Why I haven’t signed up for Me-Made-March

If you’ve been reading sewing blogs lately, you may know that the fearless and talented Zoe of ‘So, Zo’ is leading another Me-Made challenge! Starting in the month of March, participants pledge to wear ONLY handmade items, at least ONE handmade item, or a combination of handmade, thrifted and refashioned items.

At last check, over 140 people worldwide have signed up to join in this challenge! It’s really inspiring to see how many people will be proudly showing off handmade creations this month. Are you part of the challenge too?

I participated in Me-Made-May last year:And in the Fall, I participated in Self-Stitched-September as well:

So you might wonder, why have I not signed myself up for the March challenge? Well, here’s what went through my mind…

1. I haven’t gone off the idea – I still think it’s brilliant! I love the spirit of the challenge, celebrating our handmade garments and wearing them with pride. I love the concept of working your handmade items into your everyday lives, or working your everyday lives into the garments you make.

After Me-Made-May, I thought about how much clothing one person really needs, and donated the unworn, unloved items in my closet to Goodwill. Also, I became prouder to say I made something, and stopped worrying what people might think. And I wore a strapless dress with a built-in corset to the office. Would I have ever put that on for work otherwise? Probably not!

Self-Stitched September was a little harder. I posted daily updates, and found myself wishing for more basics in my wardrobe. Apparently, I don’t listen to myself, because after that I made two printed dresses. Oops!

If you’ve never participated, you should try it! It’s a great way to show off what you’ve made, and perhaps wear that pretty dress to work instead of jeans and a sweater. It also shows you what kinds of things you’d need to sew, if you tried to wear only handmade items.

2. It would be so much easier to get the photos now that I’m not doing the nine-to-five thing! Documenting the outfit photos, and posting them every day, while thinking up witty things to say about each outfit, was hard to do when working full-time and then some at a demanding job. So I could easily make time to get out and pose for photos…

3. However, it would be a bit of trickery. These days I am either working at home, or going to school. Don’t get me wrong, I do get dressed for school! I even wrote it in my business plan that I plan to wear handmade clothing for all business-related events. But I feel like a good portion of my Me-Made-March photos would be pretend, like I would get dressed in a cute handmade outfit, take a few photos, and then put my sweatpants back on. So you would think, “Look at the effort she makes!” When in reality I’m at home in comfortable clothes in front of my computer or sewing machine. I’d hate to mislead you guys!

So how about this? I’ll endeavour to wear cute, handmade outfits every time I leave the house. And perhaps, I’ll snap a photo now and then. But I won’t toss my hat in the ring for the challenge this round, not officially anyway.

Are you participating in Me-Made March? I’d love to hear if you are, and look forward to reading about your experience with the challenge!

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34 Responses to Why I haven’t signed up for Me-Made-March

  1. Patty March 1, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    On point #3… I think I mentioned something about that during self stitched september as I was doing SSS while being a stay-at-home-hound mom (ummmmm… unemployed.) There were a few days where I put on my handmade outfit later in the day and spent a good part of the day in shorts and old navy tanks (my uniform!) but for the most part, I tried to not ‘cheat’ and I got up and got dressed in what I would wear for the whole day. It was awesome and changed how I felt getting ‘dressed up’ to work on whatever project I was on about for the day. I think the self-stitched and me-made months are very cool for the not-traditional-eight-hour-a-day-job set too!! AND your point #1 is a great point – when you’re doing a month of wearing handmade things, it REALLY points out weak points in your wardrobe! I have a few basic trouser/casual style on my sewing list right now because I know I’ll want them during March!

  2. TanitIsis March 1, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    That’s certainly fair—you don’t need to justify yourself to us ;).

    But it does beg one question….

    Where are the home-stitched sweatpants? ;)

  3. The Cupcake Goddess March 1, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    I also was battling with myself as to whether or not to do this challenge. I did the Self Stitched September and I think its a fabulous challenge, learning much of the same things you did, but it was the 9-5 thing for me too. Even though I won’t have that come next week, I have a lot on my plate this month still. And oddly, I’ve also decided that I still love RTW clothing too, and for me its more about dressing up in things that I love, handmade and non and posting some fabulous outfits here and there on the blog and such. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for handmade, but sometimes you find that one skirt or something that you just love and buying it is that much more special because even though you know you can make it, you don’t have to now. I don’t know. I am torn, but chose not to plunge this time, but maybe for May??? We’ll see.

    Totally understand your rationale. And yes, where are the hand stitched sweatpants?


  4. Karin March 1, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    Fair enough! I simply don’t have enough clothes that I have sewn myself. It’s even worse that it is still cold here. Everyday is rtw jeans, rtw sweaters, rtw fleeces! I do a little better in summer :-) That said, I love to see everyone else’s outfits!

