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What do you like to sew this time of year?


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Doing Me Made May every year really gives me a fresh perspective on my handmade wardrobe.

First, I realize how many more cold weather things I’ve sewn than warm weather things. Every May, I find myself looking forward to the cooler, rainier days because I’ll actually be able to find something I’ve made to layer up, rather than wearing the same few camisoles and Mabel skirts that are appropriate for the heat.

This year, it’s really inspired me to do more spring/summer sewing. I’ve been thinking about making lots of full midi skirts, vintage sundresses, Nani Iro double gauze fabric, chambray, and crisp whites.

This is a moodboard I put together with a few pieces of sewing inspiration I’ve been saving lately.


All of this led me to wonder: What me-made items to you wish you had in your wardrobe this May?

What kinds of patterns would you love to buy right now? What fabrics are you most drawn to? What do you want to wear?

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 37


I’m totally right there with you. My handmade fall/winter wardrobe is crazy good (hand-knit sweaters!), but spring/summer is always lacking. I’ve been a little obsessed with Elizabeth Suzann’s stuff — simple pieces made well in high-quality fabrics — so I’m doing a little riff on her by making some Inari tee dresses/tops in raw silk, linen, and silk crepe de chine. I”m dreaming of a black rayon jumpsuit or matching shirt/pant set, too.


Thank you for the reminder to do a mood board! I really must do this – I have a couple of shops like KC ( thank you for that reference to Elizabeth Suzann by the way – just the kind of thing I love too and really not all that difficult to sew yourself for so much less!) – the shop I like to peruse for inspiration is Still Eagle in Vancouver and I do still buy some pieces from them! I’m making a lovely cotton tunic just now (Papercuts Saiph version 1) out of cotton for the body and silk for the sleeves and bottom) and I’m loving how it’s turning out!


Ooh, I love those French darts on the Saiph. So perfect for just a bit of shaping. And you’ve gotta love a dress with pockets.


I do love this pattern! This is my third :) My first practice was with the peplum (oops too old for peplum lol) so I did a practice Version 1 which I just love! Now I’m almost finished my grand finale with cotton bodice and back and chiffon sleeves and pockets all in the same print! I bought some beautiful cotton/silk combination from a lovely Indian fabric/clothing store (for those who want to make their own saris) here in Victoria. Beautiful fabric :)

Debera Massahos

I’m in the opposite situation, in that I have a more summer pieces than otherwise. Summer encourages quick makes but winter finds me focusing on projects that require more tailoring and I’m happier to take a rainy day to concentrate and will spend many hours on a single garment. So I might have fewer winter makes, but I’m more invested in them. I just finished a sleeveless vest and a classic striped tee (both, Simplicity 8054 in pretty shades of aqua) and now I’m working on a lightweight denim shirt dress with short sleeves. Next up, a seersucker Adelaide! I’ve also got plans for some bright summer skirts and a silk Asaka kimono. Determined to bust some stash, for sure. The one thing that I’m wishing really hard for is a lace-up linen shirt. Think Daniel Boone lace-up shirt, minus the fringes and leather! I’ve got some lovely cobalt blue linen just waiting for the right pattern or I might just hack one if nothing materializes soon. And I’d love to do white some embroidery along the front placket.


I’m kind of the opposite. I live in New Orleans, so we don’t really need winter clothing, and our version of winter clothing (sweaters and jeans) is only needed for a couple of months. I actually don’t even own a coat! Me Made May is really perfect timing for me because I love making floaty skirts, dresses, and tees/tanks. That is what I need to wear most of the time!

That said, after a very wet day at a festival last weekend, I’ve realized one big hole in my closet for this climate – a rain jacket! I just bought some yellow water resistant canvas and am planning to wax it to make it waterproof. Other than that, since it’s starting to get really hot, I’m sewing lots of simple light tee shirts and dresses, as per usual.

Miss Crayola Creepy

Your mood board is beautiful, especially that white and black skirt in the upper left corner!

I wish I had made jeans a few months ago, so I could be wearing them right now. But, I’m going to get started on a pair (my first!) this week! Hopefully it all works out, fingers crossed.


I’m on the other end of the scale. Having lived in the south of Spain for the last few years, my wardrobe is full of summery things that won’t do me much good for the english summer I’m headed into now :D


I always get really energized to sew for summer when it rolls around, maybe because I like the colors and prints that I tend to wear in warm weather. Plus, I feel more productive with my summer sewing because the projects are quicker (sundresses are much faster than blazers or coats!). But it’s been a cool, rainy spring here, so I’m not very excited to sew anything right now, although I’m sure that will change when sunshine finally comes our way! I’ve got a list of sundresses that I want to make, but I don’t really like sewing things ahead of time, so I’ll get started on those once it warms up!


