I made this top on May Day (May 1st) to remember and honor the labor of women around the world who make our clothing. On May 1, 1886, workers in Chicago walked off their jobs to demand 8 hour work days. Today, over 60 million people are employed in the global garment industry, and most of them (upwards of 75%) are women. These women are working long hours in sweatshops for poverty wages, invisible to consumers and to the leaders of the billion dollar, multinational corporations whose clothing they make. 

One of the reasons I sew is because I feel like it gives me agency to resist against this exploitation of women. With the development of my feminist consciousness over the years, I began to see sewing as a radical way to create something meaningful and to have control over what I'm wearing and buying.

I took a crew neck t-shirt pattern and chopped off the top at a level about halfway up the armscye on the front, back, and sleeve pieces. Add enough allowance to the top edge to create a track for the elastic (I added two inches because I was using 3/4 inch elastic). Then add a little bit of extra width to each piece so that it can be gathered by the elastic.

More details on my blog.

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