Square and Muddy: Lessons from MeMadeMay

Another May is in the books!  Wow, what a May! So much unknown, so much turmoil.  Spring of 2020 is definitely going to be on our minds and in the history books.   I have a teacher friend who says he wants to be around in 15 years to see how this time period is taught in school.  An interesting thing to consider, eh?  I have another friend who says, "Never let a good crisis go to waste!"  Another interesting thought.  My May idea was not so lofty or profound, but I did participate this year in the MeMadeMay Challenge.  (If you are wondering, like I was, about how this became a 'thing,' check out the origin here)
I 'sorta' participated last year (you can read about my May 2019 here), just to see if I could do it, but I didn't have a way to really join in and share my 'makes' as they have come to be known.  This May I actually created an Instagram page/site/thingy? so I could add a picture each day.  I challenged myself to wear at least one handmade item each day, it is quite interesting to see all the photos at a glance.  It really does reveal a lot about what I choose to wear of the things I have made.  Here's what I learned from my 2020 MeMadeMay Challenge....

The first thing I realized was that just getting into "real" clothes during lockdown was a challenge.  The urge to just put on the same sweatpants everyday had a huge amount of inertia behind it.  I was very glad for the challenge as a way to get me dressed everyday.  I noticed that being in something that I had picked intentionally helped me move into action of some sort, even if it was just getting out for a walk, or calling someone on the phone.  Also, knowing that I was going to take a picture of what I was wearing gave me more incentive to 'look presentable.'  It was subtle, but really did nudge me everyday to make the effort.

Here's a kind of breakdown of what I wore for the month:

Self designed patterns/garments:  19
Hand knit items:  15
Redos/refashions/upcycles: 4
Merchant and Mills: 4
Reversibles: 2 
Square Clothing...31!!!!!
Mud colors....31!!!!

Yep!  I'm definitely square!  And muddy!  If you don't believe me, I have the photographic proof!
(you can see these better on my Instagram thingy...beckysewsalot)

"Square and muddy" might be OK for describing a pig pen, but they are not the most attractive adjectives for a wardrobe.  However, it is not surprising that they are the ones that describe my closet.  I have been loving and choosing fabrics and garments in a very specific and narrow color range for quite a while now.  It has created a selection of clothing that is ultimately mix and matchable, and what might be surprising, is that I don't get tired of it.  I know that the colors suit me and it helps me feel confident in my choices.  What might be somewhat surprising is that I find restricting my color palette pushes me to be creative in other ways, such as distinctive details, or design lines.  

Another realization that has happened over the past two years is that May is cold!  Growing up in Michigan you would think that I would have known that.  But as I looked over both last year and this year's clothing choices, I was looking at wool and sweaters and long pants and alpaca and turtle necks...occasionally by day 29 or 30 a short sleeve might show up, but on the whole, May is cold.  I think we here in Michigan trick ourselves into thinking that May is spring just because we are so dang tired of winter! 

So those are a couple of aha's from the challenge, but here is the kick in the head to all of this....going forward, I will be living for a big chunk of each year in a very warm and very colorful place!  Seeing these pictures and imagining them in Key West made me realize that I am going to have to break myself free from the mud and the alpaca and get into a bit more color and linen if I am going to feel like I belong on the island!  Now that feels like a challenge!


  1. Would mudcloth satisfy your need for mud in Key West?

    1. Now there's a thought. I'll keep my eyes peeled.