Like other commenters, I also have a lot more summery makes (and prefer summer sewing) because I really love the colors, prints, and fabrics that I use in summery clothing – it’s really too bad that Portland summers are so short! I really like summer dresses that let me showcase an awesome print (especially large-scale prints).

Recently I’ve been thinking about my “spring” wardrobe (I quotation that because Portland springs are a little odd). Just because by the time March rolls around, I’m really tired of all my winter clothing but I’m still cold! Have been thinking that maybe some high/mid-hip loose woven blouses that pair well under cardigans would be fun, because then I can still indulge my love for color and prints. Something where there’s a nice detail (like, I dunno, a pintucked yoke or an interesting piping-able neckline) but where there aren’t too many seam lines overall, so I can still get my large print fix. That would actually make a good swimsuit coverup, actually, now that I think about it (if it was lengthened?)

Regan Louise

I actually have a lot more summer clothes, so this may I’m having trouble finding ways to layer what I have ! I definitely need to sew more cozy long sleeve shirts and learn how to sew pants. I only wear skirts and dresses in summer and in my opinion only July and August are hot enough to count ! So this may is about layering.


What is the black and white dress just right of center on your mood board? So cute? I’m finding my go to pieces for work are pants, which I have never attempted. We’ve had a sudden cool shift, otherwise I could wear skirts, which I have homemade in spades. Pants. Must focus on pants. I actually purchased the Clover pattern a couple months back, but I’m really intimidated….

Hannah Ellis

Lovely moodboard :) I found that last MMM I didn’t have enough warmer clothes, so have really been trying to focus on making more things that are appropriate for the UK. I’m getting better at making warmer clothes, but I’m still a sucker for gorgeous sundresses though – even if I only wear them a few times a year!
We’re actually having lovely weather here right now, so I’m making the most of it and wearing all my pretty spring/ summer stuff, because the rest of the month will probably be much cooler.


I have never taken part in MMM, because I have so many summer-makes, but only one trouser and two of your asters for winter/spring. May is very fickle here in central Europe, so I didn’t dare to say I would wear a me made outfit every week, it might end up being the same trouser and blouse four times! Like Jessica I am really in need of Spring pieces. I am currently sewing a Style-Arc Italia Shirtdress in Chambray, hoping it will be nice for transition-time. What I would really like to be sewing: palmleafprint sundresses! :-P


I’d wished I had more me-made tops, and that’s something I’ll try to work on this May! Around these time of wear I’m more drawn to prints and white color. I want to wear mostly loose fitting garments, that look put together!


My goal for mmmay is to finally conquer a shift dress for summer. I have made a laurel, pearl, and Esme but can’t seem to get the fit right.. All give an unflattering pooch in small of my back. I may be short waisted? Curvy back? Dresses/tunics ride up and require constant tugging to keep in place. I may just need a two piece shift like phoebe but I need sleeves….


Try reading about the sway back adjustment. I was having the same problem. Hope this helps!

Deborah Morrison

I have a closer full of me made dresses, but in the warm weather I find I’m always reaching for cotton knit tees and tanks. Right now I am on a mission to try many different ways to customize me made tees to make them unique and special.


I actually tend to prefer sewing summer clothes because for me they’re generally quicker to sew, and my knitting is a bit less appealing in the hot weather. This year I have already made a pair of the Moji pants, and I have plans to make a linen shirt dress and a maxi dress, because I need more casual summer dresses in my wardrobe.

Akram Taghavi-Burris

I love making fun vintage style sundresses. Full skirts, sleeveless bodices, fun bright colors. Awe, I love it and then feel totally regretful all winter when I realize I’ve haven’t any me made appropriate things to wear in the cold.

SJ Kurtz

Me too. Most of the MeMades are spring and summer, in novelty prints, shorts culottes dresses tanks.
When I used to knit, I spent the summer making the one complicated sweater, and would drag it around to all the activities, knitting like Madam LaFarge at every waking moment. I need to change this up into the one complicated, tailored winter item. Thinking Chanel quilted style; I can take the sections and hand baste them, every waking moment.
At least that’s the hope.


Since I’ve just recently come back to sewing as of last August after a 15+ yr hiatus, I’m mainly trying to build my wardrobe with what is needed for the season. Thanks to many many years of teensy closets in old buildings, my wardrobe has been pretty small and capsule with plenty of layering pieces. Because of this, my spring/summer wardrobe has looked a lot like my winter/fall wardrobe! I’m really looking forward to developing new looks and branching out with my sewing to incorporate new styles and looks. I’m sure I’ll still be creating items that can be layered and worn year round, but I would like to sew some more items that are seasonal in cotton gauze. I also want to sew more dresses and skirts. In my city, winters and summers both can hit extremes, so I really do need clothing at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Debra Lawson

Hi, everyone! At this time of year, my sewing efforts are typically directed toward simple styles, lightweight, easy care fabrics and, of course, colors and designs that scream “Spring!” Like many people, though, fall and winter tend to last a bit longer here in SE Michigan, so my closet, too, is chock full of garments suited to those seasons, which I love (I particularly enjoy making coats!). Nonetheless, I look forward to being able to lighten things up so you’ll find full skirts that can be paired with a soft t-shirt, sleeveless dresses with full skirts, sheaths and cropped pants (or shorts) under my sewing machine needles :) in May.


