Me-Made-May 2018 | The pledge and a new challenge

I have definitely left this Me-Made-May 2018 pledge to the very last minute. I’m in Chicago at the moment with work, speaking at a sustainability conference (sorry, just had to brag a bit) and it’s 6 PM here, but in the UK is already midnight and therefore already May.

It’s been a super extra early start today, up since 5am and a 9 hours flight, so do pardon me if I am slightly incoherent. It’s been a bit mad lately so I did not have the time to prepare and shoot for this post in time at home, but I did pack the lot with me, so took the pics in my hotel room in Chicago just now. I do feel a bit chuffed with my jet-setting ways, I must confess.

So, to make things official, here is my pledge.

I, Alex from Sewrendipity, pledge to wear at least one me-made item every day for the month of May 2018.

Now, that’s the easy part.

But I want to spice things up a bit this year.

I recently completed the 10×10 Spring Challenge created by Lee Vosburgh from Style Bee and I LOVED IT! So, that put the idea in my head to do it again, and why not for Me Made May? Over half of my 10×10 items were me-mades anyway, but I want to take that up a notch.

So, I came up with a new challenge for myself.

MMM10x10 challenge

During May 2018, I will create 3 wardrobe capsules, which will consist of a minumum 80% me-made items, with at least one me-made item included in each resuting outfit. 

So how will it work? I will build a capsule consisting of 10 items for 10 days (no shoes and coats included), so capsule 1 for 1-10 May, capsule 2 for 11-21 May and capsule 3 for 21-31 May, following the rules above, and document them on the blog. I will try not to repeat the items from one capsule to the next, and include as many me-mades as possible in each look. However, I know there are a few staples that will come back, as they are real wardrobe workhorses.

Many people will be pledging 100% me-mades. I have trimmed down both my handmade and my RTW wardrobe now to only items I really love. So I see no reason not to continue wearing and integrating them into a harmonious and meaningful wardrobe.

I am planning to build each capsule on a theme, with a central colour at its core. Well, that is the plan anyway. Let’s check back after the first 10 days.

Capsule 1 – Red Spring

I don’t think this needs much explaining, really. I loved the red themed original 10×10 challenge so much, and how cohesive it all ended up being. No surprise that red is my favourite colour, so I wanted to play with a true spring capsule based on it (the alleged spring had more of a winter kick to it).

The fact that I am away travelling for the 8 out of the 10 days made things easier on one hand and but also a bit difficult on the other. The weather in Chicago is gorgeous at the moment, mid-20s Celsius (but getting cooler toward the end of my stay), so I could take out some more summery outfits. On the other hand, I am at the conference for 3 days, plus 3 days exploring the city, so it had to be quite a flexible combo of both smart and casual items. Also, London was freezing when I left, so I just could not make the full switch to hot weather, so had to still keep a few warmer items on the list. Have I chosen right? Well, check back on the 10th May and I will let you know.

Capsule 1 – my 10 items

MMM10x10 Items 1

1| BLANKET CARDIGAN – Burda Style #102 Long cardigan in blanket fabric

This is a Burda Style cardigan from the October 2014 issue, that I made ages ago from an Ikea Gurli throw (I think it’s still available in different colours). I just added the pleather sleeves (my signature modification, of course) last night as I was half-way through packing, worried it won’t be warm enough as a vest. You can see a project from the same pattern in another blog post.

2| BACK ZIPPER JUMPER – Refashioned jumper in wool

Another preemptive warm jumper, in case the weather won’t stay nice in Chicago and/or it will continue to be vile in London. This is a very old refashion from a button down wool cardigan that got shrunk and warped. You can see the before and after in this post. This is a back view, btw, as that’s the interesting feature.

MMM 10x10 Items 2.png

3| RED SKINNY JEANS – Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans in red stretch cotton + spandex

My first pair of jeans ever, they could use a bit of a revamp, but I wanted the pop of colour. They are also incredibly comfortable to wear as the fabric is very stretchy. I now really wish I had put the belt carriers as they are a bit too big since I lost the weight. Though, after a week in Chicago, I might need all the extra space I can get, I am already fantasising about deep-pan pizza.

4| BIKER JACKET – Wear Lemonade Mona Biker Jacket in black denim

One of my favourite hand-mades ever, it probably is my most worn item to date. The fabric is a heavy black denim and it pretty much goes with everything. I really really want to make it again, and also line it, but one always gets distracted by the next shiny thing. 

MMM 10x10 Items 3

5| WRAP TOP – Seamwork Elmira wrap top in ponte knit

Another wardrobe workhorse for me, I have been wearing this with everything I can think of. It’s a pretty simple design as you would expect from Seamwork and it comes together really quickly. I really want to make it again, and I have the perfect lightweight acrylic knit for a winter cover-up. I have unpicked it already to take it down a size, which was successful, and I have been wearing it loads since.

