Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Me Made May 2016 - My Completed Challenge

May is officially past us now, and I am proud to say that I was able to complete my challenge of wearing at least 1 me made item per day as well as a few extras and the rest of my challenge!
I also managed to document my outfits everyday, and I posted to Instagram and the Flickr group (I always feel bad for my non-sewing instagram friends during may, lol). All in all, I managed to wear me mades everyday plus a few new outfit combos (the other part of my challenge) as well as having multiple me made outfits on some days that I also documented (the bonus outfits have a yellow star on them in the picture), giving me 34 outfit photos I posted for the month. Last year (see my challenge results from 2015 here) I did have enough items to complete the challenge, but most of the things I wore were thrift store alterations - not a lot of out and out me made items. Things were definitely different this year - I had no problem wearing me made items and I had plenty to choose from. I've managed to make myself a fairly workable wardrobe of clothes in the last year :) That said, there are certainly things I did not get to wear, but it was a conscious choice due to bad fit or some other kind of comfort issue. I have a whole lot more hand knit items that I didn't get to wear due to the heat of Florida. The challenge started to feel like a drudgery by the 3rd week when I started unabashedly wearing my favorite skirt most days, lol. I managed to push through it though and rallied the final week, wearing items I don't typically wear often just on principle. So, here are some of my observations from this past month:
  • I really love my Melissa skirts! Like, whoa. Particularly my brown one. What a work horse that thing is! I wore the brown skirt 7 times this month. Sheesh, lol. Add in my blue jean version (worn 4 times) and my green one that doesn't fit as well (worn once for the sake of it) and I wore the Melissa pattern 12 days out of the month. While I do love the pattern and it is very comfy to wear, I think my frequency of wear comes down to the fabrics I made them from. Solid color skirts are a total win in real life. I may make more Melissa skirts in the future, but I mainly want to focus on skirts in solid colors, preferably neutrals so they will mix with the rest of my wardrobe seamlessly.
  • I also showed my love of the Sorrel top pattern, wearing it 6 times throughout the month. I love that that this pattern is different yet comfy and I used some of my favorite fabrics to make up the ones I have so far, all this contributes to being some of my favorite makes. That said, after constant wear, I started to feel a little too twee with my collars and novelty prints in that 3rd week slump. I'm not sure if it was just the slump itself or if I need to veer away from collars for a while. We shall see. 
  • My dresses only get worn on Sundays. Sad as this is to admit, and in spite of how much I adore them on the whole, fitted dresses are just not practical for my everyday life. I can wear them for a few hours at a time, but I lose patience with them after that and kind of just want to rip my clothes off in the Florida heat, lol. I need to work on my dress making game and not over fit them in the future - I need sitting ease in the waist and scooped necklines. Also I need to work on the fitting at the back of my dresses. ALL of them still gape at the back neck and my hair tickles my back and drives me nuts. I've really gotta figure that out.
  • I want to make some more Plantain-Renfrew combination shirts. I never wear my original Plantain shirts since they are just low enough that I have to fuss with them all day which I'd rather not do. I love the fit though otherwise, so I need to make more simple shirts with the neckline raised up and in fabrics that are not ultra casual. I also really want to mess with my ruched sleeve shirt idea because I have several fabrics that would look super cute that way. 
  • I need to use my novelty fabrics in more practical ways. I love my kitty skirts, but they have too much flowy fabric to be practical for wearing at work. I always get them hooked on things and I even ripped the lining on the orange one :/ It also gets really old that my skirt always gets shut in my car door when I get in. So, circle skirts and full skirts are fun and all, but I need to go for more a-line or straight styles.
  • I need to make white shirts! So many of my skirts require a white shirt to wear with them and I end up wearing the same few rtw shirts since white just seems so boring. I'd love to make some white shirts that had something a little special about them for a change. I also really need to make tops that go with the Beignet skirt. I have seriously 1 item that I can wear with the high waisted design and it's a thrifted H&M bodysuit. So maybe I need a few body suits? We'll see. 
I know I could keep going here, but I doubt that's very interesting to anyone but me, lol. The biggest question this challenge posed with me this year is, "Will I do this again next year? Is there any point?" In reality, I don't have any problem wearing my me made items. I wear them all the time throughout the year with no challenge in place. Last year it felt like a real challenge since I didn't know if I could actually pull off wearing me mades for a whole month. Now I love doing Me Made May each year mostly for the social aspect - I love seeing what other people wear on a daily basis and commenting on outfits I love. I guess it's just that fun feeling of doing something with a group of like-minded people. But along with that social aspect comes the feeling that all of your outfits should be somehow better than you would usually wear, like, "If I'm going to take a picture of this outfit, it had better be photo worthy, right?" I also can't help but feel like a complete loser every time an outfit is repeated (or when I'm publicly outed that I will wear the same skirt 7 times in a month, lol). I know deep down that both of these notions I naturally encountered go completely against the purpose of the challenge. Me Made May is all about giving us a reason to wear our me made items more to diagnose wardrobe holes and help identify your personal style as well as encouraging sustainable wardrobe habits. Feeling the need to wear something new/exciting/fancy each day to show the group is certainly not sustainable, and it's not realistic for me (and probably for anyone other than fashion bloggers for that matter). In reality, my entire wardrobe barring a few gifts is comprised of 65% thrifted/25% me made/10% so old I actually feel better about the purchase since I can still wear it. I have no qualms in saying that my wardrobe is sustainable and responsible in that way. I also know the reasons I wear what I wear of my me mades already. So what would I gain by shunning more than half of my wardrobe for an entire month? With where I'm at, that feels a bit irresponsible. As much as I love being able to say that I made my own clothes, I have no desire to make my entire wardrobe. Just the thought of that turns my fun, creative outlet into something more like work, completely defeating the purpose for me. I just want to make what I want to make when I want to make it. I guess it would be different if I only made party dresses and didn't understand why my me mades never get worn, but I focus on realistic basic items that can easily be worn everyday. 

I feel a bit like I'm rambling on, but it's something to think about over the next year. I can see why so many bloggers don't participate each day anymore, and I may be joining those ranks next year. Then again, maybe I will commit to a certain number of days per week? I don't know yet. All that said, I did have fun "hanging out" with everyone online and I can't help but feel proud that I accomplished wearing me made items for an entire month straight :) I'm always glad for the lessons I learn in challenges like this, so thanks Zoe for keeping it going strong! 

Did you participate in Me Made May?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meg, you did fantastically well!

    I share your feelings about how unrealistic it is to go entirely me-made. I'm pretty sure that next year, my pledge won't be to wear exclusively me-made/me-refashioned, which is what I've pledged in the last two years, but to focus instead on some other aspect of my wardrobe, or sewing needs. I just need to work out what that will need to be!


Thanks for joining in the conversation!