A few years ago, a movement started in the online sewing community called Me Made May. It encourages people to wear something they’ve made each day in May. The idea is to bring attention to the work that goes in to making your own clothing, and to maybe step away from clothing that is produced in sweatshop conditions. I have to assume that they chose May because Me Made August or December would sound awkward, and for those of us that live in the frozen tundra, May is really the first chance we have to a) leave the house for pleasure rather than necessity, b) wear shorts, dresses, or skirts, and c) not have to wear a winter coat over everything, all the time, even inside. I don’t normally point out that I’m wearing handmade clothing, and I wear something I’ve made about 75% of the time anyway, so MMM is just a fun way to be more consumer conscious.
It was so nice out on Friday in Montreal, that I sat in our large-for-a-city backyard for about two hours, wearing a skirt and a handmade kimono sleeved top, while the dogs patrolled the fence and kept our yard safe. Those cats, I tell ya! Under the watchful eyes of our two mutts, I thought about how much I love the top I’m wearing. Yes, sometimes I put something on and I think “Man, I love this dress!” Or I look forward to getting dressed. I get even more excited about sewing something in the first place. Picking out a pattern, then finding the perfect fabric (which doesn’t exist, really), and then putting it all together. I love it all! So here’s what I’m wearing today, the Mae Top by Bluegingerdoll Patterns:
Isn’t it amazing? Bluegingerdoll is a pattern designer in Australia, and she has more of a vintage, ’40’s-era vibe to her designs, which I love. She also tends to design patterns for curvier gals; that is to say, normal sized women. I made the Mae top a few years ago and I chose this pattern for a couple of reasons. At the time I wanted to enter a contest that was happening on Pattern Review. The contest was open to anyone using ‘new to me’ designers, so you could only use a pattern from a designer that you had never made before. I loved the scalloped neckline of this top, as well as the button details on the back (which is not nearly as difficult to put on as you’d imagine). I also prefer kimono style tops because they are easy to sew (no set-in sleeves), and can be very flattering to the waistline. This particular pattern also used a facing for the sleeves, so I didn’t need to worry about folding/pressing/stitching them down like a normal hem, just sew on that facing and press inwards. Nice!
The pattern itself was drafted well enough, and I’m happy with the fit, but the instructions were not terribly great. When you purchase a PDF pattern, you typically get the pattern pieces that require assembly, and a set of instructions. The instructions for this pattern looked as though a large printout was simply scanned into a computer and then digitized, making them blurry and hard to read at times where words were cut off. And unfortunately, it looks as though Bluegingerdoll itself has all but vanished. Her patterns are still available through Craftsy, but her personal website and blog are MIA. So, yay I can purchase from Craftsy, but boo that the exchange rate makes her patterns almost $20 CAD. Too rich for this poor lass, so I’ll have to stick with the one pattern I have and just set up an assembly line.
Oh and spoiler, I didn’t win that contest on PR. I think the only votes I received were from myself. 🙂 Are you wearing anything handmade for Me Made May 2016?
Pattern: Mae Blouse from Bluegingerdoll
Fabric: Mystery Fabric from M and L in Anaheim, CA. Probably something from Robert Kaufman.
Buttons: Amazing red buttons with anchors by Elna, purchased at Fabricville – Downtown Montreal during their going out of business sale. Tear.
AND, a special thank you to my husband for being my photographer. Normally he would never agree to do this on a busy street at dinner time on a Friday, but he was already two sheets to the wind from being at a co-worker’s going away party, so not only did he take the pictures, he also held my purse!