Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What The Wadder Is Going On?

Before I write anything... we have had sunshine - as in no fog - and no overcast skies - just blue plus sun with the odd fluffy object - for five days in a row. This is amazing. I love the way a little vitamin D perks up the party.





If you have the Clover brand pink magnetic pin cushion, it is almost exactly the same color as the top I was working on yesterday. Very intense. Definitely in my range.





Since my assignment with the grey knit top didn't go so well, I decided to repeat it only this time put the tucks in at the beginning before sewing the side seams. I turned up the hem and then used a chalk marker to measure parallel lines and then...





... used a double needle to stitch the tuck with the one row of thread right at the fold. I liked the extra body this created plus the tuck pressed down neat and flat toward the hemline and was accented by the two parallel rows of stitching that mimicked the angle of the hemline. All good and...





... an oops. When I was trimming away the excess fabric from the neckband, I accidentally cut into the body of the garment. There's certainly room to widen the neckline although it would have been nice if I'd noticed sooner, before I'd sewn up the other shoulder seam. It may not matter because...





... I'm not that thrilled with the top on me. The color may suit my features but it certainly doesn't suit my emotional mood. It's way too intense at a time when calm, quiet, and peaceful are far more appealing. It's interesting how our emotional environment can affect our clothing choices. VBG - or at least I find it interesting. What's also interesting is that when I wore my grey version of this top with the same jeans in this picture, there was less contrast between the asymmetrical hemline and the denim that was far more flattering than this higher contrast version. It seems like the only high contrast combinations I am comfortable with are black and white or navy and white.

Lately, it's been wadderville. I've had some wadders from buying the wrong piece of RTW or from choosing the wrong pattern to sew and I've had some wadders from choosing the wrong fabric or from choosing the wrong color and I've had some wadders where the pattern and the fabric and the color were all good only the plan didn't execute as well as expected. I would be wondering what the wadder is going on only I know. I've been here before.

Does this happen to you? Whenever I need a change or I'm learning (or re-learning) new information, I start pushing the edges and trying this and that just to see what would happen and I continue to enjoy that experimental state until the number of wadders starts draining my energy and makes me think I have absolutely no idea how to sew, who do I think I am, it's time to get a new hobby. As soon as I start feeling that way - which is about now - it's the pull back from the edge of the cliff point where it's best if I return to the safe and the familiar, say something like a black t-shirt. Hmm... that sounds good - LOL.

Yesterday, while driving around running errands, I was processing this run of wadders and thinking about the things that I know about myself and conveniently forget during one of these box stretching events until I get bonked over the head with them again . It seemed to me that a checklist would be helpful and I was contemplating what I'd write on it when I came home to Stephanie's comment that a check list might be helpful. And it would be BUT...

... the wild card component of sewing that isn't so easily put on a checklist is the emotional element. Then again, maybe you can get at that with a question. Something like... what mood am I in and what fabric matches that mood, did I check my checklist, do I remember all the lessons, and am I about to sew a wadder because I'm ignoring my own good advice? I think that question just might cover all the bases and work to prevent me from self sabotaging my sewing BUT...





...the thing I recognize is that the styles, lines, colors, and patterns that look best on me are low contrast with simple details and require strong technical skills to execute well. This is good only sometimes I want out of that "safe" box and somewhere a little more free form creatively speaking. Bottom line - I look far better in the pink skirt and it'd be way more fun to sew the brown. When I put the pink skirt on, I feel feminine, flirty, and fun and when I wear something like the brown skirt, it feels like I'm playing dress-up in someone else's clothing. At the store I'd oh and ah over the brown skirt and I'd most likely be wearing the pink one. More interesting info.

On Monday, when I sent the answers to my recent coaching assignment to Diane, I talked about this disconnect and how to resolve it. One of the answers to avoid mindless boredom and increase the enjoyment of sewing the simpler lines that I'll actually wear is to up my technical abilities by learning how to do sew some of clean architectural details I admire. Another might be to accept that sewing my clothes is more in the core essentials with fabulous fit department then on the "wild" side and to find another way to push the creative edge. The answer that comes to mind is accessories. This is not a new crossroad. I've been here before and the great thing about spiraling around and around through the same thoughts is that eventually you mine the truth out of them.





