Why I love (but am not doing) Me Made May, AKA it’s a Me Made Life

Happy Friday, my friends! I got up early before work to take some quick photos to talk about something that’s been on my mind this month. You get lip balm, an un-ironed dress and possibly unbrushed teeth. Aren’t you lucky. ๐Ÿ˜‰

By Gum, By Golly's Me Made Life

As we near the mid-point of May, I thought I might spend a few minutes explaining why I’m not participating in Me Made May 2015, because you might expect me to. And the best way to sum it up is… I don’t need to. That sounds weird, so let me explain!

Zo’s Me Made May challenge is amazing, and it really encourages those who create any part of their wardrobe (be it small or large) to really wear the items they create. Many people just don’t, though. They either end up trapped in a cycle of sewing things that don’t fit, that aren’t their style, maybe they’re swept up in sewing for goals like sew-alongs and pattern testing or the hooplah of the latest indie pattern release.

At the end of the day, they may have a lot of things they’ve made, but that don’t actually qualify as part of their wardrobe. And you know, that’s a big difference!

When I was really still wrapping my mind around sewing for myself, I really wanted to participate in Me Made May. By the time I was actually sewing regularly enough to feel like I could participate (well at least with sewn items; I could easily have participated in knitted items), I think it was two years ago, and we were spending the tail end of May in the UK. During that trip, I spent a significant time wearing items I’d sewn or knit. I happily got to meet several online friends, and Karen of Did You Make That probably didn’t know it but when we met I was wearing a blouse and skirt I’d sewn plus a cardigan I’d knit. (For the record, creepy or not I recall she was wearing her gorgeous rayon Mathilde blouse!)

By Gum, By Golly's Me Made Life

Last year, I again contemplated in participating in MMM, but again we were gone for part of May, that time to Dublin. And again I brought and wore an armload of items I’d made.

So this year, I realized… I just don’t need Me Made May. If you have followed my blog or Instagram for awhile, you know that I don’t have a problem wearing the items I sew and knit, or sharing them. I do it all the time! I’m not in a wardrobe rut. Sure, I probably have some gaps in my wardrobe, but in spite of how much I create, I don’t strive for an entirely me-made wardrobe. There’s lots of vintage and repro in there too, and I like it that way. In fact just today I realized I really need a black skirt. Guess whatโ€”I don’t want to sew a damn black skirt! That’s why I don’t have one, because I always think, “I need to sew a black skirt” but I never ever want to! So why should I? And thus I ordered one, since one of my favorite shops was having an insider sale.

Me Made May is a wonderfully encouraging challenge. I support it wholeheartedly. I just have come to the realization that I’ve kind of outgrown the need for it. I could participate, but it would basically just be me documenting doing my normal thing everyday for a month.

So what you get today is an outfit put together with several items I’ve made. I made the dress last spring, I made the bolero last winter, I made the earrings last month, and the brooch this week. The only things I’m wearing today that I didn’t make are my shoes and bangles.

By Gum, By Golly's Me Made Life

(I’m super proud of that brooch by the way, with the bar molded from a Bakelite brooch, but man, drilling that big of a hole into resin is enough to give you heart palpitations so I may not be doing this style very much. Ha!)

By Gum, By Golly cherries and glitter resin brooch

It’s kind of a Me Made Life around these parts. Obviously I don’t wear things I made every single day and I don’t specifically plan to do that; I did this outfit on purpose for this post. But frequently, I’m wearing something I made. Probably more often than not there’s a little me-made somewhere in there.

By Gum, By Golly's Me Made Life

Which makes me really happy, because I can admit it’s really easy for me and no struggle to do that at this point. Which means I’m making things I love. And I’m making things I wear. A lot.

And I think in a way, that’s one of the goals of Me Made May. Get you over the hump of not wearing, not loving things you make, and feeling like maybe you’re floundering a bit in your closet. So I encourage anyone who sews and/or knits for themselves to participate, if you’re struggling with any of those things.

Because damn, it’s a mighty powerful feeling to know that your own hands have the skills to make things you love and wear!

memadelife4

Have a wonderful weekend!!

outfit details

dress – made by me
bolero – made by me
brooch – made by me
earrings – made by me
Bakelite bangles – misc.
shoes – Swedish Hasbeens

Filed: Knitting, Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 33 Comments!

  • Way to go! I love your perspective on this and that you actively wear the items you make. Your wardrobe is truly gorgeous and shines all the more so because of the bevy of “Made Me All Year Long” items in it. Thank you for sharing your insightful take with us. I really enjoyed this post.

