Me Made May 2017 (and summer plans)

I will be doing Me Made May 2017. Will you?

This is a longstanding initiative by Zoe, or So Zo, to try to encourage sewists to wear the items we make, and to show (on Instagram or blogs) how the hand made items are combined in our wardrobe. I did it last year for the first time and found it quite illuminating. Of course there are lots of people who have entirely “me made” wardrobes, and newer sewists who only have a few summer dresses, but everyone can join in with their own criteria.

This year, as I have knitted a few jumpers since May 2016, I want to try wearing a hand knitted item everyday, usually combined with a me-made item from my sewn wardrobe. It may be a bit warm (as we often have a few nice days in May – in fact we have already had a few blooming amazing days during April. It was 24.5C yesterday) so this is only an aspiration. But as I often leave the house before the sun is up I can include a jumper instead of a jacket I think.

I have knitted seven items now – two for Gus – but five for me. And I will have done two more by 30 April. The mauve and brown Holsten (being constructed above) and I hope the Sloper top, previously mentioned, although the pattern is not out until 1 May. I feel sure it will be a quick project. My existing hand-knitted tops are mainly warm, except for the red and white striped T shirt which, so far, has been very little worn. Probably because of our cool climate. The other four have been worn a great deal – most days in fact.

Five hand knitted tops

What about the Fara Raglan you might ask? This is a retro looking, Fair Isle type jersey, with lots of different colours in it. The problem is the end is in sight – I am doing the ribbing at the hem (it is a top down top), and after that only have the short sleeves to complete. But it looks too small as the yarn has pulled the fabric tight, and I was nearly finished before I figured out how to manage the tension and swap colours using both hands to knit with. So I am thinking of just throwing it out (or maybe unravelling it, but the yarn was not expensive and doing colour work means it is chopped into small pieces). However I am very keen to do some colour work. A dear friend has noticed that I have “modern minimalist tastes” in knitting patterns, which I guess is true – there is a remarkable amount of stocking stitch there (and for Gus too). I must admit that I really like the top down, yoked, raglan sleeved approach Ankestrick uses (and the Fara), as I not yet competent at seaming.

My three remaining sewing projects might be finished by May, but one of them is a coat! I may make up the nice Burda dress, but my fancy has been captured by a dress I saw in a designer shop. I wouldn’t want to copy this exactly, but I love the prints together. And I love pink, yellow and blue together. I may produce some silk samples for a patchwork or multi-print dress. I have been wanting to create something like this for ages. Maybe this summer, especially if I get an invitation to a special event of some sort.

ATTICO silk tea dress
ATTICO silk tea dress

(I know – it looks like she is wearing an electronic tag).

I am not sure how wearing hand made clothes and knits will work out – but it is an interesting Me Made May 2017 challenge for me.

21 Responses

  1. I like the challenge you’ve set yourself. My challenge this year is to wear something I’ve made every day & also catalogue all my fabric in order to try & sew from what I have – hopefully it will help reduce my stash! I always look forward to MeMadeMay!!
    I love that top photo of your mum helping you with your knitting.

  2. Would the Fara jumper fit a little person? Or has it just turned into an odd shape? What else could it be used for? A tea cosy?! As for the astonishing pile of (beautiful) projects you’ve successfully finished – how amazing that you love to wear them as well as make them! The top-down yoke style of knitted garment is a lot neater finish than the traditional seams and are a better fit (in my opinion). I look forward to hearing about your next project/s and MMM on Instagram.

  3. Kate, I really hope you don’t get to wear those jumpers too often during the day. We enjoyed this sunny weekend so much we can’t wait for the nice weather to come back now.
    I might join in for a few of days a week. I work from home 3 days a week and I don’t think I have made any/much lounge wear.
    I like your neutral knits, I need to start knitting my grey yarns because cabled and lacy leaf green cardigans are not easy to wear. The brown and mauve look really good together, I wouldn’t have thought to combine them.
    Here are just a few turle neck jumpers I found on ravlery, just in case you can’t wait until May. If you want to use a chunkier yarn you can knit a smaller size but because you are already small you might need to do a bit of maths. It is such a basic design I don’t even think you need a pattern. You already have a sloper for sewing, why not use that? You will have to make a gauge test anyway; there’s no shaping so you will only need to figure out the width.