I predominately wear simple clothing with low contrast and architectural details in a medium to dark value range along with statement accessories that add power and punch to my outfit. Just maybe... and how crazy is this... I should sew simple clothing with low contrast and architectural details in a medium to dark value range and look at learning how to create statement accessories that would add power and punch to my outfits. It's a thought ! ! ! ! !

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - learning, re-learning, applied learning

Strategy evolves in the day-to-day topsoil of decision making. 
- Henry Mintzberg

25 comments:

  1. I agree - sunshine makes ALL the difference! Just curious, does this new thinking mean that all that fabric destined for donation gets to stay with you?

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    1. LOL - today's post is continued thinking on the new thinking - coming to some conclusions of how to use this information wisely. No, the donation fabric is still leaving. A lot of it has been sitting for ages because it's really not me. When I'm shopping the sales, I have to resist getting sucked in by a gorgeous piece at an unbelievable price and remember that this is only an unbelievable price if this is actually a gorgeous piece I'd use. And I need to remember that I'm okay the way I am - I don't need to add extra bells and whistles that aren't the real me. That's where a check list would help. Giving the fabric away lets someone else benefit. I think that's better than hoarding - storing it forever defeats the point. I can get sucked in by the potential of a piece and not stop to really think it through - although - to be fair - I bought a lot of the donation stuff at the beginning of my return to fashion sewing when I experimenting with sewing clothes again.

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  2. I think you have got it! (Burst into a song here)

    Low contrast! Structural details. Pick one focus! You go girl!

    PS I think you are right about the pink! To much. Go back and see how the other top in that previous post looks and feels, the orangey pink with the black hues was so much better.

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    1. Thanks. Yes - it is "song worthy". With this pink, there's just too much of it. As an accent it would be good. Your comment a while back about shades really resonated with me because almost all of what I feel best in is shaded with black undertones which correlates with the low contrast learning. About two thirds of my stash fits in this category.

      I disagree that I am a 3 with strong 4 overtones. I think as we go along you may change that opinion to I'm a 4 with strong 3 overtones. If we were face-to-face rather than through the monitor it might be easier to see. The "four" information is very familiar and connects with a lot of learning I've done through different personality and fashion studies.

      I agree with Susan's comment yesterday that categorizing people rigidly is not the way to go but I do think these categories are great starting points. What was completely missing from the videos I was watching was uniqueness and individuality. It's a huge part of the learning in Nothing To Wear. My avant-garde personality in that categorizing system likes to be unique and authentic. That's definitely true for me which is why I think taking that need into creating accessories could be a good direction.

      Brightening my make-up, adding earrings, and focusing on clean lines for the last few days has not only made me feel more energetic but has garnered some quite lovely compliments. It has that inside out vibrating feeling of rightness. It's fun and it'll be interesting to see where this goes.

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  3. It's so interesting to hear your thought processes. I constantly re-evaluate what I like to sew versus what actually looks flattering on my shape. It can be discouraging when wadders happen but my love of garment sewing always brings me back to my studio to create. Hang in there Myrna!

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    1. YES YES YES - thanks for letting me know you can relate. I know I'm "too intense" for some people because I dive into subjects like this really deep and that's okay with me. I find them fascinating and I absolutely love when I get to talk to someone who is equally fascinated. The learning I've done in this last few weeks has made me feel so connected with myself again and has given me a way to move forward - hopefully with less wadders. This is so good. I have to give credit to Diane with my coaching session. She's made me want to reach for more - for the truly unique me instead of trying to be someone else who I'm not. I think that's part of the sew versus wear circling.

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  4. I read once that we are alway going to make the same mistakes over and over until we learn the lesson that was intended for us.

    I still think you are a type 3 with a very strong type 4 secondary! The high contrast of the type 4 colors just overwhelms your being. It is just off! That would mean that you use the 3 color wheel and then use the structural lines you love.

    Again just my humble opinion, not the dressing your truth police!

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    1. Spiraling is - IMHO - just a fact of life or at least a fact of life for those who like to really look at subjects deeply like I do. I keep learning at different levels. My study today talked about all things happen for a reason and if we can understand that reason, we can take that information forward and really use it.

