Me Made May: thoughts and conclusions

I thought I’d reflect on last month’s challenge using lots of pictures. Hey, why not? So here is a visual run down of various aspects of my MMMay experience:

Knit and crochet

So, it wasn’t all about the sewing for me. I’ve always been a keen crocheter, and I knit, although not to such a high standard. However, I tend to be drawn to really complex, lacy crochet in bright colours which doesn’t always seem practical for everyday. It was good to finally get a few of my pretty shrugs and cardies out and find ways to style them for the school run. And I’ve been wearing them since the challenge ended, so I’m feeling more confident about picking future crochet projects I’ll actually wear. I’ve started on a really fancy one, but as it’s in navy I reckon I’ll find lots of ways to wear the finished cardie 🙂

Jewellery

The jewellery bug never really infected me. I mean, I went under for a while, seduced by all the unusual, original pieces I could make. But to be honest? I don’t wear jewellery much, and anyway, I quite enjoy shopping for earrings and necklaces. I mean, a girl’s allowed some retail therapy, right?!

Repeat appearances

When I totted up my potential me-mades for the month I knew there would have to be some repeats as I had exactly 28 items, including two that hadn’t been finished (and still aren’t finished). I didn’t get to wear all my finished garments, either, as four of the dresses were just too dressy, along with one top (chiffon gypsy top) and my corset. Yeah, that would get me a few stares on the school run! So perhaps unsurprisingly, my fave items got repeated. They’re all cosy, easy to wear and flattering. And all the sewn ones are knit fabrics. That tells me something. So, going on to…

Knit fabrics

I’ve made getting to grips with knits a mission this last year and I’m really pleased with the results. It’s getting easier to handle even the trickiest viscose knits, and I’m starting to put together a wardrobe of items that I reach for in the mornings. Secret pyjamas rule!

Woven fabrics

Oh look, I only wore four items made from woven fabric, and one was a stretch woven at that. I have to admit, I was surprised there were so few as I always used to sew with wovens. You’ll also find they all fit into the next category…

Pre-baby makes

This category features all my wovens for the month, along with my very first go at sewing knits. Definite trend here as far as fabric choice goes.

Retired clothing

Unfortunately my recent weight loss has rendered a fair few of my recent makes unwearable. Well, okay, just about wearable, but not really things I want to be seen out and about in. I thought knit fabric would be more forgiving to a changing figure, but it turns out baggy knits look awful. Maybe it would be okay if I sewed boxy styles, but I’m just too much of a fan of a more fitted silhouette.

May mades

These ones fit, though! Yes, I completed three quick projects during the month, which I’m really happy with. I know the idea of Me Made May isn’t to add pressure to make stuff quickly, but I really needed these garments. Major wardrobe holes right now!

Re-mades

I hoped MMMay would motivate me to work on some repairs/alterations and it did. Four items back into my wardrobe, and they really were quick fixes. Okay, so I still need to go back and put a leather reinforcing patch or something on the hem of the skirt as it split again during wear, but as it’s corduroy I’m in no hurry. I’m hoping it won’t be cord weather again for a few months 🙂

Conclusions

Taking part in Me Made May for the first time was both fun and valuable, as I hoped it would be. I found out more about my style preferences, and it forced me to get more creative with accessories rather than just reaching for the same old denim skirt/cami/wrap cardie combo I wear most of the year. Here are my biggest takeaways:

  • I have a splendid garden for taking photographs in. White walls rule! Kind of tricky to get a full outfit shot in Instagram’s square format, though. I had bare feet in most of these, but you can’t tell 😉
  • I need to sew mostly knit items with a few select woven pieces. Probably skirts, trousers, jackets and the like, with the odd shirt and dress.
  • I need to concentrate on neutral colours and solids or simple patterns (stripes and spots) if I want items I can make lots of outfits with. Purple, burgundy, and maroon are neutrals as far as I’m concerned, so that’s fine 😛
  • I’m a long way off having a fully me-made wardrobe, and I’m fine with that. I have very little sewing time so I will continue to shop RTW for basics, and choose to make items I need/want that I can’t readily find in the shops, or that don’t fit me in the shops (trousers! woven dresses!)
  • I need to get better at planning outfits and remembering what I’ve worn that worked well, as I recently had a friend comment that I wear the same things out all the time. I don’t, but I do have three knit dresses in various shades of purple which probably look quite similar to everyone except me.  I’ve bought the Stylebook app and am hoping that will help. Now I just need to take pictures of everything I own…
  • I’m really good at fitting wovens and I do want to make more complex items that require a great fit. Probably not special occasion dresses as I have a few of those, but perhaps a jacket and jeans. Yeah. Just think of all that topstitching…

That’s all for this year. I’m definitely taking part next year, though!

Anyone else taken part in MMMay? What did you learn about yourself?

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