Hi, I’m Junko, a working mother and fabric-addict joining this blog from Tokyo, Japan. It’s been more than 30 years since I started making my own garments.
Picture of me from MMMay 2014
Before joining the sewing community, sewing was a hobby that I did by myself. I usually sew in the middle of the night after my family goes to bed. I listen to the music while I sew; I don’t talk to anyone. I enjoy the peaceful, quiet time but at the same time I feel a bit of loneliness. I didn’t have sewing friends in the real world in the past. Back then the only communication was on the internet. I used to manage a blog (and I confess it’s been abandoned for a long time.) Exchanging comments and useful info on the blog was fun. Even one ‘Like’ pushed me to move forward.
In 2013, a Japanese sewing blogger/pattern shop owner started the ‘Me-Made-March 2013’. The purpose of this special spin-off event was to introduce Me-Made-May to the Japanese sewing community. Many folks joined the event including me, and it turned out to be a big success. Participants had a great time even though it was the first time for most of us to join such an event. After MMMarch, many Japanese sewing community members started taking part in MMMay. I am one of them. Now I can connect to fellow Sewcialists worldwide! Sewing is no longer a lonely hobby for me.
The next year we had a meet up in central Tokyo to celebrate Me-Made-May 2014. Many participants gathered from the metropolitan area. We took photos of each other and enjoyed chatting. I still hang out with some of those people. It is always great to have good friends who have the same hobby.
My friend took this picture at the end of MMMay 2014
Another thing that I thank MMMay for, is that I can learn a lot from overseas sewists. Pattern shops which I haven’t experienced, fresh color schemes, head-to-toe coordination…everything is inspiring.
Especially finding new patterns during MMMay is one of the things I look forward to. In Japan, (as far as I know) the majority of people buy sewing magazines, books and printed patterns offline. PDF patterns are not so common in Japan. Recently the number of downloadable pattern shops has been increasing and I am very happy about that.
Patterns and a book I recently got
I really love to see the pictures. Unfortunately taking photos is the biggest challenge for me because I don’t have a nice space nor a beautiful background. I have been trying to find good place for photo shoots, but so far no luck.
Here’s my pledge for MMMay18.
“I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment/accessory each day for the duration of May 2018. I will also try to finish 5 new pieces (including finishing ongoing projects) by the end of May.”
On top of that, this time I will focus on real life/real clothes. I will stop trying to upload different pieces each day, because in my daily life, for example, I often wear my favorite skirt a couple of times a week. Also I won’t do panic-sewing. I did it in the past and as a result, many unworn clothes were piled up after MMMay. That won’t happen again. That is part of my pledge.
I haven’t worn this dress since last MMMay
I hope everyone has wonderful time during May 2018! I am so excited to start the challenge. I know it will widen my sewing world and give me a lot of new ideas and inspiration!
I loved reading about your love of sewing! 🙂
There’s a bit of magic in being able to wear something that you dreamed up and sewed yourself. It always gives you an extra bounce in your step to know that you’re moving through the world in an outfit that came from your own imagination.
That’s so true! Clothes I make myself always give me a positive feeling. Recently I noticed I haven’t purchased clothes at the store in a long time. Wearing me-made garments has become part of my life.
So nice to meet you! I love the things you’ve made! I too felt alone sewing. Especially as an older, larger sized woman. Now the internet helps me connect too!
Nice to meet you too! Thanks to recent technology, I can find a lot of fellow sewcialists online. I couldn’t imagine such a situation 20 years ago. The internet has completely changed our sewcial life, which is a great thing!
Great pledge and not pressuring yourself to try to get a bunch of sewing done. MMMay is totally what you make it so wear your favorite skirt several times a week! 🙂
Yes, I totally agree. The important thing is not how many clothes I make, it’s more about how much I am satisfied with the finished garment. I’d rather sew a piece which I can wear for the next 10 years than have a lot of so-so pieces.
Hello Junko! My favorite part of your pledge is no panic sewing! To me, panic = pressure, which takes away all the fun. I loved reading about sewing from your perspective, and learning about new-to-me sewing patterns!
Hi cecollie, you are right, panic=pressure ruins the joy of sewing. Sometimes I do a time trial, I set the target time to complete a project. Which is fun as a game, otherwise I don’t like being under pressure. The thing I love the most is playing with my fabric stash, thinking about future projects… I can spend a whole week doing that in my workshop without going anywhere!
Hi Junko, I can completely related to the part about sewing late at night and alone! That is how I began, when my children were young, and I was working full-time. It was a great escape and I made some wonderful things for my kids, but the clothes I made for myself often ended up “meh”.
Now I am back to sewing after a few years of a break, and I now aim for everything to be wearable. Amazingly, it all has been so far! I think my fabric choices through more and take my time more. But just having access to all the wonderful indie patterns has made a Huge difference.
Thank you for sharing your experiences of getting more social with other sewists. I am inspired by you!