So we’ve crossed that finish line for May, seems like months like these are happening all too quickly and all too often (quietly cries in a corner)! Regardless, it’s been quite a month and I wanted to reflect on it.
At the very start of May I celebrated my birthday 🎂 and the weather has been doing it’s best to improve in preparation for summer.As always, I’ve been threads deep in sewing projects but there has been one challenge that gets the sewing community excited every year. And that is Me Made May (or #memademay)!
If you don’t know about MMM, it’s pretty hard to ignore it if you are involved in the sewing community. This is an annual challenge to encourage people who make their own clothes to evaluate and develop a better relationship with their clothes. It can mean wearing your me mades more often or even asking yourself why you don’t.
I didn’t formally make a pledge this year and join in on Instagram tagging the popular hashtag. However seeing everyone’s creations online has inspired me to look a little closer into my wardrobe and my personal style.
Since I’ve started this journey into sewing, I’ve been quite confident that my style is casual. I’m more of a basics kind of person. Comfort is at the core of it all. I have clothes that I’ve been recycling for years and haven’t been shopping for clothes for more than a year. Dresses are lovely but nothing beats a good comfy pair of jeans, a fitted top and a pair of trainers and I can see how that has influenced my sewing. But as I am developing my skills I’m noticing a little shift in my style. Let me share with you some things that I’ve picked up on along the way…
Reach for the sky….
A key tip I’ve come across is my understanding of proportions. I stand at a mighty 5ft 4″ (162cm) in height. Wonderful! When it comes to most RTW in the UK anyone 5ft 3″ and below is considered ‘petite’ and these stores have clothing lines dedicated for people in that market. Whereas in the US, it’s 5ft 4″ and below. When it comes to sewing commercial patterns, I’ve come to discover that they are generally designed for women who are 5ft 5″ and that means I have to alter them to fit me the way I want it to. An inch in height makes a whole difference. I’m paying attention to the Big 4’s petite ranges now. I’ve found there are two Indie companies that cater specifically for petite sewists and offer a great resource of information about what alterations to make if necessary.
Be in love with the Shape of You…
We all come in different unique shapes and sizes and we should all dress whatever makes us look and feel amazing. I’ve paid closer attention to my body shape. I’m learning that once you understand your shape you are able to make clothes that fit you beautifully.
I’ve discovered from reading posts through Pinterest and style blogs that from my measurements that I have an hourglass figure. This means that my bust and hips are around the same width and my waist is smaller.
Being petite means that I have a short torso, but a long waistline. Which means that wearing jeans or skirts that are low rise do not suit my frame and puts my proportions out of shape. It looks like I’ve been split in two. Let me show you an example below
The type of clothes that would suit me well are well structured, tailored silhouettes and help me to look taller than I am 😂:
High waisted anything! e.g. Jeans, skirts
Cropped anything! e.g. jackets, tops etc.
Wrap dresses or tops
Colour Me Badd
Now that I’m combining the my proportions and shape into how I sew, understanding what colours I can wear is something I’ve been very interested in. I, like many others, love a good print on fabric. Ankara (African Wax) in particular.
But prints that overwhelm my frame don’t look good on me, so I’ve been opting for small scale prints. And if I really can’t resist a bold feature on fabric then I’ll use small remnants of it in a garment as a contrasting piece or a cropped item. I tend to reach for solids for my everyday look and have been buying these types of colours more often. I’ve also made note of colours that compliment my skin complexion as I think it really helps to bring my clothes to life.
I’ve made notes on what I don’t like too. For example, I’m still unsure how I feel about florals however if the scales on the fabric it isn’t too big and busy then I’ll go for it.
I think an important point I’ve learnt is that there really are no rules in fashion, you can do whatever you want. Literally. But I f you are struggling to find what your style is, I find it personally helps to have a basic guideline about your shape so that clothes are made not just out of habit but with a purpose that fits you and shows your personality. With this mindset I’m seeing how I’m trying new things that take me out of my comfort zone. Me Made May made me realise make is a special one and dare I say it, even the fails too. I’m appreciating my shape and how different it is and this is what keeps the passion for sewing alive every day.