**IF YOU WISH TO SIGN UP FOR #MMMAY16, PLEASE HEAD TO THIS POST**
What is Me-Made-May?
Me-Made-May is a challenge that I organise annually that is designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to actually wear and love them. They have been taking place for six years now and they work on both personal and community levels. The participants decide the specifics of their own challenge pledge, so that the month is appropriate and challenging for them (more on this below). For example, a very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May. The participants can also choose to document their challenge with daily photos (though this is in no way compulsory for taking part) and share them with other participants (more on this below).
What isn't Me-Made-May?
- The Me-Made-May challenges are NOT about taking daily outfit photographs. However, many participants do choose to document their challenge with daily/weekly/as-often-as-you-like photos and share them on their blog if they have one or on Flickr, Pinterest or Instagram. The challenge is about wearing your handmade clothing more often than you usually do, if you choose to take documentation photos, then that is fabulous and we'd love to see 'em, but taking photos isn't necessary or compulsory and really isn't the point of the challenge.
- Me-Made-May also isn't reason to panic-sew/make anything. This challenge is about wearing the items that you have already created, not about stock-piling more makes. However, if you want to use taking part in the challenge as the kick in the butt you need to finally hem that half-finished skirt, or rework an ill-fitting garment, then great. Remember, this challenge is meant to be fun, and panic-anything isn't fun!
- Me-Made-May isn't a competition. It doesn't matter how many self-stitched items you already have or haven't. You can take part even if you just have one solitary self-made item! You just need to set your pledge to make it challenging for YOU, no matter what criteria other participants have set themselves.
I haven't taken part in any of these before, why should I take part?
- Do your handmade items often get left in the wardrobe rather than worn as part of your everyday wardrobe? Participating in this challenge can give you a bit of a nudge to help you to integrate your self-stitched items into your daily life.
- This challenge may also be useful for discovering the 'holes' in your wardrobe so in the future you are able to focus your precious garment-creating time towards making things that will be useful.
- If you feel that what you tend to wear, day-to-day, doesn't really suit you or represent who you are, this challenge is a way to spend a month focussing on getting out of your wardrobe rut.
- You may enjoy an excuse to focus on finishing off lingering UFOs (un-finished objects), or to start a project you've had on your mind for ages.
- If you have been creating clothing for some time and already wear a lot of your me-mades, this challenge might help you to bring newer self-stitched items into regular rotation.
- If you tend to make all kinds of garments, you may even want to see if you can get by all month entirely without shop-bought garments.
- There is also guaranteed to be a lovely online community of fellow participants to give support, advice and inspiration.
I've taken part in these in the past, why should I take part next year?
Did you enjoy it last time/the previous times you took part?
If the answer is 'Yes': Then you'll have lots of fun again this year, whilst challenging yourself in a different way and learning something new about yourself and your style/skills/preferences/wardrobe. You just need to think about how you can alter and/or amp up your pledge specifics to get the most out of this year's challenge.
If the answer is 'No': Well if that's a 'no' because the challenge you set yourself was too hard, then that is easily rectified this time round; set your pledge so that it is tricky but do-able. If it's a 'no' because you didn't enjoy the pressure you felt to take photos each day, then simply don't worry about documenting your challenge with photos. You'll learn lots of lessons and get satisfaction from taking part in the challenge and completing your pledge, not from the documentation of it (although some participants have found that seeing the daily images of themselves has really helped them figure out what garments suit them and what doesn't work so well). If you'd like to do a little bit of documenting, then why not just photograph your favourite outfit/garment you wore at the end of the week, or some other version that doesn't make you feel under pressure? But seriously, if you didn't like taking part in it and don't want to try again, fair enough!
Ok, you've convinced me, how do I sign up?
Come back to this blog between 1st and 30th April 2016 (although hopefully you will before then too!) when the signing up period is open. You will be asked to copy and paste a pledge into the comments section of the sign-up post. You will fill in the blanks of that pledge with your name, blog name (if you have one), and the specifics of your individual pledge. If you find that you struggle to think of what to pledge, the comments section will have many many examples that other people have come up that may provide inspiration for your own. That sign-up post will include more information about the challenge and all the social media links. The official hashtag for Twitter and Instagram will be #mmmay16.
If you are concerned or confused about any aspect of this challenge, please email me at sozoblog (at) g mail (dot) com. I hope you'll be taking part in May 2016!