Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

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Me-Made-May 2022 Summary and some graphs

It is nearly the end of June and high time that I wrote up my observations from Me-Made-May. . I find the more I invest in recording and analysing the data from this challenge, the more interesting and informative the results. Unfortunately this year I have had some real pressures on my time and well-being and so I haven’t been as organised as I would usually try to be. Never mind! I’m sure there will still be some take homes from the month.

First of all, due to my circumstances I have been quite restricted when it comes to what I could wear this month and it became clear early on that living in trousers with reasonable pockets was best for me, so this will be a very “jeans-heavy” month.

First of all, the spread of wears per pattern company. Unsurprisingly, the largest slices are for Burda (21.4%) and Grainline Studios (17.1%). More than anything this reflects just the quantity of times I use their patterns. I make a lot using Burda’s patterns simply because buying a magazine can work out quite a cheap way of acquiring patterns and I don’t worry if I only make one or two things from each magazine. I have made three Driftless cardigans and as these are firm favourites the repeat wears of these show up as a large slice too.

The last company that makes it into the top three is Scout Patterns . I wore the Navy blue velvet Lulu cardigan so many times this month (10.0%).

I usually make a comparison of the RTW to me-made worn in the month and this year is no exception. The percentage of me-made dropped slightly this year (78.5%) compared to last year (84.9%). I think this was due to my reliance on jeans in the month and had circumstances been different I suspect the figure would have broadly been the same as last year. But, those RTW garments I do wear are well-loved key items in my wardrobe and I cannot stress how important it is to make good use of our wardrobes, whether RTW or me-made.

This all brings me on to a new category I decided to document. I was intrigued to categorise all my garments according to age. This isn’t a problem for the me-mades as these are all documented on the blog or Instagram and I can quickly look up when they were made. For the older items I can only roughly guess their age, because some were bought as far back as the nineties!

I am really pleased with the results shown on this graph because I can see clearly that old and new get equally worn. Yes, I overdosed on wearing my new Lander trousers (made in 2022), but then it made a successful pairing with an RTW shirt from c. 1992 (early university years). This is definitely the outfit of the month:

I have also included some of my older me-mades too; specifically the Bicycle blouse, which dates from 2015, and my first jersey t-shirt from 2015. Looking at the graph I wonder whether the age of the clothing correlates to particularly productive years; I can see there are a lot of items worn from 2017 and 2020. It would be interesting to compare my usage with someone (of the same age) who wears exclusively RTW clothes. Would their clothing age profile be the same?

Number of items for each age grouping. RTW items all bought in 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.

As a final note, I wonder whether this is just an exercise that is useful to me. I know I can thoroughly geek out on data and graphs! So, if you like to do likewise I have a MMM-template that you are welcome to use!

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MMM15 – The year of the Skirt?

MMM 15 has drawn to a close and actually I’m quite sad about that. This year was more hassle-free; I stopped the daily picture-taking and just recorded my outfits instead. This made MMM far less demanding, although in a way it will probably make a far less pleasing post as I’ve only taken a handle of “favourite outfit” photographs.

Anyway, I’ve done a few statistics on my outfits over the last few weeks. First of all, here is my run-down by clothing type:

Type of garment No of Wears No of items
Short-sleeved tops 5 2
Longer-sleeved tops 15 3
Skirt 5 2
Trousers 8 2
Dress 2 1



As you can see, the longer-sleeved tops won and this is surely just a reflection of the weather. I’m also rather pleased with the amount of skirt and dress wearing I’ve been doing. I tended to avoid wearing skirts before I started making my own. I found them an unsatisfying shop. Skirts only require two measurements to fit really, but as my waist and hips are fairly similar (I’m not curvy at all), I found I avoided skirts in shops as they generally didn’t fit. I’m happy I’ve given myself already a wider wardrobe choice and have truly embraced skirts this year. OK, so as a percentage of the total items worn they are featured at only 17%. But hey, before I started making my own clothes that percentage would probably have been 0%.

There is one very obvious thing that leaps out of the statistics and that is that I do not own a single me-made cardigan. What is more, my cardigans are all horrible. I have a very faded black cardigan, a nasty green cardigan that is suffering badly from pilling and a brown cardigan with a hole in it. With the exception of the brown cardigan which I could easily mend, my cardigan collection is very lacking. The black cardigan, I love, but it is very old and needs replacing and the green cardigan was a poor purchase, it contains polyester and pills badly. Now I have the overlocker, I really must tackle some cardigan making.

Lucinda Shirt and Vogue grey trousers

The other stalwart item from the RTWs are jeans. I wore them no less than 16 times in the last month. Actually, I am currently making some skinny jeans / trousers at the moment. I’ll post about them next month when they’re finished. I had already recognised that this is an area I needed to address, particularly as two of my pairs of jeans are very threadbare and I feel that it won’t be long before I have some nasty revealing accident as the fabric finally gives way.

There have been two factors contributing to some items from the me-made wardrobe not being worn. First of all, the weather has not been particularly warm. Apart from one day in the last month I have been in long-sleeves all day, sometimes with two long-sleeved layers. I have also been wearing tights with all my skirts. Hence, I had hardly worn my Sorbetto tops, with only the purple one getting a brief outing.


This month, I also haven’t had any meetings with clients, so the more formal skirts didn’t get an outing either. However, I did wear the True Blue skirt a lot last month as I had a lot of client visits.

All in all, I didn’t think initially I had much to learn from recording all this data. I definitely knew about the most obvious things such as my jean-wearing habit and my disreputable cardigans.  But there have been some other statistics that have been useful to note. I’ve noticed that I have a much smaller colour palette than I used to. I think when I’m purchasing fabric I can more easily bear in mind what garments I already have will accompany the item I’ll make with the new fabric. Consequently, I’ve bought more neutrals – greys, blacks and browns have been featuring throughout the month.

Colour Me-made tops RTW tops Me-made bottoms RTW bottoms Me-made cardigans / hoodies RTW cardigans / hoodies
Black 9 3 3 0 0 14
Grey 0 0 5 0 0 4
Red 5 0 0 0 0 0
Blue 0 2 0 16 0 2
Orange 0 2 5 0 0 0
Brown 5 0 0 0 0 5
Purple 1 0 0 0 0 0
White 0 2 0 0 0 0
Green 0 0 0 0 0 6
Total 20* 9 13* 16 0 31

*Not shown in table above – Teal dress worn for two days

I’ve also noticed that I haven’t actually used many patterns from my growing collection and with the exception of the Lucinda shirt and the Sorbetto top I haven’t really made more than one item with the same pattern. I think I’m missing something here. I read often enough how much fit can improve with multiple takes. I would also imagine it would be easier to make the garment as you’ve already practiced the techniques involved. Anyway, I should really curb my habit of buying new patterns for each make and re-visit some favourites. Well, may be after Indie Pattern month!

Pattern Company No of wears Item Name
Butterick 5 3/4 sleecved paisley top
McCalls 2 Teal wrap dress
Vogue 3 Grey trousers
Burda 5 Long-sleeve bicycle shirt
Be My Goth 9 Long-sleeved red shirt / short sleeved black shirt
Self-drafted 7 Black / white Viale skirt / Orange corduroy trousers
Grainline 2 Grey Moss Skirt
Colette 1 Purple-patterned Sorbetto top
Total 34


Hope you all enjoyed MMM as much as I did. I can strongly recommend ditching the daily photos and just doing some statistics. After all, in So Zo’s words this challenge is to “may also be useful for discovering the ‘holes’ in your wardrobe so in the future you are able to focus your precious garment-creating time towards making things that will be useful” And of course, that can easily be accomplished without the need for selfies!