This is the first of three posts exploring some different perspectives on taking part in MMMay. Our group includes two of us who have taken part before, and two who have not.
In today’s post we will find out how each of us are preparing for MMMay. The next two posts will be an update on how we are going and a reflection at the end on the experience.
We hope you enjoy hearing our different takes on this awesome challenge!
Wis, Kate, Kim and Chloe
Who are we?
How are we preparing for MMM?
Wis – experienced Me-Made-Mayer
Hi, I’m Wis, 57 years old from Ghent, a medieval town in Belgium. I sewed intensely at the age of 20 but stopped in the mid-’90s. I started again in 2013 and now I try to sew every day, even if I only have 10 minutes of spare time.
When Zoe made the announcement on Instagram for MMMay2016 I decided to accept the challenge. I was able to wear a different me-made garment for 31 days with no repeats! I participated again last year in MMMay2017. This time I made the challenge a bit more daring for myself and included a pledge to wear at least 10 garments I didn’t wear during May 2016. I documented on Instagram each time as well as blogging in 2017, which made it easier to reflect on my wardrobe and sewing.
How do I prepare for MeMadeMay? I don’t sew any new garments especially in advance, or even during the month of May. I do plan my outfits in advance to picture what I will wear to special activities or parties, to work and on vacation days. I also check the weather forecast as the weather in Belgium can be unpredictable. This planning is in my head and not fixed — participating in MeMadeMay is fun, and shouldn’t be a stressful business.
I am really looking forward to MMMay2018. I am definitely aiming to wear a different me-made garment every day. Also, if I wear two pieces I am going to try to make different combinations from the previous years. See you at MMMay2018!
Kate – experienced Me-Made-Mayer
Hi, I’m Kate from the Time to Sew blog (Instagram: @timetosew) and this is my second MeMadeMay. This challenge is often interpreted as wearing a me-made everyday and taking a daily photo, but it’s really not the case – Zoe herself says it’s about setting yourself some parameters to improve your relationship with your me-made wardrobe. In 2018 my MMM pledge will be incorporating handmade items into my everyday. This could be my wardrobe, my toddler’s wardrobe, or accessories. I am also expanding my criteria to include friend-made or local-made items. Given my focus on sustainability, I really want all my stuff to work hard for me, and if that means not having a 100% handmade wardrobe because I have clothes from before I started sewing, then so be it!
My planning will be to dig out my spring/summer clothes from storage and doing a wardrobe audit. Most challenging will be clothes for my office days, as my me-mades tend to be fun rather than formal clothes (seeing as sewing is my hobby I’m quite ok with that). So I will be looking for as many me-made tops and dresses as possible that look nice with blazers, and then doing all the washing and ironing. Also after 6 months in my repair pile, I have finally made a belt for this unlined grey coat after losing the first one somewhere. The coat is ideal for a spring cycle commute as the thick cotton velveteen makes it pretty wind and rain resistant. I’m hoping this will be a May staple if the temperature is right!
Kim – first time Me-Made-Mayer
I’m Kim (kimknitsmitts on instagram and ravelry), and I’m a knitter-turned-Sewcialist. This is going to be my first Me Made May! My goal for May is to figure out how the things that I have knit and sewn can fit in to my everyday wardrobe. My knitted items are mostly shawls and sweaters, and my sewn items are dresses and tops. I’m hoping that I have enough to wear one “me-made” thing every work day.
There are a few things that I need to do in April to get ready. The first is laundry! Hand knits mean hand-washing! I use a salad spinner to wring out my hand washed laundry, as I don’t have a fancy washing machine that will let me run only a spin cycle. Several of my sweaters are in a pile to be mended as well. I also have some fabric to sew up as a Myrna dress, and I want to make a couple more Cashmerette Dartmouth and Concord T-Shirts, as well as the Day-to-Night Drape Top that I recently discovered via Gillian’s blog (GillianCrafts hasn’t influenced me *at all* haha).
How do you incorporate your me-mades in to your daily wardrobe? Does it take thought and effort, or do you find yourself reaching for your me-mades more than RTW’s fairly easily?
Chloe – first time Me-Made-Mayer
I’m Chloe (@chloe_deadlycraft on IG and blogging here). I am using MMMay to push me to make practical items that I will wear a lot (otherwise I won’t have enough to wear!) and to finish a few projects I have on the go, such as the Cashmerette Harrison shirt shown in the picture below. I have pledged to wear me-made as many days as I can, and would also like to try and wear all the handmade items I have already at least once to test their practicality in my wardrobe.
In terms of a plan, I have split my preparation between work and casual wear items, so that hopefully I have enough to wear something every day — more detail on the plan is here. I don’t mind if I don’t wear handmade every single day. My focus is more to get a really good sense of whether I like wearing my existing makes, what I should get rid of, what I should make more, of and any gaps in the wardrobe. I am really looking forward to taking part!
We hope you enjoyed hearing how we are preparing for MMMay from our different perspectives! We will be back in the middle of May to update you on how we are going and whether our plans stood up to the challenge!
Wis, Kate, Kim and Chloe xxx
Oh my! I am slow! I thought me made May was “making”. I didn’t realize it was wearing and could be sewing if you wish!! LOL! When another post helpfully suggested I could take pics of my kids in me mades I should have figured it out! LOL!
The thing that has pleased me greatly, the thing I noticed more since you’ve blogged about me made May; is that my teens wear A LOT of the things I make them. More so than their ready wear hand me downs. (unless I up-cycled the hand me down) I really hadn’t paid attention before! It makes me smile each day! Every day is me made at my house LOL!!
I think the teens like that they picked the fabrics from what we had. They picked the style! Cool!
Next year I can’t wait to join in!
Thank You everyone for sharing!
I am not surprised you might have thought it was for making – there is a lot of emphasis on sewing for it (not least from people like me who don’t have enough me-made to commit to wearing every day or only self-made)!
I loved the post a while back on it not having to be a photo challenge – it’s a big source of pressure for me to have to document my outfits as well as having made them – so letting myself not have to photograph them all is very helpful.
I loved your reflection on the kids wearing the clothes you made them, it’s lovely!
These all sound like great challenges!
For Kim in particular: I’ll be quite curious to see how you handle your handknits. I’m more the sewcialist who dabbles in knitting, and I struggle to figure out how to style shawls and scarves in a practical way. It would be nice to feel like I can knit something for my wardrobe other than sweaters, since I can only average one every 2-3 years!
Thanks Becky! I am also looking forward to seeing how Kim includes her handknitted items. I used to knit a lot before I moved to warmer climes – hopefully it will be cold enough for me to include some 🙂