Tuesday, May 31, 2016

MMMay16 Wrap-up

What is Me-Made-May'16?

Me-Made-May'16 (#MMMay16 for social media interaction) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more. The me-made and self-stitched challenges have been taking place for six years now and they work on both a personal and community level. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them (more on this below). For example, a very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2016. The participants can also choose to document their challenge with daily photos (though this is in no way compulsory for taking part) and share them with other participants (more on this below as well).
I've participated in Me Made May since May 2010.

Since "participants decide the specifics of their own challenge", I set myself the stretch (in 2010) goal of wearing something me-made every day in May. This was a learning experience as I realized that I sewed for a fantasy life instead of my real wardrobe needs.

In 2016, it is a completely different story. As Clio ably pointed out in her Cheater's guide to MMM, that's a trivially easy accomplishment if you sew your own loungewear/nightclothes.  The internets do not need a daily picture of me wearing a nightgown or bathrobe.

In past years, I joined the legions who spent April and May feverishly sewing to fill wardrobe gaps.  My sixth rendition of Simplicity 2938 did not get done in time, and that's OK.  I'll finish up the binding in June and wear it all summer.

Simplicity 2938
I hate sewing under time pressure.  But, I walked into Elfriede's Fine Fabrics for a spool of thread to match the dyed shirt above, and spied her new shipment from Elliot Berman.  I was shocked that Elfriede, a PhD biochemist, did not recognize the MIT school colors.

Simplicity 2263
I purchased a yard of this rayon challis and stitched it up in time to wear to the recent William Barton Rogers Society lecture at the Petersen Museum in LA.   It was MMM^2 because Bad Dad wore his new fave (snow-dyed) shirt.

MMM by proxy while driving a mock Maserati at the Petersen.

When MMMay was smaller, and I was less jaded, I used to think posting daily outfit of the day #ootd photos were encouraging and fun. Moreover, some people organized weekly themes. Once, everyone swirled while taking their photos. I participated by showing my hometown and my sewing space. I didn't realize it had become a competition in some circles.

I did register that most of the participants were younger and thinner than me. I'm glad that younger people are making their own clothes. That means more business for the stores that serve our mutual past-time. Yay! Nevertheless, it made me feel fat.

Then a young (and thin) participant wrote that she felt bad about showing her dining room table while others had these gorgeous and big sewing studios.

Hmmm.  It was not my intent to make anyone feel bad.  I used to sew on my desk in my dorm room.  The room was so tiny, I had to put the ironing table out in the hallway.

The commercial internet is full of photos of the young, thin and gorgeous and huge, styled homes.  It would be nice if the non-commercial internet put more real images out there.  But, daily selfies are not my thing.

Trust me.  I wore something me-made when I took this photo on the walk home from the library last week.  BTW, mentioning that you can walk from your house to the library and enjoy sunsets like this along the way, that's still bragging.

This photo is still bragging.


  1. Gawd. If *you* feel fat, there is little hope for the rest of us. Please keep posting pictures of your lovely self, it gives the rest of us an achievable goal to slim down to :-)

    1. Ha! I gained 15# in the last 4-5 years. The first 10# came off easily once I decided to do something about it.

      But the last 5# is very stubborn and I have to decide if I want to work harder or just maintain this weight.

      This is hard b/c the majority of my non-stretch wardrobe is too tight.

  2. I like your pattern weights. Where do they come from?

    1. They came from the scrap bin at JILA, where I did my graduate work.

      In order to hold the scientific apparatus they are fabricating securely on the lathe, they make these disks that are flat on one end and sculpted to match the curvature of the object perfectly. (Some of them are concave, others are convex, all are flat on one side.)

      When I learned about these, I swung by the machine shop weekly to seek out suitable pattern weights. ;-)


Comments are open for recent posts, but require moderation for posts older than 14 days.