  5. Becky March 1, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    I am doing MMM, though it was a huge debate for me. But I’m doing it more to identify the holes in my wardrobe and work on putting together some cute cooler-weather outfits. My pledge is for only one handmade article of clothing a day, which means I can still mix in the purchased (and especially thrifted) things that I love–I respect the people who do go all handmade, but I also really enjoy thrift shopping and feel that secondhand clothing is a very ethical way to go as well. (That, and I haven’t quite managed to make myself jeans that fit and stay in one piece yet. And especially on weekends, I can’t live without my jeans!)

    I do have to admit I’ll probably be cheating somewhat– I’m going to be helping a friend pack for an international move this morning, so I’m currently wearing store-bought clothes that I don’t care if they get dusty, and will grab my me-made outfit for later before I start my afternoon music lessons. And if the seasonal garden center retail job I have starts up again later this month, I’m required to wear jeans and a t-shirt/sweatshirt with the company logo for that.

  6. Kati March 1, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    I’m back for MMMar, after SSS I got rid of alot of handmades because they were too delicate to stand up to wear and my washing machine. This time around I’m only doing 1 handmade garment/day instead of only handmade garments like I did in September.

  7. Erika March 1, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    I also gave this some serious thoughts, but decided against joining. I really hope there will be a SSS this year too, I’m already planning my sewing accordingly! It has indeed started me thinking on what I would need to sew, and I realised jersey t-shirts is the answer. Lucky I finally got a serger! =)
    It also started me thinking about sewing the simple stuff. Like sweatpants, jersey dresses as well as t-shirts, slips and why not the unmentionables as well? After all, as much as I love flowery dresses, the sweatpants gets a lot of more hours of wear around the house. So lets make them all cute and me-made! =)
    For fall, that is…

  8. Tasha March 1, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Certainly sounds reasonable!

    I didn’t sign up as I haven’t sewn enough to have very many items, and some of my handknits aren’t things I wear to work. I’m hoping to participate for a future on further on down the line, though. :)

  9. LindsayBobindsay March 1, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    I’m joining, but I’m not sure how well it’ll go. This is my first time. Luckily I have several go-to pieces of handmade jewelry, because so far there are only 5 handmade garments in my closet (SO FAR!). So we’ll see how well I can make this work. I’ll do it again in May and September when I have more options– it’s a great motivation to sew more!

    Today my ‘Me-Made’ item is earrings… not exactly off to a running start, but a start nonetheless.

  10. Amanda March 1, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    I decided to sign up (my first me made challenge!) although I didn’t think I was going to at first. I think it’s more the photos every day thing that made me hesitant! :) And there are days when I work from home, but I’ve decided to get dressed up anyway – it’s kinda fun! I’ll be away for a week this month for work, so it’ll be interesting to see if I can keep up with the challenge during that time.

  11. Irene March 1, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    I think that the concept of a Me-Made month is brilliant, especially for those that need some coaxing to wear their creations. The thought of having to take pictures on a daily basis was just too much for me at the moment, so I didn’t sign up. Could have. Just didn’t. I’ve been at the sewing for so long that the better part of my wardrobe is me-made. I think that the more additions you make for your wardrobe, the less of a challenge it is to wear self-made outfits. Then the challenge is to document the outfits. I do so enjoy, though, seeing what everyone else is wearing.

  12. Camilla March 1, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I’m doing it! This will be my first Me-Made-March! I am a little nervous but am excited to see where I’m lacking in my handmade wardrobe. I plan to sew a lot this month to fill in as I get bored with what I have. I think my husband will be thrilled that I wear makeup every day since I’ll be posting a picture on my blog. You can follow along at acandiedapple.blogspot.com

  13. Jessica March 1, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    I work at home, but I do see students every day, so there is still a reason for me to dress up. I am doing the challenge again, mostly because I’m going to be out of the country for half the month, and signing up for the challenge greatly simplified my packing! SSS was really transformational for me in terms of looking at my wardrobe, and forcing myself to wear what I make. I have realized that I’m not interested in being 100% self made – I like RTW also, like Sunni, so I’m on the “one item a day” challenge.

  14. Zoe March 1, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I totally understand your decision not to particpate and I thoroughly appreciate your continued support and encouragement! You are an awesome and inspiring member of the handmade community and I wish you every success with your business.

    Zoe xxx

  15. Darci March 1, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    I’m IN for MMMar’11, but will only be wearing one me-made piece per day (two would be a bonus!) and/or an accessory that I’ve made. I love to mix in my RTW with the things I make. I’ll be posting the week’s outfits on Fridays to limit the stress of posting daily.

