Well, not literally, yet! After seeing Zoe’s Me-Made-May ’12 challenge the other day I was thrilled and hesitant at the same time. I have not participated in many of the me-made challenges because, quite frankly, I do not have me-mades enough to get me through 31 days. The June and September challenges that I have participated in have been a little more challenging than I thought they would be as I tried to find me-mades in my closet that were weather/life appropriate. And I am quite intimidated by the wardrobes and styling of most of the participants – like Claudine or Carolyn. Which isn’t the point, I know, but when I see wardrobes of almost all me-mades and so beautifully styled, it makes me realize how much is lacking in my own closet. Well, maybe not my own closet, but my styling ideas are woefully few. Having said that, blogging about my me-mades has helped me in the area of what goes well together and what doesn’t go well together. Nothing like a photo op to glaringly show up what works and what most definitely does not. You see, I initially started sewing because my mother sewed and it looked like something fun to do. Then I discovered Vogue magazines and read them religiously as a young teen and really really wanted to dress like that, every day, all day, regardless of the appropriateness of a Chanel-style suit in high school.
So I started to sew up designer Vogue patterns as a 12 year old – particularly the old Individualist line they had years ago. I guess my mom thought it kept me out of trouble and she liked to see her daughter dressed better than she was able to dress during her teens. And my dad was quite happy because I saved him a lot of money. I have one distinct memory of him telling me he was so happy that I sewed so well because he would never have been able to afford to dress me the way I dressed if I didn’t make my own clothes! Needless to say, I stuck out like a sore thumb in high school, and by the time I hit university, I was totally “way out there somewhere”.
I mean, you can’t walk around university campus in stilettos, although you may be able to walk around a high school in them – like I did. And I grew a bit sideways, too, when I moved out on my own, which meant that my entire overdressed wardrobe didn’t fit anymore.
So I quite sewing for myself except for the really pricey concert gowns or office attire that I couldn’t afford to buy. It is still more economical to make a ball gown than to buy one. In my size, anyways. Sample sales are only good for ideas in my curvy world.
Then I discovered Pattern Review and the world of sewing fanatics like you all, dear readers, and was amazed! There were other people with my crazy love of fabrics and sewing. Although, I do confess, I was more discouraged than encouraged for a long time – you are all so very talented and it was quite disheartening to read and learn and read and learn more until I realized how little I actually knew about garment construction! And let’s not even start talking about fitting….
It has never been my intent to sew all of my clothing. I am quite happy to by RTW t-shirts or hunt eternally for that pair of jeans that finally fits, and I have found a couple of labels that fit relatively well straight off the rack, albeit at a pretty chunk of change. I have made up a couple of casual items over the last couple of years, but they are the items that I wear the least and eventually end up giving away. I feel more comfortable in a RTW tee than in one I’ve made myself, and I haven’t bothered to analyze why.
And then there’s the reality of my lifestyle. Believe me, I would love to be one of those SAHM’s that is glamourous all the time. But it takes a lot of time and work, quite frankly, to try to look fabulous all the time. Honestly, if I’m not out running errands or driving children to appointments, then I’m usually at home in old turtlenecks, yoga pants or jeans doing SAHM stuff that is most definitely not conducive to dressing up. I mean, for goodness’ sake, do I really want to add a stack of silk dresses, wool pants or a ball skirt to my already overflowing laundry room?
I guess I’m a slow mover – I’ve needed to mull over just why I sew and what I’m happy sewing and then actually wearing – and I’ve come to the decision that I’d really like to work on sewing up my stashed fabrics and patterns in a leisurely and pleasurable way that results in garments I wear out because I like wearing them so much. That said, I’d like to commit to Me-Made-May ‘12. Hopefully I’ll add a few bottoms and a couple of shirts to my wardrobe before and during this challenge, since those two items are sorely missing in my me-made collection.
I, Tia Dia of Mezzo Couture, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item of clothing each day for the duration of May 2012.