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May wrap-up

Lacking sewing inspiration? This month's wrap-up will be sure to get you inspired.

Welcome to my May monthly wrap-up, and what a month it was.

Not only was I finally reunited with my lost luggage from my trip home to Australia, but I returned to the UK after well over a year to collect (some) of my things from storage, including my pattern making blocks, my dressmakers mannequin and the remainder of my sewing equipment.

Honestly, it has felt like Christmas being reunited with all my things!

The weather has also been more than delightful, treating us to some highs of 30+ degrees here in Munich, and this heat has certainly identified some gaps in my wardrobe that I hope to address over the coming months - me-made of course!

My wrap-up of this month


New on the blog


Me Made May

This month was Me Made May, a sewing challenge designed to inspire, and celebrate everything handmade, while encouraging individuals to build a better relationship with clothes.

Unfortunately, for many reasons, I wasn't able to get behind the sewing machine as I would have liked. When I did, it was for work purposes, making things for the classroom. However, on a personal note, I did use the month to revisit old makes, mix the handmade with the store brought, and experiment with styling. I also used the time to reorganise my sewing area and plan a couple of my next (needed) makes ready for those beautiful warm days we are treated to here in Munich over the Spring/Summer.

What did you get up to this Me Made May?


Japanese Sewing Books

My delivery of Tops I Want To Wear Now : Japanese Sewing Book arrived earlier this month after having been out of stock. I ordered this from the lovely store Fibresmith, located in Melbourne, Australia, having seen it on my recent trip.

This book, is one of many in the range, and features over 20 timeless, and versatile multi-size (S, M, L, LL) clothing patterns. The patterns are printed in full size, however come layered on top of one another, requiring you to take a tracing of each pattern piece. The patterns, and instructions are clearly labeled to help you along the way, and are easily translatable from Japanese using Google Translate.

First up?! The front cover dropped peplum blouse.


The Great British Sewing Bee

My other half was travelling during the month of May, so I was left in charge of the remote for once. During this time I managed to get hooked on The Great British Sewing Bee, which I cannot believe I have not watched before.

For those of you, like me, who haven't tuned in before, it is essentially a show involving 12 talented home sewers who battle it out completing three challenges each week that focus on using a pattern, transformation a garment into something new and made to measure, fitting to a model.

If you don't have time to catch up on all the episodes, I recommend checking out Episode 4 of Season 8 where contestants were challenged with 'Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle'. The episode has the contestants create a quilted patchwork jacket from old fabric scraps, refashion secondhand coats and fit a maxi dress made from a duvet cover. You will certainly be inspired.

You can catch up all eight seasons on BBC One.


What I was reading in May

Dopamine Dressing and Loved Clothes Last, from Fashion Revolution, delves into the psychological impact of our clothes. In particular the article focuses on dopamine dressing - dressing in a manner that boosts your mood, whether it be via the selection of certain colours, patterns, textures or styles - and how this can be tied to the Loved Clothes Last movement.

Australian sustainability experts on the common mistakes brands make and what they are doing to address them, from Fashion Journal, affirms that sustainability is not about box ticking.

The article offers the opinion of four experts in the industry on the challenges and common mistakes brands make when attempting to be more sustainable, including too many immeasurable targets, offsetting as a quick fix, greenwashing, and the issue of overproduction.

Try before you buy: how to spot well-made clothes in the change room, from The Guardian, suggests some simple ways we can check the quality of a garment before we commit to buying in store.

The article suggests considering the need for, and composition of lining, the availability, positioning and size of pockets, and the ability to make those everyday movements, like sitting and reaching.

Costly, time-consuming and a sales barrier: Why fashion hates repairs, from Vogue Business, looks the lack incentive for brands and consumers to embrace repairs.There is little incentive when repairs can be costly, more time and labour intensive, and logistically difficult to manage at scale. However, repairs are needed to keep clothes in circulation for longer.

Reality show Love Island dumps fast fashion sponsor for Ebay, from Vogue Business, reports on how the reality dating show, Love Island, may finally be using its influence for good, inspiring behaviour change in the sustainable direction. In the past the show has been famous for making contestants fast fashion influencers - think Molly Mae and her role as creative director of Pretty Little Thing. However, a new deal with eBay will involve dressing contestants in preloved clothing while also encouraging outfit repeating.


Podcast recommendations

Clothes horse podcast is hosted by Amanda Lee McCarty, a career buyer and fashion industry expert. Each episode sets out to essentially help you buy better, while also unpacking different parts of the global fashion industry.

For more on Clothes Horse, be sure to check out their website, which is packed full of useful resources, and their super informative and beautifully designed Instagram page (@clotheshorsepodcast).


Coming up in June

  • How to read a sewing pattern envelope

  • Pattern review: Tessuti - Naia Pants

  • Taking up the Plastic Free July challenge

Please get in touch or leave me a comment, I would love to know about your May. Also, let me know what have you been reading, watching, and listening to.

Thanks for reading, and see you in June!

Emma xx

This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions contained on this site are my own. I am not affiliated with any brands, products, or organisations mentioned, and do not receive any sponsorship, payment, or other compensation for any of the content on this site.


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