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/blaze-4
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#photo=yes&availability=free&fit=adult%2Bfemale&pa=turtleneck&view=large_mobile&sort=popularity&pc=clothing&__viewed=714168
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stripe-sleeveless-pullover

  4. Can’t stop looking at the tag! Better be home by 7!

  5. I hadn’t thought about Me Made May yet, so thanks for the memory jogger. I too did it for the first time last year and am still undecided whether to join in again. I’m sewing and knitting as much as ever and wearing a lot of my handmades already so not sure what I’d get out of it this time. Wearing your jumpers is a great idea and reminds me that I really don’t wear mine enough. Food for thought. Love that last dress too, the print mixing is wonderful and it’s so distinctive. Look forward to seeing your version.

  6. Looking at all your knits together I am amazed by your output and they are quite lovely. As you say, MMM sounds very doable for you as you wilI need something warmish every day.

    I like the style of the designer dress but not the mix of prints and that surprises me because I like the idea of it, the colour contrasts and scale of patterns look odd and not in a good way. Not bad for inspiration but you’ll make a better version sans tag.

  7. I think I left too many links in my previous comment and it went to spam 🙂

    • I was saying:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Kate, I really hope you don’t get to wear those jumpers too often during the day. We enjoyed this sunny weekend so much we can’t wait for the nice weather to come back now.
      I might join in for a few of days a week. I work from home 3 days a week and I don’t think I have made any/much lounge wear.
      I like your neutral knits, I need to start knitting my grey yarns because cabled and lacy leaf green cardigans are not easy to wear. The brown and mauve look really good together, I wouldn’t have thought to combine them.
      Here are just a few turle neck jumpers I found on ravlery, just in case you can’t wait until May. If you want to use a chunkier yarn you can knit a smaller size but because you are already small you might need to do a bit of maths. It is such a basic design I don’t even think you need a pattern. You already have a sloper for sewing, why not use that? You will have to make a gauge test anyway; there’s no shaping so you will only need to figure out the width.

  8. Wonderful plan, and I’m so impressed with your knitting conversion. I find it toooo boring unless there are lots of complicated stitches and/or colour changes. Unfortunately, the amount of hand pain caused by my last foray [a cable knit coat of all things] has made me realise that knitting for anyone other than babies is probably over. Also, I get too hot to wear woolies these days.
    Maybe you could fashion your fair isle into a cushion for your wonderful country home?

  9. I second the idea of turning your too small jumper into something else. Cushion cover?
    I probably won’t be doing mmm17 as I don’t have enough items that I’ve made that fit. Many of my makes are for family and I’m slow. However, I am in the process of making some items – and trousers of course – and if I get a few of those finished then I could participate. However, a main aim is to refashion Missy (the dressmaking model we customised for Helen) for me if Rory feels it’s better to start with the small one rather than the larger model. Currently getting a close fitting torso block fitted.

  10. I have done MMM a few times but didn’t both to document last year. One think I found about my MMM15 was how dull the wardrobe was at the time. I’m trying to focus on being more colourful!
    I love the dress, I enjoyed your post about prints together, this is a perfect example.

  11. Stephanie

    You certainly have knitted a lot in a few short months! I was just thinking and I’ve only knitted two garments with a third on the way over a similar period, although I do have a half-done cable knit that was taking a lot of time last fall and that I will eventually get back to. Maybe I am due for something more sleek and modern, too. It would certainly fit better in my wardrobe than do my quirkier knits. Like DF, I think I’m attracted by more complicated projects than I need to be.