I prefer fall and winter clothes so as a result I don’t have a lot of spring and summer pieces. This is a problem because I ‘run warm’ and trying to wear my cooler weather clothes in the heat makes me extra cranky. I also don’t like spring and summer clothes. I am not happy with my body and the lack of structure and exposed skin make me very uncomfortable. I also prefer dark and rich colours that also run counter to spring/summer style. I am trying to get the motivation up to sew appropriate clothes but I find I drag my feet. One thing that does help is that I don’t like being outside when it is hot so the time indoors can be spent sewing.


I find that Vintage Sundresses have plenty of structure and expose less skin than say shorts. I also love maxi length dresses in light cotton and viscose, with short sleeves and black with floral or organic embroidery they look very elegant and keep you cool. Like this:


Great tips, thank you!


Similar to others, I prefer simply sewn spring/summer garments that can be made quickly. And since it appears that Seattle summers are now VERY warm, I’m in need of a lot of this stuff! I admit that fall/winter sewing is not my favorite, likely because even after 14 years here, I’m still not liking the rain. So bring on the sun! (If this is global warming……..I’m fine with it.)
Skirts and tops, a knit dress or two. I’m typically more of a knitwear maker but I’m doing some woven blouses for variety. In fact, I’ve finished my Haden with the bonus ruffle in a cream/ivory cotton/rayon blend and I’m now trying to get my light rose colored stretch cotton skirt that is very similar to the Selene done before Mother’s Day brunch. I think I can.

Ruth Mendum

I just joined and am a beginning sewer. I made the decision to add sewing to the list of skills for a couple of reasons. I’m a serious knitter and some of the sweaters I’d like to make either need sewn linings or they just don’t look good with the stuff I can buy. Secondly, I just can’t find clothes in the stores that express my personality and look good. And finally, I am at a stage in my life that I want to craft a clothes identity for myself and my kids (son, age 18 and wildly artistic, daughter, 12 and hates clothes that reveal too much). I’m 54, an academic and a small town lesbian living in central PA where the weather is often chilly. My office is always freezing too. At this point I’m sewing pajama pants for myself and the kids and a romper for my daughter. My concern is mastering technique and expanding what I know about garment design for knitting to sewing. Love hearing about other people and your creative projects.


Ruth I ALSO have a creative 12 year old daughter that hates revealing clothing. So good to see them thinking for themselves and not following the herd with skimpy clothing (it’s STILL warm in Sydney, 25 degree days) so there is no letting up on girls wearing tiny shorts and midriff tops. It’s awesome that she is now a size XXS so I can start making her clothes from patterns that I have. Thank god for quirky kids


My wardrobe problem isn’t so much an imbalance in summer to winter clothes (I live in Pittsburgh, so I have to be prepared for winter in the morning and summer in the afternoon), but rather an imbalance in style. I love all my handmade clothes, but they are all quite girly and modest. I like to have masculine aspects in my wardrobe as well, so I’m looking to add pieces like that. And I don’t have anything sexy or edgy to wear out, so I’m also thinking about making a couple of crop tops to fill that gap.


I need lots more spring/summer bottoms and tank tops/ camisoles. A sundress or two but no more than that because I really live in shorts and tees. A mood board is a great idea.


I am in New Zealand so it is the start of winter although still very warm for this time of the year. I have a number of sewing projects underway and am currently making a mid length skirt in a vibrant orange tone to brighten up winter. For the most part I have planned a series of projects for the winter based around core skills I want to improve on but I will be going at a slow pace. This is because I was knocked over by a car 6 weeks ago and as a result my dominant hand was broken in 6 places. Sewing will be both rehabilitation and therapy.


Nani Iro. I want Nani Iro… I’m afraid that if I ever held a piece of that fabric in my hand I’d……

Julia M.

I’m the opposite. I sew a lot more Summer clothes than Winter ones. Doing Me Made May has really made me realize how little I saw for the colder season. I should definitely fix that next Fall.

Meg White

I have been loving two piece sets. It’s nice to swap out different tops with shorts and simple skirts.


I just retired this winter. Up till now, most of my sewing revolved around work appropriate clothes. Now I’m trying to make the shift to more casual things. I don’t want to live entirely in jeans – am thinking about some cute skirts, tops, and sundresses. I love the idea of swapping out tops with shorts and skirts to increase my wardrobe!

Mary Ellen

This time of year, I whip out the linen for summertime blouses and jackets. Linen is what summertime is all about!!

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