In April of last year, my sewing picked up as I increasingly turned to crafts for solace during the pandemic. I joined Instagram during the same time and could not believe there was a whole community of people making their own clothes and sharing them with the world! I discovered indie pattern companies and fabric stores, and never looked back. During those early Instagram days I kept seeing posts for Me Made May, it was not until several months later I realized what Me Made May even was (Click here to read So Zo’s blog describing Me Made May, and it’s origin.)
I started thinking about Me Made May earlier this year, hoping it would give me the chance to wear many of the things in my closet I had made over the last year. At this point I was not wearing too many me-mades, mostly because my wardrobe is a mix of RTW, thrifted, and me-made. However, as May approached I decided I wanted to try to challenge myself to wear one thing I had made almost every day, and do my best to document that.
I found it easier than expected to wear me-made most days. Even if it was just a tee-shirt or my Marlo sweater, I found myself wanting to grab my handmade clothes in the morning. Throughout the pandemic working from home, I have not always wanted to get dressed in the morning. Many times I wear my pajamas until mid-day, before throwing on some old thrifted jeans and a work appropriate Zoom top. Me Made May really got me to get dressed in the morning, boosting my mood, and making me feel great that I was wearing clothes that I had actually made.
One of the things I really enjoyed about Me Made May was playing around with styling some of my handmade pieces. I tried new color combinations (dusty rose and olive for example), and new style pairings (my Strata top and Pietra pants). One of my favorites was my Peppermint wrap top and Pomona pants! Towards the end of the month I struggled a little finding unique combinations, and not all were a win for me.
Over and over again I found myself selecting comfortable clothes – like my Arden pants, or Pomonas. Through wearing me made clothes many days, I also learned a bit more about what I like and don’t like. Elastic waist pants for example. They need to hit on the waist just right, and be just the right tightness to be comfortable – which I’ve realized is hard to do. Wearing these pants all day, sitting, and standing, I realized I have not yet found the ‘right’ pant for me. The Arden and Pomonas come close, but I started on a researching pants journey that has continued into May.
Me Made May also made me realize some of the gaps in wardrobe. For those chilly days and variable temperatures, I need a comfortable sweatshirt that can transition to a Zoom meeting or walk. For the future I am thinking the LB Pullover or Jarrah Sweater. I also really like a classic tee, and held myself back from wearing my newly made Stellan Tee everyday. In June I have a couple more cut ready to go for some basics.
One of the trickiest parts of Me Made May was actually documenting my outfits. I like to take photos outside, as the indoor lighting in my apartment is difficult to work with. Standing out front, with neighbors walking by also is not ideal. I either had Matt take a quick snap when the coast was clear, or set up a tripod and tried to inconspicuously model in my front yard. However, documenting daily outfits has been helpful in looking back to see what are the things I tend to wear together, what colors exist in my wardrobe, and how would new projects fit into my current wardrobe.
Overall, I am shocked at how much my wardrobe has grown over the last year. I have enough handmade items to be able to wear me-made almost exclusively. While making has been a solace over the past year, I am thinking more about mindfulness in my making, slowing down a bit, and really prioritizing projects for the future. As much as I want to make all the things, do I really need 3 blazers in my life at the moment? In the future I want to continue to get creative with my pairings, continue to work on developing my personal style, and take photos!