50 Days Till Me Made May | The Button Jar
Beginnng on the 12th of March, I decided to embark on a Fifty Days Till Me Made May sewing extravaganza! My plan was an abridged version of a 100 Days of Creativity project, in which I would knock off a few projects before Me Made May. I wanted to do a little sewing, or sewing-adjacent activities, every day, which I largely did (48/50 isn’t bad at all).
For Fifty Days Till Me Made May, I intended to complete four garments: finish my long-neglected Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns; a third Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet; a heavy-duty Moss Skirt by Grainline Studio; and A YELLOW TRENCH COAT OF STUPENDOUS AWESOMENESS! —a Luzerne Trench by Deer and Doe. Two of these projects are also on my Make Nine 2019 grid: the Moss and the Luzerne. And by the end of April, I had finished three of the planned four: a Blackwood Cardigan, a Moss Skirt and my glorious yellow trench, Vespa. Although student-Lisa-Simpson-esque-me cavils at a 75% hit rate (B+? I don’t think so!), realistic-me is totally fine with the amount of sewing I achieved, especially when weighed against the quality I was able to achieve.
I think the most important thing I learnt through this period is that with more consistent sewing time it didn’t really increase my output—when setting out on this, I thought I’d complete the four projects and then keep going with more. Instead, what it allowed me to do was increase the depth I could go into a project, and that helped me learn more about the craft. I wasn’t hanging all my sewing on one or two big weekend-days, rushing to get as much done as possible; it felt more integrated into my everyday life. I’m already a very patient person, but I was surprised and pleased that I was able to gain an extra level of depth in my willingness to reconsider, redo, rework, refit. I was able to be more patient with projects. I was more willing to redo that seam; more willing to refit that waistline; more willing to twiddle knobs on my machine; more willing to invest more time and thoughtfulness and creativity and accuracy in each project.
With my Moss Skirt, I gained a lot of confidence learning about how to change things on my machine to get the results I wanted. I’m so proud of its many kilometres of topstitching. And with my Luzerne Trench, I gained mountains of confidence in fitting a complex garment. I feel like I still have a lot to learn, but in this project I learnt some very key things about my body (particularly my sway-back!), and how to fit a garment to it.
On reflection, I don’t want to always have a daily practice of sewing, but I am happy that I’ve learnt some ways to fit a little bit in, here and there—a pinned seam, a single sewn button, a few clipped threads—a little more regularly. Fifty Days Till Me Made May was a great experience, and the skills I learnt very much outweigh the more simple measure of output.