There are two things I need to admit to. Because I never really got beyond the “if that’s what everyone is doing, I’m not doing it” stage and because I’m very, very easily distracted I’m a bit rubbish at the whole sewalong thing. I think they’re a great idea and all and I do look longingly at everyone getting involved in the same project but despite my best intentions, I never end up committing to any of them. What I love about them though is the amount of knowledge shared by both the people leading and those taking part. That’s very cool.
Having said all that, Me Made May is different. There’s less restriction, no deadlines and it brings together a load of disparate sewists and sewing styles so, even though I signed up today (which is probably too late but what the hell), I’m in.
Here I am in my wrinkle-tastic, self-made skirt and best “what do you mean you haven’t submitted your first draft?!” tutor pose.
I’m at a stage now where pretty much half of the clothes I have are things I’ve made. You’ll notice I said “have” there, rather than “wear”. I want to see if I’m sewing stuff I actually wear and this will be a chance to take stock of what’s missing in terms of garments and my sewing skills. Take trousers, for example. Apart from one occasion which I’d rather not talk about, I’ve managed to avoid making them but I wear them almost every day at work. This month will also give me a chance to use what’s in my wardrobe or thin it out.
I like to sew mainly because I like the process but there are a few other reasons. I like knowing where my clothes came from. I like being able to step outside of the consumerist, marketing box when it comes to retail in fashion and sewing makes me less susceptible to all that YOU MUST WEAR THIS LIKE THIS, OH TOO LATE. NOW WEAR THAT LIKE THAT nonsense that you get on the High Street. That’s how you end up with a closest that looks like it belongs to the love-child of the Bay City Rollers and the Village People (although that’d be pretty awesome). And finally, I really believe sewing has a positive effect on body image. I have to face the reality of measurements and dimensions of what shape I am and quite honestly, you just get over any body hangups. They just become another number to factor in. Big deal, or to quote an old friend from Oz “whoopee chook” (Steven O, 1996).
I’m looking forward to this month and seeing what I learn, the fact that I work and live in areas that allow me to pretty much wear whatever I want will definitely help! I haven’t been able to get involved because I’m usually in Italy but this year is different. You’ve probably seen this before but details of Me Made May are here on Zoe’s blog and there’s an article on the Guaradian here.