Me Made May 2023 is almost upon us! This challenge, started a decade ago by So, Zo (a sewing blogger and podcaster) is the annual showcase where people who make their own clothes show how they wear them every day for the month of May. It is not a “make everything” challenge – or even that you wear 100% clothing you’ve made. It’s a celebration of the things you’ve made that you wear daily and a reflection (in part) on how ALL clothing is hand made, but only a fraction is made by the wearer.
My challenge for Me Made May 2023 is to celebrate the things I’ve made and wear them in new ways. I’m also going to make a few things, but I’m not putting out a “make X number of garments” for May this year. I want to celebrate what I’ve already made and thoughtfully add to my wardrobe as I need to.
I’m also going to spend less time on social media and more time sewing, but I do love to see what others make, so the time I do spend on it will be largely searched on hashtags related to the celebration and less just random stuff on Instagram.
Once upon a long time ago, before social media, when bulletin board systems and chat rooms on AOL and CompuServe were the thing, I had an online sewing friend who said “why sew something fancy you wear one time when you otherwise spend every day dying a little wearing bad pants” – and I’ve never forgotten that. So I try to live in clothing every day that I love and makes me feel good – both physically and emotionally. I don’t sew for “special” occasions (unless that occasion is, say, a Jamaican vacation.)
Here’s the MMM celebration pledge:
“I (insert name or username) pledge to wear (insert specifics of your pledge) for throughout May (insert the year)”
So, here goes: “I, Ann, pledge to wear one article of me-made clothing per day throughout May 2023″ .
That’s it! Happy sewing, or happy wearing and see you in May!
Me Made May is also about wearing everyday the things you love to wear, and this short video highlights three garments I made a while back (one of them, the poncho, is over 10 years old!) that I love.
Me Made May gets you out of fast fashion
Most of the clothing in the Atacama Desert discarded clothing dunes in Chile is from manufacturers’ unsold goods. Yep. Never worn. Not only is there a similar mountain in Africa, but it’s also being sent to Chile in a ‘no man’s land’ area that has no direct regulation. Think about this for a moment. The things manufacturers think you’ll want, that go unsold, is discarded in dune-sized mountains in Chile (or in Africa in square bundles so large you could build things from them.) Our consumerist society has gone amok. That’s not to say I never buy clothing – but like my stock portfolio, I buy and hold. Sometimes I repurpose clothes too. Sweaters become throw pillows, leather jackets become bags and accessories. Plan to keep your stuff forever, and you’ll have a different viewpoint of what you’re buying new.
You’re also not bound by fashion’s dictation. I share my thoughts on this as a GenX sewist in this blog here. It’s an important conversation to be having with yourself – and your loved ones. I buy things for my kids but I freecycle everything (and many of their clothes are from freecycle) because they need new lives with other kids when we’re done with them. I have cleaned out closets before and missed those garments later, so now I just buy (or sew) and hold. I have room to put away things in to storage in the basement to bring them out years later and enjoy them again!
Roundup of one week of Me-Made garments
I wear me-made clothing almost every day, and I mix it with ready to wear that I’ve thrifted, freecycled and purchased new. This week, I wore something I made every day of the week. I missed getting photos of the faux snakeskin trackpants in my outfits, but I wore that to a comedy club in Metro Detroit with friends on Wednesday with the same aubergine sweater you see above right. On Thursday I wore cropped Emerson trousers in pale sage linen with an oversized navy cable sweater.
Me Made May is a celebration of handmade-by-the-wearer garments, about clothes, but not always fashion, about style and not fashion.