Let's kick things off with a confession. I massively planned on announcing MMMar '11 weeks earlier than I actually did, so apologies to those participants who would have prefered a little longer to plan and stitch. I've been spending so much time and head space on Brighton Craftaganza since the year began, that it was a shock to me to discover it was February already and I'd, in reality, done f-all about MMMar '11. Thankfully this clearly hasn't put many off because, as I write this, a (lucky) 69 people have signed up so far!
So, before I get even more behind schedule, I really should sign-up myself!
'I, Zoe of 'So, Zo... What do you know?' sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March '11. I endeavour to wear all handmade clothing and refashioned knitwear each day for the duration of March 2011. I am excluding bras, socks, tights and shoes'
There, done. The keenest eyed of you may notice that I've changed my approach a bit this time around. Whereas for my three previous challenges I wore nothing but me-mades from scratch, this time I'm including refashioned knitwear which, by my definition, includes sweatshirts, jumpers and cardigans (I believe the collective noun in the US would be 'sweaters'). This decision may look like I'm actually lowering the ante, rather than upping the handmade stakes, so let me explain.
By particpating in Me-Made-March (2010), Me-Made-May and Self-Stitched-September following my previous rules, I think I've adequately proved already that I can get by in only me-made clothing, which includes my (incredibly limited) selection of me-made warm tops (Saint Cardigan and the ruffle front jumper, to be precise). I haven't made any more jumpers or cardigans suitable for a British March, and to be honest I don't really want to. The reasoning behind this is kind of three pronged. 1# I'm just not that into modern knitwear styles and by association, most of the selection of contemporary sewing/knitting patterns available. These days, I'm mostly (though not exclusively) into creating things from vintage patterns, and I have never found a mid-century cut-and-sew vintage sewing pattern for knitted fabric. I just don't think they'd developed cut and sew knitted fabric at that time, at least not for retail. I think that came further into the 60's and into the 70's.
2# I still can't be bothered to learn to knit. It'll happen at some point in my life, but it's not on my list pf priorities right now. So if I want vintage-style knitwear, I either have to be incredibly inventive with cut and sew knitted fabric and my own pattern cutting (for which I have limited patience for), or I have to do some....
3# Refashioning. As you may have read, towards the tail end of last year, I begun to get back into refashioning as a concept. Of course, greatly inspired by the activities of my new job, I've been seeing the creative possibilites in existing old clothing with fresh eyes. Also, I'm not sure I can justify the environmental impact of buying new cut and sew knitted fabric, or balls of wool, when I have ready access to lots of used and very unloved exisiting garments which are otherwise going to be pulped to become polar fleece or something.
I have built up a small pile of used jumpers, cardis and sweatshirts that all could use some re-working to make them wearable. I've been slacking on that recently and relying on some old RTW warm tops I have, but I would really like to get these vintagey inspired pieces done and in my wardrobe, so by including them in my MMMar '11 contract, I might actually get round to it before the UK's fleeting summer shows its face!
I have hoarded these RTW garment images in my inspiration file to inspire future knitwear refashioning. These garments on the mannequins are from Mod Cloth, the rest are by Orla Kiely. Time to take a closer look at them, me-thinks! Happy stitching peops.