"I will also endeavour to make at least one new thing that challenges me and restores my faith in my sewing abilities, that is not a tried and tested pattern, even if it is just a muslin"
I also had an unwritten challenge - to try or learn a new technique, or a technique I had forgotten over the last 20-odd years of sewing my own clothes.
I am happy to say I met both my written and unwritten me-Made-May challenges. And I only missed one day of Me-Made-May itself.
First of all I learned to insert an invisible zipper.
And secondly I got my confidence back with knits. And I made five versions of the same t-shirt in 7 days and OMG now I can't stop.
Version 1 - a cheap but very nice quality cotton stretch fabric from Canberra Sewing. Badly made even though it was my first attempt, and it has some fit issues like length and neck, but very wearable (and I did wear it on more than one day during May.
Version 2 - made with combed cotton (not much stretch) from Spotlight. The fit is a lot better (I took in a size at the bust and shoulders) and I raised the neckline and made the body 3 inches longer than the pattern. I loved it, but felt it too bright for winter wear, even for me. So I cut the sleeves off for a summer shirt. Perfect.
I'd been sewing everything on an old three-spool Janome overlocker for years. Boy was that machine a workhorse! I lost count of the number of bags and clothes it made. But I had been looking for a four-spool replacement for years, and a night after I made my second Tonic 2 tshirt, I found and bought it.
(The new one is on the right, in case you couldn't work that out from the yellowing plastic of the early 1980s model.)
From that night on, I've been unstoppable. Everything has been sewn with the overlocker.
Version 3 is a striped cotton from Spotlight. A little more stretch than the combed cotton. I loved this version so much I wore it two days in a row and it might be my favourite tshirt ever.
Version 4 is another combed cotton from Spotlight. Gosh they've had some nice prints this year!
And finally version 5. This is a slinky sparkly striped Gorman knit from the Clearit centre in Fitzroy. It is freaking brilliant and beautiful and I love it to death. I had fabric left over that I gave to my Spoolette buddy Myra for her birthday - knowing her she will make something sensational out of it.
I don't feel I have conquered knits by any means. I have so much to learn still, but at least now I'm not scared to try. Next on the cards is a Kirsten Kimono Tee by Maria Denmark. I have the Colette knit sewing book on my bedside table, and the Moneta pattern patiently waiting by the overlocker. I still have another three Tonics to make - two out of a merino blend which will be perfect for lounging wear (i.e will go perfectly with trackies) and which I'll probably made with an even higher neckline.
Let the adventure continue!
Let the adventure continue!