This month im taking part in MIY March. This is an annual challenge from Wendy Ward. It started out as a daily photo challenge on Instagram but this year Wendy is slowing things down and there are weekly prompts to get us all to slow down, think, write and read.
Week 1 of MIY March is all about introductions so here’s a bit about me for those who don’t know me:
I’m Helen and I love to sew and create a handmade wardrobe that fits me well and makes me feel great! By day I’m a research scientist interested in sustainable agriculture (if you want to learn more about that then the best place to find me is on twitter @hmetcalfe1) but when I’m not at work you can usually find me sewing or knitting or hopefully when I am a bit better (I’ve been very sick the past few months) playing the saxophone in a big band or out running with my running group!
To get us started on our MIY March journey Wendy had asked us some questions about our sewing and handmade wardrobe so here goes:
Why is sustainable sewing important to you?
As I said before, my day job focuses on the science of sustainable agriculture and so my mind is always wandering into the realm of sustainability. I’m always looking at numbers and figures related to how much we produce and the impact of that production on the environment. It is hard to ignore the undeniable fact that we are, as a global population, currently living way beyond our means. With this in mind I try to live every part of my life in a more sustainable way and this includes my clothes. By making my own clothes I can choose the colours, textiles, and prints that I love and get a perfect fit – all of this means I am much more likely to wear the garment time and time again, rather than wear it a few times and then move on to the next trend to come along.
What are your main motivations for sewing and making?
I love clothes. I love finding beautiful fabrics and seeing them turn into 3D garments. I love the process of construction. I love the creative outlet whilst at the same time still having the guidance of a pattern to follow. I love having clothes that fit well. I love having clothes that make me feel great.
Why are you taking part in MIY March?
I really like taking part in challenges like MIY March as it provides a fantastic opportunity to get to know lots of different sewers and learn about their motivations and creative process. I also enjoy the way it allows me to explore my own sewing and hopefully learn something new about my self along the way.
Share with us your most worn and least worn makes, it’s not a naming and shaming exercise, but a collective journey of discovery.
For me, my most worn makes are always the basics: my SOS pants, black pencil skirt, black/white stripe peak tee and grey kinder cardigan get a lot of wear as I can mix and match them with other things according to my mood. If I fancy something bright and colourful then these provide the perfect backdrop, otherwise if I am feeling in the need for a muted palette I can pair them together to suit my mood. At the moment, whilst ive been at home sick, I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of my me-made leggings and comfy jumpers too.
At the other end of the spectrum, my least worn makes tend to be the brightest and loudest prints. When I first started sewing I picked out fun and vibrant fabrics, often quilting cottons, as I was drawn to the prints and colours and the idea that I could sew things unlike anything you could find on the highstreet. However, after a few garments like this I began to realise that this was not my style and most of these fabrics are not that comfortable to wear (comfort is very important to me!)
Do you think about the sustainability of your sewing or have certain makes that you wear over and over again? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
p.s. want to keep up with my latest makes? Head on over to my Instagram for all the latest makes and in-progress shots!