    โ™ฅ Jessica

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    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy the sharing. I know you don’t sew but you’re certainly a big cheerleader for handmade items. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • What a great read for my morning. I’ve been feeling exactly the same way lately – my ‘Me Mades’ are apart of my everyday life that I don’t feel like it’s a challenge anymore. It’s amazing, really & cheers to you too. ๐Ÿ˜€

    That brooch is amazing – I can’t believe you’ve been making all of this resin magic lately.

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    • Thanks, Liz! It feels really awesome for it to be such an everyday thing. Which is sometimes hard to wrap my mind aroundโ€””oh yeah, just sewing and knitting my own clothes”… that’s pretty fantastic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  • “Because damn, itโ€™s a mighty powerful feeling to know that your own hands have the skills to make things you love and wear!” YES!! That’s exactly what I’ve been striving for, and for all of the reasons you listed above is why I AM participating in MMM! I’ve learned a lot already about things I need, and which of those things I actually wear and love.

    Speaking of love, THAT BROOCH! You’re seriously the most amazing person I know.

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  • I absolutely love your perspective on this topic. I think that you have nailed the point of MMM. So often you see people sewing things that they don’t really love, are impractical, or ill fitting. I also really liked your statement of hopping in the pattern testing band wagon, but that’s another issue!

    Throughout my life I have always been a person who wears what I sew and knit. In fact when I want a change in my wardrobe I go to the fabric store as opposed to a dress shop. However, the past few years I have gotten away from my life long habit of sewing my own clothes. (Sort of coincides with the age of my oldest boy hahaha) As I’ve been admiring all the Me Made May wardrobes I’ve realized that I really miss making my own clothes.

    So in spite of the fact that I’m “not the weight I want to be” I’m sewing something up this afternoon! Granted its one of those knitted panel maxi dresses with the shirred tops. But I’m going to wear something that I’ve made for the first time in a few years! And quite possibly by next year I will once again be regularly wearing my own items again!

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    • Good for you!! And think of it this way, even if you’re not at the weight you want to be, why should that stop you from making things for yourself that fit and make you feel great?! And if you ever lose or gain weight, you can simply just keep doing the same thing. So much easier than going to buy a whole new wardrobe, anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  • I love reading your perspective on MMM! Yours is a position I strive to be. Like Rochelle, all the reasons you state are reasons for me to join in this year with MMM.

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  • This is almost exactly why I’m not doing Me Made May, too! I haven’t made enough things to fill my wardrobe yet, but I try to wear them whenever I possibly can, so Me Made May wouldn’t be any different from any other month of the year since I started sewing. It should be MMM all year ’round!

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  • Amen!! That’s one of the reasons I’m not participating this year, too. I also DETEST taking daily selfies.

    I wear my handmade items almost every day and often wear an outfit comprised of all handmades (but not intentionally, I just love my handmade things). I also love my thrifted and vintage items, too. Just today, I found an 80’s does 20’s style jersey sailor style outfit. Cherry red! Stretchy! Instant gratification! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • It’s really fun to be able to make an outfit full of handmade things. I never TRY to do that (well obviously for this post, it was an exception), but it’s great when you do realize that’s happened. That jersey outfit sounds amaaaaying!

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  • I love this post ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m like Rochelle, I am loving Me Made May because it is letting me really see what I wear and what I don’t. Turns out, while I love making pretty cotton dresses (LOVE the one in this post!), I just don’t wear them, almost ever. I try to, but find them uncomfortable sitting at work. And through Me Made May, I’ve found a TNT top pattern that I love making and love wearing (and only takes just over a yard of fabric, which means it’s a cheap make too!) And I’m working on getting a TNT pant pattern, since my usual work ‘uniform’ is a cute tee and slim pants.

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    • That’s great that you’ve found a TNT top pattern! Always great to find a good TNT (and the less yardage the better, woot!). Good luck on the hunt for a TNT pant pattern, my TNT slim pants pattern was such a bear to get fit right but soooo worth it in the long run. I wear those things damn near 5 times a week. I’m due to sew more, in fact!

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  • I love your sewing and I totally appreciate why you don’t have to do MMM, everyday is Me Made for you, and I think we all see that on your blog. I have been sewing for a couple of years and I don’t actually have that many garments to wear yet, perhaps I will do it next year, it is certainly a good incentive for us less productive sewers!

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    • That’s definitely how I felt. It’s funny because even though I never have participated, like you, when I was much less productive I was kind of always thinking forwards to it and hoping I’d be able to. So it was a great incentive for me!

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  • That BROOCH! Well done! It’s beautiful!

