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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Do you ever change your mind?

A while ago Robin  posted an idea that has had me thinking for weeks.

She wrote that she sometimes sews bright and trendy, but keeps clipping Lands End.

I know exactly how she feels.

The first few days home I have been doing domestic catch-up, unpacking, laundry, groceries and visiting. Oh yes, I have been working too.

I have also put away my winter clothes and put out my recently worn-in-Florida summer clothes, despite the fact that it's still not all that warm here all day. I have actually seen people in wool hats around here. Yes I know.

Of course packing up a season brings you face-to-face with things that you didn't reach for all winter. Question is do you put them away and see if they appeal to you next year?

Probably not. 

This can be illuminating if the garments in question were things you worked hard at, ordered in patterns for, mail ordered just the right fabric, and yes paid the duty. It is entirely possible to make a great outfit that is currently totally on trend and still not something you wear - because it was designed for another kind of life or it just someone feels like someone else's clothes and not your own.

By contrast there are some garments that just get worn often, mostly because they are comfortable, maybe because they don't need ironing, but mostly because they are just you.

A long time ago I took out a style book from the public library, wish I could remember the name, where you were asked to choose three words that described you, not how you looked, but who you are.

Think this one over. It's pretty hard.

I am still working on my three words, but on the short list are: simple, resourceful, energetic, cheerful, family and people centered.

The idea now is to take your words (I am going to have a terrible time narrowing this down) and look at every style, forget the pear-shaped and whatever, and see if it reflects these words.

It is an interesting test.

Right now I have on my sewing table two patterns that I was all fired up about when I was at the "add to cart" stage but I now wonder if I will ever make up. Here they are:

OK I love this dress but am not sure if I would wear it. Does it look simple, resourceful, energetic, cheerful, family and people centered to you?

The other one, that I actually have laying on top of the fabric ready to be cut is this :

Now try those words again. The sequined pants top don't work but even still I think only the short sleeved version works for me.

I think I will make it up tomorrow and you can be the judge. Interesting at least to consider the person inside the person and not just the shape inside the garment.

What would your three words be?


Ann said...

I think the book you are thinking of is "Clothe Your Spirit... Dressing for Self-Expression" by Jennifer Robin. I have loved that book and recommended it to many over the years. My copy has a 1987 copy-write date.

I have also agonized over my words and, although my body has changed over the years and of course styles have changed, my words are pretty much the same. I used to carry them around in my wallet to help me stop making mistakes when shopping. Artistic, independent, curvy and soft.

Barbara said...

That's it! Thanks for the title and very interested to know you use it too.

Anonymous said...

I have read style books that ask essentially the same thing. I come up with the words and then forget them. Maybe I should check the library for the book by Robin.

Ruthie said...

I read a different book which had the same ideas. I'm not quite sure what my words would be perhaps Bold, Confident, Friendly.

SEWN said...

I like to sew things I want to wear for work and things I wouldn't pay money to buy. Two totally different things. I think of sewing as a way to experiment as well as to get the wardrobe I need.