Me-Made-May 2018: Pledge, Plans and a Peek Inside my Handmade Wardrobe

Today marks the beginning of May and for many handmade wardrobe enthusiasts, the start of Me-Made-May. After several years of watching my friends in the making community take part, I am jumping in for the very first time!

What is Me-Made-May?

Me-Made-May is a wardrobe challenge, dreamed up by Zoe of the "So, Zo... What do you know?" blog nearly 10 years ago! It is designed to encourage makers to wear and love the pieces in their handmade wardrobe more - which, of course, is what I'm all about!

According to Zoe, taking part in Me-Made-May can help you to:

  • start incorporating your handmade clothing into your everyday wardrobe rotation

  • get creative with the lesser-worn items in your wardrobe

  • identify any holes in your handmade wardrobe that need filling

  • start wearing the clothes you feel really special in, rather than the ones that you wear out of habit

  • get motivated to finish any lingering unfinished projects or finally make that garment you've been planning on making for a long time

  • get inspired by the beautiful garments the rest of the making community have created

Sounds appealing, right?

Why I'm joining Me-Made-May this year...

My biggest reason for finally joining in with Me-Made-May is to celebrate the handmade wardrobe that I have started to build. I have been making my clothes for over a decade, but it is only within the last couple of years that I have focused on making a wearable handmade wardrobe. This month, I will be able to see the fruits of my labour!

I am also very excited about the community aspect of this challenge. I love meeting like-minded makers and plan on getting very involved with the Instagram community around #mmmay18.

My Me-Made-May Plans

For my very first Me-Made-May, I plan on wearing at least one item of handmade clothing every single day in May. Since I do wear a lot of my handmade clothing on a regular basis, it shouldn't be too much of a challenge, but it still feels a little out of my comfort zone because of the variety of activities I will be doing.

This month, I will be...

  • working from home

  • going to a textiles workshop

  • going to a birthday BBQ

  • attending a life drawing class

  • viewing potential wedding venues

  • going to work meetings in the city

  • attending a family friend's wedding

  • attending my niece's christening my handmade wardrobe will need to tackle all of that! Not to mention that the weather is incredibly temperamental in the UK right now, so I'll need to consider that.

In order to prepare for the month ahead, I decided to pull all of the seasonally-appropriate handmade garments out of my wardrobe to see what I will be working with.

I was surprised to find that I have 13 garments and accessories to play with: 4 tops, 2 bottoms, 1 dress, 3 sweaters and 3 pairs of socks. My Spring handmade wardrobe still feels relatively small right now, yet this seems like a very reasonable amount of clothing to be working with - especially since I don't mind wearing the same thing several times in a month.

My Spring Handmade Wardrobe

Click to view larger photos.

1. The Camber Set Top

Pattern by Merchant & Mills. Size UK12. Made from medium-weight black linen.

This was one of the first things I made for myself and whilst I still wear it, it's not my favourite. It's much too wide on the shoulders and a little longer than I'd like it to be. If I made it again, I'd choose the size down (double-checking that the shoulder width is appropriate) and use a lighter weight fabric. I would also shorten it by approx. 3 inches. Having said all that, I like how it looks with my 101 trousers or loose jeans.

2. Willow Tank

Pattern by Grainline Studio. Size US8 with shoulders slightly narrowed, bust dart raised by 1 inch and 3 inches removed from the length. Made from lightweight handwoven linen in indigo, burgundy and white from Cloth House.

This was my second Willow tank and the best fit so far. I plan on making one more with a small full-bust adjustment since this one gapes slightly at the armholes when I don't wear it with a sports bra. It was made from off-cuts of my Gallery Dress. I love this fabric - it was very tricky to sew as a beginner sewist because it is loosely woven, but it feels so light and airy to wear. The photograph doesn't express the multi-tonal nature of the fabric, but it really is something special. 

3. Fragment T-Shirt

Pattern by me! Size 42". Knitted in Quince & Co. Sparrow in shade Mica from Loop.

I love this t-shirt. It's simple and elegant and SO comfortable to wear. It is also incredibly easy to look after - just chuck it in the washing machine and hang it to dry. You can even pop it in the tumble dryer. It looks fabulous with jeans, but I've just realised that I've never worn it with a skirt! Perhaps that is something to try this month.

4. Willow Tank

Pattern by Grainline Studio. Size US8 with 3 inches removed from the length. Made from medium-weight white linen.

This was my first Willow Tank and a very reasonable first attempt for a novice sewist like me! I made it cropped, as that's how I tend to wear most of my tops. It had some fit issues: the bust darts were much too low for me and the shoulders were too wide, making the front and back neck gape slightly. Despite that, it looks fine with a sports bra and really lovely with my 101 trousers and ceramic beaded necklace.

Click to view larger photos.

