#1 To sew. More. Always. Everything. It’s a similar feeling to the hunger for writing, larping, and – most of all, because it’s also related – cosplaying. I want it all. Right now. And I want it next month and the month after and the one after that. Luckily, I have a few novels to finish, first – otherwise, I could very well spend the remainder of the year sewing away, similar to what I’ve done in 2018. Sewing is one of the few things I dabble in, which are non-verbal – a highly appreciated trait. Sometimes, one just needs to let one’s mind go blank for a few hours at a time – focus on action and handwork insted – or one’ll end up frying it from all the frakkin’ wordage.
#2 To increase self-sustainibility. Yeah – cooking, amateur plumbing and sewing. Oh, and don’t forget basic gardening (to be achieved later, the balcony is still a bit too cluttered for my taste). There are probably a few more skills to be acquired over the years, but, to be able to say you’ve made your own clothes – not many things come that close to the impact they have on one’s self and/or self-sustainibility.
#3 To reduce fast fashion consuming. (Yay, privilege.)
#4 For the challenge. (Do feel free to imagine this in the “For the Honour!” tone from The Fifth Element. The feeling is quite similar.) It’s not exactly easy, making enough garments over the years to be able to wear exclusively what you’ve made for a full 31 days. Other people’s definitions (“pledges“) for Me Made May might be different, but I’ve been sewing long enough to be able to pledge wearing only what I’ve made myself – all outer layers – during the month. The first time I’ve done it, in 2018, the feeling was overwhelming, scary and more than welcome. This time, I’m plunging in again – and it gives me the best excuse I can imagine to “challenge” myself to make more jersey t-shirts and even more button-downs (things I still find a bit, well, challenging).
#5 In the name of High Waists and Long Inseams. Yeah, my style/shape/tastes run a bit on the arhaic side. In 2019 it might be possible to find RTW high waist, bootcut trousers, but when I was a teenager and in college – the most important part of my “fashion” journey – it was literally impossible, at least before seconhand shops sprouted up all over Croatia, too. Due to that, I still make pants that are just a bit too long, and waists that are just a bit too high, but I love every second of it.
#6 To use-up the stash. All of the stash! I still have leftovers from my mother’s and my grandmother’s friends’ gifts, which is a natural consequence of everybody talking about the one person in the family who’s still sewing (and a lot). Even though most of the quirky prints are gone nowadays, I still have virtual acres of high-quality wollen blends for the wintery months, something I’ve come to appreciate in the past few years. Using them up might not help much with May weather, but it just might bring a more permanent victory in the everlasting battle between the humans and the moths of my sewing realm.
#7 For fit and comfort. So what if I prefer sewing with elastic bands rather than zippers because it’s faster, too? What if the elastic-enhanced trousers allow “the body” to fluctuate up and down, you know, numbers-wise, as it pleases? Who’s to say it’s not more comfortable that way, too – when it simply is? A side-effect is that I love tight layers, but they’re not exactly available in abundance (or a flattering cut) in my sizes (which is to say, not EU 38 anymore). I despise baggy clothing – or, to put it more correctly, baggy clothing despises my lack of a visible waistline. (Oh, the horror.) Thus, I sew.
#8 Because of the family heritage. At least one of my ancestors earned the family’s living as a seamstress, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the family legend of another ancestor serving as a court’s tailor, ages ago, were true, too. There’s just something about working with your hands that runs in my family. I was privileged enough to work alongside my grandmother for years (ever since I was 4!) and I’ve succumbed to the addiction and the high of making something yourself – and then seeing it worn, whether by yourself, or a roommate. These days – that is, after the internet’s big debut and all – you can literally see pictures of people’s handmade wardrobes on the other side of the world, which is both thrilling and inspiring as Hell. Matching that up with one’s family heirloom to take the plunge and make almost everything you wear is so. much. fun. (Also, so 19th century. <3)
#9 Because hell to the yes I can. I’ve got the time, I’ve got the resources, I’ve got the skills (have been raised to develop them) and the considerate roommates. (Of course, the cat adores fresh fabric, laundered and pressed and laid down to be cut. Yum.) I’ve currently got three Singer sewing machines (the last one was a humbling gift from my cosplay team, last year), and a considerable stash of sewing paraphernalia from last year’s undergarments craze. (I’ve even got enough bias tape for a few regular-sized projects at hand, for the first time in my life!)
All of which is to say – I’m ready.
So, what is your Me Made May going to be like?