My Handmade Wardrobe #memademay2018

May was a busy month as always, but I managed to find time to focus on wearing my handmade wardrobe more - yay! I took part in Me Made May an initiative organised by a lovely blogger called Zoe to help sewists improve their relationship with their handmade wardrobe. I pledged to wear as much handmade as I could in the month of May - find out how I got on in our latest vlog.



Hi and welcome to the Sew Essential vlog, I hope you are well? This month I thought it would be a nice opportunity to reflect on my participation in Me Made May. If you aren't familiar with MMMay a lovely lady named Zoe set the initiative up nine years ago. The idea is to make a pledge regarding your handmade wardrobe in the month of May and see how you get on. Here's what I did. As always you can find links to our website and the blog where you will find details of my makes below.

My Pledge

Many of the participants pledge to wear me made every day, however, I knew I'm not really in a position to do that just yet. Therefore I decided to keep it simple and pledge to wear me made as often as I could. In previous years I had only ever managed a couple of days. This time I knew I could do a lot better.

The Outfits

In no particular order here is what I wore:

The McCalls Parrot Dress

This is one of my favourite dresses I've ever made. You can find the blog post here. It is McCalls 7591 in our double georgette parrot fabric lined with our polycotton in navy.

I wore this dress for a BBQ we hosted at our house one wonderfully warm Saturday evening with flat sandals for a casual look. It is always a firm favourite in my holiday wardrobe too where I like to dress it up with heels.

Thanks to the elasticated waist it is super comfy and easy to throw on. The polycotton and ultra lightweight georgette mean it is cool in the heat too. I love the racer back and cross over bodice plus the little slit at the front. Such great little details and all in all a brilliant summer dress.

The Simplicity Vintage Pencil Skirt

Every year as soon as the weather warms up I reach for this Simplicity pencil skirt. I think pencil skirts can feel incredibly formal, however, thanks to the soft cotton sateen fabric I used this skirt feels easy to wear for every day. I dress it down with this simple black top and casual black sandals, but I can also dress it up with a pink cami and heels.

Sadly the pattern has been discontinued, but we have a wide range of alternative suitable pencil skirt patterns to choose from here. This particular Ohio print is no longer available, but we have several alternatives, one in the same colourway here.

The Simplicity Wrap Dress

This wrap dress is one of my latest makes and I could not wait to wear it! It is Simplicity 8608 in our black floral viscose fabric.

I modified the sleeves from a full length flared sleeve to an elbow length sleeve with a double cuff. I felt this gave the dress a nice casual feel. Paired with casual black sandals and my denim jacket I feel extremely comfortable, feminine and confident in this make.

I had to stitch the neckline together to stop it gaping, but I'm really pleased with the results. I love the fact the skirt has a false overlay rather than being a real wrap so you don't have to worry about it flapping open. I chose the wider tie and think it looks better tied at the side to emphasise the wrap look.

The Burda T Shirt Dress

I made this Tshirt dress last year and it is one of my most worn makes. I've worn it at least three times this month. The original pattern is Burda 6540 which is actually a loose fitting slash neck design. I decided to modify the neckline to a round neck then sewed some 1/4" elastic in at the waist to create the blouson effect. I created a spaghetti strap and hand sewed it on as a false tie.

This dress is so easy to wear, chuck it on over your head and add sandals and you're ready to go. The fabric is no longer available, but we have a fantastic range of patterned jersey fabrics available here to choose from.

The Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top

This pattern is a firm favourite in my wardrobe all year round. It is the Agnes top by Tilly and the Buttons. I've made it four times and it is perfect for those days when a jumper isn't necessary, but it is just a little bit too cool for short sleeves. Having said that, you can make the short sleeve version too.

This is far and away my favourite version of the top in our black and wine leopard print jersey fabric. You can find our full range of patterned jersey fabrics here.

Worn with black skinny jeans, my Converse trainers and a leather jacket it feels like a glamorous take on a super casual outfit. I've worn it twice in May and know it will feature heavily in my Autumn wardrobe too.

The Black Scuba Skirt

This scuba skirt is also a firm favourite in my handmade wardrobe. It is one of my most simple, unexciting makes, but one of my most worn. A true wardrobe staple.

The pattern is Simplicity 1370 which I modified to include an exposed zip at the back. The fabric is the most beautiful quality John Kaldor scuba fabric.

I wear this skirt on colder days with thick black tights and a colourful top. It is comfortable, fits perfectly and feels smart without being too formal.

The Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse

This Sew Over It pussy bow blouse is another of my more recent makes and I love it. I've worn this at least twice this month. I made it in one of our viscose fabrics and it is so comfortable to wear.

I think the cut is incredibly flattering and found the fit to be excellent. It is also a nice simple make since there are no fastenings apart from the cuff buttons and loops.

I would definitely make this pattern again and would like to try making a version minus the bow. The neckline is lovely and not too low.


As the month progressed I was worried I might be disappointed with my efforts, but actually I think I've done very well. I've worn me made items 13 days out of 31 so 42% of the month. In previous years I've only ever managed a few days so I'm thrilled to have managed so many different outfits on so many different days.

If you haven't ever taken part in Me Made May I highly recommend it. Sitting down and reflecting like this has definitely boosted my motivation and made feel a great sense of achievement. I can see my progress and my improving ability to pair patterns and fabrics and create garments I will want to wear again and again.

Making every day wear is important but interesting twists and details make them stand out from my ready to wear items. I am finally getting the hang of dresses and skirts for day wear! In fact, you can see my next project hanging behind me.

Have fun sewing!


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