Yay, it’s done!  My “movie inspired” outfit is finally done – better late than never, right?  When Project Run & Play announced the challenges for this season and one of them was “Going to the Movies” it didn’t take me very long to decide what I wanted to do.  I mean, the options are ENDLESS, but I wanted to stick with something simple and make her an outfit I thought she’d be able to wear regularly.  And since the Totoro costume I made for Yuki last Halloween was such a huge hit, I knew something from the same movie would be appreciated.  So that’s how I decided to recreate Mei’s outfit from the movie “となりのトトロ” or “My Neighbor Totoro.”  It’s a Japanese animated classic by Hayao Miyazaki and I’m obsessed with all of his movies.  So uhh, if you haven’t seen this movie, I think you should just go see it right now.

ANYWAYS, Mei is a 4 year old and the character is such a perfect match for Yuki’s personality!  Even though Yuki’s not even 2 yet, she’s got a lot of Mei’s fun, rough-and-tumble, stubborn personality and even how Mei tries so hard to keep up with her older sister.  Yuki loves playing with other kids too, even though she’s such a little runt compared to them.  I’m not going to give you a whole synopsis of the movie, you can look it up or watch a trailer, or better yet, just go watch the film if you haven’t seen it already.

So here are some screen shots from the movie:

And our little Mei-chan:

One of the most memorable scenes is when Mei is playing by herself in the yard and she spots a little peculiar creature running through the grass.  She tries to follow the chibi Totoro, and it tries to run away.  We had fun recreating that scene during our photo shoot (and I had a little fun with photo editing too :)).

Got him!!

So I made three pieces for this outfit.  The blouse and the shorts are from the Oliver + S pattern, Puppet Show Tunic and Shorts.  I don’t have a lot of experience making buttoned collared shirts, so I thought using a pattern would be a good way to learn.

The thing about a good Oliver + S pattern is that it is pretty tedious and takes a lot of time.  This, of course, results in a really high quality piece of clothing, but one of the things I love about making kids clothing is how quickly you can whip something up.  That’s just me being impatient though.  It’s really good that I’m learning how to do things the “right” way.  I made the shirt in 2T size which is HUGE on Yuki, but that means she’ll be able to wear it for a long time.  I used an embroidered white fabric just to make it a bit more interesting and added a button in the front just to make it look like the one in the movie.  I’ll probably take it off since it serves no purpose.

The shorts are so cute!  These came together very quickly and I want to make a few more of these for sure.  I made them white to match Mei’s bloomers, but I’m not sure it was a very practical move.  They make for some adorable summer shorts though!

The red jumper is a simple lined bodice that I adjusted from the Every Little Thing Tunic (recognize the lining fabric?) and a circle skirt.  I added some fun yellow flower buttons on the back.  This piece came together the fastest!

I also made the little white chibi Totoro right before our photo shoot out of some scraps of white fleece (from the original Totoro costume!) and tied little pom poms to her hair rubber bands to match Mei’s.

This blue Totoro is a stuffed animal – I didn’t make it.

Did you spot the creeper Totoro!?

And speaking of creepers, check out this paparazzi sneaking up on an unsuspecting girl.

Phew, that was a lot of photos!  Now that I’ve made a Totoro costume and a Mei outfit, all that’s really left for me to make is the Cat bus!  Haha, NOT!


36 thoughts on “Mei-chan

  1. I think I was more excited about this than any other PR&P outfit hands down!!!! Totoro was Azriella’s 2nd birthday party theme!! Geeez louise this is so adorable I think I am dizzy!!! Fantastic job!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tres’ Kawaii!!!

  2. This is so sweet! I love that you even did the pom-poms on the pigtails, and made the white Totoro. The little things. And this outfit reminds me that I want to see more of Miyazaki’s movies, so thanks for the reminder!

    Would you by any chance be interested in posting a pattern/tutorial for the red jumper? Pretty please?

  3. That dress is gorgeous! I thought someone commented on doing a studio ghibli sewalong…I’m tempted to make my baby a ponyo fish sleeping bag!

  4. This is seriously beautiful! I love the simplicity and nostalgic feel – so my style! If you ever get around to it, this is the sort of tutorial I would LOVE. I have tried making a few lined dresses and always find the lining of the bodice drives me bonkers.

  5. I love this outfit!
    And so funny – yesterday in the evening – very late – we´d seen a little bit of “My friend Totoro” in German television, but the girls had to go to bed, so we hadn´t seen most of the film. It was funny to watch a Japanese movie, but in fact it was so much adorable.

    Thank you for this lovely inspiration.

    enim sou

  6. Kawaii! I love totoro too. Went to the Studio Ghibli in Tokyo and had a blast with the Cat Bus and the souvenirs! Your Mei-chan looks so cute : )

  7. cute cute cute cute cute! em would love an outfit like this, too!! love the photo editing, so fun. i’ll be pinning this as a halloween idea…but love that you made it everyday wearable, too. 🙂

  8. this is so, so adorable – i’ve never seen the movie, but maybe it’s time! love that you used the puppet show pieces for underneath. everything looks so well made. she is so damn cute!!

  9. SO CUTE!!!! 🙂 Perfect outfit and pictures. 🙂 I love little kids in white! PS I just got my first oliver + s pattern and haven’t made it yet b/c it looks like it will take a long time. 🙂

  10. Yuki always makes me smile. She is the best dressed baby in her Mei Chan outfit! We love those movies and Yuki’s bloomers sticking out from under the jumper are too cute!

  11. Great job!! I am a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and this certainly brings back my fond childhood memories 😀 Your daughter is truly lucky to have you as a mom!! >0<

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  14. Cherie, this is too cute!! I am a fan of all your designs, but this one…oh my gosh, I love it! I aspire to be a seamstress of your caliber! 🙂 Hope all is well with you guys -Lisa T.

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  16. This is one of the cutest outfits I have ever seen! I love the movie, but even without knowing what the movie is I would still love it! I want to make this, but I need to first learn how to sew…

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  18. I’m just seeing this now so many years later (was searching for a good jumper pattern) but oh my goodness, I just had to comment on how adorable Yuki is! I just want to squeeze her – so sweet!

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