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  5. Have you considered painting, printing, or overdying the pink top? I agree that right now it is too much but with some dark or black prints on top (like the pink skirt) I think it would work. It doesn't look wrong to me, just not done.

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    1. No. I rolled up the top with the extra fabric and put it back in stash for when I'm ready to consider how it could be used. The printing idea sounds fun. I'll give that some thought.

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  6. I think you are reading my mind! Good luck on your new(ish) path. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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    1. THANK YOU - I'm really excited about how confident I feel. It's been a long time since I felt so sure that I was going in the right direction. Now...not to lose that feeling. I definitely want to make a checklist and I may not return the course supplies just to keep that color chart. We'll see.

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  7. Myrna, if you are on Pinterest there is a lot of stuff that people have pinned as different type. A ton of type 4 and 3 boards. You can go and see how different people interprete the "rules"

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    1. I went and looked. LOTS of stuff. I called up 3 first just to see what my reaction was and it was too brown too leopard printy too busy for me. When I called up 4, there was a mix of whoa that's bold and hmmm... I really like that. These tended to be more shaded in color. It's fun to see the different interpretations. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  8. It doesn't look wrong to me, just not done.
    *********************************************************
    Kathy, exactly what I was thinking! Not done yet.
    I love your idea of painting. Maybe tone on tone? Or something to give it a darker background?

    I love the tucks!!! Love! They give a hint of femininity without being too frilly, frou frou. And I really, really like the asymmetry on you. Love it!

    I was initially thinking a long necklace, gray and some other color, large but airy. You need to break up that expanse of pink that the eye sees. You only notice the expanse from the waist up. The waist and below is fine. What about a gray/pink scarf? The scarf might have the same effect as the painting idea. And a scarf would hid the unfortunate neckline snip.

    I think that you need more gray to calm it down. Longer trousers would give you more gray. And gray pointy toed shoes. Gray, heeled something. They need to be fun and unexpected. Suede booties? (They're not expected at our age. :-) )
    And definitely large earrings. Gray, airy, big. And fun. You need fun up by your face...not there yet.

    I just noticed the 3/4 length sleeves. Now you have room for a fun (large) bracelet. Skip the scarf/necklace idea. A while back you were working on fabric necklaces....would that translate/evolve to bracelets?

    I think you could add a third color. Not much of it. But it would add interest. Straight pink/gray is perhaps too mundane for what you're looking for right now. Or maybe even 3 more colors...just not a lot of them. Treat the pink as if it were a neutral.

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    1. LOTS of ideas. Printing on the fabric has me the most interested because that's an area I really want to play in more. Thanks.

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  9. Build up a collection of statement jewelry pieces. I've got a collection of silver jewelry from my travels and a collection of Lisa Jenks jewelry from the 80's that I've had for years and added to from Ebay more recently. This works well with the simple pieces in gray, black and white that I like. I also love layered and textured knits that give simple pieces added interest. I like drama, but not in color. Scarves work well too. Also think texture and pattern, but not necessarily bright since, like you I really don't like wearing bright colors.
    I laughed when I read about not impulse buying that gorgeous fabric because it's on sale, but it's not such a bargain if you don't wear it. This is the conclusion that I've come to as well. The problem with architectural pieces is that they are often too complicated and not particularly flattering on me. I may like them but if they don't look good what's the point of making them? I've been drawing a lot of garments on my croquis lately. It really helps me realize what does not suit me and what does.

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    1. Great advice. Thanks. I have quite a few statement pieces already and keep adding to that collection. That's why learning to be more creative in the making accessories department interests me although I'm going to think before leaping. Drama versus color clicks. Thanks for putting it that way. I can relate. Wrote that on my check list. I like texture but subtle - like ribbing. At it's most simplest, architectural to me means that the garment has some darts and seaming to give it shape. I can't carry off the way over the top stuff. It's fun to sew though - LOL. I haven't been reading a lot of blogs lately. I need to go see if you've posted recently. We definitely share similarities.

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  10. "Just maybe... and how crazy is this... I should sew simple clothing with low contrast and architectural details in a medium to dark value range and look at learning how to create statement accessories that would add power and punch to my outfits" Could be! :) and that sounds really classy as well as creative, too.

