Monday, May 05, 2014

Sewing Up A Storm – Or Not

I know! Is Damselfly feeling OK? So many recent posts! Yes, I am fine but we are dangerously close to my Ninth Blogiversary – tomorrow! I promise to get all  nostalgic on you then. Hold that thought.

Meanwhile I’m onto a different subject – or two –  entirely. Firstly, I’ve been fascinated by the sewing blogosphere’s signing up en masse for Zoe’s Me-Made-May. I would join in myself except for 2 things: personal photos of daily outfits which is just too hard for me to bother with and…ummm…I always wear me-mades. So it’s not at all unusual. I’ve nearly always got something I’ve made on and most of the time it’s most of my outfit right down to the socks and undies. The only way it would be any kind of challenge would be for me to avoid wearing any manufactured clothing altogether. Then I wouldn’t be able to wear my cotton or bamboo under-socks (worn layered beneath my handknit socks) which would make it hard for me to walk the 6-10 kilometre distances that we do several times a week. So that’s not happening. Anyhow I’m slowly accumulating even more me-mades as old things wear out and I work out TNT patterns for my every day casual wardrobe. I feel like I’m ahead of their game already. Minus the photographic evidence.

Similarly I’ve been enjoying reading about the Sewing Indie Month. This is a promotion devoted to the online independent pattern designers begun by one of their number, Seamster Smart Sewing Patterns. I’m all for the indies since there’s always room for new sewing patterns out there. Maybe it’ll help keep the Big Four on their toes, who knows? I am however a little disappointed that nobody has covered my personal style in any meaningful way. Most of the indies are retro fashions or simple basic t-shirt/skirt/dress patterns. The only ones I’ve actually made and loved so far are Sewaholic’s Minoru Jacket, Thread Theory’s Newcastle Cardigan (for Thom) and Maria Denmark’s free Kirsten Kimono Tee. Guess I’m just not their “target demographic”. (So what else is new!?) However I do think there’s a lot of room for more artsy clothing patterns that aren’t from 15-20 years in the past, don’t you think? Or do the Tilton Sisters have a lock on this one? I can’t be the only one who likes this style since the Tiltons consistently are top-sellers for Vogue and now Butterick. There’s a niche – somebody go fill it, please? I’d like a little more variety or I’ll be forced to rip (or riff?) off more ready-to-wear.

But I digress. Anyway there are some very interesting interviews and chats going for Sewing Indie Month so check out the calendar here. And sewalongs with prizes if you might be interested. Some people enjoy these kind of challenges. I just hoe my own row instead. (Note expected gardening reference! Heh.)

All this talk of sewing and I haven’t touched the machine since my wrangle with the Tilton Skirt. Must get back to that and conquer the thing, huh? Has it sat in the doghouse long enough to start behaving? Or was it just me? I have several more items in the sewing pile already cut out and lots and lots of potential items just waiting for me to get to them. It seems like I’m always at least a season behind in my production. How does that happen? Oh well. I don’t really mind if I can’t get any wear out of something until half a year later. That just improves its longevity! I pay very little attention to what might be “in” or “out” in fashion anyway. As you know, I still wear garments made from 1980’s and ’90’s patterns! I only give it up if it’s truly worn out or doesn’t work with my current body shape or personal style, both of which tend to shift around but not excessively so. I like to think that I’m beyond being overly influenced by the Fashion Marketing Machine. Am I just in denial? Or just Not. The. Target. Market?

Well, perhaps I’ve just temporarily lost my sewing mojo. What I really want to make right now is another sweater! Unfortunately I can’t justify buying any yarn for this because – hello! – I have a spinning fibre stash. Lots of stash. So I need to spin up a sweater’s worth of yarn. But first I have to card up a blend to spin. See? There’s always a “but first” in the way of immediate gratification. Guess I need to get off my lazy behind and go do something other than talk about it, huh?

So. Moving right along. Hey, it’s not raining right now. Is that the garden I hear calling me?


Dixie said...

Thanks for a post filled with chuckles. I hope you got some sewing in after writing this!
I'm with you on the "Where are the arty independent patterns?" issue. The youth culture that dominates independent pattern making is definitely not into arty. And I don't blame them, as arty can sometimes veer into dowdy. But that's partly because so many arty patterns are old. I'd love to see a mature designer doing arty garment patterns, but I'm not holding my breath for it. I guess that means I'll need to get more innovative myself. Which could be a blast!

Mary said...

Very thoughtful post, and filled with ideas for me to ponder. I love the IDEA of arty garments, but on my petite form, they often look silly. We are overdue for styles melding art and sophistication.

Heather said...

Congrats on 9 years!! Your writing is always interesting, no matter what the subject. And there must be a market for innovative patterns - it seems like the women of the Gulf Islands wear little else but asymetrical, flowing, interestingly ruched garments - with their gumboots of course!

Louisa said...

We fashion rebels are here to do what we can to loosen up everyone's idea of what to wear! It's my personal challenge to be comfortable yet visible. If I raise a few eyebrows, all the better!