5. Zinnia Skirt

Pattern by Colette. Size US6. Made from Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Mix Chambray in Denim from Ray Stitch.

I think this was the first thing I sewed in recent years. I tend to wear it a fair amount in the summer, though I do wish I had made it one size larger because the waist feels snugger than I usually like to wear. I was very brave to make this, as it features 11 buttons (ie. 11 buttonholes!) up the front of the skirt. They are not as neat as I would like, but they work and it's still a very wearable piece, especially in this gorgeous fabric. I can see myself wearing this with my white Willow Tank a lot.

6. The 101 Trouser

Pattern by Merchant & Mills. Size UK12. Made from a cotton/linen herringbone fabric from Cloth House.

These might be the most well-loved item in my handmade wardrobe when it comes to sewing. I adore them - it feels like wearing your pyjamas all day long. I definitely want to make another pair, but I think I might size down because, whilst I am very happy with the fit on these, they are very oversized and I think I could save on fabric by making a smaller size. These tend to look best when you wear tops layered over them, rather than tucked in, so almost all of the tops and sweaters in my handmade wardrobe look good with them.

7. Gallery Dress

Pattern by Liesl & Co. Size US8. Made from lightweight handwoven linen in indigo, burgundy and white from Cloth House.

I only recently finished sewing this dress, as I want to wear it at the wedding I am attending later this month. It is such a lovely pattern - it definitely won't be my last one. Fit-wise, it's pretty good, since it is designed to be loose and flowing. I swapped the sleeves for the ones in the tunic, since I thought the 3-quarter lengths would suit this style more. I also used a grandad collar instead of the full collar, since I prefer that style. I will wait to wear this until the wedding on the 12th, but after that, I will wear it as often as I want.

Click to view larger photos.

8. Truss Cardigan

Pattern by Melissa Wehrle. Size 44.75". Knitted in Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Indigo Mix.

I rarely knit from other designers patterns anymore (something I want to change asap!) but I am so glad I knitted this a couple of years ago. It has become a real staple in my wardrobe. Look at that beautiful stitchwork at the side panels! It's simple, yet so gorgeous. I wear this with almost anything. It looks particularly good with my 101 trousers and a stripy t-shirt.

9. Split Stone Sweater

Pattern by me! Size 44". Knitted in Blacker Yarns Lyonesse DK in Moonstone.

This is another very well-loved sweater in my wardrobe. The shape and detailing are just perfect for wearing with both trousers and skirts. I am still obsessed with that gorgeous texture at the side panels that looks interesting without being too fussy. I would love to make myself another one of these in The Fibre Co. Luma, as I think it would be a great match for this pattern.

10. Shorthand Sweater

Pattern by me! Size 42". Knitted in The Fibre Co. Arranmore in Meara.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't put an aran-weight tweed sweater in my Spring handmade wardrobe, but since the weather is a little crazy right now, it feels appropriate. Again, this is such an easy to wear sweater that looks great with my 101 trousers and jeans. I have also layered it over my secondhand Toast maxi dress in black wool crepe to great effect.

Click to view larger images.

11. Gaufre Socks

Pattern by me! Size 9.5". Knitted in madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Cover and Paper from Loop.

These are such a fun pair of socks - detailed but simple. I love the combination of the waffle stitch and stripes. I tend to find that my handknit socks don't fit in my shoes, except for one pair that I bought with that in mind, so I intend to wear these when I work from home. My flat is pretty drafty, so handknit socks are welcome all year round!

12. Bronte Socks

Pattern by me! Size 8.5". Knitted in Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends 4ply in Barripper.

Another pair of cosy socks to wear around the house when I'm working! These are particularly warm and add a much-needed splash of colour to my typically neutral wardrobe - the photos from this blog post makes that very apparent!

13. Bayerische Socks

Pattern by Eunny Jang. Size 39. Knitted in Yeoman Yarns Merino Sport.

These were the first pair of socks I ever made and gosh - didn't I jump in at the deep end! I used an old machine knitting yarn that I had left over from my university days and they came out beautifully. They are pretty dense, which I've found makes them super hard wearing and comfortable to wear.

Get Involved in Me-Made-May 2018!

Would you like to join me and get involved in Me-Made-May? All of the details of the challenge can be found in Zoe's blog post.

You don't need a vast wardrobe of handmade clothing - in fact, you could have only a single garment and that would be enough. The challenge is set by you, so you can decide exactly how you want to do your Me-Made-May.

Will you be getting involved? Let me know what you're pledging to do this month in the comments section below! I would love to cheer you on.

If you aren't ready to get involved, no problem. You can still follow along with all the fun on the #mmmay18 hashtag on Instagram. I will be posting all of my outfits in my Instagram Stories, as well as the odd one in my feed too. Wish me luck!