You guys! It's here! This probably makes me a giant dork, but I look forward to Me Made May all year. I love getting to nerd out with fellow sewists, and the fact that we've elected to focus on our me-made garments for an entire month means our sewing brains are all in hyperdrive. It's so awesome!
If you aren't familiar with Me Made May, you can find out more about it here.
Zoe is a revolutionary, y'all. :)
This is the third year I've done Me Made May, and this time it's got me thinking. What IS the role of handmade garments in my life?
I started making my own clothes because I wanted to make better dresses for dancing. Most of my designs reflect this: open necklines and low backs breathe well, simple bodice shapes stay put, and full skirts keep you cool and look rad when they spin. In a lot of ways, the Favorite Dress is the ultimate dancing dress. Me-made for the win!
But me-made clothing is part of my life in lots of other ways, too. I often sew a garment to answer a question, and I have SO MANY questions. How does this bodice look with a circle skirt instead of a gathered one? How does cutting on the bias affect fit? Is there a way I can create the illusion of an open back but still wear a bra? How hard is it to sew with stretchy fabric? Sure, I have a notebook full of sketches, but I don't feel like an idea is real until I make it and wear it and see how it moves. Sewing a piece for myself is a huge part of my design process.
Oh - and lest you think things always go as planned: this dress? There was definitely something weird with the sleeves when I first finished it. I wasn't sure what the issue was, so I unpicked them from the front of the bodice. Turns out they were TWO INCHES shorter than they needed to be. Testing is important!
I also sometimes make a garment because I need to zone out for a bit. Then I break out a TNT pattern, dig a few yards out of my stash, and while away a few pleasant hours of stitching and trimming and serging and pressing to New Girl or Sex and the City. Getting a new dress or skirt or top at the end of it is just the icing on the cake.
Yeah. Really dorky icing.
And then, of course, sometimes I sew because I can't bear to spend just $8 on a dress that would take the average person at least two hours to make. Fast fashion sucks. And yes, I know factories have specialized machines to make parts of the process faster. I know that a one-person protest makes, like, zero difference in the grand scheme of things. But seriously. Contributing to the exploitation of the global south when I have the time and ability to do otherwise is just... unnecessary.
But you know why I don't sew? To fill holes in my daytime wardrobe. To make things that work at the office, or that are comfy to throw on when running errands, or that I could work out in or lounge in or wear without a cardigan when it's below 80 degrees.
It's time to change that.
So this Me Made May, I'm pledging to wear at least 4 me-made pieces a week, including one daytime wear. And I'll be thinking a ton about new designs all month. Hopefully this will translate into some rad new patterns for all of us!