Post #3192: Sewing through the spring

I took last week off work, which meant I took ten days off from sitting in front of my computer in any kind of concentrated way. Of course I scrolled social media using my phone, opened up the laptop to take my online yoga classes – but I didn’t sit down to write even once in those days off. I just needed to float around inside my studio and my head for awhile without recording it anywhere.

I finished warping my loom with the impossible sauna towel project (more on that in another post, I’m sure), got some sewing done, built some food growing boxes for the garden (now full of soil that my husband Brian wheelbarrowed into them yesterday), sorted some old seeds, did yoga every day, cooked some great dinners, and made a tiny bit of headway on the colourwork of the sweater I’m knitting. And I finally started to settle into the fact that this is the way things are going to be for the next long while, though I’m not going to put a number of months on that figuring right now because it seems pointless to predict.

Given the increased home time, I’ve been thinking about #MeMadeMay, an annual sewing tradition (this is year 10) in which home-sewists set goals to develop a better relationship to their self-made clothing. It was started by Zo at So, Zo What do you Know as a way to see how much one can rely on self-made clothing in a given time period. To participate, one signs up for the annual challenge (there isn’t a sign-up post yet), sets some self-defined goals, and then uses the hashtags #memademay2020 and #memademay on Instagram to alert others to posts that relate to the challenge. This is *not* about sewing a bunch more clothes or posting incessantly on social, though one might incorporate both of those activities. It *is* about approaching our wardrobes and sewing plans thoughtfully and with intention.

The last time I participated was in May 2018, which I documented with daily posts on Instagram and weekly round-ups on my blog. My goal then was simply to wear me-made garments and photograph myself wearing them.

This time around, I’m going to use the month to spend a bit more time thinking about my style, gaps in my wardrobe I’d like to fill, and what things need to go in the donation bin. I’ve lost close to thirty pounds and three dress sizes since October, and while some of my clothes are still wearable, others are not (and some are just looking old). I am also in the process of sewing an all-new fitted wardrobe, and would like to start documenting that as well. Given these factors, I’ve set myself the following sewing-related goals for May:

  • Evaluate every piece of self-made clothing in my collection for wear, fit, and whether it works with my current personal style.
  • Remove garments that don’t meet my needs any longer.
  • Dress in self-made clothing every day and document on Instagram, include measurements and sizing where possible.
  • Work on a set-up for photographing myself. (If I had one straightforward way of getting decent pictures, I would document more often which increases my participation in the online sewing community).

I’m glad to have time to participate in this challenge for 2020, and also to spend sewing new clothes. Up until a month ago April to July was looking like wall-to-wall activity but now I am staying put for awhile. I can’t say I mind getting this unanticipated time in my studio, garden, and makeshift fitness studio in our garage. Sewing is one of the things I find myself turning to as I expand into my life at home fully, feeling rooted in the activity that sustains rather than going through the motions expected of me in the world outside. #MeMadeMay feels like a way to celebrate this time outside of normalcy, a time in which there are less daily demands that pull me away from home.

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