Wednesday, June 16, 2010

make it, wear it! challenge


i actually sat there for a while staring at sew mama sew post announcing the winners... and i didn't even notice that i'd won... i was SO sure i wouldn't win... it wasn't until i received the message via flickr that i found out!

i'm SO happy!!! i love my little brother straight stitch machine that my mother bought for me 20+ (zomg!) years ago... but it will be very nice introducing a new machine into the works to give my little brother a break... :)

i can't wait to start sewing on my new machine!!!

and last but not least, many heartfelt thanks to the lovely folks at Sew Mama Sew for hosting such an awesome and inspiring giveaway!!


i'm a new reader to the sew, mama sew blog and i just recently read about the make it, wear it! challenge. all one has to do is sew clothes in june and enter a photo of the garment(s) to the flickr pool or their forum. (the prizes include a sewing machine... i love my little brother sewing machine... but i've had it since high school... it would be nice to have a new one.)

immediately, i thought - "oh that's easy, i can do that...."

not so fast, sewing sistah... enter the custom designed/fitted sofa pillow covers from h*ll... *insert psycho music here*

a few months ago, i agreed to make some pillow covers for a friend of a friend. it would require me to knock off the existing cover into a new pattern, cut and sew up 6 of these babies...

little did i know, the sheer boredom of the project would absolutely suck the soul right out of me... thankfully, despite a few roadblocks (customer didn't buy enough fabric yardage (i gave ydg amt) or the correct kind of velcro) they're done and banished from my sewing table...

it reminded me of working for one of my teachers, Alice Berry... after meeting with a client one day for a fitting, alice confessed to me that after many years of designing, she finally felt like she liked what she was designing, that she would actually wear some of it... that hit me like a truck... her business was so successful and there was so much about her design philosophy and her fabric/color palettes that i admired and yet, she was just NOW (circa mid 90s) enjoying her work... my dreams/ideas of what it meant (and what it cost) to be a fashion designer were completely altered that day...

mark my words i will never, EVER make stupid, boring pillows again!!! *shakes fist to sky*

anyhoo.... i was SO relieved (after finishing the PILLOWS OF DEATH) that it was still june and i still had time to make something... (i entered the dress i made for paloma's classmate into the challenge, but i wanted to make something for me too). and here it is:

the fabric was part of a large donation, compiled from my mother in law and her mother's craft rooms... the vintage geometic print fabric was made by a company called soptra. the yardage has this sticker on it every yard or so. love the five and dimes!:

i used simplicity pattern #3833. the only change i made was using an invisible zipper instead of a lapped zipper... i just prefer the look of invisible zippers. :)

wish me luck! and thanks for stopping by and reading! :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

baby steps... outside the "norm"

so... i finally broke down... and bought labels...

i often wonder if other moms (or even former garment industry folk), with backgrounds similar to mine, have as difficult a time as i do, in doing things like this, that other crafters maybe take for granted...

after 5 years in a fashion design program and 10+ years in the garment industry, i became indoctrinated into the "how one correctly goes about starting a fashion design label" idea.

it's a sound and well tested hypothesis. and, of course, there are exceptions (i never expect to be that exception). but for the most part, in my experience anyway, after clearing all the requisite physical, financial, emotional and political hurdles, one becomes 1) a small designer with a small label 2) a small designer with someone else's BIG label or 3) a BIG designer with a BIG label.

however, you DON'T just *willy nilly* go out and purchase a label online (!)... without already establishing a business... researching to see if your label already exists... drafting a business plan... lining up the funding, etc... calendaring/scheduling out your production season.... designing a line... selling the line at a market... determining yardages of fabric (haggling for the best prices in fabric) and the notions (closures, thread, elastic, etc)... lordy, the notions!!! producing the line... domestic or international... getting the finished products to the final consumers... yada yada yada...

you can't imagine how buying this little (like .5" x 1.5") woven label... actually - first of all - finding a supplier with the teeniest minimums, and then actually buying the label - very nearly produced a grand mal seizure in me... i would be too embarassed to tell any of my sourcing friends how much i spent on the labels... they wouldn't stop laughing at me...

someone like me just doesn't do what i just did... and if any of my professors or former employers asked me why i did something so miscalculated, so amateurish... i wouldn't have an answer except - "baby steps"

'cuz i don't know why i did it... but i felt like i wanted - or maybe deserved - a label... like a newly mobile baby wants (or deserves) the tv remote control lying across a vast expanse of living room rug... i still haven't got past the feeling that i just cheated or as the porkchop says "don't be a cheeto, mom!"

i dunno... maybe these clothes and accessories that i make will actually continue to go somewhere... maybe they won't...

i just felt, at this time in my life, after all the wonderful and varied experiences i've had in this chaotic and ever kaleidioscoping field, it would be nice to hold a small label, woven with "my name", and sew it into something i made... that's all... :) jeez... when did i pass that threshold where i based decisions on logic and not on my emotions?

anyhoo... after my little crisis of conscience... paloma was invited to a classmate's birthday fiesta tomorrow... so, i made this little dress from butterick pattern 3889 and another little fabric flower - i sewed it to a barette this time.

i hope the gifts are well received... :)

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