Monday, March 18, 2013

Marcy Pants & Disagree

This weekend, I cleaned. We've been so busy lately that housekeeping kept getting put off and the place was VERY dusty and dirty, the kind of so dirty where you really want to clean. It's not my most favourite thing to do but I love the look and smell of a clean house. It's a nice pay-off for the effort. 

And I painted. I always think I'm in pretty good shape until some activity - like climbing up and down a ladder - uncovers muscles I didn't know I had. Shifting furniture further destroys the illusion and clearly illustrates the need for weight training. I'm not sure that will happen but I am sure that climbing ladders uses different leg muscles than running.

One of the best New Year's resolutions I've ever set was so many years ago that I can't remember the year but the benefits have been fabulous. It was to learn to listen, to learn to agree to disagree, and to learn to say I'm sorry. One of the benefits is being able to hear what another person has to say and learn why they think the way they think and then evaluate the information, decide for myself, and move forward in my direction.

In one of her webcasts, Peggy talks about being opinionated. And she is. She constantly makes statements about how all women should do this or that and those statements are her opinion. I'm okay with that. I'm opinionated myself but I also enjoy evaluating if this is new information and if so, how it changes what I think. Cleaning and painting are full of thinking time. Mostly, I was thinking about sewing.





Peggy feels that we should buy and sew fabric immediately and stop stashing. I disagree plus I find that a rather hilarious perspective for the owner of a business that sells fabric to take but - LOL - it's not going to happen in my studio. I buy for my stash and I sew from my stash and I couldn't tell you the last year, even the last decade, in which I bought a fabric and sewed it immediately. If it happened, it was either a fluke or for a special occasion. Perhaps my daughter's wedding.

I do limit how large my stash is so it doesn't get unmanageable but I can't imagine not having a stash. It's my collection and comfort. I love looking at it and going through it and imagining the possibilities. VERY often a piece does not become what I bought it for; it becomes something better.

All the fabrics in my stash are ones that I like and enjoy. They're Myrna fabrics and that's not likely to change no matter how long they're in there so why stop stashing. I am aware that if I buy a fad fabric I need to sew it quickly or it may never get sewn or it may need to evolve in some way. I rarely buy fad fabrics but if I did - and it became outdated - that's what surface design is for. Fabric can be evolved. Right now, I have a few ruffle fabrics that need that kind of attention but the world won't stop turning if I never sew them and they can become something else. Little girl skirts and dresses come to mind.

The picture above is a typical cross section of my stash. The fabrics shown have been in there between one and fifteen years. The brown piece is the only strange one in the mix and it's so gorgeous that I've kept it for years AND... surprisingly... it came to mind while I was painting as a possible fabric to go with a top I love that's more brownish than most of my other clothing.




Another opinion Peggy expressed that I disagreed with was that as sewists we should be interested in fashion and we should be sewing the latest colors and styles. For me, one of the greatest benefits of sewing is wearing what I want when I want regardless of what's in style. I've spent considerable time figuring out what is my style and that's more important to me. If I'm in style, it's merely by osmosis and exposure because I'm not investing much energy in it and apparently osmosis and exposure is enough because I am not hopelessly out of style. For instance...

... I do know that if I don't sew a peplum top soon, I won't be sewing one or if I do, it'll have a less obvious peplum. I am aware in terms of obvious things - like peplums - but what happens with a pattern like OOP Vogue 8397 above that doesn't seem particularly dated and in fact appears more timeless to me. I'm talking about the middle view in particular. The reviews start in 2007. It's been around a while. I love this pattern and just pulled a fuchsia woven to sew that center view.




The skirt above left - Vogue 8499 - is one of my favourites. This pattern is not out of print but it's not new. I've sewn two already and will most likely sew more plus I like the other views in both of these patterns. While I might not top stitch pockets depending on the year and the trends and might alter the length for the same reasons, these just look like comfortable, fun pieces. Here's my thought...

... it seems to me that - within reason - clothing that is unique and individualized doesn't go out of style because our style is always our style and there are ways to choose appropriate fabrics, combine garments, and accessorize our outfits that will keep our look fresh and current. Am I wrong?

