Alrighty, big announcement! I have officially decided to participate in the Me-Made-May Challenge. I was wandering around the internets and stumbled upon the blog of the woman who hosts the whole event, So Zo... , and I thought it was an interesting idea. Then I found a link to the blog of Canadian fiber artist/clothing designer Natalie Purschwitz and her amazing MakeShift project, and I was absolutely smitten with what I found. She runs an art space called Make Shift, and she has taken on the hugely daunting task (to me at least) of wearing nothing but handmade items for an entire year. And I'm not just talking about clothing: she made shoes, bras, undies, socks, hats, everything. Her style is undeniably beautiful and somewhat quirky, and I completely love it. I think I love the way everything is slightly asymmetrical but evokes an almost proper Victorian-Era feel as well:

After looking at every last picture and speaking about it with my ever-inspiring and ever-encouraging co-worker Aubrey, I knew I had to give it a try.
Now, I know that I most likely cannot go as far as Natlie did, though it would be quite an accomplishment if during the month of May I was able to explore ways of making shoes and bras for myself. But I will participate as dictated in the rules laid out on Zoe's website. I will wear nothing but clothes I made by hand for the entire month of May. And after reading the rules, I have decided that repurposed clothing will count for me in this challenge as well, because even though I would like to pretend that I make things like altered t-shirts all the time, it is truly a challenge for me to find a chunk of time wherein I posses the necessary energy and inspiration to do even the simplest clothes sewing. But, I am making up for that fact by upping the anty: I will also wear only handmade accessories, like jewelry, gloves, hats, and scarves. I will take a picture of my outfit every day and post it on here too.
And by far my biggest goal of the next month is that I am going to knit a sweater. Probably does not sound like a big deal to most knitters, but I am new to the game and making anything bigger than a hat seems terrifyingly large. I have chosen the simplest, easiest pattern I could find, and I already have the yarn in a stash box under my bed, so I am ready to make a go at it. I am going to start knitting it on May 1st, and my ultimate goal is to have it completed and to wear it on May 31st. And if all of this goes according to plan and I manage not to give up or cheat or not finish the sweater, I have thought of a reward: if I complete the challenge in full, I am going to buy myself a dressmaker's dummy. Yup. But I have a feeling I may loose steam on the sweater and save myself some money, so either way it will all turn out in my favor, but I want the dummy really really badly, hopefully badly enough to make this thing happen.

Luckily I am not starting completely from scratch in this endeavor. I have the short-sleeve mesh sweater I crocheted long ago that does not see enough daylight. I also have the raincloud shirt, the mushroom skirt, and the steampunk skirt. So I am already doing okay. And I have a tank top, long skirt, and a special surprise refashion yet to be unveiled, but that will be coming in the next post. I am going to spend tonight sewing simple t-shirts out of a bunch of fabric from my stash, and if it goes well I should be set for shirts.

But I cannot stop just there. I have a very long, and most often very cold, commute. I need to figure out a jacket of some kind. Oh, did I mention I am also doing this while trying to buy as little new or even thrifted materials as possible? I have enough stuff in my stash to keep me properly clothed for the rest of my life, so I may as well use it. Anywho, back to the coat. A proper coat will take me a while, so unless I want to freeze to death until then, I am going to have to make something else. My mother suggested a cape, and I have a wonderful red wool that would be perfect for it so long as I can find a soft lining. I also want to make myself a hoodie, and I found a great tutorial on how to do it here. And I would like to make some gloves and a pair of yoga pants for the gym. And probably a pair of regular pants too.

I want to spend Me-Made-May not only wearing handmade clothes but also making a bunch of them, so there will be plenty of posts to go around. Wish me luck! Oh, and if you know of any good clothing tutorials out there, either knitted, crocheted, sewn, repurposed, whatever, please let me know!


  1. That is a great motivator - a dressmakers dummy!

    I'm going to do Me-Made-May too. I am also thinking about knitting myself a cardigan. What pattern did you choose for your sweater?

    Good luck with your preparations!

  2. Anonymous11:48 AM

    we made american indian shoes in the 60's that really held up !
    made by tracing the foot for the shape and size and allof thick suede and leather...with fur liners ...some of us embroidered on the as well...

  3. I found a great top-down super simple seamless sweater called the deep breath sweater. I just cast on the neckline thismorning!

    Also, I cannot wait to try to make shoes. I am almost 100% sure it will happen this month.

  4. Hi! I LOVE how enthusiastic and positive you are for the challenge, your energy is infectious! Thought I'd pass on this link for making your own pants:

    It helped me figure out how to make my own pants, and I don't think I'll ever go back to buying them ever again. It's also a great quick-gratification project as you can make several pairs in one session.

    All the best

  5. Thanks Zoe! They are definitely on my list of things to do this month!