In Honestly

Me Made May: loose plans, solid discoveries

If I learned anything last year it’s not to set too many goals in stone. However, one can’t really reach goals without at least some kind of direction and a rough plan of action. To better set myself up for success I have several goals, stretch goals, and absolute bottom line goals in mind to help me achieve my big sewing accomplishment this year: wear one handmade garment everyday for the entire month of May (you can read more about this goal in my previous blog post).

I can list any numerical goal of things to make, but if I can’t narrow down WHAT I want to sew/wear/love for Me Made May then I’m pretty much hopeless. After all, I already have a bin full of me-mades that never get worn. As you may have noticed, I’ve been living in leggings, over-sized sweaters, and looser dresses/tunics for a while now. I’ve also had a big itch to sew something vintage, but nothing in my stash suits my needs at this time.

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So I started going through my Pinterest board of completed projects over the past few years and I discovered the following things:

  • The vast majority of my handmade creations are collared shirts or shirt dresses, or really basic tunics with a simple neckline.
  • I haven’t sewn many pairs of pants, and lately I don’t have in interest in working on a wearable pair, which is probably why my handmade shirts don’t get worn as much because I don’t have matching bottoms to wear them with.
  • I like classic, uncomplicated shapes with a vintage influence and timeless appeal. Definitely utilitarian, but also a bit feminine.
  • Sturdy, hearty fabrics and natural fibers are my favorite, especially cottons and substrates from the quilt industry. I don’t sew “dainty” fabrics, though I do like a cotton voile or lawn every once in a while.
  • I’m the most comfortable when I wear looser shapes, but they must fit correctly. There’s a fine line between that amazing silhouette that’s featured on nearly every Japanese sewing book lately, and a dress that’s just plain too big and poorly fit.

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It’s clear that I need to sew comfy pullover dresses, leggings, and casual sweater coats, but I do have many RTW leggings and sweaters already, so the main garments I need to be focusing on are the dresses. I am still battling tendinitis, and there are now only fifteen weeks before May 1st, but if I could sew ten dresses to mix and match with my other RTW clothing (along with the few handmade things I do like and wear) I think I could make it through the month of May and still feel like a good chunk of my daily outfit was Me-Made.

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Obviously I’d love to add many more dresses, some pairs of me-made leggings, and some sweaters to the equation (I’m also dying to get back into knitting! I could use a new hat.) but those are stretch goals at this point.

I took advantage of a 5 for $5 Simplicity pattern sale at Jo-Ann’s last weekend and got several super basic potential wardrobe staples. I’d love to have just one or two pullover dresses that I could use as pattern blocks and sew over and over again to help reach my goals. That way I’d be doing the minimal amount of pattern tracing and muslin fitting.

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I’m also realizing in order to make just 10 dresses go as far as they possibly can in the mix-and-match-wardrobe-arena, I need to choose fabrics wisely. I’ll need a good mix of basic solids, I’m thinking lots of chambray, seersucker, and some natural linen, as well as “nearly solids” like the two new prints I just ordered from Cotton & Steel. I also want to find at least one “hero print” that has a ridiculous amount of colors in it so I can match it with lots of solid colored separates.

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I do have one pullover dress that’s past the fitting/muslin phase, as well as a pair of leggings that turned out surprisingly well for my first ever attempt, so I’ll have some finished projects to report back on soon!

For those of you who wanted to participate in Me Made May this year, what’s your plan of action?

xo
Rochelle