So, I set myself the challenge of wearing one me made item of clothing each day during May.
Days 1 to 7 looked like this:
Day 1 was the second day of our trip to DC and the first outing for a dress I finished a few weeks ago but the weather hadn't been warm enough to wear. Neither was it on that day, but hey. It's a copycat which I'm going to blog about soon based on the Grainline Studios Scout Tee. The little 2 year old hoody by my side was being told off by the Secret Service (not so secret when they have that emblazoned on their bullet proof vests, but who am I to quibble) for trying to crawl under the barriers ...
I loved the Lincoln Memorial, such a monolithic, serene, peaceful beauty - even with the hoards. Anyway, day 2 was a skirt I made last summer and I've worn to death. It was one of the first things I made out of a knit; is made of really low quality jersey that has faded and is saggy after a few hours of wear; and was self-drafted. I forgot to account for the fact I need to walk so had to unpick one of the sideseams after I'd tried to walk to the subway in it and had to hitch it up around my knees to be able to move. That all said, it's really comfortable and so easy to throw on for tooling around the 'hood ... I've already bought more jersey to make an updated version that might have a little more longevity.
Day 3 was a scorcher, so I wore my Republique du Chiffon Lucie Dress which is made out of Robert Kaufman's beautifully soft Union Dot Chambray with white piping at the shoulders. Again I made this last summer and I loved the idea of it, but I don't love the reality of it on me. The pattern and fabric are great together, and it's the perfect summer dress, loose and casual and breezy, but I need to lengthen the shoulders a bit and drop the waist further as it's clearly not long enough in the body.
Day 4. Back in cooler Brooklyn and out came the Gingers along with a tank I've been planning for ages. It's the Eucalypt tank by Megan Nielsen made in less than a yard of a gorgeous greeny green green silk /cotton mix that my mum used to make a dress in the 80s I think. I've made the Eucalypt before but I think I finally got the fit right. I dropped the shoulders by an inch and scooped out the neckline a little more and it's great - a little tight on the hips due to lack of fabric, but I'm calling this a win. Although I should add: I HATE BIAS BINDING. But that's a story for another day.
Day 5: This is by far my favourite combination so far, probably due to the newness and novelty of the gaucho pants and sandals, but my lovely knit Belcarra has finally found its perfect match.
Day 6: Ginger jeans again, with a t-shirt I hacked up last summer. It's got a fab line drawing of Brooklyn Bridge on it so I cut off the arms, neck and hem to make it a little more feminine. I had never thought of wearing it with jeans before as it's quite short, but all solved by the lovely high waist of glorious Ginger.
Day 7: This dress is so much fun to wear and if I wasn't trying to see how far I can extend my me mades, and if laundering wasn't essential sometimes, I would pretty much wear this every day in Spring.
I've really enjoyed Me Made May so far and I've discovered a few things.
I have many more me-mades than I gave myself credit for.
When I've wanted to wear jeans I've put on my Gingers, when normally I "reserve them for best" - like I'm living in the 1950s - so I am actually making much more use of my handmade clothes than I do normally.
Many of the things I've been wearing were things I made last summer, which is lovely to know that I still like them and they have lasted this long. But it has made me realise is that it's a lot easier to wear handmade in the summer - I think I'd would really struggle to do this in May if I lived in Australia, which makes this the only time I've ever been glad not to live there. So, my winter sewing needs to be addressed. Not right now, clearly.
What has has been interesting is how much I've planned ahead. I never do this, I normally throw on what I feel like wearing that day after a cursory check of the weather app. It may sometimes involve raiding the laundry basket. It regularly involves outfit changes and swearing. It often involves settling for the easy options of jeans and tees - most of the latter I really don't like.
Having to think about wearing a specific type of something has really made me plan and also made me be more creative with the outfits I put together. And prompted me to wear things that often I'd deem not practical for my day.
It also made packing for our trip to DC so much easier. I planned what I was going to wear each day, threw in a "what if the weather app is wrong / a child is sick on me" extra outfit and I was done. This is SO much more economical than my normal packing, which is - "well that's my favourite I've got to take that, and that has to come and oh must take three pairs of jeans and an extra jacket just in case". It's been a packing revelation.
On the downside, Me Made May has only worsened my Instagram habit. I love sharing pics and see what everyone else is wearing and the conversations and relationships that are built from that. It's completely addictive, I think because it's such a friendly, supportive online space.
All hail Zoe for conjuring up this remarkable sewing institution.
See you soon x