Me Made May 2017 at Parliament!

Hello friends of Parliament! It's spring, we're feeling the creative energies flowing, and we are so stoked to share with you about our upcoming participation in Me Made May 2017. As makers of Parliament, we are passionate not only about creating handcrafted goods, but also empowering others to learn the process for themselves. Thus, we couldn't be more excited to bringing an amazing batch of workshops to our space for the month of May, all centered around creating your own goods for a more sustainable wardrobe and lifestyle! We will be offering the following workshops and events during the next month:

What is Me Made May? Me Made May was started in 2010 by Zoe of the Blog "So Zo, What do Ya Know?", a sewing blog dedicated to Zoe's process of making clothing for herself and her family. She shares patterns, tricks, tutorials, and in 2010 started Me Made May as a challenge to herself to wear something she had created everyday of the month! She wrote about her goal on her blog, and the idea was met with great enthusiasm from the DIY and Sewing communities; fast forward to 2017, and it is now a Instagram phenomenon and network of its own, connecting rad folks across the globe who make their own clothes during the month of May using the hashtags #memademay and #mmmay17.  It has also evolved and grown to include considerations about slow-fashion, who makes your clothes and just how much time goes into them, sustainable living through a handmade wardrobe, and the impact of choosing to buy locally handmade goods from others. 

For us at Parliament, making our own wardrobe is one of the side-passions amongst all of us makers. Both Elyse and Megan got their start with handcrafted in sewing clothes for themselves, and have been long-time users of open-source patterns such as BurdaStyle.com, have been drafting patterns for their own clothes for many years, and regularly make their own clothes still, for fun! Plus, they both have professional experience: Elyse minored in Fashion with her Accessory Design BFA from SCAD, and Megan works as a professional seamstress for local makers Conscious Clothing, an organic clothing company who we're proud to be hosting for First Friday in May to kick off our month of programming! Thus, we knew that in this new space where hosting workshops was such a blast, that we wanted to bring together a series of programming in honor of this fun month, and celebrating the handcrafted wardrobe.

Participation in Me Made May is simple; you make a pledge that for the month of May, you will meet some goal regarding your handmade wardrobe and lifestyle. You may post this on your social media, and Zoe asks that you comment on her blog-post here with your goal, so that we can all support each other in our goals. This goal can be simple or complex- it's up to you! You may be a brand-new sewer who wants to make a shirt for the first time, and signing up for our Crop-Top Workshop may be just the goal for you! Or, you may be a seasoned sew-ist, and make it a goal to wear a different "Me Made" item from your wardrobe every day of the month. Many participants like to share their journey on social media, and connect with other makers using the hashtags- we'll be sharing our own "Makes" and workshops on our Instagram and Facebook pages, and would love to have you follow along; we'll be using the hashtag #memademayParliament along with the official hashtags of #memademay and #mmmay17. Comment here too with your pledge! Ours is as follows, pulled from the format on the Me Made May Website:

 We, Team Parliament @parliamenttheboutique, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. We endeavor to create a space of support and community around achieving handmade wardrobe goals through workshops and events, for the duration of Me-Made-May '17. We also pledge to share our journey and adventures along the way!

You can make your own pledge using the following format, and comment below to share with us!
 'I, (insert name here and blog address/instagram handle if you have one), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear......................................................... each day for the duration of May 2017'

We are thrilled be able to support our creative community this Me-Made-May, and hope you will join us at the shop for a workshop or two! Sign-up for classes on our website here, or stop into the shop in person to reserve seats!

Here's to Me-Made-May '17! See you at the shop!

We've Moved!-Parliament's Grand ReOpening

We’ve moved!—Parliament the Boutique has moved to a new space, and it is only a couple doors down from our original space. Over the past couple of years Parliament has been growing continuously, starting as a small studio + shop, growing into two spaces, and now coming back together again under one roof.  We entered 2016 abrim with the possibilities, but not sure of what was next. A new store? A different studio? We greatly felt the need to streamline and simplify, but were uncertain to do so.  When a space we only dreamed of having opened up, on the Avenue for the Arts and within our community, we knew we had found the opportunity. In August, we made the choice to move both store and studio back under one roof, like the original Parliament, but way bigger and better than ever before! We knew it would be a long road and transition over the next 6 months and into the New Year, but we also knew it would be oh-so worth it.

We want the new Parliament to mean something more, going beyond the products sold, we want to connect with the community of Division Street and the greater Grand Rapids area. We want to bring the craft and artistic aspects of our goods to life; every customer will now be able to understand how the finished products they purchase go from raw materials to works of art. Our old space was challenging in this regard; our audience could only shop the product, and everything was made off-site in a different space. Our bright new space will offer a comfortable environment for our visitors to both shop and learn, all under one cozy roof.

If seeing is not believing for you, why not take a step closer? We will be introducing community workshops starting in March; workshops will be taught by Parliament founders and other community makers + artisans, and you will have the chance to create under a teacher’s instruction, within our space. We are so thrilled to add this aspect to our business, and are excited to bring the participatory experience of creating an object full circle, for our audience. Throughout the year there will be a number of different workshops for the community to participate in, including basic leathercraft, natural dyeing, and a DIY clothing series in May- we are so excited!

Our goal for the new year, and new space, is to make Parliament a cultural destination. We want people from near and far to be curious as to what we are, not just what we can sell. We want them to experience the magic that goes into our craft. We are no longer just a place to buy hand-crafted and unique products, but a place that the community can come together and explore the process of crafting the beautiful objects that fill our daily lives.

We are looking forward to what 2017 has in store for Parliament, and are excited to welcome you to join us in this journey. Parliament has always been a crossroads for makers and their community; we are blessed to continue being that place, and look forward to all the new ways to deepen this space for everyone’s enjoyment. We want to thank the community for the endless support and we are excited to share our new home with you!

We hope to see you are our Grand Reopening on February 3rd, 2017 at 5pm. You can find more information on this event on our Facebook page.