Monday, 2 April 2012
Me-Made-May '12: Join Me!!!!!!
It's here!!!!!!!!!!!!! The ONLY official me-made/self-stitched challenge of 2012, and now's the time to sign up.
What is MMM'12?
Me-Made-May '12 (MMM'12 for short) is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle/insert-other-creative-discipline-here garments for themselves. The me-made and self-stitched challenges have been taking place for over two years now and they work on both a personal and community level.
On a personal level, it is up to the participants to decide the specifics of their own challenge, so that the month really is challenging for them (more on this later). Typically, a participant pledges to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2012. The participants can also choose to document their challenge with daily photos (though this is not compulsory) and share them with other participants, through either their blog if they have one (having your own blog is by no means necessary to particpate), the Facebook page that will be created, or the Flickr group which will be created.
Why should I take part?
Well, there are a lot of reasons why you could take part, and lots of different reasons why past participants chose to do so. Many participants find the results of their sewing/crochetting/knitting/upcycling/refashioning all too often end up left in their wardrobe rather than worn out to work, college, to the shops etc. Some peops would like to start integrating those self-stitched items into their daily life but feel they need a bit of a nudge to do so. Some me-made/self-stitched challenge participants want to discover the 'holes' in their wardrobe so in the future they are able to focus their precious garment-creating time towards making things that will be more useful. Others feel what they tend to wear, day-to-day, doesn't really suit them or represent who they are, and want to spend a month focussing on getting out of their rut. Some participants enjoy the push this challenge gives them to finish off lingering unfinished projects to add some more self-stitched weapons to their garment-arsenal. And others (myself included) get a rush when receiving a compliment on a self-stitched garment, and want to spend a month increasingly the likelihood of receiving more!!! If the previous five challenges are anything to go by, there is also guaranteed to be a lovely online community of fellow participants to give support, advice and inspiration.
How do I sign up?
All you have to do is copy the pledge below and post it in the comments section of this post adapted to include your details and the personal specification of your challenge. This is YOUR challenge, write the script any way you want, just remember: IT IS A CHALLENGE. It is really annoying when these challenges receive the odd comment saying 'Oh, I already do this so I may as well sign up', which is clearly missing the point of challenging yourself. Also, THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION. It is a personal attempt to achieve a better relationship with your handmade creations, which you may or may not choose to share with the creative online community.
So, how do you create your own challenge? Have a think for a while about your current relationship with your creations, then think how you might want to improve that relationship. For example, you could challenge yourself to wearing one self-stitched and/or refashioned garment a day, Or, if you have been making clothing for a long time or have participated in previous me-made/self-stitched challenges, you may decide to challenge yourself to two self-stitched/refashioned garments a day, or even more! If you are fairly new to garment creating and/or refashioning, make this a challenge, but don't make it impossible for yourself. Maybe you wish to only involve refashions in this challenge: no problem! Perhaps you wish to include jewellery and accessories you have made: equally, no problem! Maybe, due to your job or something, you pledge to only wear self-stitched garments at the weekends: totes no problem! If you already wear a lot of self-stitched/refashioned items, think how you can up the ante.
'I, (insert name here and blog address if you have one), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear......................................................... each day for the duration of May 2012'
If you have a blog, re-post your pledge so your readers and followers can see what you are up to. Please include a link to this post so others can also sign-up if they are interested. If there's one thing I've learnt from these challenges, the more people involved, the better the party!
What do I have to do next?
Nothing in particular. Over the next couple of weeks I'll create and announce the Facebook page and Flickr groups, so pop back to this blog soon for details if you wish to be part of either of them. Later this week I will post the code for a lovely 'Me-Made-May'12' widget/button of the logo pictured at the top of this post. You can that to add to your blog if you wish to advertise to your readers what you are up to. Other than those optional things, there's really nothing to do until 1st May 2012! Although you may decide to finish up that UFO (unfinished object), maybe a skirt waiting to be hemmed or the blouse that needs the buttons stitched on! But please people, NO PANIC-SEWING NECESSARY!!
How can I document and interact throughout this challenge?
As I touched upon before, how you choose to document (or not) this challenge is entirely up to you. Most participants, however, find the interaction with other participants to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the month. If you are not able or don't fancy taking a photo everyday, why not photograph your favourite one or two days from each week? If you don't like being photographed, there's always the options of re-creating that outfit on a tailor's dummy, hanging the garment/s up or laying them on the floor to photograph. If you have a blog and wish to share your outfit photos on it but don't have the time or desire to post daily, you could post more manageable summaries once or twice a week.
Similarly with the Flickr group, if you wish to be part of that, there is no need to post your pictures daily. Everyone who joins has an upload limit of 14 photos per week, so there's no need to feel panicked if you can't post on there for a while. If you wish to skip some days' photos entirely, that's totally cool. If you choose not to join the Flickr group, you can still 'pop by' and see what everyone else is wearing, although you won't be able to comment on the photos or discussions without joining. I'll explain more about the Flickr group in the post that annouces it's invention within a couple of weeks.
HAVE FUN!!!! This challenge is meant to be explorative, illuminating and beneficial, but so much fun to be had too. Getting dressed can often be fun, and if you haven't felt any clothes-based fun for a while, why not see if this challenge can help inject some of that back? 'Hanging out' online with the other participants can be a big part of that fun by seeing what they are wearing (either by visiting their personal blogs or through the Flickr group or Facebook page) and by sharing your own unique take on this challenge.
There will also be some special surprises, some for participants and one for all my blog readers, to be announced on 1st May. So don't forget to pop back then!
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns about Me-Made-May '12 that haven't been addressed in this post (sozoblog (at) gmail (dot) com).