6| PLEATED MIDI SKIRT – Butterick B6556 (skirt only) in heavyweight satin

This is one fresh off the sewing machine, I literally finished it as stuck it straight into my suitcase. I didn’t even get a chance to blog it yet. I have been dreaming about such a skirt for ages and Pinned loads of versions. Now finally I have one of my own and I’m planning on wearing it with everything. I already have loads of combos in my head for this capsule.

MMM 10x10 Items 4.png

7| SILKY CAMI – SewLoft Diana cami in poly charmeuse

I have been looking forward to wearing this again, I really like the shape of this pattern and the slinkiness. And the spaghetti straps. After wearing it a few times last year, I realised the straps were a tiny bit too long and I was showing too much cleavage, so I took advantage of the alteration roll I was on and fixed them. Looking forward to combining it with a lot of these items for the capsule.

8| FLOUNCE SLEEVE BLOUSE – McCalls M7542 in striped viscose

One of the great successes of last year, this blouse did not get as much wear as it deserved. It’s very hard to wear under jackets because of the flounce (it gets squished and crinkles terribly), so I have to wait for warmer weather and wear it on its own. 

MMM 10x10 Items 5.png

9| BASIC T-SHIRT – RTW

I needed a basic T-shirt for the casual side of the capsule. Nothing special about this one, just a regular crew neck t-shirt that will go well as layers or on its own. I’ve had it for many years and it seems to be lasting, which is great, as I have no inclination to start making basic t-shirts. 

10| SKINNY BLACK JEANS – RTW

My trusted and well worn black skinny jeans are back, as I just can’t imagine a capsule without them. I wear them at least once a week, so probably the best value item in my wardrobe in terms of £/wear. Nothing too exciting to say about them, though and terrible to photograph.


So here we are, these are my choices. I am really looking forward to coming up with the combos for the Capsule 1 outfits.

I am really starting to flag with tiredness (or maybe jet lag?) and I am planning on waking up early tomorrow to continue my running (all running gear came with me as well). So I will sign off now, but before you go, let me know your thoughts.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS NEW CHALLENGE? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MORE STYLE/WARDROBE DISCOVERY POSTS? AND OF COURSE, ARE YOU TAKING PART IN ME-MADE-MAY THIS YEAR?

TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW OR TWEET ME @SEWRENDIPITY.

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18 comments

  1. What a fun challenge! Can’t wait to see ow it goes! Have you planned the 3 capsules out in advance?

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    1. The first one I did, I had to pack it with me. I have an idea of the second one, but completely clueless about the third. I think it might end up repeating some items from the first two or everything else me-made in my wardrobe :).

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    1. Thank you, Sue! I think it depends on how well you deal with restrictions. I found that having to stick to a certain number of items is actually more style conducive than a whole lot of options.

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  2. Great mix of pieces Alex and red is my favourite colour too, although I don’t have any self-made garments in red (should fix that!). I’ve gotten into running the last 6 months, managing 5k now, are you familiar with parkrun? It’s a free weekly run that really helped me along.

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    1. Thank you! I didn’t set out to have red me-mades, just happened, but so glad I have them. I realised just how much I love this colour lately.
      Re running, I’m doing a Couch to 5k Plan, still at week 4, so a bit far from park runs. I am worried I would lag behind, but once I reach 5k, I might give it a go.

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  3. This is such a fantastic idea, Alex. I loved your first 10×10 capsule. And I am really looking forward to your 3 capsules. It’s very inspiring and I will keep this in mind for 2019.

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    1. Thank you! I have a pretty good idea for number 2, but struggling a bit for number 3. I don’t think it will be so coherent, but we’ll see…

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  4. I love your capsule wardrobe and limiting the colours will work so well. Beautiful choice of memade items, can’t wait to see them.
    Hope your talk at the conference went well, sounds amazing!

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    1. Thank you! Two days in, going well. I am wearing the flounce blouse today and got so many compliments. I just feel so great telling people I made it :).

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  5. I’m so impressed with your pledge AND your post Alex! Such detailed plans, pictures and I love your capsule as well. I have gotten as far as to pledge at least one me-made every day in May but in truth I do that anyway. When I read about this challenge last year, I didn’t officially join in the challenge but I did it on my own and it just became part of my daily habit. Now I just don’t feel properly dressed if I don’t have at least one me-made in the mix 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Kathleen! That’s so nice, I do try to have as many me mades on as I can as well on a regular basis, but I’m the kind that really needs a target, so that’s what I’m doing here.

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