Back in April, I pledged to take part in Me-Made-May, a crafty challenge set by a sewing blogger, Zoe, which aims to get people who make their own clothes to wear them throughout the month of May. The point of the challenge is that sometimes we crafty types will spend hours making something, then it will hang in the wardrobe for years and never see the light of day. We can feel self-conscious in our own creations, far too aware of any mistakes or imperfections, or perhaps aware that sometimes our choice of fabric or style might be a bit outside of what other people deem to be fashionable.
Yesterday was the last day of May, and so the challenge has come to a close.
As outlined in a previous post, because of a camping holiday, my pledge was slightly modified to the usual one of wearing an item of me-made clothing every day in May:
“I endeavour to wear one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2016 while I am at home in England, and as many as I can practically manage while I am zooming around on a European road trip with my best friend for two weeks in the middle of the month!”
I’m pleased to say that I managed to fulfil the pledge I made, wearing me-made clothing every day while I was in England (even if a couple of times that just meant the comfy cotton pyjama bottoms I made), and five times while I was on holiday. On most days, I put photos of my outfits on Instagram.
Here are a couple of my favourites (and please excuse the weird semi-finished cosplay arm you can see in the corner!):
This is my red Bettine dress, pattern by Tilly and the Buttons.
My heart-print needlecord Delphine skirt, also by Tilly and the Buttons.
Yet another Tilly and the Buttons pattern, this time a Clémence skirt in some awesome Haunted Forest fabric.
Another Clémence skirt (I have several!), this time in Marvel fabric I bagged from Jo-Ann’s craft store last time I went to Florida. I adore this skirt.
And I didn’t limit my outfits to just things I’d sewn. I wore the anchor jumper I knitted while I was on holiday too.
I drafted the anchor pattern myself, and I’m pretty proud of this jumper, even if the raglan decreases are wonky on one side.
So, what did I gain from taking part? Well, I learned a few things, actually.
Firstly I learned that I do not have enough of a me-made wardrobe to do the challenge for a whole month. Maybe by next year I will, but even putting together the 19 outfits I wore meant I had to repeat several garments, and some days it felt like a case of finding something to wear rather than choosing something, if that makes sense.
Another thing I learned is that as my sewing skills improve, I’m less inclined to wear some of the things I made when I first started. Even though this whole exercise is about feeling more comfortable about displaying your own creations, warts and all, there were some things that I felt were not good enough for me to want to wear. There was one blue skirt I dug out which was one of the very first things I made, which I think will be going in a charity bag next time I have one. I felt self-conscious and uncomfortable in it all day, so I won’t be wearing it again.
It’s ill-fitting and too short. Definitely destined for a charity bag!
I’ve also learned where there are some gaps in my wardrobe. I do love crazy prints, but it would be good to have a few more plain separates in my me-made arsenal. So next time I’m looking at making a skirt or a top, maybe I should step away from the looney-tunes superhero or haunted forest print and choose a plain block of colour.
The final thing I learned was that there are some things which I am just never going to feel comfortable in. I recently pattern-tested a jumpsuit (the pattern is going on sale in June, I may blog about it then), and as pleased as I am with how it turned out sewing-wise, I’ve tried it on several times, and I just don’t feel comfortable in it, I think I look like a podgy baby. I even put it on when I was just mooching around all day at my mum’s house, and not going out, but after fifteen minutes I took it off again and it went back on the hanger. Me-made does not necessarily guarantee that it’s going to suit me!
I’m glad I took part, it has made me realise what kind of clothes suit me better, and where the holes in my me-made wardrobe are. I definitely don’t have enough dresses, so my next two projects are going to be a 1940s tea dress, and a 1950s-style sundress.
Maybe next year I’ll be able to do it for the whole month!
For those of you who don’t know, Me-Made-May is a challenge run by sewing blogger Zoe, which aims to get people who knit, sew or upcycle clothes to wear their own creations during the month of May. Everyone who signs up sets their own challenge, and most people share their experiences, and sometimes photos of their outfits, on their blogs and social media. You can find out how to sign up here.
I think the challenge is a great idea. I always feel very proud when I’ve made something new, but I do still feel a little bit self-conscious about wearing my own creations, because people tend to comment on them (mostly because I usually choose unusual print fabric!). Plus, there’s the issue that I know all the little things I botched while I was making it, like a wonky hem or a slightly less-than-perfect zip, and those things are always on my mind when I’m wearing something. Anything that gets me more used to wearing my own creations can only be a good thing.
I wanted to take part in Me-Made May last year, but because I had a two-week holiday booked for May, I decided it wasn’t going to be possible, and that I’d do it this year instead.
Then I booked a holiday for May this year too, so it looked like I would have to postpone for another year, but I’m determined not to let it stop me in 2016.
I’m going on a European World War II road trip with my best friend for two weeks in the middle of May. We’re huge Band of Brothers fans, so we’re going to be visiting some of the places connected with the real soldiers behind the story of Band of Brothers. We’ll be visiting France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria, and we’ll be camping for the most part, so it’s not exactly the most practical setting for wearing my me-made wardrobe, most of which is dresses and skirts I wear to work.
So, I’ve had to tailor my pledge a bit more specifically to allow me to take part:
I, Lindsey of Squeakythepin.wordpress.com (Twitter: @squeaky_the_pin, Instagram: squeakythepin), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2016 while I am at home in England, and as many as I can practically manage while I am zooming around on a European road trip with my best friend for two weeks in the middle of the month!
There are a few things I can easily see me wearing on our trip, particularly a warm jumper I knitted, and a corduroy skirt I made, which tends not to crease. I may pack a couple of the cotton dresses I made in case we go out for a meal, and maybe a top too. Other than that, I think I’m going to be mostly slobbing around in leggings and T-shirts! I will definitely do my best to wear something every day for the rest of the month though.
I will try to make a blog post or two about how I get on once May arrives!