How Me Made May Got Me Back Into Sewing
Hey Sewcialists! My name is Linda, and you can find me on Instagram at ACraftyScrivener. I have been an avid consumer of blogs and sewing related information for about 5 years now, and having written this, I appreciate all those who blog even more now!
My Gran would come and stay with us every summer for a couple of weeks when I was young. I remember her teaching me how to sew with a Singer treadle machine and being very respectful of that sharp needle! My Mum’s passion is the garden, though she kept Dad’s work overalls alive with some impressive mending and she always has a knitting project going.
On my last trip to Mum and Dad’s I spent a lovely afternoon with the old Singer and some overalls that needed mending!
Growing up in rural Australia, there wasn’t a lot to do besides school, farm work (which wasn’t a passion of mine…), netball, tennis, and Church on Sunday. As we wore a uniform to school, Church was where I was able to explore what I wanted to wear. The ‘in’ crowd had these white blouses with the peter pan, frilled collar (similar to the Lolitashow.com one pictured below) and I was dying to be like them!
Mum, in her infinite wisdom, wouldn’t buy what I wanted, but did encourage me to sew what I wanted. Between that, the local Newsagents having Burda Magazines (fashion way ahead of its time where I was!!!), the ‘Make it Easy’ sewing patterns, and a fabric store in town, I started my sewing career. I improved slowly, sewing for my nieces and nephews as well as the best school bus driver in the world — she bought one of the jumpers I made, bless her! While others were making pencil cases in Home Ec. I made a yoked, collared shirt, and earned an A+ ( I do recall also helping my BFF, whose wedding I am in below, finish her pencil case). I continued to sew through college, though custom fitting a garment beyond shortening it was not my forte — I LOVED this dress, but in every photo it is hanging off one shoulder :-/
I am currently on a fabric buying ban, but it would be fun to recreate this, with a much better fit!
I made my BFF’s bridesmaid’s dresses — though quite honestly we were lucky we were dressed for the day, as I was living in a different state, and fitting was done the night before the wedding! But they look good from afar:
I still have that dress and it is a lovely fabric!
Travel and work, moving to the United States, getting married, and having a child intervened. I sewed occasionally, making Halloween costumes and pretty dresses, but sewing wasn’t part of my daily life.
A Christmas dress and various Halloween costumes for Em.
I resisted Pinterest at first, knowing I would get creatively stimulated and be unable to sleep with the possibilities/ideas running through my head, so it wouldn’t be relaxing for me. But in 2012 I was looking for something… I tried Roller Derby, which was a lot of fun, but then I got injured — and while recovering I discovered Pinterest and the online sewing community. It must have been in May, and a whole world opened up to me. I live in a rural part of West Virginia now, and not many people I know IRL sew, though there are some quilters. But all of a sudden, I connected with people out there who sew and make amazing outfits! I joined Flickr, and resisted Instagram for a couple of years, but now I am on board.
I have not missed a Me Made May since. The first year I collected so many patterns and so much inspiration, I don’t think I slept for the whole month, but I have settled down now :-). Seeing people from all over the world proudly wear their creations is incredible. Seeing patterns on people in the real world, how they wear them in their real life is priceless.
2013-2016 – a sample!
Yes, taking the daily photos is a drag. It is an exercise in reality and is very humbling! I have learned so much about fit, what I like to wear, as well as how I like to feel in my clothes. I even have family members sending me (unsolicited) photos during May like this one of E in a cycling vest with custom pockets I made him!
Some days its like the picture on the left, some days its like the picture on the right, but every May I remind myself that I get so much more out of it if I participate, not only wearing my me mades (which I do most of the time) but being part of the Instagram sewing community. I do realize that taking photos is not the only way to participate, but it is the way that I have chosen to do so.
Left: Sassy Linda Right: tired Linda!
Thank you for joining me on this review of my sewing journey. I cannot wait to see all your wonderful creations, and be inspired to buy more patterns (but no more fabric!!!). My plan for this year was to sew a capsule wardrobe for the month — does that idea actually work in the real world? But Life, and a starving dog who found us and gifted us 6 puppies to look after, has derailed those plans, plus I think I would get bored with it. There is always next year! So my plan is:
I, Linda of ACraftyScrivener (Instagram) sign up as a participant of Me Made May 2018. I plan to wear at least 2 pieces of me made clothing daily, document daily, and explore different ways of wearing my me mades together for the duration of May 2018.
I will be the one with a puppy accessory most likely! (As an aside, the Jasper Sweater collar is a perfect place to stash a cold puppy when you need your hands to clean up. Chin kisses are a bonus!)Linda