Do you get a big burst of inspiration from Me-Made-May? This annual event, started by Zoe Edwards, always concludes with so many inspiring projects, a bunch of lessons learned about sewing your own clothing, and new connections to others who sew.
If you aren’t familiar with Me-Made-May, it’s a month dedicated to wearing your handmade clothing. Zoe started the challenge as a way to, “encourage people who make their own clothes to develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe. You the specifics of your own challenge to make it suitable and useful for YOU. For example, a very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May.”
This month, we’re wrapping up Me-Made-May with some of the lessons you learned about your wardrobe. We interviewed some Seamworkers to get their insights after wearing their handmade clothes all month long!
“Some of my revelations from this year’s MMM:
• I don’t make enough separates. Definitely only have one pair of bottoms, and they were in such heavy rotation I had to re-attach the button a few times.
• I wear a lot of blue, black, and grey. There’s definitely a trend developing in my wardrobe and I love how minimalist it is.
• I’m loving loose-fitted garments, but have a lot of closer-fitting UFOs I’m now wondering if I’ll like.
• I am lamenting my lack of a trench/coatigan for the Spring.
Speaking of UFOs, some of the ones I finished I realized I was not as excited about anymore because my style/taste changed a bit since I took the Seamwork Design Your Wardrobe course! Now I’m wondering how to incorporate them into my wardrobe and work with them to make sure I love them just as much as when I first envisioned the finished piece.” -Soukprida
“Me Made May showed me that my handmade wardrobe is a major reflection of my practical nature. So now that I’ve got plenty of clothes that fit easily into my lifestyle, I think it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and have a little fun with my sewing.” -April
“I really need to make shorts...good shorts that fit and that I will wear! It gets HOT where I live, and some days shorts were really what I needed to be wearing, but I found myself either hating the fit or style of all of my options (handmade or RTW). I kept trying to wear shorts, and would end up changing before leaving the house!” -Abby
“I think MMM made me realize that I’m not, in fact, overdressed when I put on a skirt or a dress instead of jeans and a T-shirt. I think there’s this fear of being considered too girly (which is a silly, patriarchal concept anyway), if I’m wearing something pretty to do normal, everyday things. But wearing pretty, handmade clothes and getting a little dressed up actually makes me feel like my best self. So I’m trying to do it more. I still love my jeans and tees, but MMM helped remind me that it’s okay to embrace lots of different wardrobe personalities as long as it makes you feel like you.” -Kendra
“This year, MMM highlighted a serious need for coordinating solids (I love ALL the prints) but also showed me I’m actually well on my way to creating a functional me-made wardrobe, which was something of a surprise. Woohoo!” -Claire
“I can see that I have a lot of wardrobe-builders (that are easy, chameleon patterns that can get you from morning to the evening and every occasion). I have made a lot of them to be able to wear only handmade pieces! These pieces are high in rotation! After three years, I can now focus and plan other pieces, like outerwear or lingerie! And definitely take my time to sew them!” -Mafa
“When I wear me-mades, I feel like I can tackle anything. Wearing something handmade, even if it’s imperfect, reminds me that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I’m an ambitious sewist, and wearing my makes to work gives me that extra boost of confidence that I. CAN. DO. IT.” -Rachael Anne
“MMM taught me that I really should look for fabrics that I’m actually likely to wear! I find myself drawn to novelty prints but rarely have an occasion to wear them. If I get myself in the same mindset during fabric shopping as I would be shopping for ready to wear, I’ll be more likely to make myself a wardrobe that I’ll actually wear.” -Emily
More wardrobe-building resources
If you’ve still got questions about your handmade wardrobe, here are some resources to help you plan and reflect on the clothes you want to sew.
Download a free sewing planner: We put together a free planner to help you plan your sewing.
Design Your Wardrobe: Our twice-yearly series is fun, insightful, and free to Seamwork members! We’ll help you think like a designer and sew a collection of clothes that reflect your personal style.
Wardrobe Architect: This process will help you ask and aswer even more questions about your handmade wardrobe.
A Focused Wardrobe: This series ran across several issues of Seamwork, to help you build a path to a more focused wardrobe.