Yesterday, I spent some time on Pintrest looking at the clothing boards of my friend Patti and my daughter Jessica. While I still don't see Pintrest as something I want to do - and I could change my mind - it's an amazing tool for discovering the particular interests of that person and what the two of you have in common.
The jacket above is an interesting mix of military inspiration, feminine fit, and flirty details. It seemed the perfect example of adding a new twist to a favorite shape... at least for me... because I really like and look good in this shape of jacket. When I went to the site to find more information - in particular what the main fabric was - the jacket wasn't there any more. For us sewists, that's not a problem - we can sew it - but I can only imagine how frustrating it might be if you want to buy the jacket.
Two of my favourite skirts are Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8499 and a downsized version of Koos' out of print Vogue 1244. Both have a belled shape to the bottom which led me to sew Marcy's Vogue 8876 dress. The skirt above reminds me of these patterns. It has extra details with the pleats at the back and large pockets and buttons in the front. I wish I could see it from different angles because I'd really like to know more about it HOWEVER... once again... it reminds me that "it" - with it being our style or a fabulous garment or a great look or... - is all about the details. It's about taking a simple shape, adding seams, embellishing with bits and buttons, and creating a fabulous look.
I've sewn more dresses in the last year than I've owned in all the years before. It's been one of the fabulous bonuses of learning how to sew clothes that fit from shoulder to bust to waist to hip to hem. The patterns I've worked with the most are fairly similar in style, typically fitted through the bodice and flaring from the hip much like the one above. The asymmetrical lines of this dress illustrate how that simple shape can be taken in "new" directions.
These hand warmers remind me of something Kat Wise might have made and possibly that's where the pin is from. I found that a frustrating aspect of Pintrest - that you can't always get back to the original source to find the details you want to know. Again... in this case... it's not an issue. I can sew. I can make lovely hand warmers like these if I want to but what impacted me the most was how fun and flirty they felt, alive, unique, individual. It made me think about why am I constantly attracted to these shapes and colors and yet these are not the shapes and colors I'm wearing on a daily basis?
When I saw my daughter's Pintrest pages, two thoughts occurred to me. The first was that our style and taste in clothing and accessories is far more similar than either of us has acknowledged in the past and the second is that while clothing is obviously a shared passion, neither of us is dressing the way these pictures indicate we want to dress.
For me, it comes back to yesterday's conversation about lack. For a long, long time, I had to make do with on sale and classic styling rather than trendy or individualized clothing and that has become so ingrained that even now when I'm sewing fashions again... and buying fabric at tremendously great sale prices... there is this invisible rut that I'm stuck in and a level on which I'm afraid to commit.
Holding something so precious that you never use it in "real" life is a waste of precious time. We only have one life. I can remember my longing for certain styles in my teens and twenties and thirties and forties and here I am at the start of my fifties and I'm still longing. Not so hard. I am making some progress and I've come to realize that some of those longed for styles just haven't happened because they aren't actually me, they just represent a part of my personality that wants more expression BUT... and this was my point... even if you don't sew, why would you make do and settle for less than your shining best when you don't have to and for those of us that do sew and have completely within our control the opportunity to be our unique and individualized self, why aren't we?
So what if fuchsia is this year's color and might not be next year's. I love fuchsia. It's always my color. So what if this particular style of jeans is in one year and out the next. If they look good on me and I can sew them to fit then they're always in for me. And that's not really the issue.
The real issue is not about am I willing to be different and develop and wear my own style. I am. The real issue has to do with some hard to pinpoint combination of a perspective of lack with feelings of fear of loss, failure, rejection or any number of other common fears with poor self worth on some level, the combination of which creates a reluctance to sew that favourite fabric in a style or size that might be gone tomorrow. What if it's amazing and then it's gone?
Even though I'm perpetuating that belief on one level as I come to terms with why it exists and how do I move past it, on another I so strongly disagree that I've been giving myself the lecture I'd give any one of you if you'd shared the same awareness. Why wait? Why not be amazing now? Why not grasp every opportunity to be fun, flirty, alive, unique, and individual because... if not now, when? Apparently, I'm not alone. Stephanie Marston writes:
... I interviewed hundreds of women from all walks of life, in a multitude of situations, from across the country. Every woman was interesting in her own way; each woman's story was unique. Yet there were common themes. After each interview, I was elated. I felt as if I'd hit pay dirt. Although the women often faced daunting issues, each was now circling back to reclaim dreams and needs she had lost along the way. What I found, with few exceptions, was that women experience midlife as a time of renewal and rebirth. Some expressed this more tentatively than others, but most all characterized this as one of the best times of their lives. The depth, strength, resilience, generosity, resourcefulness, and wisdom of these women were inspiring. - page 4, If Not Now, When?
I try not to dwell too long on regrets. If I have an opportunity to change the situation or to share what I've learned from that regret, I do otherwise, what's in the past is in the past and it can't be changed. The best choice is to move on however, some regrets can still have a future and one that I've given a lot of thought to is why don't I wear the kinds of clothing I pour over in the stores and admire on other women? Why the disconnect? Are those pieces really my style or are they simply pieces I'm meant to admire and move on from or are they pieces I need to gather my portion of inspiration from and incorporate into what works for me? If it is my style, I might not be able to afford to buy it but I can certainly afford to sew it and all those details are fun and challenging. It's sewing I'd enjoy. So why not? Wearing what you want to wear is not the near to impossible task. For most of us, knowing what you want to wear and then actually wearing it is.
It's never too late to be what you might have been. - George Eliot
Over the past few years I have gotten closer to that goal and while I want to stop and celebrate that success I also want to act on the advice I gave my daughter. Don't wait for the perfect moment, the perfect body, the perfect size, the perfect whatever because perfect never comes. Something always gets in the way. Instead, make today the perfect day. Choose.
I had time to spend on Pintrest yesterday because I was mostly a lump on the couch resting up from my busy weekend of baby snuggling. One thing I thought about was what to sew with the fabric I bought. You may have noticed that clothing in Myrna sizes has been conspicuously absent from the blog for a while. I've lost weight - fifteen pounds so far - and I'm not sure how to deal with the loss because I didn't set out to lose weight. It suddenly decided to disappear. Is it stress? Is it a change in diet? Is it a shift in my metabolism? Is it coming back? Will more disappear?
You see my dilemma. Do I sew now or do I wait and how long should I wait for? Is there any possibility that I'll actually hit that goal weight that I gave up on and if so, it's three sizes smaller so... perhaps I should wait... except... as you all know.... my wardrobe is minimalistic and fitted and already even my t-shirts are starting to be too baggy. Soon I'll literally have nothing to wear so I need to come up with a plan and I want that plan to be about living fully, brightly, boldly, beautifully and about not holding precious. I want to "use the good china" so to speak. I think that translates to sew something fun in the size you are now and if you change sizes, sewing something else that's fun...
... and that's what I'm going to do... right after I finish my grandson's coat. I think I've finally figured out how to get a pocket and zipper into each of the front princess seams without stitching the pocket closed while stitching the zipper in. I hope.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - the picture lesson