Saturday, 9 August 2014

Fashion vs Fabric

I can't believe that it's been almost a month since my last post!  I'm not even sure where that time has gone!  But it's not been all lost time, I've been sewing up lots and lots but have had hardly any time to stop and take decent photos of what I've made.  So this post isn't about a make but rather a thought I've been having lately.  About why I choose what to sew and how I go about making it happen.  You see there are two sides to this story;
 
1. Fashion Student Hazel
Fashion student Hazel has great fashion ideals.  She knows how she would like to dress and how to go about it.  But she also knows that she's not the same dress size as the girls she sees wearing these things.  But that doesn't stop her, she attempts to interpret these looks and make them confortable for her everyday.  
 
She's inspired by these kind of fashion images: 
 
 
  2. Fabric Shop Assistant Hazel
 Now this Hazel has totally different ideas.  Show her some colour and an awesome print and she's all over it.  There's nothing wrong with colour and print, but it's just not what Fashion Student Hazel deems suitable for everyday where.  This means that a lot of the fabrics she buys become relegated to her stash or made into something that's worn only a few times and relegated to the back of her wardrobe.  And yet she keeps buying such prints and colours.
 
 
I've been trying to combine these two Hazels.  Mixing prints and plains so that I can love both equally and make them work together.  But what keeps bugging me is that some of the items I make, aren't garments I would get excited about seeing in stores.  So I'm trying to make a change and sew things that I know I'd definitely pick up if I seen it in a shop.  It's a difficult transition but I'm getting there.  My last few fabric purchases have been far more conservative: plain navy crepe, grey jersey and some cashmere/wool mix.
The only difficulty I'm finding now is patterns to match my fashion ideas.  The big names have some gems that appear every so often and I have some great patterns in my stash, but they aren't consistently fashion focussed.  The more fashionable indie patterns are great, but aren't always available in my size or are 'over-done' that I loose my want to sew them after seeing so many versions online that I'm overwhelmed.
That's where I'm at with my sewing plans for this side of the year.  Since I've been thinking this way, I've made items I know that will fit effortlessly into how I want to dress and I'm hoping it continues.  Has anyone ever else felt this way about the garments they make vs. what they buy?  Please tell me I'm not alone in this thinking!
 
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8 comments:

  1. Definitely, I feel the same! But I think it's just training your brain to recognise those fabrics and projects that would make you excited if you could buy them (even better, if they don't actually exist and are *better* than what you'd find in the shops). I've been sewing more 'plain' things lately and I get a real kick out of it. Have you considered making your blocks and starting to design your own patterns? I've just done that and it's going to change my sewing.

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    1. Yeah it's like changing your thinking, prints are more fun to sew initially but really aren't that long term practical. I'd love to learn to draft my blocks, I've got a pencil skirt block somewhere that I should really find and start using, it's just finding the time and a decent class here in Glasgow to go along to learn drafting!

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  2. I totally understand your dilemma! It's such a fine line to walk! What has helped me was moving to the Midwest, were there really aren't any decent bricks and mortar stores for me to shop in, so I have to purchase everything online. It makes me think more about what I buy...never before have I sewed with so much plan printless white, or monochrome as what I've done in the last six months, and yet I'm so much more excited about my wardrobe because it fits my fashion student (of life hehe!) mind. In Sydney, I would visit the most amazing fabric shop weekly just to look and touch and raid the remnant table and my stash was filled with amazing prints in remnant length. Pretty to look at but not much good for what I wanted to sew...thankfully I have little girls I can be decadent with. I think it is still good to have a pretty fabric stash. I'm trying to balance things a bit better and allow myself the odd fancy purchase for my 'collection'!

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    1. It must be difficult when your choice is limited, sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing though and working in a fabric shop certainly makes you greedy for everything! I think your idea of a fancy purchase every so often, it's where I'm hoping my stash building will go!

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  3. It's so hard to find a good balance between what I want to wear and what I want to sew! Somehow I think I'd be bored to death sewing only jeans and buttondowns, since that's the bulk of my wardrobe! I'm really excitable and often find myself showing visitors around the Garment District, so I frequently end up with things in my stash that I must've been too overcaffeinated and overstimulated when I bought because I can't for the life of me figure out what I was thinking!

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    1. I always think that the things you make are totally you and I love the quirky things you're always making! It must be difficult to reign it in when you have the selection of the entire nyc garment district to play with so I can totally understand why you wouldn't want to sew 'boring' items! I think a balance of both might be the best!

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  4. I was actually wondering just that this morning, as I was pondering my liberty dressing gown. Not sure I would have bought that in store, but I do love it. It's very easy to get carried away with all the pretty fabrics/dresses. I have to say, I have always favoured both vintage inspired AND fashion forward in the what I covet, whether sewn or RTW. it's not quite a battle, but I never feel sure which is more "me". I guess I just need to balance them out, and wear/make whatever feels right at the time. I have to say though, print always wins for me. It's just different types that compete! 😃

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been thinking that way! I think its good to have a little bit of everything but as I move forward I need to start making the conscious decision on what to spend money on rather than going with oooh that's pretty!

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