    Modern minimalist applies in relative terms, especially in the context of the knit-along sleeveless top (Fringe Association definitely veers towards modern minimalist), but it’s understandable. I know you’ve said that you want garments that will whip off your needles and that you can knit while doing other important things, and lace or cables or detailed colour work take a lot more time and focus than does than stocking stitch as it’s easy to lose the plot, so to speak. The Ankestrick suits your style and it’s a good entry point to fitting a sweater as the top-down seamless shape lends itself to fitting as you go. I think these tops also forgo ribbing or any borders, if I’m not mistaken? While I agree with Kerry that this type of sweater has nice fitting possibilities associated with it if you want something sleek (It still has to be adjusted to fit the bust of the person, to get a perfect fit, although knit fabric is of course forgiving), lots of other types of knitting can also be fitted perfectly, even with seams, which do serve a purpose. I feel like I am a bit of a broken record but it drives me crazy when people dismiss anything but the latest knitting styles on the block. Sometimes I have to flip open my Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries just to marvel at the ingenuity of knitters over the centuries in figuring out interesting and complicated stitch patterns, lace work and colour work techniques. I go to my favourite knitting blogs to get my hit of the heirloom knitting that some still do.

    OK, off my soapbox!

    I do love the idea of a patchwork dress. It sounds silly but I had one when I was three and I still look at those photos. I think you can do much better than the dress in the photo and I look forward to seeing what you do.

  12. I agree with the others about making your jumper into something else rather than tossing it. I made an ugly sock into a cute monster and it was quite fun. I have no small children in my life so my cat enjoys snuggling with the monster.

  13. I usually enjoy print combinations but there is something very disturbing about this one, even beyond the model’s posture and leg thing. I’m sure you’ll do better…..

    ceci

  14. I love the pattern and the design of the frock (priced at £1,482!) but, wow, it looks appallingly badly made. I had a look at the close-ups of the solid cream version on the website and the silk had pulls and runs where the stitching had caught. I’m at a bit of a loss – do people actually spend so much on something thrown together like that?

    Sorry – don’t like to be negative but have been examining the pictures in amazement for the past 10 minutes. My muslins are better finished than that and I am a fairly sloppy seamstress compared to what I see on blogs like yours.

  15. I like the frock, though I couldn’t wear it. Your knitting output amazes me. Are you just incredibly fast at doing rows? I tried MMM a couple of times, but it was the photo requirement which let me down.May is a good month for showing your makes, it’s usually mixed weather, so warmer garments and lightweight clothes get an airing.

  16. I took part in MMM for two years in a row several years ago but now that even more of my clothing is made by me there isn’t much of a challenge for me. Though it was interesting to learn how many clothes I really have and what were my favourites and what wasn’t such a good look, though I might like the fabric the silhouette might be totally wrong for my shape and proportion. By the second week it was very tedious to take a daily photo.

  17. You are incredibly prolific! If you don’t want to keep the sweater/jumper, you may want to donate it to a thrift store instead of throwing it out.

  18. I love your sweaters! Brava!

    I’m sure I’ll love your version of the dress. I do like print mixing, but I’ll agree with others that this example is a bit off. Maybe there’s not a clear, dominant focal point.

    Right now my wardrobe is so limited that I’ll be me-made every day, but will be boring to document. lol I hope to have bandages off soon and see if my new dresses fit. In the mean time, I’m making knit tops.

  19. Looking forward to seeing how you integrate and style your lovely handknits for MMM.

    My self-made wardrobe is currently a bit thin on the ground. Any sewing/making I’ve done in the past few months has been for others (quilt, curtains, dress alterations etc). I really need to have a thorough sort through of my wardrobe as it’s sadly lacking any cohesion or structure. I used to make nearly all my own clothes and I would love to get back to that position, so I shall dedicate some time in May to an initial sort out.

    Just wondering if the Fara jumper could be felted? It seems a shame for all that work to go to waste.

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