MIY MARCH 20 – WEEK 1 – Getting to Know You (& your wardrobe)

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!

Helen is smiling at the camera with her hands hooked into her jeans pockets. She is wearing a black and white micro-striped Peak t-shirt

My black and white Peak tee by Wendy ward is one of my most worn memades!

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.

Helen is stood looking towaard the camera with her hands in her pockets. She is wearing blue denim SOS pants, a blue ogden cami and a grey knee-length kinder cardigan

My SOS pants are a wardrobe staple – finally i found the perfect pair of skinny jeans! and they pair wonderfully with my favourite cardigan!

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.

Helen is sat cross legged on the end of a double bed. She is wearing a black Rowan jumper and turquoise pegleg leggings

My Patterns for pirates pegleg leggings and my Rowan jumper by Wendy Ward have been wardrobe staples whilst i’ve been home sick – they are just so comfy!

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!

2 thoughts on “MIY MARCH 20 – WEEK 1 – Getting to Know You (& your wardrobe)

  1. Wendy Ward

    Thanks so much for taking part Helen and gor sharing such a thoughtful blog post. Your day job sounds fascinating and I can see how it would seep into the rest of your life. Your sewing journey sounds very familiar, I’ve seen lots of my students take the same journey. It looks like you’re now making some really comfortable wearable garments. I really hope you’re fighting fit again soon. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: MIY MARCH 20 – WEEK 2 – Sharing and Caring | Hs Handcrafts

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