I first met Made (pronounced MahDay) some years ago. Someone had given me a lovely piece of cream lace, cut to special kebaya (Balinese lace blouse) dimensions, and I asked where I could get it made up. Ibu Made, I was told. She then had a small tailor shop very close to the largest supermarket in town at the time so she was conveniently located. I call her Made Kebaya to distinguish her from the other Mades in our life – and there are more than a few.
Made is the main name assigned to second-born children in Bali (Wayan is the first) so there are plenty of people who will answer if you call – they need some kind of filtering, in my mind at least. I wrote about the Balinese naming system in my previous Ubud blog in 2013 and I might just cut and paste the post soon on this site as it is still relevant. However Made Kebaya accepted the challenge of making the garment for a body shape not quite as slender as a slight Balinese woman, and has been making them for me ever since. What’s more, she convinced me I needed the corset to wear underneath, Of course she had no stock that would suit generous proportions, but soon sourced one. All I will say is that they do give a lovely shape but are hell to wear, and I have long since resorted to normal undergarments for ceremonial wear.
About a year ago I noticed that Made’s little shop had suddenly closed. This is not uncommon – the reason is mostly an unaffordable rent increase – but there was no indication that she had either shut up shop or simply moved. My language skills had improved enough to ask next door what the story was. Not only had Made moved, but she had moved literally across the road from our gang (laneway). As her signage was not yet in place, I hadn’t realised. Good news and bad news. As I said yesterday, a girl can’t have too many kebayas. But they are not cheap, particularly the heavy lace. And it is so tempting to have a new one made for a special ceremony. As I am doing.
So yesterday I commissioned two more kebayas, dove grey for the wedding (which will go nicely with the sarong I have in mind) and a heavy-lace white for the temple. I already have a white one but it’s functional rather than beautiful and anyway, it’s good to have a spare. Ya?