Towards a completely me-made wardrobe

In some unexpected stroke of luck, I am up to date with my blogging reading. Confession: I marked many old to-read blog posts as read and started with a clean slate. But I think that’s OK because it had to happen. And I’m actually keeping on top of it! Even managing to comment on posts which aren’t months old. How? By reading a couple of blog posts in a morning at my desk whilst I eat my cereal (Rice Krispies this morning, in case you’re interested) as well as a couple of posts before bed. Bare with me, I am going somewhere with this post…

It was this very morning that I came across Haley’s post on Coletterie about what the Colette and Seamwork teams learned from Me-Made May. There have been a few of these posts across the blogosphere which I’ve read with great interest, and identified with many of the sentiments. The lessons I’d learnt during MMMay16 were bundled into my final post for days 26-31.

Haley’s post pulled together many of these sentiments and ideas I’ve been reading since the end of MMMay16 and actually, even before that. Ideas around targeted sewing, filling wardrobe gaps (it seems everyone is missing separates!) and creating a capsule wardrobe. But what really resonated with me in the post — and not an idea that is new to me, or many of you, but a concept which MMMay16 has really crystalised for me — is the goal of working towards an entire me-made wardrobe.

mmmay16After MMMay16 ended, I didn’t want to go back to ready-to-wear (RTW). Or, at least, I wanted to wear at least one me-made item each day. And I’ve stuck to that in the 8 days since it finished. There wasn’t really anything from my wardrobe that I had been desperately missing, apart from jeans which are firmly on my to-sew list. I’d been slowly moving towards this anyway I think, as I rarely buy RTW clothes anymore, mainly because I know I can make it myself. Instead, I visit clothes shops for inspiration, and only succumb to purchasing something if I know I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on the fabric they’ve used.

So, like Anna in Haley’s post, this has all cemented my quest to have an entirely me-made wardrobe. I remember seeing other sewing bloggers or Instagrammers talking about the idea of this, or using the hashtag #memadeeveryday, and thought it was too wildly ambitious for me. But it’s not! Sure, I’d probably miss my leather jacket, and come the colder weather, my big winter duffle coat. But MMMay16 highlighted just how achievable a completely me-made wardrobe is! Something that’s easy to forget — because I don’t blog all (or many) of my makes or hang them on a constantly visible, retail-esque clothing rail — is just how many me-made’s I already have. I mean, look at them! And that’s not even all of them. Arrogance or smugness is not my attention here, more a reminder that I can, you can, do anything! Oh, and I am pretty proud of how far I’ve come in the ~2.5 years since I first started sewing.

So, what about you? Are you are looking for a completely me-made wardrobe? Do you think it’s achievable? Or would you rather have days without makes? Do you rely on/relish RTW? I hear a lot of people say they rarely wear their makes, which I do think is a shame. But their goal may not be the same as mine: to wear what I make. I’m so intrigued by what other people’s quest is when it comes to dressmaking. So hit me with it!

Correction: the article originally referred to the Coletterie post having been written by Sarai rather than the post’s actual author, Haley.

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11 thoughts on “Towards a completely me-made wardrobe

  1. I’d had similar feelings (and have yet to write my me made may blog post) but actually mmm in some ways put me off an entirely me made wardrobe. Not because I don’t love wearing my makes: I do and I feel much better in something I’ve made because I’m proud of myself. But because it adds too much pressure. I hit problems because last year’s makes are totally the wrong size now which meant that the pressure ratcheted up. I sew largely for stress relief so that’s totally counterproductive! So whilst I really admire the goal, for me, for now, it’s the wrong thing to do. Looking forward to watching your makes though!

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    • Thanks for your comment Becca. Really good point about the pressure! I do think adding targets to things adds pressure, which is what happened with MMMay. And actually saying I want an entirely me made wardrobe isn’t a very SMART target, is it: how many makes does that include? Which ones? How long will it take? I’ve deliberately not asked myself these questions, probably in the hope that leaving it open-ended will alleviate some pressure. But we shall see! Totally respect that it’s not for everyone and you know, it might not even be for me! Perhaps I just had really lofty ambitions on Wednesday lol.

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  2. I’m slowly replacing all of my clothes with me-mades. My motivation is simply that after wearing clothes that actually fit, I can’t bring myself to buy RTW anymore. Fortunately I don’t need a lot of clothes for my current lifestyle, so I’m repeating the same clothes frequently until I sew more. I don’t have any philosophical reasons for not wearing RTW, I’m just happier and more comfortable when I’m wearing clothes I made.

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    • Thanks for your comment Leila! Totally agree about the fit on RTW clothes, particularly trousers and jeans (although I’m only just getting around to making jeans), and I too am more comfortable in the clothes I’ve made. 🙂

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  3. Reblogged this on vintagethrifter51.com and commented:
    I am not as talented a seamstress, and am more into refashioning and upcycling thrifted items. So I am going for a completely thrifted wardrobe and am almost there. The only things I don’t thrift are knickers, but I do thrift bras and slips. So I guess I will always be just shy of my self imposed challenge of creating a completely thrifted wardrobe. I, like you, just can’t imagine buying things RTW anymore. Best of luck with the challenge.

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    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Michele! See, I can’t refashion a damn thing so I’d say the same: I’m not as talented a seamstress! We’ve all got different skills really, which might be the envy of others. 🙂 Thrifting is really good – there are so many clothes in charity/thrift/vintage shops – and I definitely want to do this more and learn how to refashion things! Thanks for the luck! I might need it.

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  4. I thoroughly enjoyed MMM this year – not least for the opportunity to see what everyone else was wearing (including you)! I would love to be able to say that I’m working towards a totally me-made wardrobe but I think that is a bit unrealistic just at the moment – for example making a coat would be test my skills/patience/mental strength just a bit too much! However, I don’t tend to buy new stuff – anything not me-made has either been in my wardrobe for quite a while or has come from a charity shop.

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    • Thanks for your comment Jane! Oh I really enjoyed MMMay, my first one too! I reckon you could make a coat! But I understand that it’s really about making the right choices when it comes to sewing, and something that’s going to be more stress than the end result is worth, isn’t necessarily a great choice. I’m like you, I don’t tend to buy new stuff either. Well, fabric and patterns but hey, I’m only human. 😉

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  5. Go for it! Being completely me-made is certainly an achievable goal. I haven’t bought anything RTW for almost three years now. I’m a very slow stitcher – or at least it takes me a long time to make anything (pressures of work and family mean I shout for joy every time I manage more than one seam in a day), but little by little my wardrobe has grown. And in fact, just like you, I’m still wearing at least one me-made each day and we are well into June now. Must finish my own MMM round-off post now!

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    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Steely Seamstress (your name is elusive on your blog?)! I can easily see me not buying RTW for years as well (I don’t walk past a clothes shop and feel the pull, that’s now replaced by fabric shops), perhaps even tackling underwear at some point. Yaaaaay for someone else also wearing me-mades everyday well into June! 😀 I think I might have to break the cycle at some point just before I become obsessed. Enjoyed reading your MMMay round up post, and the analysis you did is great. I also saw Camille of Attack of the Seam Ripper do something similar (http://en.decoudvite.com/2016/06/me-made-may-2016/) so I might be a copy cat next year!

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      • No probs – good to see you in your natural environment. It’s a lovely shop, I can still feel the draw of the chambray! Sorry I’m into online privacy – you won’t see my head either! Hurrah for stats – they do actually say a lot, I can see the progression of my wardrobe and I’ve also discovered that I don’t tend to wear skirts more than 1 or 2 days a week! Think I need some pretty graphs though, after all I did do the spreadsheet!

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