MMM14 comes to an end

This might turn out to be a long post! First of all, the final photo round-up, and then some thoughts on how Me Made May has worked out for me.

Day 28 – I do love this colour combination

The When Two Become One refashioned tee

The When Two Become One refashioned tee

I wore the refashioned t-shirt from day 1, with a plain black RTW pencil skirt.

Day 29

Another office selfie

Another office selfie

I wore the Blingalicious NotCardigan to work, with a completely different plain black RTW pencil skirt (I happen to like plain black pencil skirts). Thursdays are my half day, and by the evening I had changed, because I was off to la Belle France, for the weekend with my sisters. We were going on the overnight ferry, with a 3 hour car journey in the morning followed by an early afternoon appointment at the notarial office, so I needed to wear something that would be comfy for the car-rides, suitable for on the boat, and respectable enough for seeing the notaire. I also wanted to keep my packing simple, so I changed into…

Day 30 – What a scorcher!

 

A slightly blurry shot!

A slightly blurry shot!

I asked my 5-year-old niece to take this photo, so sorry for the blur!  It is, of course, the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt, teamed with a pink tee. The weather was scorchio!

Day 31 – And finally…

Yes, you've seen it before. A lot.

Yes, you’ve seen it before. A lot. And this one is by a 9-year-old niece. With bonus 11-year-old niece playing badminton in the background.

The return (yet again) of the hi-lo floral circle skirt. Because it was easy to pack, and it’s eminently suitable for summertime wearing. Also, bonus hair-flowers, which were also me-made.

And just for the sake of completeness, I can confirm I wore the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt on the journey home today, teamed with a white and black stripey slightly nautical-looking tee-shirt. I’m not normally one for La Mode Nautique, but it did seem quite fitting on the ferry!

And that’s it for Me Made May 2014.

 

My formal pledge was: “I will endeavour to wear something Me-Made five days a week for the duration of May 2014.” I had kept it limited, because I wasn’t sure I could manage more, but actually, I did far better than I had originally thought, and wore something me-made every single day of May. Furthermore, I managed to photo-document each outfit and post it to the MMM Flickr group, as well as here.

I didn’t find it difficult to wear me-made throughout the month. I deliberately try to ensure that what I make will be readily integrated into my regular wardrobe. I make cake, not frosting. Sometimes my cake may have interesting flavours and ingredients. There may even be frosting on the cake. But it’s still fundamentally cake. The things I make generally do get worn in my everyday life. So it wasn’t *too* much of a change to my wardrobe habits to stick to me-mades. It was sometimes a bit restrictive, because I don’t have all that many to choose from. Hopefully that will be less of an issue next time.

What I did find difficult was the photo-documentation. I found it interesting, but not easy to manage. I live on my own, in a flat that doesn’t have good natural light, with no full-length mirror (“It sounds so charming, Béa, you’re really selling it to us!”) So as you will have noted, photos generally tended to be selfies in our flats’ carpark, or in my office, unless there was someone I could reasonably persuade to take the shot for me (mainly the Gentleman Friend and various nieces). It got harder as the month progressed, and I’m sorry to note that I got more and more lazy about putting on makeup for the photos! I will make more of an effort next time.

But despite those reservations, you can see that I’m already talking about “next time”! I am really glad I did make the effort to photograph what I wore and post it on the flickr group, because the participation in that element of MMM was very community orientated, I became aware of a whole new range of sewing bloggers, and received some very positive and supportive comments from other MMM-ers.

In terms of appraising my own wardrobe, I’ve concretised (is that a word? It is now) some of the gaps I had previously been aware of. Meaning, while I knew I needed certain items in my wardrobe (e.g. I really need some tops) I now have a better idea of what sort of tops I need (e.g. I could really do with a plain white woven top, probably in a blouse or tunic style, and a plain black one ditto, and probably a red top of some description too). The other thing I need more of is jumpers and cardigans. I’m working on that, but knitting is slow! The Teal Slouchy Cardigan is a reasonable starting point, and I will probably make one more of these, with adaptations, possibly even two. But then I have to tackle the new-style in-the-round-top-down-circular-needles sewing that seems to be all the rage these days. I could really do with a plain black cardigan and another neutral one, in stone or camel maybe. I like cardigans, because they’re useful for layering, but I’ll be thinking of jumpers too. It would appear that Andi Satterlund’s Miette pattern is the generally accepted entry level version of these cardigans, but it’s too small for me and I’m not sure how to grade it up, so I’ll probably be trying Hetty, hopefully before the year is out. The other thing I’d like more of in my me-made wardrobe is dresses, two or three more in a range of styles would be nice. Dresses are easy to wear!

