30 May 2018

Five Lessons From Me-Made-May

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Agnes top + Miette skirt

Have you been taking part in Me-Made-May 2018? As it's coming to a close I've been reflecting on how I'll take what I have learned into my sewing practice to keep my motivation and happy feels going. It's Louise here, the sales and communications manager at TATB, and I'm going to share what I learnt this May. I focused on what drives my sewing, how my me-mades turn into outfits and what I hope to achieve going forward from this wonderful sewing obsession of mine : )

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Freya sweater + Mila dungarees, Agnes top + Arielle skirt, Frankie tshirt + Dominique skirt, Frankie tshirt + Cleo pinafore
Me-Made-May was started 8 years ago by our lovely friend and collaborator Zoe Edwards to encourage sewers to wear their makes with pride. MMM is all about celebrating being a DIY dressmaker and building a great relationship with your handmade wardrobe. The idea is to wear handmade items throughout the month of May and share pictures with like-minded makers if you fancy. Anyone can take part - whether you have one me-made or a wardrobe full, you can get involved.

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Coco dress, Francoise dress, Orla shift top + Miette skirt , Mimi blouse + Arielle skirt

1. Creating a sewing plan works for me (who knew!)

Not just a time to showcase your makes, Me-Made-May is a great time to think about your sewing goals and what you want to achieve - it's a sewists' new year, new you! Taking stock of our sewing approach sparks some questions and directs our focus and goals towards targets that get our sew-jo going!

I have a confession - I am a complete sewing magpie. I get so inspired by fabric and patterns that I just want to sew aaaaall the things. I get so distracted that I find myself being unproductive because I just don't know where to start, or what I really need in my wardrobe. This May, I have mainly looked for outfit goals - nosing at others peoples' amazing creations to inspire what I make next as it really drives my process. I have channeled this into creating a sewing plan (there is an official queue for my makes now) so I can be focused on what I am creating, and make clothes I will love and get lots of wear out of.  

Sewing goals are great targets to set - whether it be to tackle a fabric you have never worked with, try out a new technique, create your own pattern hack or simply finish something you started, setting a goal can keep you focused and motivated when you check it off your list!

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Agnes top + Bibi skirt, Freya sweater + Arielle skirt, Joni dress, Agnes top + Bibi skirt

2. Plan Your Outfits

Planning some go-to outfits is not only fun but makes getting out the door in the morning much easier! The process of looking at your clothes and accessories makes you realise how much you have that works really well together. It can also make use of pieces that don’t get much mileage, like that brooch you’ve got sitting in a draw that’s always an afterthought, but when you plan it gets worn with pride!

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Bettine dress, Marigold jumpsuit, Mimi dress, Freya sweater + Bibi skirt

3. Review Your Wardrobe Gaps

Nosing at others' makes and outfits, as well as inside my own wardrobe has given me a good picture of what I am missing and would like to sew next. Planning works for some better than others, but I find having an idea of what I want to wear gets me sewing smart.

I am leaving May with a list of things to make to complete my outfits and to my surprise it’s a few simple skirts and tops. Getting this down in a planner or in an organisation app may be helpful and, for those who need to visualise it, Pinterest and mood boards are your friend! I screenshot or snap a picture of anything I spot that inspires me and keep a folder on my phone. Then when I have a little down-time (great for commutes) I think about what I want to create inspired by the looks I have seen.

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Agnes top + Cleo pinafore, Agnes top + Clemence skirt, Bettine dress, Freya sweater + Cleo pinafore  

4. Get Inspired By The Community

Me-Made-May is pretty hard to miss if you use any social channels throughout the month and it has been an incredibly inspiring May! Whether you actively took part or just enjoyed looking at others makes, the sewing community was out in force.

Tapping into the community can make the process of sewing soooo much more fun – it’s a pretty special group and everyone is invited! Choosing a few other DIY dressmakers with a similar style to you is a really good way to get inspired – you could even reach out by leaving a comment, we all just love chatting about sewing you may find a new friend!

Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Patterns L-R clockwise: Frankie tshirt + Mila dungarees, Agnes top + Dominique skirt, Etta dress, Rosa shirt + Cleo pinafore  
Me-Made-May Tilly and the Buttons outfit inspo
Frankie tshirt + Stella joggers

5. Wear Your Makes With Pride

Whether you chose to share your makes on social channels or just IRL, a big lesson is it makes us feel pretty good! We put so much love into our makes that sharing is part of the process and we should all be proud of our achievements.

I didn’t set goals or targets for myself on how and when I would wear my me-mades, but made sure that when I did they were worn with confidence. In my opinion, nothing looks as good as a DIY dressmaker beaming from ear to ear after they have inserted that zip (screams with joy) and taken their made-made garment out for a spin : )

What did you learn from Me-Made-May? Please do share your comments below : )