Saturday 1 April 2023

Me-May-May '23!

Ok, friends.... It's time for me to launch the Me-Made-May 2023 challenge! These challenges are now in their 14th year, which I'm struggling to believe. It's pretty wonderful actually, to have created something that continues to help, inspire and unite the sewing community that has spanned the various changes in technologies over that time. 

For 2022, I gave MMM a bit of a makeover and minor relaunch. I worked hard to simplify and clarify the challenge, how you participate and why. I've never been able to explain MMM as a snappy elevator pitch, which is a weakness or sorts, but also a source of strength, because it can be what individuals need it to be. 

This year, I'm basically re-delivering this simplified presentation, both here and on Instagram (@sozoblog). Last year I also created an explanatory episode for those wishing to hear more and delve deeper to get the most out of their challenge. I'll be re-releasing that episode this week for those who didn't hear it the first time round, or would like a reminder. 

I also created two accompanying podcast episodes to help people design their pledge so it'll be most useful for them. Those episodes also included some conversations with previous podcast guests about their experiences of, and takeaways from, participating in previous years. They are:

You don't need to listen on the player that the links take you to, however. Check Your Thread is available to listen to on all the major podcast apps. 

But let's break it down here and now...

What is Me-Made-May?

MMM is a wardrobe challenge that helps you improve your relationship with your handmade items. That includes your existing items, as well as the items you might choose to make in the future. To participate you need to wear your handmade items more often or in some way differently to how you usually get dressed. The point of doing this is to give yourself the opportunity to learn some useful lessons and/or alter how you feel about those items. There is no set, single pledge because everyone is different, with different lives and different goals, so participants design their own pledge so that it'll be challenging and useful for them. The challenge happens by setting specifics for yourself that will be a bit difficult, but do-able.

You can’t really predict what you’ll learn, but by giving yourself a month to focus more on what you’re wearing, you’re opening yourself to gathering heaps of knowledge that you can take forward. That knowledge will help you make better choices for future projects. By applying the lessons, you’ll be upping your chances of your future handmade items making you feel fantastic and having long, useful lives.

What isn't Me-Made-May?

Over the years, I’ve noticed four common misconceptions about the challenge, so let’s address them now:

MMM is not a making challenge. The challenge is about wearing your existing handmade items. It’s not about accruing more things. Giving yourself a month to focus on what you’ve got will help you appreciate what you have, perhaps fall back in love with some items, and subsequently get more from the time, energy, money and resources that you’ve already put into your craft and your clothes.

MMM is not a photo challenge. All the photos of people in their handmade outfits that appear on social media during May can definitely make it seem that MMM is all about donning a cute handmade outfit and taking and sharing pictures. However, and I cannot stress this enough, those photos are documentation of the challenge, NOT the challenge itself, and photos are ENTIRELY optional!!!!!!

MMM is not a competition. 

MMM is a personal challenge, you’re not competing with anyone. You’ll have made yourself a pledge to focus on throughout the month, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, or wearing. If you go on social media where other participants are sharing photos, it’s an opportunity to cheer each other on, and perhaps garner some style inspiration. The enemy of joy is comparison. Remember to stay focused on your own challenge and what you’re trying to achieve.


MMM is not about having heaps of handmade clothes

I honestly can’t stress this enough: you can participate in MMM even if you have just one handmade item. You just have to set a suitable pledge that allows you to wear that item more often or in different ways. However many handmade items you have, your pledge needs to be challenging but do-able.

So who is Me-Made-May for? 

I’ve lost count of the amount of posts I’ve read over the years saying ‘I don’t think I have enough me-mades to take part in MMM’. You can participate if you have just one single self-made item, or if you wear head-to-toe me-mades everyday already. It’s about working with what you’ve got, setting a suitable, challenging pledge, learning useful lessons and having fun.

How do I take part?

You will need to intentionally wear your handmade items more and/or in different ways throughout May 2023. Have a think about the handmade items you own, how often you already wear them, and perhaps if there are any areas of your relationship with your wardrobe that know could use some improvement. Then design your own pledge outlining the specifics of your challenge before 1st May. 

“I (insert name or username) pledge to wear (insert specifics of your pledge) for throughout May 2023”

You can keep this entirely to yourself, tell friends and family, or share this on social media, whatever you wish.

If you'd like to hear me break all this down some more, check out Episode 36 of my podcast, Check Your Thread. In the meantime, if you have any questions about MMM, please get in touch via email at sozoblog AT g mail dot com, or via IG @checkyourthread or @sozoblog.

I wish you a wonderful, insightful and FUN Me-Made-May!
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