Last May, I launched into my love affair with stitch in a frenzy of productivity. No sooner than I’d finished one piece of clothing for my handmade wardrobe, I was hurtling onto the next. The allure of being able to knock up a wearable item, in the design and colour of my choosing, proving irresistible. So many enticing offerings from independent pattern designers, bargainous threads from my haberdashery of choice … so very little time. It’s been a thrill seeking ride of highs and inevitable lows and it’s fair to say I’ve been consumed by the object of my affections.
Fast forward a year and I still eat, breath and sleep my sartorial adventures in stitch. To a niche few, I’ve become synonymous with my blog and Instagram moniker – @wrong_doll – severed vintage dolls’ heads and sewing machines. My relationship has stood the test of time and I’ve rewarded myself with tools of the trade along the way – most notably my beloved overlocker and recently my new steed ‘May’.
The headiness of an all consuming interest can temporarily expand to fill a vacuum of existential angst and boredom. But everything new becomes old and when ego boundaries snap firmly back into place, you have cause to look upon your lover with eyes anew. Enduring relationships evolve and transmute over time and whilst I remain inextricably bound to my chosen pastime, there’s been a gear shift of late. The seeds of change were planted in Fashion Revolution Week, followed closely at the heels by this year’s Me Made May. I started to think more about how I consume in a society where the drive to acquire is all pervasive.
I’ve appropriated May as a kind of a sewing retreat – a time to slow down , take stock and reflect on both achievements to date and goals for the coming year. I haven’t shocked my system by total abstinence – I dipped my toe in the water with a wearable Jean Muir Jumper Dress toile and a non-wearable attempt at my first Marcy Tilton Vogue pattern. Whilst documenting makes in daily photo updates is not an essential requirement of Me Made May, I embraced the challenge as a pictorial tool to help me examine the journey thus far.
And it’s been a revelation – I had no idea how many things I had made! Namely because some have hardly seen the light of day since creation – a malady I’m happy to say the sewing challenge has addressed. It’s forced me to wear items I’d rejected – falling short of impossibly high standards of perfection – and appreciate their inherent qualities. It’s highlighted stumbling blocks I need to revisit – Day 17’s gaping back neckline and the buttonhole debacle of Day 23, to name a few. I’ve also identified a noticeable absence of lounge wear, which is a significant oversight in someone who spends the majority of time in their pyjamas.
Tomorrow, I’m tentatively emerging into my second year in stitch. Whilst my pace may have slowed and my focus narrowed, my enthusiasm for this wonderful craft is undeterred.