I have been know to be one of those people who looks at the learning process as a means to an end. I am only doing this or that because I want to get good enough to this or that. This whole sewing thing is no different. I have tried a couple of projects that were a bit far off for a sewing novice like myself. One of them was something along the lines of this gorgeous summer skirt, but in a simple, grey linen slub.
Well, I will spare you the gorey details but lets just say this linen slub and I did not get along well. Upon my deflated consignation to failure, I found this seemingly simple tutorial. Of course, I had to make a few adjustments here and there (I always do that! Oh, just a little change here wont hurt?! Um, its called a pattern for a reason, you are supposed to follow it) because I thought I was so clever. Thankfully, an hour and a half later I had a pretty (I think) new linen skirt to wear with my favorite little yellow cardigan. I just wish I would have thought to put pockets into it.
I am so excited to get better at sewing, now that I have this under my belt, particularly my own clothes. It is so difficult for me to find clothes that really fit, and I am sure every single one of you can relate to that. Being petite poses it's own challenges, but adding on something I like to call the "cookie pouch" (yep, from various delicious cookies, and that massive baby that used to live in there) does not help in the whole "finding flattering clothes" initiative. I am rarely in jeans these days. Skirts, well, dresses more accurately, seem to be a better bang for my buck, a whole outfit vs. half. Wearing a skirt or dress everyday also just helps me feel more feminine and pretty when I am running around chasing toddlers, cleaning spitup, cooking and so on. The only downside to wearing a dress while I am caring for the bebes is that unless the dress is a modest length, any attempt to sit on the ground and read to them or play is floundered by awkward tugging and rearranging of fabric. Add on my textile snobbery and I am in a difficult predicament. All I want are some simple, flattering and modest dresses and skirts that are made out of natural materials, and maybe have pockets for goodies, but that is a bonus. Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not want to be walking around looking like I just walked out of "Home on the Prairie", but you see how I can be so frustrated with retail. I simply can not afford the quality or materials that I want (ahem, anthropologie, ahem), it probably doesn't fit me well anyway, and I don't even want to get started on my issues with the textile manufacturing/clothing industry evils.
With all of that said, I understand that if I am going to really pursue this route, it is going to take a lot of effort, and a lot of change in the way I view myself, my body and how I want to present myself. I feel a bit liberated though, because if I really do commit to this, I can actually have the clothes that I think are beautiful, fit me well, and do not further marginalize already vulnerable people.
I picked up this book last weekend, for inspiration (and the patterns that come with it). I believe it was originally released in Japan, and then translated into English. The cover photo doesn't really do the book justice, I personally think that top looks really frumpy but the really great thing is that the book includes ways that you can modify the patterns to fit and look exactly how you want. In the photo is a simple cross over top, but the variation I like makes it into a wrap dress with a three quarter length sleeve, which is very flattering on my figure. It has 8 different patterns all together, and several variations of those patterns give you plenty of options to choose from. There is even a pair of "petty coat" lounge pants made out of cotton that I think are hilarious and adorable. I also picked out some gorgeous tobacco colored cotton/linen blend, that I intend for that dress I mentioned above. I hope to get started on that this weekend, and If I have success I will share it with you immediately! What do you think? Do you find yourself having the same issues? Do you think I am a little crazy (its fine if you do, I think I am a little crazy)?
If you have any advise for me, or can point me in the right direction as far as patterns, materials or even insight into the issues mentioned above, please comment, Id love to hear what you think. As always, thanks for reading.