Honestly Sewing

Maker’s Guilt and Me Made May

May 3, 2018

It’s only three days into May and though I wholeheartedly love/embrace/support the Me Made May challenge, this year I feel a very real guilt about it. These emotions aren’t for Me Made May directly, but the guilt feels weightier this month because I’m suddenly very aware of how much sewing I haven’t been doing lately. I’m hyper-aware of how much I feel left out because I’m not participating. I’ve been feeling these feels for a long time now but the subject really came to a head for me after reading a gloriously affirming post by Jasika on Instagram. It hit home pretty hard.

Since launching Home Row I haven’t made much time for personal sewing. This should feel normal and I should feel proud of keeping my priorities aligned where they are. But when I revisit this blog space and look back on how much garment sewing I used to do, how seriously I took being a sewing blogger, it… well it just feels rather difficult to take in and process. This too should feel normal. Growth and shifts in focus often feel awkward and confusing.

I think the biggest elephant in the room is the fact that I started this online space as a sewing blog back in 2012 because I wanted to someday have a 100% me-made wardrobe. Now I’m not sure I want that anymore. After a few years of hosting the Make Nine challenge, and especially after listening to myself talk on the Love To Sew podcast, it’s quite obvious I want less clothing. I want a capsule wardrobe. I want a smaller fabric stash. I want ethically made jeans, undergarments, and outerwear but I don’t want to make my own. This is all perfectly okay. I’m just sensitive, I overthink things, and that’s why I feel so much internal conflict right now. When you’re a “serious maker” and you’re suddenly not “seriously making” in the same way you used to, you begin to question your identity.

That’s tough.

I’m serious about this subject but at the same time I’m laughing at myself for how seriously I’m taking it. Trust me, I know none of this is actually a big deal. I should just make what I want, when I want to. Period. End of story. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t crave being a part of the community and conversation surrounding #memademay on Instagram. In order to really play along you need daily outfits and selfies and engaging “clickable” content. If you don’t do that you feel left out. Now suddenly this community that drew you in because it was so welcoming and accepting makes you feel like you’re warming the bench during the big game. It’s no one’s fault or intention but you still feel it. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to social media, it happens in real life too obviously, but because social media is so front and center it’s all too easy to be bombarded with the feeling of being picked last in gym class. Constantly. All day. Every day.

There are so many studies popping up about the ill-effects of social media on our mental health. The only way to combat it is to take breaks, find separation, and change the conversations we have with ourselves. In my case, I need to tell myself to ditch the Maker’s guilt. There’s no need for it. I actually sew A LOT, just not garments. I’m not participating in Me Made May and that’s okay. I’m no longer going to beat myself up for feeling Maker’s guilt. I’m just going to state that yes, eventually I want to make more time for garment sewing but right now I’m focusing on other things and that’s okay, too. I used to identify as a sewing blogger and now I don’t. That’s okay. That feels right for where I am in this moment.

Me Made May isn’t for me this year but maybe it will be next year. Or maybe not. You might be feeling this same way about Make Nine. That’s perfectly acceptable! Only participate in the challenges or sew/knit-alongs that make sense for you.

Release the guilt. Don’t apologize for taking social media breaks. Only make and share when it feels right.


photo credits: Andrej Lišakov and Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash