Friday, February 13, 2009

shifting focus?


I've noticed a change over the last year or so in the way I look at making things.  For most of my life I have gone through phases of focussing on a particular technique/craft and during the phase I would do that technique/craft, and only that technique/craft, to the exclusion of everything else.  For example, I went through an embroidery phase about 8 years ago, and was looking into taking classes through the Embroiderer's Guild of America.  I did tons of embroidery, in every type and style, took classes, and worked intricate designs, just because I wanted to and I could.  Once I reached the point of proving I could embroider at 43 stitches/inch, it started to lose its appeal for me, and I started with the segue into knitting, which has occupied me quite thoroughly for the last few years.

Lately, though, I am less satisfied with being engrossed in a craft to the exclusion of all others, and more interested in what each craft has to offer my current needs.

I hate shopping.  Clothes never fit me correctly, and if they do fit right when I buy them, they usually don't fit after I wash them, even if I avoid the dryer.  I have spent most of my life wearing ill-fitting clothes, and never really feeling good about it.   So I tend to have a ton of clothes, and none of them fit right, but I don't get rid of them, because then I would have _nothing_ that fit close enough.  And the few things that are reasonable don't coordinate the way I think a simple, classic wardrobe should.

I want a few, nice, well-fitting pieces of clothing that all go well together.  Is that too much to ask???

So I went shopping last weekend.

For fabric.

I bought 7.6 yards of denim, in the wash I like, with 2% lycra the way I like them, and the thickness of jean I like.  I also bought enough fabric to make 4 blouses.  They are all in the coordinating colors I want.  And on Sunday afternoon my friend Jennifer (a seamstress!!) came over and we made patterns and slopers for me, based on my current measurements and the basic, boring styles I want to wear.  I really don't care if every pair of pants I own is from the same pattern, as long as they fit well and look nice!  Same with blouses.  I cut out a pair of jeans to truly test the pattern on Sunday night, though I haven't had time to sew them yet, and a blouse which is now half finished.

I am also envisioning a few sweaters and vests knit up in coordinating colors so I can layer comfortably year-round.  I want a casual-but-nice-looking jacket to layer with, though a cardigan might do the job, and one nice jacket to throw over whatever layers I'm wearing to dress it all up another notch.  And to go one step further, I bought fabric to make a knitting bag that won't clash with any of it but doesn't look to matchy-matchy.

And I need more socks.

I really, really want to purge out everything that "sorta" fits that's taking up space in my room and have only the things that do fit.  That desire has been creeping up on me for some time, and I pulled out the sewing machine, not because I was dying to sew, but because I knew I had the skills to make what I wanted for cheaper than I could buy them, even if I could find them in a store.  I know I can make the coordinating sweaters I want, too.

So for probably the first time in my life I care about my crafting not for the process, but the product. I've explored them in theory and technique about as far as I care to right now.  I'm a good seamstress.  I knit well.  I embroidery beautiful things.  But how many samplers and technique-based projects do I really need or want???

I want clothes that fit, and I intend to use all the different things I've played with over the years to make what I want.

Too bad I'm having such a hard time deciding on my basic colors!!

1 comment:

Monica aka Gloria Patre said...

Speaking as a clothing moron, I have nothing constructive to say that would help! LOL! And as for color - for being a painter, I don't have much color sense (I'm wearing an olive-colored embroidered shirt and a navy and white patchwork peasant skirt... pink hair clips and bare feet.
I'm looking forward to seeing how your projects turn out!