Me-Made May is an annual…..event? Observance? Happening? I don’t know what to call it, but it started here:
And though I have often rolled my eyes in snobbery, ignored or otherwise forgot this was a thing I could do with my life in years previous, it has for some reason struck me as a necessary thing to do with my life. Right now. Like, I made the decision to do it the day before yesterday. The goal of Me-Made May is to wear something you have personally constructed for every day in the month of May. Though the pledge I put in on the official blog was the ultimate generic format at the time, I have since then refined my intents and purposes during a lengthy daydream in a meeting at work this afternoon. So, without further delay, here are the reasons behind my Me-Made May 2015 endeavor…..
1) Validation….I’m not too proud to say so!
I remember the first time I wore something I made to work every day for a week. It happened about 4 years ago when I was in the trenches of teaching sewing classes in addition to my full time job as a textile developer. The best part is that I didn’t even realize it happened until half the week went by. I was pulling things out of my closet to wear every day that had become favorites, eclipsing the store bought items right next to them. I had reached a level of practice in my sewing where I was consistently producing a variety of items that didn’t need explaining as a “craft project”. That may seem odd for someone who has been sewing as long as I have, in possession of a design degree and working full time in the fashion industry. That is exactly the point though – I had exceeded the expectations of my inner critic. I remember one of my favorite moments during that time period. I was in the classroom one afternoon during open studio time with some other instructors and a few students. After I had taken my work to the ironing board to press some seams I’d just sewn, I turned the garment around and held it up to myself in front of the mirror… it’s always a small moment of truth…. then, without any forethought I blurted out loud, “OH MY GOD I AM SO GOOD AT SEWING!!!” It became the running joke of the season. But it is no joke. It feels great to say it, in large part because I can do so with absolute certainty.
2) To see how far I can stretch my arsenal over 31 days.
So, I corralled all of my available Me-Made items into one side of my closet yesterday and dropped a bunch of them at the dry cleaner to have them ready for the next 4 weeks. When I think about it as 4 weeks and not 31 days, it seems so much more manageable! I already know I have too many things. It will be interesting to see however, just how I will make it through the next month in Florida’s climate. I have things I love that I made for different seasons in New York, so I expect I will have some redundancies and creative pairings to stretch my Me-Mades to the finish line in 90 degree weather and 80% humidity. Which is great! I am excited to see what outcome this has on my relationship to material possessions, and what drives me to think I need more stuff when common sense says otherwise. This qualifies for things I might buy in a retail store AND the fabric stash I have amassed….
3) About that fabric stash….
I really can’t spend a whole month thinking about Me-Made clothing and not want to spend every spare waking hour (and maybe hours I should not be awake) doing some sewing. A lot of people use MMM as an inspiration to get more sewing done, either during the month or in preparation for it. I have a few fabrics in mind that have lingered too long in my closet which deserve to see the light of day. So we will see what that entails. However, I have to stay focused at least a little to accomplish the one bigger goal I am setting….
4) Conquering the F.B.A.
For those not in the sewing know, an F.B.A. is a Full Bust Adjustment. It’s a series of alterations made to a sewing pattern that have always intimidated me, but the lack of doing them has landed a significant number of projects in the rubbish bin. The adjustment works to increase the bust area while maintaining the overall proportion and fit of a garment. It’s much simpler just to add to the side seam allowances or center pieces of a garment to increase circumference around the body, but it doesn’t actually refine the fit. However, it takes hardly any time to take this shortcut and since sewing is really low on the instant gratification scale, I have been really lax about doing it the right way. Until now. Which is kind of weird since many people sew their own clothes to have things that fit more perfectly than retail clothing. Since my chest is in fact, well… formidable, you would think I would be all over this like white on rice. So, I am committing to doing a number of experiments by the end of the month: