It’s that time of year again friends- Me Made May! If you aren’t familiar, its primarily an Instagram challenge started by So Zo, in which sewists across the world endeavor to focus more on their self sewn wardrobe. For some, that means wearing a hand-made item daily- for others, it’s an opportunity to evaluate their me-made closet and sew more of what they need (or want!).
The beauty of hte challenge is that it’s personal- each person interprets and shares about it in their own way. Regardless of whether or not you’re participating, I love #memademay for the spotlight it puts on the textile industry (and how sewing/thrifting your own fashion can be a positive alternative to throwaway fast-fashion trends), and for the encouragement to think critically about the items I sew and wear.
Last year, I started with good intentions but quickly became overwhelmed with the idea of trying to remember to photograph, style and post each outfit. This year, I’m going easier on myself by restricting my efforts to a simple selfie or underage-photographer snapshot (these will be the ones that are all at an odd angle, with a pokemon in the background), posted to my Instagram stories. Since I blog nearly everything (or try!), you’ll be able to find the details on the blog using the link in my bio, if you’re curious about a particular outfit.
One of my favorite parts about the event is that it encourages me to bring out long-forgotten favorites, or even those items whcih I didn’t love when I made them, but couldn’t bring myself to put into the donation bin. Often, this is a chance to style them in a new way, with a new top/botton/necklace and I find that I like them after all. Sometimes, of course, I find that I still don’t enjoy them, in which case it’s a great motivation to let them find their next life while I clear out space for some new makes (anyone else struggle to get rid of things you’ve sewn? How do you deal with it?). As I go, I’ll also reflect on those things that I buy but tend not to make, and whether or not it makes sense to change my habits and sew them instead, and those items that I don’t have but really need (i.e. more summer shorts!).
With that, my official Me Made May 2019 Pledge is to wear at least one handmade/thrifted item daily, with a special focus on bringing older makes to life and a comittment to spend at least some time sewing new things that I need (preferably out of fabric from my stash!).
To start things off, I’ve got a new cardigan to share today- the Fjord from Papercut! I bought this and the Alina Fulton Blazer at the same time, and decided to sew this one up first, since it’s simpler. Now that our weather is warming up, I’ll probably have to save the Fulton for the fall, but I’m glad I took the time to sew the Fjord, even if it didn’t end up in my own closet (more on that later).
I was drawn to the Fjord because of the unique style lines- it’s got a fun geometric feel to it, but wasn’t too time consuming. I chose a heavyweight “knit denim” french terry from So Sew English for this one, and finished it in an afternoon. Papercut patterns are very well drafted in my experience, and the instructions are clear (plus they’ve got that cute packaging!). The only challenging part was turning and sewing the front facing down- it makes for a nice clean finish, but a prodigious amount of wondertape was used to keep things in place as I went.
Unfortunately, despite making the smallest size, it was just hanging off of me when I tried it on- especially the sleeves. Since they’re set in, rather than sewn all in one go with the side seam, I was limited in the amount of ease I could eliminate, but I took another couple of inches off throughout the forearm and bicep area. I also found the pockets to be slightly oddly placed- too far off to the side to be a comfortable place to rest your hands, and too shallow to hold a larger phone.
I love how it looks in these photos- so cute with a striped top- but in the end, I decided I really prefer closer fitting cardigans, and offered it to my mom, who is only a couple sizes bigger than me. She looked fantastic in it, and was so delighted that my disappointment in the project completely faded. She’s incredibly sweet and helpful, spending hours each week watching my kids when I go to work, always cleaning the house up so it’s nice before I get home- and I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than constructing something to show her my appreciation for all that she does.
So, while you won’t see me sporting this during Me Made May, I couldn’t be happier with the home it found, and with the project overall for giving me an opportunity to sew for her.
If you want to check out my makes during the month, please follow me on Instagram, and don’t forget to follow the #memademay2019 so you can check out all the inspiration floating around there!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you so much for your support!