One thing that came out of the month’s photo-documenting of what I wore was how much I felt like I was letting the side down once it came to wearing repeats. Although I knew from the start that I would have to repeat, because I don’t have enough me-made in my wardrobe, and although I wore the repeats in different ways, it still felt like a let-down to the community. Which is ridiculous, really, because as one blogger (and I’m kicking myself for not keeping a note of who it was who said it) pointed out that actually it is totally normal to repeat which clothes you wear, that it’s normal that you wear your clothes in cycles. I also feel that MMM isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about all brand new shiny, it’s about how you integrate your me-made garments into your normal way of wearing the clothes you have at your disposal, as part of your normal everyday experience of getting dressed. Part of what I loved seeing other people wearing was how they styled one item in different ways. For me that’s part of wearing one’s me-mades in a creative way and making the best use of one’s wardrobe.

Which kind of leads on to thoughts about how Me Made May wasn’t supposed to be about making a whole load of new stuff to wear in May and show off to the sewing blog community, but nevertheless I did find myself inspired, excited, galvanised and encouraged by the warmth of the MMM community (and also by attending NYLon) to reboot my sewjo, which had been sadly lacking in the Winter months. MMM14 saw the completion of the Slouchy Teal Cardigan, the super-quick make of the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt and the commencement of the Crazy Swirly Skirt (which is still hanging up, and which I hope to check the hemline on tonight and hopefully complete it). I wouldn’t have got those projects to their present state without the kick-start of MMM14. Not that they were in any way a panicked or forced response to the strictures of MMM, it was definitely an organic part of the making process. I was just feeling the love!

I’d like to think that my me-mades are working towards a cohesive wardrobe overall. The Wardrobe Architect was a nudge towards this, but I stopped participating when it became clear that the aim was to work towards a Capsule Wardrobe. Although Capsule wardrobes are fascinating to me (in the same way that tiny living spaces are fascinating to me), it’s not something I wish to pursue for myself. I do wish to pursue a more integrated wardrobe though, so that my me-mades work together with each other and with my existing RTW clothing. I’m not aiming particularly for a wholly me-made wardrobe, though I have found myself buying less as I have made more, so it may be that as time progresses the balance of what clothing I’ve got will shift from RTW to me-made. But as I say, I want them to work together. So I’m going to be returning to a rule I created for myself when I was a teenager, to help me with Impulse Buys. The rule then was: If I can think of three things I could wear with this, I’m allowed to buy it. It wasn’t a hard and fast rule, sometimes I broke it, but in general terms it worked well. I need to apply the same rule now to what items I make, and further up the line, what fabric I buy, so that the stash is prepared for the Integrated Wardrobe. Hopefully this will mean that next year, when Me Made May comes around again, I’ll be more ready for it, and I’ll have a wider pool of garments to pick from and they’ll all work together really well! A girl can dream, can’t she?!

I would like to try and do one final MMM14 post, to round up a load of links to my new blog-crushes. That may happen, it may not, we’ll see.

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20 thoughts on “MMM14 comes to an end

  1. Well done for getting to the end of me made May! It’s been great seeing your pictures on Flickr. It was the first time I participated and I really enjoyed it. I’m going to miss looking at every ones outfits each day!

    • Thanks, Helen! And the same for you- you really did well with it- will you be back in on MMM15? I’ll be keeping your blog on my bloglovin feed now, to see what other beautiful things you make in the meantime.

  2. Congratulations! Well done, and I must say I have enjoyed your outfits, each and every day. It inspires me with each garment you posted. You should really be proud of all that you have in your wardrobe. I don’t sew for myself so it is a challenge that I could not participate but perhaps next year,.. well.. maybe not.

    • Thanks Kathy! I honestly feel the love and support from other bloggers and MMM-ers really do help in those moments when you’re groaning to yourself that you don’t have a clue what you want to wear!
      I am proud that I was able to get through it! Next year I will need to up the challenge in some way, so that’s going to need a bit of thinking about. But for now, I’m just riding the wave. (And I’m wearing a me-made skirt!)
      Sewing for other people is a whole different ballgame, and you have my admiration for that. It takes a lot more effort for me to sew for someone else, than for me!

