Tuesday, 14 August 2012

why sew (assuming you can sew)

There are three reasons why I sew.  Though late to blogging (if not to lurking) I have been sewing with some seriousness since 2007, and in a less intense manner since 4th grade.  Which… was quite a while ago.   But I’ve really stepped up the pace in the past few years, since discovering online resources and buying ye Janome.  I haven’t bought new outerwear since May 2009.  It’s a rare day when I don’t wear at least one item made by me, & quite frequently I’m fully dressed by home.  I also make a lot of my daughter’s clothing.  (I do op shop btw, so it’s not always all my own work.)  

But all this doesn’t tell you why I sew.  A big part of it is certainly bound up in the creative process fueled by all of the above.  I write, I draw, I make – it’s a big part of how I see myself.  I’m very intolerant of the frustrations and time involved in the  process but addicted to the thrill of seeing something made real and 3D that once existed only in my head.  

But that’s not the only reason.   I like the fact that when I sew I know the conditions under which my garments are made – that the only sweated labour is my own.  It’s interesting to see the sweatshop point coming up on various blogs, with reviews of a book (which I haven’t read) called “Overdressed – the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion.” http://overdressedthebook.com/.  I have read a previous British book on the topic – “To Die For – is fashion killing the world?” & I can recommend it.  I imagine that the themes are remarkably similar -  if it’s all about sweatshops and the impact of cashmere on the Gobi desert, and I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be.

As sewers we can avoid this to some degree but in a sense, we can only improve things by a few degrees, it’s not a perfect system. I buy new fabric, and much of the problem with clothing production is certainly mimicked in the mills which produce the cloth.  (I’m pretty sure it was the cloth mills that were first called “dark satanic”).  I suspect that we sewers are fooling ourselves if we take too high a moral ground over clothing provenance, because do we trouble our heads too frequently over fabric provenance when we click buy or take the roll to the counter?  And of course, don’t get me started on the shoes.  But it does cut down on the sweating.

Anyway abrupt transition from the high flown here, but the final reason I sew is illustrated by this waistband.  On a not inexpensive pair of fine woollen trousers bought eight years ago, when I went back to work post children.  Check out that puckering. It makes me look like a bag of wadding. I wasn’t sewing much then, nor particularly conscious of the deficiencies of ready to wear (snorts – I thought it was all my fault)  Only today when I tried them on again did I realise how lumpy this lumpy waistband makes ME look.  I can forgive a harassed sweated worker for not giving a shit how the puckered waistband of a pair of trousers will look on an overweight western woman.  But no-one else along the line gave a shit either.  Fashion doesn’t care if you look frumpy, just so long as you keep paying.  In fact quite the reverse, because if you never get it right. but keep hoping you will, you will keep paying.  The relationship basically exists until you put the money down, and then it’s over (unless you are a “brand ambassador” , but then you probably didn’t pay at all.)  I’m not going to pay snooty people to make me feel bad about myself because I can do it at home for free.  
Even that, I prefer to make for myself …

ps update on last post - all first world problems solved - new shoes now as follows:
Pixie boots and tan! ta, Wittner exchange.
 And D happily wearing slippers..!

Monday, 6 August 2012

It is a truth universally* acknowledged that a woman stuck at home with a broken arm and an internet connection will buy shoes.  

 Lots of shoes.


But alas it turned out that the best fun was in the delivery (like Christmas!) and the unwrapping.  Because the boots don’t fit and the shoes are the wrong red and… oh the first world problems I have to deal with…

Oh, and the (ahem) Wuggs aren’t for me, so I won’t find out if they are wrong until my shoe-hatin’ slipper refusnik daughter (*the apparent exception to the universality) gets home from school for her surprise.  Not confident of a good result there, either, for some reason which currently eludes me.

So it’s back to this:

LH one sleeveless thnead in HORRIBLE wool, RH future sleeved thnead in NICE wool
And Charmed.  I'm sure.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

It is hard to run a sewing blog without having sewing in it!   

There will be sewing in its future, just can’t do any yet. However, though we lack ghosts of sewing present, there are certainly ghosts of sewing past, as well as dreams of sewing future to be considered.  Today I’m thinking of projects to make when I have two working arms again.  As soon as I did this to myself, my great long list of winter projects just evaporated from my head.  Winter 2012, for me, was over as soon as I hit the ground.  I couldn’t even tell you what I wanted to make any more, it’s as if they had never even entered my mind. So all my sewing plans are for the summer to come.

Luckily I already have a looong wishlist for summer.  I’m obsessed with striped trousers and soft white blouses with red contrast embroidery –possibly (or not)worn together.  I can’t be arsed with joining pinterest and I’m not even sure if what I picture is out there – in fact I slightly hope it’s not. .So it’s clipart time  I want these:
Burda 2011.06.123


In (something like this from Mood, I can't seem to attach an image as blogger won't let me - new to this, is that a faux pas?)- striped denim or twill, but wider stripes and preferably in reds and purples.  I know that stripes are supposed to be widening but goddamnit that’s what I want.  And I suspect that’s wide even stripes, pundits.  Anyway, as I usually approach summer clothing with the apparent belief that I’m going to spent my time on the deck of a cruise ship sipping cocktails and laughing in the sunset, even mad clown pants could be more practical.  So that’s what I’m going to do.  One day soon.  Hmm, maybe I should get the ball rolling and cruise over to mood to order some.  After, I only need one good arm to sign for parcels....