    Actually i left another comment on your last post - the relevant bit follows. You said:

    ""It's relatively easy to figure out what works physically but emotionally is a moving target. "

    I said: "EXACTLY. Which is why i find the checklist useful - in your case i would take a look at an outfit or three which you feel really good about on an emotional level, then try using the various categories to bring those emotionally-right aspects to the surface/conscious mind.

    Instead of starting from your own physical body, you start with a positive aesthetic/emotional response and work backwards, as it were, to find out what will 'trigger' that response in you."

    So instead of trying to 'figure out' or 'construct' what will work for you emotionally, you start with what you really really like and deconstruct/analyze to see what are the elements responsible. That's like one major key to the whole project - you start with an OUTFIT that you REALLY LIKE.

    And accessories are definitely on the list ;)

    That period just before a big style breakthru is always uncomfortable. Over the years i've seen it enough in me and others, like you have, to relax a bit and see it for what it is. Hang in there Myrna!

    It's interesting as well the question of 'sewing to express creativity'. Frankly it's never particularly been a goal of mine, mostly i just want clothes that are to my own specs and which i can afford. But i find that going in that direction, creativity tends to come in thru the sidedoor unannounced - there are so many problems to solve!

    I would love to make very architectural, high contrast dramatic and edgy pieces like Diane Ericson does, but they don't really fit my personal style or my physical being. And truthfully, over the past decade i have grown to love making my more 'boring' clothes as i focus on fit, hand sewn technique, exquisite detail, and various quirky allusions. And, since they really embody my own unique style, i enjoy wearing them immensely.

    Have a great day - you and Chloe enjoy those sunbeams!

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    1. Yes, the uncomfortable comes right after the itchy for something different but is - thankfully - followed by vibrating enthusiasm. When I'm making core essentials, I love that I have solid technical skills. Like with knitting, I often pat my work because I'm so thrilled with the way it's coming together and pressing down flat and developing shape but it's not that edgy, I don't know what's going to happen next and where might this finish up energy that I had developed in my textile art work. I really enjoy that too and it's been something I've been trying to place somewhere in my studio work since my return to fashion sewing. The thought that it might lie in the accessories is intriguing. That would both allow me to enjoy the fit, structure, technical details, and wearability of what I sew and the edgy, exciting, who knows what creativity of accessories. I'm going to give it a lot of thought first though. Right now, I'm working on a cardigan that is so me and meets your positive aesthetic/emotional response suggestion. I know I feel good in cardigans like this and wear them frequently and they are great workhorses. LOL - I've started my check list.

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    2. "LOL - I've started my check list."

      That's the whole point :) If it's *your own criteria*, then you can develop a framework which keeps you from making big mistakes while guiding you towards new ideas to try which will be very rewarding and exciting. The idea of rules can seem constraining and the opposite of creative; in practice i find it helps me stay true to how i want to express my own vision.

      In practice, most people keep all except 2-3 items on the checklist 'in the background' or standardized in their outfits/wardrobes. Then they get really into highlighting and exploring their focus areas - for me, i am perfectly happy with an all neutral closet, but take away my completely unique, antique (and in some cases custom made) jewelry and there's no way i could cope. I'd rather live in tees and jeans than give up my boots and hats - and believe me it's a rare day i'm in a tee and jeans ;) To each their own!

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  11. It may just be my computer monitor, but I think you need to try on the new pink top with the pink and black skirt - it may go from wadder to inspired with that pairing and some black accessories...

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    1. You're monitor is doing okay. The pink shades are pretty close. The black tones the skirt done considerably. I don't think the proportions would work well together but I'll certainly give it a try. You never know.

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  12. I LOVE the pink top and I think it looks great on you. Perhaps you're just not used to bright colors yet. You looked fabulous in your bright colored raincoat the other day. Perhaps if you add a black and white scarf (or navy) with your new top so the pink isn't right next to your face... Give it another try (or send it to my house!)

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    1. I think it looks great on me too. It feels like too much but you could be right that I need to ease into this. Thanks. LOL - I'll let you know if I need your address.

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