    • Thanks Anna! My practical sewing is largely a product of needing to not waste my money on fripperies, but I really like the fact that I do wear most of my makes in everyday life.

  3. Well done from me too. You have some really lovely makes and I like the way they mix and match with all your other stuff.
    I gave up taking the dismal ‘selfies’ after the first 10 days, most of my me made outfits were repeats after then anyway.
    I will definitely do it again next year though, and hopefully will be more successful in introducing some variety to the mix.

    • Thanks Fiona! I agree that the selfies are the most difficult part of MMM. But being part of the flickr group is definitely an advantage, when you get the positive affirmations. I’ll be looking forward to your posts next year.

      And thank you for the parcel of goodness I was able to pick up from the Post Office this afternoon- I found it heartwarming that you store your patterns the same way I do!

      • It’s a definite possibility! Especially as I’ve just ordered a load of plain black and plain white jersey off the internet…

  4. Congrats on finishing 🙂 I especially like your splodgy skirt!
    Regarding repeats: I challenged myself to no repeats this year because I knew it would be harder for me and push me to make something I was lacking (tops!), but it was as you say actually a little odd as there are at least four or five things which I repeatedly wear and would definitely have worn more than once during the month normally.
    It was a really fun month all round!

    • And congrats to you too, you wore some well funky stuff (and those eyelashes!). I’m definitely going to miss checking out the flickr pool of an evening.

  5. You had an amazing month and your splodgy skirt is a winner! I try not to do repeats, but what that means to me is a different look at my desk so I try different necklaces, scarves (not that many) and layers to change the look as I had quite a few garments that were seen on numerous days.

    Have you heard of Amy Herzog who has the book Knit to Flatter (and Craftsy course), I am finding it very interesting and even though I am not your cup size she has models in her book that are and Amy shows you how to knit for your shape (like we sew).

    • Hi Sharon, great to see you here! And thanks!

      That’s a good knitting recommendation- I shall now be on the look out for Amy Herzog’s book, and there are a few of her cardigans and jumpers now in my ravelry library.

  6. Yay! I really enjoyed seeing all your outfits on the Flickr group (you always look so smart to me!) and you seem to share my love of bright colours! The selfies were HARD though, I totally agree! I’m really a fan of having my photo taken so it’s quite a relief it’s over! I will really miss seeing all your photos and outfits though!

    • Thanks Beth! I loved your outfits too. I was always looking forward to your photos to see what prints you were wearing!

  7. Bit late commenting I know, but WELL DONE YOU!!! for a fabulous MMM. I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the outfits, and actually as someone with a wardrobe that I often feel many women would laugh at for its tinyness, I particularly enjoyed seeing how you wore your ‘repeats’ differently on different days. Just goes to show you don’t NEED a million items to have a good selection of outfits, you just gotta have STYLE! I really like teenaged-Bea’s rule about buying things, too – Think I’ll borrow that one if you don’t mind!

    • Thank you so much! I really enjoyed taking part in MMM. I felt quite deflated when it was over, because it was lovely to check out the flickr group every day and see what everyone was wearing. I didn’t do the instagram or pinterest versions so much, I tried to keep up with them, but I found flickr the easiest one to engage with. And you’re absolutely right, you don’t need a million items of clothing, if you’ve got enough good ones that you like wearing.

      If it works for you, you go ahead and borrow that rule!

  8. Hi Bea, lovely to read your summary of your challenge. Sounds like you really learnt a lot about what you want to wear and therefore need to make. I love that your makes tend to already be cake (with exciting ingredients!). Also, pleaseeeee don’t feel you need to avoid repeats if you choose to participate again. Some people pledge to avoid repeats because it forces them out of a rut they feel they’ve got in to, or it makes them reach for their less-worn me-mades, but you certainly don’t have to avoid repeats if that’s not part of what you are hoping to achieve from the challenge. Your outfit on Day 30 was a total knock out! All the best and happy sewing/knitting all your plans xx

    • Thanks Zoe- how lovely to hear from you! This year’s experience definitely showed me that I can push myself further than I thought. Next time I’ll be thinking a lot more analytically beforehand about what personal challenge I want my MMM pledge to help me with.

      Thank you again for hosting Me Made May and being such an inspiration! I love how it brings the online sewing community together.

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