Making the Most of Your Handmade Wardrobe...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Now that we're well into Me Made May, some of you may already be starting to feel the need to panic sew as you try to keep up with your challenge pledge. Remember, Me Made May does not endorse panic sewing!

So, what can you do to make the most of your current me made wardrobe to see you through the rest of May?

Use it as an opportunity to find out what gaps are missing
First off, don't think that your need to panic sew is a bad thing, use it as a stepping stone to really drill down to what it is exactly that you need to fill those glaring gaps in your wardrobe. What is it that you need to panic sew? Is it skirts or basic tops? Underwear or dresses?

Once you stop to think about why you're struggling with your pledge, it will really help you focus on making things that you do need in your wardrobe.

I know I struggled with my previous me made wardrobe because I kept making fancy things that I needed an occasion to wear. Personally, I love making basics now because I know I'll wear them often and for me, the whole point of sewing garments is so I can wear them every day.

I always find it a strange thing that we aren't happy to sew basics that we know we'll wear all the time in favour of making pretty things that may get worn once (if we're lucky). So, why not change the mind set of 'making something pretty to post on my blog' into 'if I make this basic skirt, I know I'll be able to wear it everyday this week because it mixes and matches with 10 other things in my current wardrobe'.

Update, remake or finish unworn me mades
Do you have UFO's or me mades that are unwearable because you only have to hem them or re-sew on a button? Why not make some time tonight, while watching your evening movie, to do a bit of hand sewing. It's so nice when you can get all those little jobs done (that don't actually take that long to do) that then mean you can add a new item into your me made rotation

Alternatively, if you have a lot of unworn me made garments, why not figure out why you aren't wearing them (I have a helpful post here) and then do something about it. Are they ill fitting? Are they made from a crappy fabric? Does the colour not work for you? Make note of these issues so that future me mades can and will get worn.

And why not check if some of your existing unwearable me mades may be salvageable. Why not try dyeing them a different colour if that was an issue, or try re-fitting them if the fit was a little off? You never know, after a little re-jigging, they might become a me made staple.

Try out a new skill to fill wardrobe gaps
While Me Made May is all about wearing your current me made garments, why not think about other me made garments that you could add in the future?

I personally love cardigans, mostly the cropped, vintage style ones and I have a nice selection to choose from, but since I've made the pledge not to buy any new clothes this year (and I haven't had one single urge to buy anything new!) I've realised that I'll actually need to make my own cardigans.

I finished my first knitted garment early this year and have already worn it a tonne (and twice already this May, though I could have worn it almost everyday). I've now started knitting a ruby red Aiken jumper, and while I was hoping to have it done for the end of May, I think I might have to admit defeat on that one. However, why not think outside the Me Made box and try your hand at creating something a bit different that may not necessarily be a sewn garment?

It all counts and you never know, you may just find a new creative love!

Accessorise and Layer
This is probably the most obvious and perhaps the easiest thing you could do, but to mix things up a little, have you ever thought about making your own accessories? Bags, scarves and belts are all things that are easy to make and that can completely change up an outfit. I also find that my accessories probably get worn more often than most of my me mades because one great accessory can go with a multitude of different outfits.

When considering layering in your outfits, why not think outside the box a little. Try choosing a few pairs of different coloured tights that match one of your me made skirts or think about new pairings of me made/RTW garments that you haven't tried in the past. You'll be surprised at how much simple things like that can change up a go-to outfit and make it completely different.

I hope these little tips help a bit as we near the pointy end of May. But if you have any more tips to help fellow Me Made May-ers with their pledges, I'm sure we'd all love to hear them!

Until next time,

15 comments on "Making the Most of Your Handmade Wardrobe..."
  1. It's funny, as soon as I decided not to buy any more RTW (June last year), I basically haven't had the desire to buy any. I looked at buying a coat last winter - everything was crap fabric + crap construction + expensive. Even with all my sewing faults, I'm so much happier with my me-made items

    1. I feel the same way! I get irritated looking at how much stores charge for shoddily-constructed polyester clothing!

    2. I love it when we can finally get to the stage where we can see, no matter how 'new' we are to sewing, that ANYTHING we make is always going to be better than what you can buy in store!!

  2. This is a great post and gives you a lot to think about and work with. I have 3 items that need finishing, a top, skirt and the buttons sewn on my Miette, so I have some hand sewing to do whilst watching the TV at night. I have also been making my own jewelry and this does make a huge difference to my accessories as they go with more than one garment.

  3. Great post Jen. I'm actually just working on a round of cardigan sewing patterns to post soon - hopefully will get it done today. It's a big gap in my wardrobe too, and despite loving knitting I need to add a couple of sewn cardi's into the mix too!

  4. 2 really wonderfull pieces, i already working on a cardigan from the 1942`s
    xo Fräulein K.

  5. Like you, this year MMM14 has made me think about stitching more basics that I can fit into everyday/weekend wear and I would not have been thinking about this had it not been for the challenge. Doesn't mean i'm easing back on making the pretty stuff though (just have to find more occasions to wear these pieces /wear them to work with the thought "every day should be a pretty day!"

  6. Good point here. I am enjoying MMM14, it's really opened my eyes as to what I actually wear and how I style my wardrobe. I do need to sew some new items but I am not rushing to do it before the end of May.

  7. You actually just made me feel a whole lot better about pretty much only sewing basics for my me-made wardrobe. I like to be able to throw on a piece, know it is comfortable, and go. Apparently I'm in love with rayon right now for its' fluidity. Thank you!

    1. Yay, another fellow basics sewer! I hope you've never felt bad about sewing basics, I think they are what gets worn the most, so the more the merrier I say :)

  8. What a beautiful skirt! My Me Made pledge is geared towards mended and revamped items as I'm just getting back to sewing but I'm feeling hugely inspired by your post. I have also challenged myself to buy nothing new in 2014 in favour of second hand, swapped and modified clothes but I might challenge myself to try making from scratch again :)

  9. These are great tips! MMM definitely inspired me to go through my WIP/UFO pile and finish up some garments. I finally finished a pair of ponte pants that I started about a year and a half ago- all I needed to do was finish the waistband and hem them! It's so helpful to me to note the RTW pieces that I wish I could wear- that tells me what I need to make!

  10. I definitely need to finish off a lot of my UFOs, and I may be doing this to have a few more me made's for the rest of May. So far I haven't had any repeats, but at the same time I don't want to go crazy. My gaps are in casual wear and it is interesting to see what you do and don't wear and what sort of things you tend to make. Love your cardi, that's next on my to knit list!!


  11. Great post! I'm enjoying MMM14, I am trying not to repeat any outfits so things are starting to get a bit creative half way through! I have realised that I would live in my Miettes given the chance, need to knit a couple more, love your Navy version!

  12. I've finished 3 UFO's so far, I have 8 left to finish as pledged, but I'll be happy if I finish another 3 :) I'd love to learn how to knit properly, sometimes crochet is just too bulky.


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