Kategori: Creativity

The Art of an Artistic Wardrobe – Introduction

This is the beginning of a series of posts on how to style garment sewing. Strange question maybe but I’ll start with my personal thoughts on this.

For a long time Ive been pondering why I end up not liking most things I create for myself. Very few me made garments have stayed in my wardrobe or got worn at all, and that for years. And it’s not the technique. I alter cloths for others without problem. Ive made several well fitting garments that got sold, given away or ended up in my archive. So where do the sewing process go wrong? Am I choosing the wrong fabrics or the wrong sewing patterns? Maybe Im oddly shaped or just too old for wearing home mades?

Successful sewing project, 1950s shorts that has been worn for years.

For some months I went on a search to find out how to create a wardrobe that better fitted my lifestyle and looked more natural on my body. Of course I found several sources devoted to that question. A thing that caught me was all the different styling systems out there. I did a lot of quises, tests, took fotos of myself, made drawings and moodboards. Then there was books to read, different styling shortcuts to test and emotional feelings to be processed. I could be going through the entire process here but, since there are smart people out there with extensive knowledge on this subject I rather point in their direction when needed. Im not an expert, this is my personal views on styling ones sewing. So for some weeks I’ll be giving my thoughts and experiences on;

  • Finding style inspiration for sewing
  • How to find sources of beyond basic sewing patterns
  • Alter and hack sewing patterns for certain styles
  • Choose fabrics and colors
  • Capsules and/or outfits sewing
Different sewing pattern resources.

When I started this I wasn’t prepared for the emotional aspect of it. Sewing is a slow craft with much work involved. It can be quite difficult to fail. And one will fail over and over so its best to come prepared. In searching for your style it’s also possible to discover yourself in a different way and that can be difficult. Some people probably perceive this as a shallow experience but I think that’s more depending on who you are. What you take away from learning more about both inner and outside aspects of yourself is up to you. It’s not the deep waters itself that makes you a deep sea fish. I suggest that anyone in this process to let it take time and put garment sewing on the back burner for a while. A winter coat, dress or knitted sweater is a very obvious project, it’s in your face. Wait with these projects until you’re sure in which direction the styling search is taking you. Enthusiasm was not my best friend in the beginning I must say.

So what do you sew then? Underwear is less visible and can also give some insights and important clues on what feels comfortable and flattering. It involves less fabric too. Then we have interior textiles and children’s clothes. These projects are outside yourself and easier to create with low emotional involvement.

Next time I will go into actual styling systems… the time consuming part. Have a nice week!

When Your Capsule Wardrobe Derails!

Ive been working on my module for The great module seawalong for a while. The Kabuki tee from Paper Theory Patterns turned out great, the Burda skinny jeans from BurdaStyle 8/19 not so much. The fabric was too stiff and soft at the same time, very strange. I was ok with it, slightly worried that my module was too basic, dull and of course dark but fine anyway. As research for a blog post about it I came across Carol Tuttle and her Dressing Your Truth concept. Made the free analysis and must say, it totally derailed the whole project and my wardrobe with it. At first I wasn’t too happy about the result. It felt lame and containing everything I usually try to avoid, but why did I feel like that? Then I thought it would be a fun experiment to examine my preferences a bit.

Came across an old envelope with inspirational pictures I’ve gathered for another capsule project. The images in the envelope was what got discarded in the process.

Patterns from Jenny Hellström, DP Studio, Greenstyle Creations, Burda and Trend Patterns. Images from Vogue Runway.

There it was, the muted colors and curved lines I was supposed to wear! Everything doesn’t work but put together it looks fun and interesting. My finished capsule didn’t. Then I decided to have a look into a favorite resource of mine, a scrap book of fashion pictures made in the 80s and 90s.

There it was again, over and over!

Im writing this in the process of building another module for the sewalong, with some new patterns and new fabrics from my stash. Also making a new print for fabric to accompany the new colors and lines. Its early to say how this will turn out and how it will proceed, but I will continue this research and get back later.

Sewing Top 5 2019

I haven’t done The Sewcialists sewing top 5 before, it is such great topic. The most notable sewing and others from 2019. In no particular order, and not five of anything.

The Hit

The most worn, loved selfmade garment this year is one being almost impossible to take a pic of. The Fine Motor Skills Elise t-shirt in black bamboo jersey from Tygverket. I altered the shit out of this pattern as seen, but it’s now my favorite t-shirt pattern ever. It was nothing wrong with it from the beginning, I just started to fit it to my shoulders better and couldn’t stop. As soon as I buy more interesting jerseys, there will be more Elises.

The Misses

As I recently got back to sewing there has been a lot of sewing failures. Pattern testing is not for the faint hearted. One of my longest ongoing failed projects started with a pair of ill fitting jeans that I carefully took apart to save the selvedge denim. The fabric was used for a vintage pattern that was shoehorned onto the pieces. It got sewn and looked absolutely hideous! After some thinking time it was turned into a vest, that’s a lot of sewing in one small piece of fabric.

The latest mistake is this front piece of Merchant & Mills The All State Shirt, its on my sewing table now. This is a common cutting failure that makes you feel very stupid. Luckily I had fabric left to make another one in the right direction. The fabulous Tintin print is from Tygverket.

The Highlight

I took a Vedic Art course in Öland during the summer. I was there to paint and run together with my husband. The artwork turned out all crap and running was exhausting in the heat, but we had a great time. It was a wonderful week! When the summer was over I run my first half marathon and then the season was over. Now it’s back to weight training again.

We run a lot this year, this is in Vilhelmina by the way, with a lot of mosquitos along the way.

The Reflection

I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to talk about this, but I’ll give it a try. Ive been sewing most of my life, 2013 I started doing it for a living parallel with illustration. It evolved to a sort of Gyro Gearloose shop where I got the chance to do all kinds of interesting stuff. It has been a great experience but also tough and all over the place. Some years ago I left it for teaching but now Im back.

It feels like I have a fantastic opportunity to share my work with more people. Not only my own designs but also some of the material I’ve collected and projects that I’m working on. But the problem is that talking about my work is hard and way out of my comfort zone. I do best irl, while working… silently. Nevertheless it would be great to overcome that fear of visibility and find new ways of expressing my creativity. Since I have to be a bit more mindful how I treat my body there is suddenly the time for it too. Not that Im sure how that should be done yet, Im moving slowly forward.

At least Ive set som sewing goals for 2020.

The 4 Goals

Im a fan of designer patterns. Some times I don’t know what really draws me to it, I probably want the experience of making them, getting inside the designers head. One of my favorite sources is Showstudio. They have a lot of patterns and all for free, just search Designer Download there. Ive decided to make all of the designer downloads Showstudio has published. It will probably take more than a year. Ive already started with the Martin Margiela pattern, tested here! Next up is the Gareth Pugh balloon.

Another thing I like is menswear, and especially denim and workwear style clothes. Im so happy that the popularity of that style has made it into the sewing community and that there is a constant flow of new patterns. How many workwear jacket pattern has there been this year? Don’t know, but my favorite looks something like this vintage one. I would like to make more things in that style this year.

Then we have my own designs and pattern notes. There is so much fun things to be shared. It starts on Sunday this week with my first pattern note, I’ll explain it on Sunday. Just wait and see.

I also would love to do more printmaking, a skill learnt in art school a long time ago. I already started wit tie dyeing. Here is a failed but interesting test using layers of color and bleach.

Thanks for following this to the end!