The art of getting messy and manipulating raw materials with my hands has always stimulated me in the best of ways. It feels like a magic of sorts.
When I was younger, I would watch my grandmother mend a hole with needle and thread as if the fabric had never been torn. Despite always being on the move, sewing gave her the power to slow down. Beneath shaded lamp light she would rest in a worn iron chair with her glasses teetering on the edge of her nose. Focused, she would weave the needle back and forth, back and forth. It was through the repetition of watching her, that I would learn to sew too. First, under her supervision, borrowing her tools. But as I grew older and more experienced, I was trusted to work alone. Eventually I would gather my own collection of needles and thread before being gifted a sewing machine nearly a decade later.
I am now twenty-two and I’ve developed my sewing skills beyond my grandmother’s, but I still have a ways to go when compared to a seasoned professional. I’ve never attended a sewing class before, but I’ve managed to learn a lot with time, trial and error, and the help of various Youtube tutorials. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, I’ve made ball gowns, corsets and more, but I’m still not satisfied. Despite the encouragement of my friends, family, and strangers alike to start selling my garments, I know there’s more I can do to hone my craft. But this desire for perfection has frozen my development entirely. The idea of a person spending their hard earned cash on a garment I’ve made and them finding a flaw is personally terrifying. But despite this fear, my friends have pushed me to sign up for a market fair with them this December. So below, I plan to chronicle my journey of developing a collection within a month’s time. Wish me luck!
I have a tendency to dream big, but with only about a month’s time to create this collection, I’m gonna temper my aspirations a bit. So, no big elaborately detailed ball gowns, but simple causal clothes that can mix and matched with other pieces both within and outside of the collection.
I have an idea of what I want to create. Will I be able to finish it all? I haven’t a clue, but it helps to have direction. So, I’ve gathered a couple of images off of Pinterest and curated a mood board.
Because I’m using thrifted materials, I won’t have as much control over the colors of my fabric, so disregard the color palette of the mood board. Instead, focus on the silhouettes. There’s lots of layering going on and pleats/gathered fabric. Nothing is skin tight, just snug or slightly oversized depending on the garment. I also want to add embroidered floral onto each garment; a flower on the collar here, and a vine up the pants leg there to help tie the pieces together. In addition to garments, I also want to make tote bags and ribbons/scrunchies out of the scraps of fabric in an attempt to waste less fabric and provide a few lower priced items.
So, here’s a list of items I’m hoping to create:
Btw, I’ve never made any of the items I have listed above. So, let the binge watching of YouTube tutorial commence!