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A wardrobe of thoughts
Written by Pippa
Category: sewing

Ramblings of a creative

mind.

Or, not such a creative mind.

The blog has been silent for a long time. I’ve not felt able or had the urge to create for ages. Life has thrown a couple of curve balls in and along with a long winter it has definitely been like walking through mud on a foggy day. Still, we keep on keeping on and eventually the sun breaks through. The mud starts to dry up and the seeds start to sprout. Gently at first but then with more determination. I have recently felt my mind/ temperament/ attitude call it what you will, change. I don’t know if it’s down to the sunshine or spring taking hold, though that helps. Maybe because I’ve spent time focusing on the garden, tending actual seeds, but I feel my creative self returning.

This time of year is always an issue for my wardrobe.

The need to layer. Cold/hot/cold. I have little you would call transitional. If I think about what I want to wear it all comes down to comfort. Will I be warm enough in winter, can I layer it up or can I stay cool in summer. We transition through the seasons asking the same questions. So why do I always have the same problem? I mulled this over as I looked through my wardrobe. I have heavy/ warm things for winter and light floaty things for summer but not so much for doing the layers in-between. I’ve realised I don’t always connect with my wardrobe when I’m making.

Recently I’ve made things to ensure I’ve had samples for classes. A case of which techniques do I need to demonstrate rather than what do I fancy making. I’ve rarely had the urge to make for me, just because. The inspiration or head space just hasn’t been there. I find teaching others keeps a spark alive. The enthusiasm is contagious. Drinking in someone’s joy helps to keep mine going. This is sounding a bit creepy now but please, bare with.

The inspiration

I love to see the light in peoples eyes as they start a new project or find a fabric that sparks ideas. To see the creative juices flow. The stars align, to bring their ideas to the fore. Being part of a class means there is space to bounce ideas off one another. Few of us create in isolation. It has struck me recently that I’ve also been inspired. My students inspire me to think, to make.

As I discussed a new project with one student I saw how her eyes lit up at the thought of her options. Would the pattern work? Using particular fabrics. Ideas started to grow. I often get to feel, ney, fondle beautiful fabric. It’s one of the boons to being in class surrounded by everyones projects. The Oooh’s and Ahhs are normal in a sewing group as the treasures are taken out the bags. It was as some of these beauties were bought out that my brain was shot a glimmer of joy. I felt a boost as a particular fabric was presented. The colours, the pattern! It spoke to me. Kaffe Fassett Chrysanthemums! I needed some! I didn’t know what for, but I had to have some. It sparked my creative fire back to life.

At around the same time I was having a conversation with my wardrobe.

Me- Ooh, let’s wear you today.

Shirt- Ok, what with?

I put it back and pulled out a dress. Picked up a cardi. My wardrobe had a point.

As I was looking through patterns/ magazines for inspo with the Kaffe Fassett fabric I came across a pattern I thought might work. I needed to trace it off as it was in an old Burda mag. So I set about clearing the table and then got distracted by other fabrics which had been left out for summer sewing. I knew that at some point the sewjo would reappear. As I put them together, it struck me. None of this works together. Different patterns. A range of colours from soft, almost neutral green to the Kaffe Fassett rainbow. None of it blended.

This is why my wardrobe doesn’t work!!!

My Scattergun, ooh, that’s pretty. I must have it approach, was not helping. I admire those that can rock a capsule wardrobe. Use a limited palette without distraction. I will never be able to claim that. However, the realisation that I needed to create a few neutrals to help everything else struck home. Sometimes Jeans will not do.

I put a small portion of my thoughts out onto Insta land and was comforted to know I was not alone. A remark from Eliza sew little made me stop and think. Having the same problem, she decided to buy her neutrals. No guilt, making them would bring her no joy.

Hold that thought for a moment!

Why would we make something that doesn’t bring us joy. The whole point of making our own wardrobe rests on us enjoying the process. The sewing community is a wonderfully supportive one but it also pushes the idea that if we didn’t make it, it’s not valid. Or we’ve somehow failed. We need to re-evaluate why we sew. It should be because we want to rather than because we feel we should. We are all creative individuals and if we follow along blindly we lose that creative edge.

That spark of joy that I felt when introduced to beautiful fabric was what boosted me to create. Never underestimate the power of inspiration. If I don’t get that from a fabric why would I use it. I’m not saying I’ll never make a plain project again but something has to strike a cord for me to want to. I need to be inspired, have my creative strings plucked to get the most out of the process. The whole reason I make is not to look like everyone else. To make for me. I just need to take more consideration when building my wardrobe. What will that fabric go with? Do I need a top or would a dress make the process less problematic?

Where will I wear it? Home? Work? Out? (granted that last option is pretty mute nowadays, but it happens occasionally.)

So, although I consciously didn’t take part in me made may, a pressure I didn’t need. It’s been a time when I’ve naturally taken stock as my creative self wakes up. Have you found yourself becoming more creative as the seasons change? Do you have a creative season? It’s something that I’m finding quite fascinating as I consider mine.

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