Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Cheaters Guide to #MMMay16

Me Made May 2016 has passed the half-way mark and the adorable outfits photographed in creative and scenic vistas at the beginning of the month are slowly but surely giving way to bleary office bathroom selfies. So, it seems like the right time to jump into the fray.

I really admire those of you who pull together thoughtful me made outfits each day and who remember to snap a cute photo before your 17-month-old hugs you after eating blueberries. However, this post is not for you. This post is for those of you who are unhappily wearing "wearable" muslins that really didn't work out and shouldn't be worn, frou frou party dresses that you are trying to dress down so they look work appropriate, or the same ill fitting me made cardigan that doesn't match anything else in your wardrobe for the third time this week despite its blueberry stain, which you tell yourself is in an inconspicuous location. It isn't. For all of you, this is my magnum opus of cheatery for that most wonderful month of the year. It may not help you for this year, but with a little sewing, it could revolutionize MMMay17 for you in 5 simple steps.

Cheater's rule #1:  sew a coat or jacket. If, like me, you have a weather appropriate jacket and a commute, you can wear it most days and call yourself a winner. Unlike a cardi, it won't stink after three weeks of near-constant wear need as frequent cleaning since you won't be wearing it all day. Plus, jackets are impressive. Even more so if it is leather, because non-sewist heads practically explode on learning that you actually sewed leather. Win.

Bonus cheat for all you knitters: scarves and shawls. Double down and finally put all those beginner projects to good use.

Cheater's Rule #2: Sew a bathrobe or kimono. Why limit MMMay to daytime hours? Ten minutes of swanning around your boudour in a silk bathrobe and your MMMay daily goal is met before you've even put shoes on or finished your coffee. Big win.

Winning at MMMay while nursing. 

Bonus: you will feel like you are swathed in luxury even if your pajamas are so decrepit that a house elf would turn up their nose.

Cheater's Rule #3: Socks and undies
Just because your me made isn't obvious or for public consumption doesn't mean that you don't win. You do. Every time you pick a wedgie or adjust a slouchy sock remind yourself that you are secretly #winningallday.

Maybe don't post photos of you in your undies unless you want that sort of attention.

I walk all over my me mades on an almost daily basis

Bonus cheat: no one will be the wiser if you are indeed actually cheating and not wearing me made underoos. Shame on you. But your secret is safe with me.

Cheater's Rule #4:  Accessorize
Look at any "outfit" in a magazine or posted on Pinterest and you'll see that accessories are included. So I ask: why exclude accessories from MMMay? Did you sew a purse or tote bag or string a few beads on a necklace? If yes, you win.

Just a few of the clutches and bags I've made.

My very first sewing project ever was a tissue pack cover. Why am I telling you this?


Because every time I sneeze in May, I win. And May is allergy season. #Boom
Bonus cheat for all you moms: wear your child. After all, you made them practically from nothing. They are the ultimate me made accessory. Double bonus if you actually made that ring sling or carrier. Again, this is something you can achieve daily without having to repeat outfits.

Taco was so small when I made this ring sling!

Cheater's Rule #5: The MMMay proxy.
Is your spouse, child or any other loved one, liked one or one-who-annoys-you-but-you-made-something-for-anyway wearing something you made today? I call it a win if someone, somewhere is wearing something made by you.  If you can't pull yourself together for a me made outfit or are having a bad hair day, all you have to do is sweetly say to your hubby, why don't you wear your Hudsons today? Then pump your fist while their back is turned because you WIN!

So, Taco in his overalls?


Phin is his shorts?


Phin wearing his pajamas in the morning and Hudsons with hand knit socks in the afternoon while rummaging in his diaper bag and babywearing Taco - who is wearing his overalls and playing with Dijon the Giraffe - in my ring sling?

MMMay win of shut-the-front-door epic awesomeness.

And there you go. Me Made May in 5 simple steps for all my fellow cheaters. Now if you are thinking, But Clio, MMM is not about #winning. Well, then you just don't have a type A personality. Also, this post is probably not for you.

Humor aside, what I'm actually saying is that I've reached a point in my sewing where I use and wear items I've sewn or knit most days, even when I am not wearing a me made outfit. My sewn and knit garments and more just blend right into my life. For newer sewists, well, I hope you stick with sewing long enough to get to this point, too.

But also, I've always felt like MMMay is just one of those things that isn't for me. I've never needed encouragement to wear the things I make. More important, I don't sew basics or in a need-driven way, and one suggested goal of MMM is to encourage sewists to see the holes in their wardrobe and fill them. It's a worthwhile goal, but I will never do this. The last time I tried, my mojo immediately went on hiatus until I vowed that 2013 would be the year of the frosting diet and I would only sew things that are fabulous. This is probably why I am the mom on the playground wearing a silk top in the sand box and why I just can't seem to sew a sensible suit in a muted color for work. I'll wear my me made frosting, but buy the boring basics; they aren't worth my precious sewing time.

All that said, I am happy that we have things like MMMay to rally around. It's part of what makes our community a community. But don't expect me to pop up in you IG feed with the MMMay hashtag anytime soon. I'm content to be cheating from the side lines, smugly winning with little effort. Are you a cheater too? Do tell...

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