During #slowfashionoctober, someone (and I can’t for the life of me remember who) commented that there was no greater compliment for a handknit gift than for it to pill. The pilling was a sign of how much the gift had been worn. I immediately thought ‘well, not if you buy the right yarn’ and then remembered my two favourite cardigans are pilling like there’s no tomorrow and I’m still wearing them.

It got me thinking – the vast majority of knits we see on Instagram and Ravelry are new creations, fresh off the needles. What do those lovely knits look like after they’ve been worn for a while? Did the garter stitch section droop? Did that merino yarn pill? Did that dye fade? More so, I thought it was about time we cherished clothes that are looking a little worn in. With all this in mind, I’m introducing: the #mostworn blogalong. Continue reading

Failing at #memademay is okay – good even

My challenge for #memademay was to wear something I had knitted and something I’d sewn every day for the month. By the eighth, I had failed – and that’s okay. A good thing even.

For me, Me Made May is a chance to assess my home made wardrobe and perception of it. I had thought I possessed enough home sewn garments to get me through. But on the eighth, the only clean home-sewn item I had was a dress and, as I intended to spend the day out and about photographing lighthouses, it wasn’t practical. Nor the next day, when I went for a hike.

So I ‘failed’ – which is really just another way of saying ‘I collected useful data’. This data included:

  • I don’t own as many home sewn garments as I thought.
  • This number was further reduced by finally discarding a dress I’d made and finally decided I didn’t like.
  • The home-sewn garments I do have don’t really suit my lifestyle
  • The colours and patterns of my home sewn wardrobe don’t really suit my home knitted garments.

I now have the data I need to improve my wardrobe.

The other half of my data (the knitted items) presented much more successful results. It’s almost natural for me to put on at least one knitted item, if not two. Even on the challenging days I found challenging for sewn garments, I was wearing a hand-knitted cardigan and cowl on each day, because they suited my clothing needs for the day.

Some of my successes included:

Avery Cowl and >

Avery Cowl and Clemence skirt from Love at First Stitch

Agatha Cardigan and >

Agatha Cardigan, a top from a pattern I’ve lent to a friend and can’t remember the name of, and handknitted socks

Everyday Cardigan and Vogue XXXX dress

Everyday Cardigan and Vogue 8723 dress

This knitting data compares well to last year’s Me Made May, when I relied on my daily shawl to keep up with my pledge. And that’s the beauty of Me Made May – it’s almost like a controlled experiment. By doing it in the some month, this yearly wardrobe check up allows us to check our progress, acknowledge our victories, and set targets for the coming year.

Are you doing #memademay?  What challenge did you set? How does your home made wardrobe compare to last year?