Before I put this collage together (thank you Rachel, for the Mosaic Maker recommendation — it saved me about a zillion hours!), I had it in my mind that I didn’t sew much for myself last year. And compared to 2013 which clocked in at 37 garments, I definitely sewed less at 36 garments for 2014, especially since I didn’t start sewing for myself until May in 2013.
So overall, my sewing output has been decreasing, but 36 items of clothing is still a pretty decent number, and what was significant about 2014 was that my first ever participation in Me-Made-May radically changed my attitude toward my handmade clothes. Up to that point, I was more of an abstract sewing enthusiast. You know, I loved the idea of creating custom clothing for myself and I was learning a ton, but there was still some niggling part of me resistant to actually wearing them. Everything I made looked great on K, but grown-up curves are trickier to navigate. I was a little embarrassed that my stitches weren’t perfect, that the fit was off. Even though I knew the clothes looked fine for the most part, I couldn’t help but feel like I had “HOMEMADE” stamped on my back when I sashayed about town in my me-made clothes. And not in a good way.
But after 31 straight days of pulling out my handcrafted apparel to clothe my body and spend the day in said apparel, I noticed that I became more and more fond of my less-than-perfect wardrobe. Make no mistake, certain items were undoubtedly fails and I quietly stashed them in the back of my closet once I determined they just didn’t work (though my recent tidying frenzy finally motivated me to say heartfelt thanks and I let them go). Maybe it was because I’d spent so much time on them, but the garments I made felt…familiar and friendly. That probably sounds weird, but even the clothes that didn’t look all that hot on me added a little pep to my day. And I have to say, I’ve never gotten so many compliments as that month in May — I’m certain it was because I learned to appreciate and felt happier in my friendly clothes. Through the Me-Made-May exercise, I discovered a love of dresses and my knits became hardcore wardrobe workhorses. Nowadays, it’s rare for me not to be wearing something handmade. The craziest part is that except for an extremely dire situation necessitating two t-shirts and a pair of capris, I still haven’t purchased any clothes for me or K. It’s been two-and-a-half years!!
How do I want to proceed for 2015? I really really want to focus on quality over quantity. I want to sew wardrobe staples made out of beautiful fabric that will last a long, long time. I want to take my time making things and savor the process rather than continue my default mode of whipping out easy projects for a quick fix (though those will happen too, I’m sure). What are your thoughts on sewing for this year?
Below is a list of the sewing posts in chronological order…that’s a lot of links! Oh, and on a side note, I’m over the moon that we already have more participants for the 2015 Secret Valentine Exchange compared to last year!! If you haven’t joined in the fun already, sign-ups end this Friday, January 9th!