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - fabric and pattern stashes

15 comments:

  1. oh gosh, I'm totally with you....maybe it's because we aren't in our 20s? Maybe it's because we don't live in Los Angeles or New York? (combine those and you get a perfect storm of needing to be in style)

    Or maybe it's because we're artists? I do think that artists have a different take on all of this. A famous painter I know (who loves to sew and sews often) typically wears smocks of various kinds over pants. It's who she is. No one is going to challenge her with, "Hey, you're out of style!" Instead, they're more likely to shyly ask about her latest explorations...

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    1. I think it's the artist thing. I prefer to be unique and individual. I'd rather do me than be like everyone else. When I was quite young - not even or just barely a teenager - I remember going to my uncle's home and being thrilled with the decor. In retrospect I imagine much of it was chosen for financial reasons because they were young and poor and just setting up house BUT... the dining room chairs were all different and painted different colors. The table was an old door with glass on top. The end tables in the living room were oak barrels with nicely finished wooden circles on top. And the list goes on. I loved it and even though this was years ago, I still remember the thrill of seeing that house - how unusual and individual and different it was. I really enjoy - as you commented - to talk to people about their individual touches and how they are uniquely themselves.

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    2. @Jean I live in LA and I follow my own internal fashion compass. The real LA looks very different from the myth.

      http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2010/02/ethnic-cleansing-in-action.html
      http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2010/01/ethnic-cleansing-and-knitting-in.html

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  2. My stash isn't going away any time soon, though I am making a concerted effort to use some of what I have before buying (much) more. Sometimes I start working with a fabric right away, and sometimes it just gets to become something other than originally intended, sometimes years down the road. I'd rather have stacks of good fabric than stacks of throwaway rtw clothing. Personally I don't sew just to have the latest on-trend item, although I'm aware of the trends and if something suits or delights me, I'm all for making it...especially if I can't find the quality or fit I want in rtw. Lately I'm finding great pleasure in buying vintage or secondhand garments and refashioning them...it's often a shorter process than starting from scratch, and leaves me more time to work on the details I love. When I sew I want to create things that are in styles and colors that speak to me, that will look good on my figure and hopefully make others smile when they see them. I consider that a classic-based wardrobe, even if my definition of "classic" is more artsy than the norm. Unless you see the film crew from Hoarders approaching your driveway, I say carry on and have fun!

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    1. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES ! ! ! ! !

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  3. I'm with you. Viva la difference. I don't come here to read the same old, same old.

    I'm reading about the usefulness of cranks who think differently today.
    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/the-usefulness-cranks-1

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    1. Thank you. It's encouraging to read that I'm not the same old, same old. YES! I'll check out the link.

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  4. I agree. I am an individual not a clone.

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  5. Okay I'm a fashion girl all the way and I don't agree with Peggy's view on that. I think sewing should reflect who we are as individuals not a standard like RTW does to women. And don't get me started on stash, even though I do sew some things as soon as they land in the door, the majority of my sewing is from a stashed piece. I like the art of collecting and curating a collection of fabric. I also agree with the comfort feeling!

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    1. I love the way you adapt fashion to your T & T. It's so encouraging. Some people collect pink elephants and salt shakers. I collect fabric and patterns. It's good. I've been cleaning my stash today and how fun to touch all the fabrics and reconnect with ones I'd forgotten about. And I've created some space... for new fabric... oh joy... oh bliss.

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  6. Absolutely agree with you! I think the greatest joy of sewing know is the pleasure of imagining something and bring it to practice, our taste in fashion, clothes that fit well with our body ... all that is magic! I love my fabric stash and I usually watch it for hours .....

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    1. Making. Yes. I do love making things. And I love the potential of supplies. As I said to Carolyn, I've been cleaning the stash today and a great deal of that time has been spent petting and admiring and standing back and enjoying the piles. VERY fun.

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  7. I'm with you and given the number of people buying OOP patterns on ebay and the like, we aren't alone. I tend to be drawn to things that are "me", what looks good on me will look good on me regardless of how current the look is. I have a few of my mom's patterns from the 70's and maybe they need a little tweak here or there (like hemlines or collars) but largely I can make it look current and "me" by the fabric I choose, the colours I choose. I don't really care what's truly fashionable unless it suits my body shape and my personality.

    And not having a stash? Are you kidding me? What happens if you suddenly want to sew on a Saturday night and you don't have fabric? I get limiting the size of your stash, but to not have a stash seems strange to me.

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    1. Exactly. I want to do me... from my stash.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.