    I already know that I’ve got a big trouser-shaped hole in my wardrobe, so this month I’ll be working on pants as well as my Chanel jacket v2.0. It’ll be an adventure for sure!

    I really enjoyed your last me-made wardrobe outfits, but I totally get why you’re not participating this time.

  16. julia March 1, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Well… I am participating for the first time, and I won’t be much “dressed up”. There will be a lot of jeans and handmade T-shirt or sweater days.

  17. Clare March 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    I’m working part time now so on the days I don’t need to go out I’m much the same as you. I agree though, it’s a great challenge and despite the fact that I haven’t signed up for MMM, I know it’s going on and in a funny way that affected what I chose to wear this morning.

  18. Shalyn March 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Perhaps ironic, but your post got me to sign up. I’ve never done the challenge before and think I do wear my creations a good deal, but we’ll see how true that is by the end of this.

    But I had forgotten this challenge was coming up until I read this, realized I was already wearing one item today and decided to dive in.

  19. Mary Collins March 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    First of all, you don’t need to justify your decision. We all know how busy you are, and that you are an avid supporter of a handmade lifestyle. I decided to do MMMarch for a bunch of reasons, but mostly because of the necessity of a picture everyday. I don’t really like taking pictures of myself for a number of reasons, but I should be out of that particular rut by the beginning of April. And it has also made me confront some of my own body issues, which I will be blogging about as the month goes on. It’s a fantastic opportunity to really examine who we are and why we dress/consume the way we do. Thanks for your blog and the support you give others.

  20. CGCouture March 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    @Karin: I’m with Karin. I simply don’t have enough garments that I’ve sewn up to participate. And, as a SAHM, it’s hard to be motivated to dress up every day. So I totally understand why you aren’t participating.

  21. Misty March 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    It’s a bit early for me to join in, but perhaps September or next year in March I would have enough handmades in my wardrobe to make it through a whole month. I have some sweaters and scarves that I’ve knit, and by then I should have some skirts and dresses and perhaps some pants that I’ll have sewed as well. At this point, I could last for one week on this challenge, perhaps 10 days, and then I’d just have to start wearing the exact same things over again. :P

  22. Annabelle March 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    Perhaps this means you need some made-by-you-sweatpants! Okay, I completely understand you’re not participating, but I would love to see your outfits when you do decide to dress up. If I could participate, I would – but as of today this would mean 31 days of the only strapless dress I made (and we’re still getting snow in Minnesota). So maybe next year for me . . .

  23. Fourth Daughter March 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    I’m feeling the same about point 3, seeing as my first post for MMM is already not something I wore that day… ( http://stylewilderness.blogspot.com/2011/03/cheapest-dress-ever-3.html )
    The thing is, I do wear me-made stuff every day because even my crappy housewear stuff is me-made (like, about 15 years ago!) so I am sticking to that part of the challenge. I just don’t think people want to SEE that though. Sort of bad timing as I’m working on a translation (for Japanese Vogue, ironically) and am hardly leaving the house, but I’ll make sure to wear COOL MMM stuff when I do!! (and get pics too, which is perhaps more of a challenge!) Still haven’t sorted out the Flickr thing so have to do that too to participate more fully than when I did SSS.

  24. Rachel March 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    I’m joining in (after doing it last May, but didn’t get photos of my outfits). I mostly wanted to do it again in different weather conditions, but it’s also hopefully going to give me more incentive to start making more casual everyday clothes rather than fancy clothes I rarely wear.

  25. Reana March 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Me Made March is such a great idea and I can’t wait to see all of the outfits people put together. However I’ve only started sewing and there’s really only 4 pieces of clothing that I have completed and can wear, definitely not enough for a whole month of outfits! Hopefully this just means I’m SUPER prepared for Me-Made-March-2012!

  26. Adithis Amma March 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    I can relate to your point no.3

    I am a stay at home and an aspiring fashion designer. I design & self-draft my patterns, i mostly have created outfits for my Daughter & Sister and hence had little time to spend on my own wardrobe, this Me-Made-March is a nice excuse to revamp my wardrobe. Though i accept that i would wear this dress to go and pick my daughter up from school and then i would get back mostly to my lounge pants!

  27. Amanda March 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Hi again! I just happened across your post from last June that summed up your experience in Me Made May. The part about fearing photographing yourself every day (but felt you were getting better at that throughout the month) has inspired me to keep going! Actually, everything you wrote in that post resonated with me :) Including the nasty girls, except they got on me for being quiet! Honestly, the things people choose to pick on… Thanks for being one of my favorite blogs!

