If you are at all connected to the online sewing world, you might have noticed a surge of #mmm posts yesterday and maybe wondered if stitchers everywhere were particularly hungry. Many of us were, but in this case, we are talking about Me Made May, a month to set sewing goals, wear self-sewn garments, or even eat. It’s your month. Do whatever you want.
Me Made History
A quick Google search for Me Made May origins reveals, well, not really anything. There is a post about Me Made May of 2015, so it has been going on at least that long, I guess. Since then sewists have been participating in a variety of challenges (both organized and personal) during the month of May. History lesson over.
My Own Me Made Life
A common goal for people during Me Made May is to wear something they made (whether it’s an article of clothing, a piece of jewelry, or whatever) each day of the month. For those of us who have been sewing for awhile, that can be easy. Much of my current wardrobe is self-sewn and if I want to wear a store-bought dress, I can always toss on some homemade underwear. No problem. In fact, for the past two school years, I have worn at least one me-made item every day to work. But for people who are just starting to sew garments, wearing self-sewn items every day can be a challenge. In fact, for some, just wearing a self-sewn item feels impossible.
When I first transitioned from primarily making bags to sewing clothes, I was scared to wear anything I made out of the house. Some of those first few items didn’t look quite right to me even though they were not too bad. American culture engrains people, especially women, with a certain degree of paranoia about their clothing. Our apparel is tied to our psyche and it’s one thing if some shirt I bought isn’t quite right. If I made it not right, that is completely different. So there’s that.
There is also the issue of quality. Even though most of the clothing I have made has been assembled using nice fabric, good thread, and proven construction methods, prior to wearing self-sewn clothing all the time, I was plagued by the worry that my clothes would fall apart the instant I was off my property. The first several times I wore new items, I put back up clothes in the car just. For the record, aside from a bottom hem which started to unravel after a year or more of wear, none of my clothes have fallen apart. Not even my pants. No one has inadvertently seen my undergarments, self-sewn or otherwise.
I can’t remember which garment finally pushed me over the edge and gave me enough confidence to wear it to work. You’d think it would stand out, right? But finally I did and there was no looking back. I’m not all self-sewn all the time, but being at least somewhat self-sewn most of the time has improved my life.
Thanks, I Made It!
As it turned out, wearing self-sewn clothes out into the world resulted in receiving a lot more compliments on my clothing than I ever had on the items I picked from the store, which is great since I’ve long loathed shopping for clothes. While at first I responded to such compliments like a normal person with a simple “thank you,” these days it is hard not to respond with such gems as “Thanks, I made it!” or “Did you see the pockets?” I don’t know if the people in my life actually care about my pockets, but that is not going to stop me from regularly talking about them.
I don’t think I was that bad at shopping for clothes, so I’ve been considering what changes when we wear custom clothing. Here is my list:
- My clothes fit better.
- My clothes better fit my style both in pattern and fabrics since I am in control of both. To be more correct, I now feel like I have a style, whereas before I did not.
- I am more confident in how I look.
- It is easier to coordinate items. I don’t have any completed capsule wardrobes, but since I’m picking fabrics I like all the time, they have a tendency to naturally go together.
Let’s Do This!
I’m not going to post daily Me Made May pictures (though I probably will scroll sewing groups looking at other people’s #mmm pictures daily). I’m not participating in any particular challenge group (as a teacher, May is challenging enough already). But I am going to wear sometime self-sewn daily and I’m going to really, really try to carve out at least a little sewing time at least five days of each week. Those may not be the most ambitious goals ever, but they are about as ambitous as I get these days.