Monday, June 1, 2015

Goal Achieved: (Almost) 30 Days of Me-Made Clothes

I set a Sewing Goal to participate in Me Made May this year. I’ve never done it before and honestly, until I started my own sewing blog last fall, I’d never even heard of it. I’ll be honest, usually when I participate in any kind of 30 day challenge, I lose my enthusiasm for it about 6 days in. I’ve got to say, I’m pretty proud of myself right now.

I wore handmade clothes 28 days out of the 31 days in May. My actual goal was just to make it 30, giving myself one day to be lazy or have a dilemma of some kind. My safety-net if you will.

The items I wore:
Skirts: 3 (Kitties on BicyclesSkirt, Green Striped Skirt, Blue Embroidered Skirt)
Tops: 2 (Pink Embroidered Tunic, Green Taffeta Top)
Pants: 1 (Pink Capri Pants)
Pajamas: 2 (Blue Skull Jammies, Pink and Purple Jammies)

 What I learned

First, I am not the same size I was 3 years ago. This presented a challenge because most of what I wanted to wear, was made quite a while ago. The two tops I had this May were both a bit small on me. The pink one especially. Way too tight in the chest. The green one is tight under the arms and because I spilled something on it, now has a permanent stain, so that’s done for. The blue embroidered skirt was the dress I wore for my engagement photos 3 years ago and since it no longer zipped all the way, I just cut it off where I could zip it to and made it into a skirt. Sometimes you have to make last minute compromises. Life goes on.

Second, I discovered that if I really need something finished, I’ll finish it. I am the queen of cutting out patterns and forgetting about them. Case in point, the green top. I have no idea how long that was sitting with no sleeves. It took me 10 minutes to attach sleeves and hem the bottom. Yeah, I could have done that years ago.

Third, my laziness and the cold were my only downfalls. That’s a painful realization. One day, I was just too lazy to find me-made clothes. Another day, I was out of town and packed something easier to travel in. The last day, it was very cold and windy, and I don’t have any warm me-made items. I probably could have had them…but the laziness. And if you read my last post on the Green Polka Dot Dress, you’ll know I’ve decided not to be so hard on myself about my sewing creations. Some days, I deserve to just be lazy.

Fourth, I learned that my wardrobe, both purchased and handmade, has some rather sizable holes. Neutral colored tops being one of them.

I also learned that I really do love the retro 40’s, 50’s 60’s styles and I plan to make myself a lot more items that fit into those eras. I’m even getting more adventurous with my hair. Boring pony-tail be gone!

What I completed for Me Made May

I know that Me Made May is not about rushing to sew more items just to wear them in May, but these items were already on my to-do list and they were really helpful this month.

I finished the green top, tight and awkward and no longer going to be a part of my wardrobe due to a lovely new stain on the front.

I finished the Pretty Bird Dress for my April challenge at The Monthly Stitch just on time to start wearing it in May.

I also finished my pink Capri pants. They need some work, but they’re wearable and gave me some much needed windy day attire.

I finished the Green Polka Dot Dress, which had been giving me trouble since March.

I chopped up my Blue Embroidered Dress into my new Blue Embroidered Skirt. Hooray for last minute saves.

I found (finally) the green striped skirt which had been MIA for at least 6 months. Buried in a box. “There you are my lovely!”

Why I succeeded

The first reason I succeeded is because the Mac and Cheese dress is so darn versatile! I wore it with black, I wore it with turquoise blue, I wore it with red, I wore it with dark blue, I wore it with a combinations of colors including white, black, pink and whatever else is in that crazy head scarf that was my grandmother’s. (She had the best stuff!) Yeah. Versatility rocks. The Green Polka Dot dress is the same way, I just didn’t have it for the whole month, so it got worn a little less.

But honestly the biggest reason I succeeded is because I made myself accountable to people. I have a few Instagram followers who are also personal friends. They repeatedly asked me how it was going and made sure to give me feedback on how much they liked the outfits, either on IG, via text, or in person. Their support was vital. You know who you are, and I thank you.

While we’re on the subject of Instagram, WOW! Posting daily outfits via IG and Twitter did wonders for my number of followers and for my number of page views on the blog. I expected it to go up a little from that activity, and from my additional posts this month, but holy cow! Hello new readers! Come, sit, stay a while and let me get to know you!

Now that it’s over

First off, I have been cutting out projects for June like it’s going out of style. So I plan to get those finished up. Normally I have a box where I keep my WIP’s, but since I want to keep thinking about them, they’re all out on display (like a museum?) so I can’t forget about them because I’ll walk past them every day.

Second, I have to deal with the holes in my home sewn wardrobe. I need more separates, tops, skirts, and pants seem to be running a bit behind the dress count. Particularly the tops because the only one worth wearing again is much too small now. So that takes my official count to zero.

Last, now that May is over I have to admit that I feel relieved. There was a lot of planning involved in dressing solely in my own creations. Planning, that I do not usually make enough time for in the morning when I’m getting ready for work. Also, I have some fabulous Ready-To-Wear pieces that are feeling lonely and I miss them as much as they miss me.

So, I’m counting this Sewing Goal as completed. I wore 28 days of my own creations and I’m extremely proud of myself. I have a huge pile of future projects and WIP’s for the next few months and I really need to start thinking about my fall/winter wardrobe. Did you participate in Me Made May? If you did, how did it go for you? If not, are you working toward participation for next year? 

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