Me Made May is done for another year and wow, what a month it was! This was my first year actually participating and, like many, I pledged to wear at least one handmade item every day for the duration of the month, whilst keeping a visual diary on Instagram.
Today I'm taking a step back and reflecting on those few weeks of madness and considering what I can take away from the experience.
Here are my top wardrobe revelations for the month:
Let's face it, ironing is a chore. So many of my early makes were mostly made of cotton and needed intensive ironing. As a result they are the least worn items in my wardrobe. Why? Because I am lazy. Although this month has given me the drive to get organised and plan my outfits in advance, I still really struggled with ironing. Fortunately (and definitely a conscious decision) most of my more recent makes have been less dependent on the iron!
Partly because it need little ironing (see above!) but also because it is so comfy; this month has confirmed my love for jersey. Since purchasing an overlocker last year, I have been able to focus not only on making my clothes look pretty on the inside as well as the outside, but also i've been able to up my jersey game significantly. This has meant that I have been able to reel off lots more basics and everyday wear. Without them I definitely wouldn't have been able to get through the month! In fact around 3rd of my outfits over the last month included stretch fabric (I counted).
Most used pattern companies
Hands down, my most worn patterns this month have been courtesy of Sew Over It and Tilly and the Buttons . What can I say? I love their patterns! Both pattern houses offer designs that are so much fun to sew, brilliantly presented and have a real vintage vibe which I love. As for the most used patterns, I have no shame in admitting that I have a bit of a Linden Sweatshirt addiction. This cosy pull over by Grainline Studios is perfect for couch potato days and although only two of them officially featured in my Me Made May, I have another that is a regular pal to a pair of joggers or PJs. Whether it be patterns or patten houses, when I find something I like I am a relentlessly dedicated!
Plan, plan, plan
Initially I had planned for Me Made May to be an exploration of how many outfits I could create out of a core set of items. What I discovered instead was that I had many more clothes lurking in the depths of my wardrobe than I had completely forgotten about. And so the month became about rediscovering those clothes and somewhere in my head I thought it would be fun to see if I could get to the end of the month wearing a different handmade item each day. (I did it, all but one day!) This was no mean feat however and came hand in hand with some careful planning. Whilst I definitely won't miss scheduling in the 7am selfies, I will be continuing to plan outfits the night before as it means I am much more mindful of what I am wearing and those clothes that fall to the back of my wardbrobe will get the attention they deserve.
Colours and patterns
Blue, green, black, grey... there is a trend developing in my wardrobe. This may be considered boring but I like to think of it as 'classic'. Plus, it makes for a much more interchangeable, capsule style wardrobe. Oh and when it comes to patterns, I'm developing a bit of a stripe obsession. Finally, although rarely seen in the everyday collection, I'll always be partial to the odd pop of colour and a splash of florals (for high days and holidays of course).
That's right, I just made up a word: 'fabriconomy'. I declare this the process of making the most out of one's fabric by using every last inch and avoiding fabric hoarding. A challenge, I know. Like many, I often fall foul of being won over by pretty fabric, impulse buying and then adding it to the pile for a project that it yet to be determined. As a result I have a rapidly expanding fabric stash. This month I have been particularly mindful of making up some basics using left overs and visiting my stash before rushing out to buy more fabric.
Sewing for fun vs sewing for practicality
When picking a sewing project I have to make the decision as to whether I am setting out to improve my skills or my wardrobe. So many of the fun projects that are perhaps more technically challenging turn out to be the lesser worn items in my wardrobe. As mentioned earlier, so many of my makes over the last few months have aimed at bulking my wardrobe with the basics and, although not necessarily challenging, these are the more practical items that mean I can wear me made everyday. I have to say though that I am really excited to get my teeth into some more challenging projects over the next couple of months. (I may even limit the jersey projects!)
Accessories can transform an outfit from work to weekend, from day time to night time; particularly if that outfit is a basic item of clothing. The Molly dress from Lisa Comfort's 'My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break' is a perfect example of this and exactly why it ended up being the only item that I wore more than once in the month.
And there we have it - what a whirlwind of a month. I'm so glad that I took part in Me Made May this year and have so much to take away and think about. Finally, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the online sewing community rocks!