    Since MMM began (I did SSS the first year I think), I felt the same… apart from a few vintage/second hand items, I wore mostly my own handmade clothes… since having a baby my focus has shifted, and moving countries changed my entire wardrobe. I’m using MMM this year to re-look at what I have and don’t have in my wardrobe, so I can sew the gaps. Because I have been repeating a lot more, I think I prefer to wear one outfit a month than every 2 weeks… and because of the weather changes, I need more singlets/light tshirts to tuck into my darling pencil skirts I keep making. So realistically, I’m re-evaluating my wardrobe this month… I know people use the month for many other reasons, so maybe that’s why it’s a good annual thing, whether you join in or not.

    As for the photos everyday, instead I’m also trying to push my photograph composition & change angles a lot to get some nice photographs… instead of just the phone in the mirror shots for daily photos.

    As always, you’re a gem with your handmade life & love your thoughts on it all! I love it, you’re an inspiration!

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    • Thank you about the brooch! I think that’s one of the best parts about it being a regular challenge, because you can pop in and participate or not depending on how you feel that year. Maybe you want a style overhaul, or like you, you’re re-evaluating some things and figuring out what you want to fill in. And then maybe the next year, the previous year helped you and you don’t necessarily need it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • You are such a talented lady! Everything you put hands on – shine! Uuuuuh, that gorgeous brooch!!!!!!! :o)

    love from Beta xx

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  • This is exactly the same reason why I decided not to participate this year – I’m wearing garments made by myself almost everyday. Sometimes I don’t even notice that something I’ve chosen to wear is me-made – I reach for it in the morning because I like it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Beautiful brooch! It’s hard to believe it wasn’t store bought ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I know what you mean about choosing something you made any not even consciously really doing it. Kind of fun when you realize that, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Yeah, I especially love it, when at some point of a day I suddenly realise that I’m dressed in me-mades from head to toe ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  • This all makes total sense to me and I feel the same way. MMM12 was when I started really incorporating my handmade clothes into my daily life and, since then, I have worn things I’ve made on a nearly daily basis. I didn’t take part last year and decided not to this year. Like you, I often take a photo of my handmade outfit and share it on Instagram. Anyway, after MMM15 started and I was seeing photos of people’s handmade outfits all over Instagram I thought I’d unofficially join in. I’m taking the photos anyway, you know? Also this year, I have hand-knits to work into my outfits and this is actually proving to be a good incentive to wear them! I like this level of participation – I don’t need the challenge of a pledge, but I do enjoy the community aspect of it.

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    • It’s fabulous that this year you can incorporate your knits! They really are the perfect compliment to your outfits. I totally agree about the community aspect, and even though I’m not participation it’s a lot of fun seeing all of the photos. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the use of the hashtag #mmmay15 on Instagram alone, nearly 8,000 tags, and that was several days ago! That says a lot about the handmade clothing community! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • wow that outfit is beautiful! I get the reason why you don’t participate. I’m participating because I don’t have that many handmade clothes and I want to figure out what type of clothes to sew next. I actually wear all my handmade clothes but I’m lacking some things. I have a lot of handmade casual clothes that I wear a lot, but I’m lacking more dressier tops that I can wear to school. And most of my dresses are to summery to wear them at the moment. Me Made May is a great tool to figure that out

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    • Thanks! It’s great that it’s helping you figure out what you’d like to sew next and what you need in your wardrobe!

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  • […] other day I read Tasha’s post on By Gum By Golly on why she isn’t participating in me-made-May and I realised that the person she describes is me. I have sewn about a dozenย garments now and […]

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  • Loved reading your thoughts on MMM Tasha! I haven’t done it yet because I keep thinking I don’t have enough Me Makes, but like yourself I don’t have any problems wearing the stuff I make, I just have to make enough of it! I’m a slow sewer which is why I set myself a sewing challenge this year, and I’ve been enjoying it so far.

    Your brooch though ~ oh my! You really are so amazing with resin! It’s killing me a little because I have to resist the urge to dive head first into yet another thing to do, made all the worse by the resin supplies I have sitting in my garage! But I don’t have any molds/way of making molds, so… So far so good? I think??

    Keep being awesome! โค

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  • This is exactly what I’ve been feeling lately. I participated last year and it really motivated me to start making garments that I love to wear. I decided to participate this year but I feel like signing off because my wardrobe is not about many different gorgeous dresses. I very often wear my memade jeans, cardigans and knit dresses; and it feels kind of stupid to document that, since it’s what I do almost every single day of the year.

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  • Interesting post, I am at a different place with my sewing, I wanted to participate in me made May but with only one dress and one skirt that I had made there was more month than clothes. I have taken inspiration from it and am planning ahead so that I will have plenty of choices for next year.

    Reply

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