  28. Janice March 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    I didn’t sign up for the previous Me-Made anythings since I didn’t have enough time to take pictures each day. However I’m planning on what I’ll be wearing on a week to week basis now, and taking photos only once a week, so it’s worked out well so far. It’s a good exercise in figuring out how each item works into your wardrobe.

  29. Debbie March 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    I couldn’t participate as we had a massive earthquake here in Christchurch, NZ last week. Having to sleep in your clothes under a table and be ready to run at any moment makes it tricky to wear some of the cute dresses I’ve made. All going well I’ll be doing Self Stitched September, although nervous about people posting piccies of themselves in undies they’ve made! I will however unashamedly post piccies of me in my home made jammies :0)

  30. Hat March 2, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    I don’t do MMM because I do it anyway, if you see what I mean. That is ever since I’ve been sewing I have been wearing my self-stitched efforts and the more I make, the more I wear so I have gradually moved from the point where I was wearing one self-stitched item a day to two, and eventually I hope to all (I have plans for underwear, nightwear, etc). It’s just that I have a job and a house to run and community activities and sewing to do. Photographing myself and blogging daily is just too much (and not the point of sewing for me). I am also not very interested in looking at others’ daily outfits, unless they also include construction or fitting techniques. So I shall do less blog-reading and more sewing in March. So MMM will have an incidental benefit for me, it seems :)

  31. Casey March 2, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    I love the concept of these sorts of challenges–they’re really good for stretching one’s ability to craft outfits around a certain theme. But, I have to admit I’ve been hesitant to join in on one yet. Partly because I get into horrible ruts with clothes; I’ll got for days on end wearing a similar cycle of cotton print skirts and cute tshirts if I’m not going anywhere. (Those are my “bum around the house” clothes! ;) ) Who wants to see me wearing the same skirt over and over?! haha. Also because I’m realizing I don’t have many basics either!!! (And yes, I just cut out another printed dress. Really, I need my head examined! rofl) What is it about sewing basics that seems so off-putting? Is it because they are indeed “basic” and therefore “boring” to the seamstress? All I know is that when I decided to sew up a white blouse recently, it suddenly became a white 1910s style blouse with pintucks. (Which yes, I will wear a lot, judging by how often I wear my antique blouses from that era. But I was thinking something a little less time-consuming originally! lol.) *sigh* I just can’t win. ;)

    I just wanted to say I love these sorts of posts that you do occasionally. It’s refreshing to know that there are other sewists out there who are in the same boat! ;)

    ‚ô• Casey

  32. christine March 2, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    I really appreciate this post because of point #1. Clearly I love sewing, but there is something to be said for quality over quantity. I’m more of the mind to spend March making one or two really quality items for my closet then pumping out lots just to say I made it. I’m totally in favor of the concept since it does get people thinking about what they buy and own and wear, but to make clothing for the sake of wearing something everyday you made is not what it’s about for me. So needless to say, I too am not participating in the Make Me March but the best of luck to those that are!

  33. isidore March 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Tasia, you don’t need to justify not doing MMM; we all know how ridiculously devoted you are to the handmade movement!

    I chickened out on Self Stitched September because I felt like I had nothing that was good enough to wear out, and I told myself that I would sew a bazillionty items and be ready for the next one… But now I just find myself making the same excuses. I feel better reading the comments and realizing that I’m not the only one intimidated by the prospect of wearing something handmade for 31 days straight. So I went back and read Zoe’s post and got re-inspired:

    “Let’s learn to love our creations, to look past any flaws we can see in them (that probably no-one else would even notice).” […] “Remember, this challenge is about upping the ante when it comes to wearing your own creations.”

    So, I’m pledging to wear one me-made item a week for March, even if that means wearing my recently finished Pendrell blouse every Friday this month. I know it sounds pitiful, but it is a start!

  34. Tasia March 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Thanks for all the comments everyone! I know I don’t need to explain myself to you guys, but I *want* to. I want you to know why I do things, in case you feel the same way! Also in case you were looking forward to a month full of outfits over here.

    I love that I’ve inspired some of you to sign up! It really is a cool challenge, and I learned a lot by joining in last year. Perhaps I’ll do it again in September!

    Funny, since March started I really have been wearing one item I made every day just by default. March 1st I wore my glencheck vest, yesterday I wore a me-made skirt, and today I’m wearing my Beignet. So like Hat, I seem to do it anyways without blogging about it. And like @christine: said, I’d also rather make one or two fantastic items, than whip up a bunch of items just to participate.

    And @TanitIsis: and @The Cupcake Goddess: , really, me made sweatpants? Knit fabrics AND pants, two things I never sew in one project? Now that’s a challenge and a half! :) I’m more likely to made a really cute nightdress and robe set to lounge around the house in. (When it heats up a little, of course. Brrr..)