Me-Made-May and what not to sew

Are you doing Me-Made-May this year? I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’ll be a great way to identify all the gaps in my hand-sewn wardrobe (at the moment there’s too much frosting and not enough cake, as Tasia of Sewaholic recently put it).

It’s also got me thinking about what items I would never make for myself, and it’s a surprisingly short list:

  • Shoes: I know this is obvious, but some clever people out there do actually make their own footwear. Have a look at this interesting blog by a London based shoemaker – The Bottermann Empire

  • Sportswear: One of these days I’ll get round to sewing myself some trousers for yoga, but something like a waterproof bike jacket? Too complex and technical. I also include what the fashion mags like to call ‘luxe sportswear’ in this category. Hard to replicate without the right fabrics and equipment.
  • Underwear/swimwear: Both of these seem too fiddly, and I don’t have a problem buying stuff I like in the shops. I prefer to spend my sewing time on clothes that show on the outside.
  • Knitwear: What would life be like without machine-made knitwear? Rubbish, in my opinion. Chunky hand-knits don’t always do the trick. You can prise my Uniqlo cardigans from my cold dead hands.

  • Socks: I’ve knitted socks in the past, but those days are over. Making the second one makes me want to pass out with boredom, and I don’t even love wearing them. They’re too bulky (but don’t tell any knitters – not liking hand-knitted socks is woolly blasphemy)
  • Trousers: I just can’t make them fit. BUT I do want to change this and make a pair that works this year. I think stretch fabrics will be involved.
  • Well-made RTW clothes that would be tedious, expensive, and/or impossible to replicate: I’ve got a circle skirt from COS that I love. It would be super easy to draft, but sewing a copy would mean having to hem two enormous circles of fabric (it’s double-layered). It’s also well-made and the perfect coral colour. So it was a no-brainer to buy rather than sew.

So, everything above is exempted in my personal Me-Made-May challenge. I don’t want to buy any more cheap rubbish! Or sew from materials I hate, or make patterns I’m dubious about. I just need everything in my wardrobe to feel loved and special and wanted. Basically my wardrobe needs some serious therapy.

What do you reckon? Is there anything you would never sew? Do you think RTW does some things better?

(p.s. – This is my 100th post! I didn’t think I’d ever keep up with this blog, so hooray to me for proving my own pessimism wrong.)

12 thoughts on “Me-Made-May and what not to sew

  1. Chuck May 9, 2012 / 7:25 AM

    Happy centenary! Looking forward to seeing the results of May. x

  2. Zoe April 21, 2012 / 9:15 AM

    Hiya love, this is an awesome post! I agree with you to a large extent. The things I don’t feel I could make (fine-knit jumpers, shoes (aside from the sandals) proper jeans, decent sportswear) I will always try and find secondhand. The exception to that is bras, I’ll always buy them new, tho I do feel the urge to try and make one some day.

    I’m sooo glad you are part of MMMay’12, I really hope it helps you figure out how best your future sewing time could be spent.

    Hope to see you soon
    Zo xxxx

    • yesilikethat April 21, 2012 / 10:02 AM

      Totally agree about trying to find things second-hand – I’ve been using ebay a lot, stops things going into land-fill and saves money, double win! I am a bit tempted by bra-making but I feel like my skills need to improve by about a million to avoid making an expensive mess… xx

  3. emily April 13, 2012 / 7:33 PM

    Hello and thanks for the link!
    I do make shoes which most people think is crazily complicated, but I’m still a bit scared of making clothing that’s any more complicated than a t-shirt! I want to make some lovely blouses this summer so I’ll have to get over my fear-of-fitting-adjustments issues!
    (I’m loving your blog!)

  4. Chrissy April 13, 2012 / 8:11 AM

    I am totally with you on the sock thing. I have enough pairs (mostly thanks to my mum’s knitting rather than my own) and they are usually too warm to wear out in the UK – it seems such a shame to only wear them in the house when they are so pretty. This weekend the sewing machine is having a trip to the doctor… fingers crossed my stash of fabric will soon be fit to be worn!

  5. sewmuchchoice April 12, 2012 / 5:00 PM

    I’m planning on doing Me-Made-May too. Thought it would be a nice excuse to dig out some things that I have previously made and not worn. I knit and have a pair of socks i knitted which are a favourite pair of welly socks, they are so warm and make the wellies very comfortable…but I don’t think I’ll knit another pair because I agree about the whole bulky element and length of time knitting them up.

    As for sewing I really would love to learn to sew a bra but don’t think my skills are there yet. I can not imagine making any swim wear (I can’t swim) plus if I am going to make something I want it to be something pretty that I can wear anytime I want.

  6. shivani April 12, 2012 / 1:08 PM

    Congrats on your 100th post!

    I completely agree with your list. I love knitting, but I am so slow, that it just wouldn’t make sense for me to only wear handknit sweaters (I’m still working on my first every sweater, started in Nov last year!). I would like to try making a bra one day… one day far in the future though.

    I love your 3rd-from-last paragraph – I totally want (and need) to do a wardrobe purge, while also giving serious thought to sewing things that are lovely, worthwhile and special.

  7. thesecretlifeofseams April 12, 2012 / 12:50 PM

    Congrats on 100 posts! Totally agree with that no-gos list. I have had idle/insane moments when I thought making a swimming costume or bra might be a good idea but I quickly slapped myself around the face. I’m very far off that ability level, so I’m leaving the heavy lifting (so to speak) to the professionals.
    Looking forward to your MMM posts! I’m *freaking* out about mine.

  8. MariaDenmark April 12, 2012 / 4:52 AM

    I am doing Me-made-May too.
    As for things not to make – I love wearing handknit socks, and I do occasionally make a pair, but like you, I get bored with the miles of very tiny stitching.
    I don’t think I’ll sew advanced underwear (one should never says never) – I have made knickers from scraps of jersey, and I do like those.

    But technical sports wear – no I don’t see myself making those. ANd not shoes either.

    And Miriana – I wear shawls (wrapped around my neck as scarfs) at least all winter… So I do..:-)

    • yesilikethat April 12, 2012 / 12:02 PM

      I love my Northern Lights shawl. It’s an adult security blanket, although I do wear it the ‘wrong’ way round, so it looks more bandana-ish than shawl-like.

  9. gingermakes April 11, 2012 / 8:13 PM

    I’d never knit socks, either– I can’t imagine spending the time making something that will be ON MY FEET getting sweaty and stretched out. Eww. And as lovely as the handmade bras circling the internets these days have been, hell no. There’s no way I could make something as supportive, comfortable, and long-wearing as my store-bought bras.

    I love the hand-made aesthetic, and I love the principles behind it, but I don’t ever want to be a slave to that ethos. There are some things that aren’t practical (for me) to make, and sewing is something that I want to be able to enjoy and not feel like it’s a drudgery or a chore.

  10. Miriana April 11, 2012 / 7:53 PM

    I’m a knitter and I’ve never understood making socks (my feet are enormous anyway I don’t need any further assistance in getting bigger. And don’t get me started on shawls – who on earth wears a shawl outside of the cast of downtown abbey.

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