My pledges for #MeMadeMay2020

The time is flying by this year and for some reason, the routine of lockdown is meaning for me the days pass even more quickly than usual, and suddenly May is here again!

I am not a creature of routine. I have mentioned in previous posts that I usually travel 12 weeks of the year for work, and when I am in the UK I’m seeing friends, salsa dancing, spending time with my partner friends and family and squeezing sewing in here and there. Up now I’ve very much been at the beginner/intermediate stage and certainly wouldn’t have the wardrobe for a #memademay.

However I was inspired listening to the Love to Sew podcast episode about MeMadeMay that encouraged us to interpret it in our own individual ways and not to feel pressured about it – really, it’s a chance to reflect on your sewing journey and focus on some key goals. Right now none of us need the extra pressure and if anything, at least we have a LOT of time to reflect and sew!

So that’s what I’m outlining today – here are my pledges for my first full #memademay….

1. Hit £1,500 fundraising target

Those who follow me on instagram will know we hit an amazing £1000 total donation to the National Emergencies Trust in April thanks to the proceeds of these little labels. You guys are amazing and I am so thrilled they’ve had a positive response and been used so creatively.

My number 1 priority in May is to reach £1500 if we can. There are plenty of labels in stock, and some other exciting news coming in May too so keep an eye on here and my page!

2. Set a making schedule – and stick to it!

Last month I set myself the goal of a few garments I wanted to make and it really helped structure my sewing. I invested time in going through my pattern collection, matching them to the correct fabric type which in turn focussed my buying which if unchecked can get seriously out of hand.

Therefore in May I am focusing on:

  1. Sew Over it Eve in Atelier Brunette viscose
  2. New Look 6461 top in black linen
  3. New Look 6461 in navy tencel twill
  4. Nina Lee Kew in cotton poplin
  5. (maybe) FibreMood Norma in white linen

Let’s see how that pans out!

3. Wear me-made whenever I can, and not beat myself up if I don’t

I’ve got a pretty bad tendency to be really hard on myself if I don’t meet goals – and half the time, they’re goals I’ve set myself with no one judging me, but me! Lockdown has made me really anxious and sewing right now is an escape and a fun outlet for creativity during this crazy time. Whenever I can, I’ll wear me-made, but I won’t be making myself upset if I wear my Primark pjs from time to time.

4. Continue to build on my personal style and colour palette

I fell down a pretty deep internet hole a while ago looking at colour analysis in fashion and the right palette for you. My auntie did this about 20 years ago and has sworn by it ever since, claiming it helps focus your shopping (or in my case making), identify what suits you and cut out the riff raff from your wardrobe.

Pair this with my deep rooted desire to look like Jeanne Demas popping to the patisserie on the daily and a LOT of Pinterest boards are born. I have worked out that I am a ‘soft autumn’ and it has truly helped me so far whittle down what to look for when overwhelmed by choice online fabric shopping. This month I’m going to continue down this path and see where it leads me and hopefully finish the month with a clearer idea of my style.

If this looks intense, it’s because it is. And addictive.

5. Combine my two loves – languages and sewing!

Fun fact – did you know I can speak French and Spanish? What feels like a lifetime ago I was an educational tour leader and lived between France and Spain for around 3 years. I lived in 6 different cities between the two and absolutely love these two countries. There is a big maker community in both, especially France, and I’ve recently found myself connecting with French makers, pattern and fabric brands and stores on Instagram a lot more as the style really appeals to me. This month I’d like to try using more French hashtags, patterns and fabrics and listen to French maker podcasts as well, to keep up my connection with France and learn some new sewing skills, too.

Isewlation diaries

There’s a group of people you don’t hear grumbling about self-isolation or the lockdown or the queue in Tesco. They are the crafters.

When the call comes to stay home, lock the door, ideally not see anyone else and busy yourself quietly for 3 months please, the crafters firmly nod and pick up the project they’ve been trying to finish for about 2 years but have never gotten round to.

Lists are crucial to the coronavirus crafting process. When I was told to go home for the forseeable I was like a small child confronted with too much choice; I was either going to cry my eyes out or run at the first thing I thought of and grab it like a wild animal. That thing happened to be Abakhan, my local fabric shop. But I couldn’t go and stockpile willy-nilly like an idiot – poor planning results in the people who have filled their trollies with pasta and no sauce, lummoxes buying 20 bottles of water (we have taps!!!) and the woman in front of me at the till in Lidl who gasped oh god I forgot the gravy!! and rushed away before I could tell her she’d forgotten to take her baby with her. These people did not have lists, and look at them now.

My long suffering boyfriend and I traipsed to Abakhan who, far ahead of the panic engulfing the supermarkets, had already embraced the ‘one in, one out’ policy, no doubt founded during their January sale where the craftlust reaches dangerous proportions. Armed with a written list and my boyfriend under strict instruction not to let me waiver from it, we were allowed entrance by the very stern staff member who muttered our entrance into a walkie talkie. Honestly if Abakhan had been in charge of supermarket stockpiling weeks ago the world would be in a much better state.

I’d had a strong word with myself while compiling The List and had decided on the following:

  • 2m of felt to make a few more Luna Lapins, my current obsession
  • 2m gingham for a summer dress and hacked Nina Lee Kew crop top
  • Turquoise fabric for a curtain as requested by my pal
  • Canvas material to make some of the fat quarter makes I’ve been threatening to try after pulling the patterns out of endless magazines
  • 4ply cotton and a nice 4ply colourful wool to make some teeny Toft animals
  • Lace trims and ribbon for Luna’s dresses

Once we had covered all these bases and my boyfriend had his arms completely full, I was ready for the till. He looked at me, concerned. “Are you sure this is going to be enough? 3 months is a long time, are you sure you don’t want more wool? Thing is if you’re busy crafting I know you’ll leave me in peace and we’ll both be happy”

Some relationships might be on the edge during the crisis but just hearing him say that reassured me we will go the distance.

So that’s a round up of my Isewlation to-do list and I’ll be updating the progress (or lack thereof) here! Thanks for reading!

Some of my fabric stockpiling as well as other fabrics that have been languishing in my stash for too long