Why I’m Opting Out of the Me Made May Challenge

Vintage sewing machine foot and needle in black fabric with white text overlay in pink box that reads Opting out of Me Made May, here's why. Petite font dot com.
Sewing machine, fabric, iron, and measuring tape on a table with white text overlay in pink box that reads It's okay to opt out of me made may here's why. Petite font dot com.

Me Made May is the brainchild of Zoe from So, Zo What Do You Know? It’s a cool idea!

But this year I’m opting out of Me Made May.

When I first heard about it (or MMMay for short), I thought it was a daily excuse to show off your handmade clothing! If you only know about it through Instagram, it’s an easy mistake to make. That’s what I thought last year when I was quoted in Sew News about it, saying I didn’t have enough handmade garments to last a month.

You CAN make that your challenge. But you don’t have to. Zoe tries to combat this belief with her FAQs, but Instagram doesn’t care. You’ll see a lot of people doing daily #mmmay outfit of the day posts. It dominates the feed. So it’s easy to mistake Me Made May for something along those lines.

The point is actually to make your own pledge that will connect you to your handmade garments. Sure, posting daily outfits can be it. But will that actually make me appreciate my me-made garments or just frustrate me when I realize (once again) that I don’t actually like a lot of what I’ve made (or even still own it)?

I couldn’t come up with a pledge that spoke to where I am with my sewing journey. How do I want to connect with what I’ve made and stretch myself at the same time?

The truth is I haven’t very much loved anything I’ve made so far this year, as evidenced by




Woman wearing black outfit with long grey cardigan and orange knit beret

This is my WTF face

Of course, I learned a lot from each sewing fail. But it’s hurt my sewjo. Why coerce a challenge out of myself when I am just not feeling it?

I could try to make a bunch of new stuff this month, sure. But I hate sewing on a deadline, which is why I’m on a pattern testing break.

It’s also partially why I’ve missed out on a lot of sewing challenges this year. I haven’t actually put effort into entering challenges, unless by happenstance. Obviously, I’m involved in Project Sew My Style, but that’s about it.

Woman in black cocktail dress playing with strand of pearls

Why hello

I’m really okay with this. I like seeing what everyone else is making but it no longer compels me to sew more, or faster, or indulge in patterns or clothing I wouldn’t otherwise care for.

Like, I’m never going to wear a jumpsuit…but in years past I would have sewn one up just to rack up…what? Fake internet points?

I can’t tell you how many unworn garments I have because I opted to participate in sewing challenges that didn’t make any sense for me. It’s a real waste of time, fabric, money, and effort for me if I’m not actually going to use the clothes I make.

That’s just plain stupid, right? Why did I ever do things like that?

So this year for Me Made May I’m going to NOT do it.

And it’s SO liberating!

The sewing community is so very supportive and rallying around global happenings like this is a wonderful way to “meet” new people. It’s very easy to ingratiate oneself into the community by dipping a toe or diving head first into a something like this.

But it’s also equally fine to kick back and watch everyone else from the metaphorical sidelines.

Which is what I’m making the conscious decision to do. I will continue to cheer everyone else on from my perch over on this corner of the internet, but I’m out of the game this season.

I’m listening to my intuition and honoring that feeling of ennui. I don’t want to do this. So I won’t. It’s wonderful to give yourself permission to opt out. File this break under “self-care.”

I feel really good about this. My birthday is in 10 days. For many decades, that what May represented for me. So I’m taking May back. I was made in May, and THAT’s what I’m celebrating this year!

How are you planning to spend your month of May? Are you also opting out of Me Made May, or did you make a pledge? Let me know your plans in the comments!


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Lewis Wheeler
Apr 30, 2019 8:39 am

Sounds like you’ve really made a good decision for you. I’ve not participated in any challenges yet but I can begin to guess at the kind of self-made stress they could put in one’s head.

Enjoy the hashtags and all the other things you decide to do with your month. x

Rosalba Fontanez
Rosalba Fontanez
Apr 30, 2019 9:01 am

Your pledge for self care and to celebrate your month, brings far more “points” to your mind, body and soul! Stay authentic to your lovely self!

Nikki McCarty
Apr 30, 2019 11:06 am

I think it’s great for you to take that step back and in a way it is in keeping with the real base of Me Made May. You’re getting in touch with your wardrobe and what you truly want and need – and that’s important no matter the timing!

Apr 30, 2019 1:00 pm

Thank you for this! I feel the same way. I sew a lot of different things besides garments and at this moment I own exactly ONE me made garment (Halifax Hoodie which I wear ALL the time…I definitely used your review!) Likewise, I get excited about new patterns and challenges and have to remind myself to use my sewing time wisely. 100% of my tops are knit and though I can try some of these beautiful woven tops the reality is that my shape/style/comfort is probably not going like them. Don’t even get me started on the jumpsuits! I enjoy… Read more »

Apr 30, 2019 1:53 pm

Good for you!! I’m with you on not sewing things just to sew things. I’m still learning my style though so I have some successes and some fails (through no fault of the pattern) And happy birthday month!

Chaney Mobley
Apr 30, 2019 8:42 pm

I only have one or two items left in my closet that aren’t made by me, so I guess I’ll participate. 😂I have to admit that none of my clothes fit quite right before I started testing and brand repping. Now all my clothes fit great!

Apr 30, 2019 9:19 pm

I’ve never participated in MMM and probably never will. I understand the concept but don’t actually understand the need. Though why I’m writing this comment is because I literally told my bestie the same thing about the month of May since my birthday is this month too! So I totally understand where you’re coming from and thank you for such an insightful post!

Margaret Fletcher
Margaret Fletcher
Apr 25, 2020 8:49 pm

Thank you for your view on MMM. I have never participated in this challenge and am just starting to investigate if it is for me. I have being sewing again for the last five years after a very long break from sewing. It has been years of discovery. At first I made all the exciting new things I could find. However, over the last couple of years I have slowed down and researched my body shape, kibbe style, colours for your skin tone and many others aspects about myself. I am very selective of what I buy and make these… Read more »

Margaret Fletcher
Margaret Fletcher
Apr 28, 2020 5:41 pm
Reply to  Paulette Erato

Thank you I will investigate some more and work out what my pledge will be. Everyone is different.

Meagan Taylor
Meagan Taylor
May 2, 2020 4:05 am

Clap clap clap.
Good on you Paulette. Your post is liberating girlfriend.
I have got caught up in sewing for the challenge and likewise make clothing I dont like or wear…or even enjoy making
Enjoy sitting back and watching everyone else stress 🙂
And I pray you find inspiration to start sewing some clothes that you love and make you feel great.