Some of you made already be aware of the Me-Made-May challenge that I wrote about on this blog back in April. Initially created as way to expand upon my personal Me-Made-March challenge, Me-Made-May took on a life of its own! Over 80 members of the sewing community participated by challenging themselves to wear their handmade garments throughout the month. Each individual assessed for themselves what type of commitment would be challenging but also manageable for themselves. A Me-Made-May Flickr group was born to share photos of what handmade and refashioned items were worn and how people combined their creations with either shop bought clothing or other handmade items. The discussion boards flourished with diverse topics such as advice on sewing knits, where to find useful online resources, ways to accessorise to make an outfit have more impact and even what, if any, music do you listen to whilst sewing. It has been fascinating seeing the different ways individuals responded to the challenge, and a true delight be have the opportunity to connect with sewers all over the globe.
I’ve mentioned before how easy it can be to be overly critical and dismissive of the items we create for ourselves. I think the majority of Me-Made-May participants learnt to accept, appreciate and even love their handmade wares more as a result of the challenge. Some participants acknowledged that shop bought clothing is often badly made with an unsatisfactory fit and produced in poor quality fabric, and on the whole their self-made items faired very well by comparison. I, for one, also found myself previously in the rut of sewing the same type of garment again and again, for example I’ve made countless skirts but usually wear trousers. There is, of course, nothing wrong with making the same type of garments if you are happy with the status quo, but personally I wanted the fruits of my sewing machine to more accurately reflect the types of garments I require from my wardrobe day in day out. Me-Made-May (as with Me-Made-March before it) certainly encouraged me to branch out and I’ve made some much-used garments that I probably wouldn’t have thought to attempt otherwise, and my sewing skills have subsequently expanded.
You may be wondering why I am reporting some of the many enjoyable outcomes of Me-Made-May we are now in June and it’s over. Well, I would like to announce another challenge that will run in a similar vein: Self-Stitched-September! This new challenge will give participants (and those who would rather follow proceedings without actively taking part, of course) the opportunity to inspire, encourage, teach and learn from each other and have a lot of fun! It has also been designed to be easier to sign-up to, whilst retaining the ability to be customised to each individual’s personal objectives and criteria. There will be another Flickr Group created, plus closer to September I’ll create a blog post (on my personal blog) linking all the participants blogs so the inspiration and discussions can commence with ease. With so many of the participants of Me-Made-May having already signed up within 24 hours of the announcement of this new challenge, I can guarantee Self-Stitched-September will be just as enjoyable. If you are interesting in finding out more, and/or signing-up for the next round of self-stitched fun, head over to this post. However, my intention is not simply to replicate Me-Made-May: the aim is to make September bigger, better and brighter by getting more than 100 participants. Hope to see you there!