Let’s #SewJanelleMonae !

Sure, I’m hosting #SewcialistsLoveMMMay this April and May, and participating in MMMay myself… but come on, there’s always room for an oddball inspiration!

I’ve had Pynk stuck in my head for days, and it’s led my down a rabbithole of her other songs. I’m entranced by her visuals and sense of style, and it dovetails perfectly with my own goal of being more bold in my wardrobe!

(Skip to 0:50 when the song starts.)

And as outlandish as some of the fashion is, there is tons of wearable inspiration too!

  • black and white with a pop of red or pink
  • stripes
  • tailored suits and trousers
  • volume in skirts and sleeves
  • sequins and mixed textures
  • floral jeans (though I’d make mine opaque! πŸ˜‰

Then there is more historical inspiration – both from Hidden Figures and her videos!

So… anyone else feeling inspired? I floated the idea on Instagram, and a handful of us were really excited, so I’m going to declare #SewJanelleMonae a *real thing*. If you sew something Janelle-inspired, then tag it by July 1st, and I’ll include it in a round-up! Honestly, even if it’s only me, I’m going to have fun with this.


My initial plans:

  • I’ve been wanting a striped pencil skirt, so I’m going to make one in the same fabric as this cropped jacket so it’s a matching set! (Even though I’ll probably wear it alone more often.)
  • black Sasha Trousers (I just bought the pattern! I’m making them as pull-on without the fancy pockets, so I’m hoping they will be a super simple wardrobe basic!)
  • hot pink or red tank/cami for wearing with my skirt and trousers, preferably with some kind of fun detail – fringe, sequins, applique, who knows?
  • maybe some kind of bomber or moto jacket?

If you are interested in sewing your own Janelle Monae look, let me know below… and if you think I’m crazy, let me know that too!Β 

39 thoughts on “Let’s #SewJanelleMonae !

            1. I can imagine some kind of ruffled skirt interpretation of the vulva trousers, if you want a more “subtle” take! πŸ˜‰ Or that skirt pattern you’ve sewn that has tucks and tacks to give it volume? But a cape, that does sound awesome too!

              Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s rare to see someone so distinct in their styling – and I love how it’s all a spin on really classic fashion!


  1. I’m so into this! My daughter and I have had a lady crush on Janelle Monae since I can remember. I think you came up with the most brilliant idea!!!! I’m off to the fabric store now…..


  2. Oh, I love her! I don’t think I could pull off a single thing she wears, but I’ll take the excuse to look up some inspiration πŸ™‚ Looking forward to the results as well!


    1. Hehehe – don’t worry – a tribute can be subtle! A striped tee with slim black cropped pants? Something pink, but not vulva pants? πŸ™‚


  3. This is going to be the first sewing I do when I get back from classes and backpacking in June! Now it’s just a matter of finding something of hers that isn’t so far from my style. Her color palette is very different from mine!


    1. It would be cool to see her style interpreted into softer colours!

      Also, good luck with the end of term, and have fun backpacking!!!


  4. Part of me would love to have a go at vulva pants! When I saw your Insta post me and my manfriend were joking about how they’d be fun until you shut them in the car door or someone sits next to you and sits on them πŸ˜‚

    I have both a black and white striped Pencil skirt and a red Ogden cami cut out though. I’d love a black sequined blazer to go with them.


    1. Ahahahaha – I love your image of the impracticality of vulva pants! πŸ˜›
      Your striped skirt/red cami/sequin jacket outfit sounds HOT! Do it!!!


  5. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! I want all the suits! She is a huge inspiration to me for badass bi lady vibes. One day my skills will match my ambitions!


      1. I have given myself the sewing dares this year of 1) button down shirt and 2) non-elasticated pants which will get me closer and closer to operation suit. πŸ˜€


  6. I had never hear of Ms. Monae before – not really my musical taste, I am too stuck in the mid 80’s – but she is totally badass, has a fabulous voice and some truly wicked style. I am so looking forward to seeing what people make for this. πŸ™‚ Xx


    1. I find some of her songs almost too restrained, which is a funny contrast to her flamboyent style! But omg, the style is AMAZING!!!!


  7. Now this is a sewing challenge I’m down for! I’ve got a fantastic Burda shirt pattern lying around that I deemed too extravagant for the fabric I had set aside…and it’s similar to what you’ve shared! Great idea, Gillian.


    1. YES! A flowy ombre jumpsuit, perhaps? I’m sure there is some sort of art lecture that will theme perfectly with a labial outfit, right? Not like you need any justification! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fabulous idea! She has such amazing style… I’m thinking of something with those purposefully unmatched stripes, and maybe a big shouldered ’80s style blazer?


    1. OOOh, yes! Like, what would Janelle Monae wear if there was a courtroom scene in a music video, and she was the lawyer?


  9. Cool! She is definitely a style inspiration for me, although at the rate I sew these days I doubt I’ll be able to join in myself. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with through πŸ™‚


    1. In my mind at least, it totally counts if you combine some existing me-mades into a Janelle-inspired outfit! You’ve got so much black in your wardrobe – do you have any stripes or white you could mix in?


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