colette laurel muslin polka dot

Me Made May and a Laurel Muslin

This year, I’m taking the plunge. Me Made May is happening. If you’re not familiar with Me Made May (#mmm15 on social), it’s an annual challenge that encourages seamsters, knitters, crocheters, and the like to make a point of wearing their me-made garments and/or accessories throughout the month of May.

Each participant pledges to wear X number of handmade items each day. I’ve taken the cop-out route by vowing to wear one me-made garment five days out of each week. I need a little wiggle room since I’ll be taking a 12-day road trip to Denver, Vegas, and the Grand Canyon in the middle of the month, and obviously I’ll be wearing this at least once.

Will there be repeats? Of course! My handmade wardrobe simply isn’t big enough at this point to guarantee I won’t outfit repeat. But alas, that’s not what #mmm15 is about, according to its founder, Zoe. I love the concept, because it’s really just about getting more wear out of the garments that we pour so much time (and sometimes tears) into making. All the better If I spot the gaps in my wardrobe while I’m at it. The plan is to post weekly updates on my Instagram using the hashtag #mmm15. Let me know if you’re taking part!

colette laurel muslin polka dot

And now onto the muslin. I belted it because it looks like a straight-up polka-dot sack on my dress form. Shifts just don’t come alive unless they’re on a human bean! Anywho, I sewed this Colette Laurel muslin with some quilting cotton I got on sale for $3/yard. The pattern came together pretty easily, although my invisible zipper is far from invisible. I don’t have an invisible zipper foot, so next time I’ll follow the directions in this YouTube tutorial to get that puppy totally concealed.

back view Colette Laurel muslin

I sewed a straight size 8. It was pretty loose through the waist, so I simply took in the side seams. As for the length, I added 2″ to the pattern at the “lengthen or shorten here” lines and sewed a 1.5″ hem instead of the pattern’s 2″ hem. I’m happy with that length, but this is definitely not a dress that lets you bend over from the waist without flashing some serious butt-side panty. Such is life when wearing a shift dress, I guess?

neckline colette laurel

I forwent hand-sewing finishes and (sloppily) topstitched the bias binding at the neckline and armholes. I haven’t joined the “hand sewing is so relaxing!” camp yet, but I’ll probably give it a shot when I sew this up with my floral cotton.

Pattern Changes for the Floral Laurel

  • Lower the bust darts by 1/2″
  • Lower the back darts by 1″ (#LongTorso)
  • Fix a slightly gaping neckline in the back by slashing the pattern, per this Fashion Sewing Blog tutorial
  • Take the waist in a bit
  • Possibly underline my fabric with a light cotton batiste? I’m afraid the floral cotton is a little too lightweight to wear on its own. I’ve never underlined a fabric before, and it seems like batiste is a safe bet. Thoughts? Tips? General concerns?

I’m really excited to get started with Laurel #2, but I promised Marc I’d make him an octopus shirt before our trip. Next up: a polka-dotted Negroni muslin before I cut into that beautiful Cotton and Steel lawn. I hate to admit it, but I’m coming to appreciate the role of the muslin. I guess that comes with accepting that sewing is not an instant gratification hobby. One day at a time, folks! What are your thoughts on muslins? Love ’em, never bother? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, if anyone knows of good camping spots between Denver and Vegas, I’m all ears!

4 thoughts on “Me Made May and a Laurel Muslin

  1. Wow, this looks too good to be just a muslin! I always think I should do them more often, but most of the time I’m too impatient. I’ve been thinking about Me Made May recently too and I think I’m going to be going down the same route as you with wearing handmade 5 days a week. I don’t think my sewn wardrobe will stretch much further at the moment!

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