Before June rolls on too much, I thought I'd chat a little bit about Me Made May, perhaps a little bit on the late side if you've not heard of this and think this might be something for you.
For those who are unaware, Me Made May is the brainchild of Zoe from the blog So Zo... What Do you Know?. The aim is to give your handmade wardrobe some love in the month of May and wear all the things you've made. It's not competitive. It's not about who's made the most or used the prettiest fabric. You can share your photos on social media as many of us did, which has been a really fulfilling process and really helped keep me on track. I posted my almost daily photos over on Instagram, so if you're interested to see some of my handmade gear you can find me there as tikkiknits.
Most of those who participated made a pledge. Mine was simply to try to wear something handmade every day. I started a bit later than the first of May and I did miss the last couple of days of the month, but apart from that, yes, I did wear handmade every day! Yay!
Even more exciting, I made myself a new jumper in May. Actually, I made myself one and three-quarters of a jumper, but that's another story for another day. Did I sew however? No, unfortunately I did not :(
The most valuable thing I learnt from participating was that I do tend to make warmer weather garments; when I sew, it's summer dresses. When I knit, it's always cardigans and quite often short or three-quarter sleeves. I found there was a massive lack of real winter gear in my handmade wardrobe. Now that does make some sense as winter is pretty mild in the part of Australia where I live and our house is situated to make the full advantage of the winter solar warmth. Right now, I'm sitting at my dining room table in jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt with the sliding glass doors open. That's pretty standard fare for most of our winter. BUT it does get quite cold sometimes, although admittedly not by most cold country's standard - yesterday was a really cold day for us, the maximum was 12 degrees celsius) and I do spend a lot of time outdoors, so my lack of a sensible winter woollie jumper was a bit surprising.
May itself is Autumn here so for much of my summer sewn wardrobe, it simply didn't get an airing. My favourite sewn shortie overalls that I made almost twenty years ago were a no show, as were a couple of dresses that are sleeveless.
Having said this, most of what I do make can be adapted and made to work for the cooler weather with a bit of layering, and that's certainly what I do. I am however, going to be more conscious when I sew of creating garments that will work all year round.
My most worn woollie garment is definitely the cardie. I discovered I tend to wear a different type of cardie depending on my outfit. For jeans, I prefer an open cardie, for dresses; something with a crew neck and buttoned. As we're coming into Winter and I seem to be having a love affair with my recently patched (and about to receive more patching) favourite jeans, I'm really craving a couple more big snuggly cardies and open cardies. Interesting. I suspect that in three months time when we see the first burst of Spring, I'll be casting on dress cardies again with crew necks and buttons, probably circular yokes as well!
I loved Me Made May so much, and the encouragement it gave me to strive to make use of my handmade wardrobe, that I'm going to try and continue it, and perhaps post regular photos. Maybe even try a #MeMadeMonday approach. Who would be up for that?
Me Made May has also given me the impetus to sew some more. I've been saying all year that I'm going to make Friday my sewing day, and spend the afternoon sewing. I've done it a couple of times but nowhere near as much as I'd like. The social media sharing aspect was fabulous as I came across some new to me patterns, and others that I'd always liked and had tucked away in the back of my mind. Even seeing garments made up in different fabrics and with different mods from the original patterns, gave me a whole new world of ideas and inspiration.
Did you participate in Me Made May?
What did you learn about your making habits?
Will you join me for a semi-regular #MeMadeMonday on Instagram?
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Who am I?
Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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