Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Different Direction

That old Damselfly has flitted off into yet another direction: sewing. Yesterday I said I was going to dig through my fabric stash and see what pieces have finally decided what they want to become when they grow up. I found a couple of interesting fabrics and a few blouse/shirt patterns that I've made before so I know they fit. Three are short-sleeved which may mean limited wearability by late fall, but the fabrics I want to use with them aren't quite long enough for long sleeves anyway. One (the upper batiked one in the photo) is a longer piece so I also cut out a pair of capri-length pants so I'll have a matching outfit. The blouse that goes with them has a round neck with no collar and short dolman-type sleeves (cut as part of the body). This fabric was handwoven somewhere because the selvedges are very funky and the resist pattern doesn't quite line up with the woven plaid which was overdyed in navy. It has an almost crinkly texture. The other batiked fabric (the lower one in the photo) is just enough for a shirt the original of which I wear often. It has short dolman sleeves, rounded shirttails, and a collar. There's a pleat in the back that makes it extra comfortable and it's quite long — thigh length. This fabric is actually for quilting and it's a nice weight and hand and looks hand-dyed. Even if I didn't do the surface design stuff I'd still like my clothes to look like I could have.

I have some more fabrics and appropriate patterns but I haven't started on them yet. I figure these garments are enough to get me back into the sewing thing right off the bat. Once I get started though, I know I'll keep going. I used to always sew nearly all my clothes but I've been slipping lately. I think it was disappointment with my aging and lumpy body but as I've mentioned in a previous blog, I'm much happier with it now. Even though it's still nowhere near perfect — just not quite so lumpy! Plus I can't find anything I like in the stores. They're making clothing for very skinny and very youthful midgets these days. And in mostly boring colours or with corporate logos. Not my style at all. Interestingly, Threads magazine continues to show some very attractive clothing ideas, so there are others out there with similar taste to mine. Obviously they sew their own clothes too.

Oh please, don't get me on a rant about the current "fashions"! Cheap, sleezy, impractical, uninspired, and ugly are words that come to mind. Why is it that what's cool today is what was dorky when I was a teenager? Oh right, they have to be the exact opposite! I guess finding their own style is out of the question? Wait, I forgot about the piercings and tattoos. Only seriously "bad" people had those in my youth. I wonder how today's "body decorated" will explain these things to their future grandchildren! And what will those future children have to do to be different? Frightening thought.

Because I don't work in a corporate job, my clothing needs are somewhat different from most women's. I rarely wear a dress or skirt and never a suit. I don't have to be invisible or unobtrusive so truly I can wear whatever I like. Mostly, I'm at home where nobody can see me anyway so stretchy comfy pants and t-shirts are common. You don't want to do housework or craftwork wearing garments that took hours to make. But I do have a few handwoven pieces and some that are dyed or stamped or otherwise embellished. There's handspun handknit sweaters and lots of socks. Since I also make jewelry, there's earrings and bracelets. I'm almost always wearing something handmade — even if I'm digging in the garden. If I was a millionaire I wouldn't buy clothing or furnishings because they were expensive but because they were beautifully handmade. I'd commission pieces to be made especially for me and if I was really rich, I'd support a whole village of craftsmen and artists. OK, I'm getting carried away now. Back to sewing.

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