me. Sun or shade I could work with, but both in quick succession? Forget it. I ended up with some good shots, but the whole shoot was an object lesson in anger management nonetheless.

It was unseasonably cool the day I took these. I even heard rumors of snow in the mountains. Though outwardly I balked, in secret I was glad suit season wasn’t over. I don’t feel like myself without those ’40s curves. This shade works in any season; I was glad to give it one last ride before New England summer settles.

Jacket: ’40s, Carla Sue Vintage

Skirt: ’70s, 1919 Vintage

Hat: ’40s-’50s, Barge Canal Market

Blouse: Hell Bunny (no longer available)

Shoes: thrifted

me-made may: tentatively tropical

If you’re me, as some of us lucky ones are, you desperately fear being ordinary. Naturally, you want to change up your photo spots once in a while. So you get all dolled up in a ’40s-style number and a favorite hat, you strap on your gear, and you shoot an entire blog post in a new location. And then, on the journey home, you walk past the old standby – and you take a deep breath and reshoot the whole thing. I know you’ve seen this particular wall ad goddamn nauseam, but some things are staples for a reason. The light is never short of lovely here. Don’t mess with perfection, and don’t go with a hippie to a second location.

Me-Made May 2017 is in full swing. I bought this gorgeous silk over the weekend from a local fabric vendor who was cleaning out her stash. The dress was finished by Monday. The lesson here: take your Adderall late in the day. I’ve mentioned over the past few months that I’m longing for ’30s and ’40s styles; this was my second-ever success at fashioning one myself. I tend to default to ’50s in my sewing because it’s so easy, but the challenge of perfecting neckline pleats and bias cuts is well, well worth it.

I cut the bodice pieces from Simplicity 35C 3884, but I totally improvised on the construction. The diagonal skirt pleats and the center gather in the bodice are all me. Sewing is a felt sense so much of the time, and it usually has me holding my breath, but I’m really happy with how this turned out. The bodice is just blousy enough, which is usually one of my biggest challenges. I go either skintight or positively tented. I’m not even sure what I did right with this one. Let’s hope it’s not a fluke.

Dress: made by me

Hat: ’40s, thrifted

Gloves: Mainly Vintage

Shoes: Old Gold

Bag & brooch: thrifted

remember the fifth

Today, May 2nd, is the fifth anniversary of My Kingdom for a Hat. You’ve heard the rigmarole before, so I won’t bore you with another “best of” post. Instead, like any blogger worth her salt, I’ll humiliate myself for your amusement. I dug through the archives and found one photo for every month of MKfaH, and all I can say is – well, I certainly had fun. And thank god for alcohol.