Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Latest Thing

When I saw the first pictures of Megan Nielsen's latest Breakwater pattern collection, I have to say I was slightly horrified.  Shimmering polyester surf-bunny styles?  No, not for me!
But other sewists have better vision than me, and I have been watching project after project pop up across the web, gradually wearing away at my inhibitions.  If Scruffybadger can wear those culottes, maybe I can too?  Oh look - Kirsty made them in corduroy!  And really, that high-low wrap skirt looks pretty special but wearable in jersey, as seen on I Still Love You.
And so it continued... until I found myself rummaging through the pattern stash looking to emulate and imitate without actually spending any new money.
I found myself seriously considering making a skirt I had previously dismissed as "1990's mother-of-the-bride", Vogue 8040 from 2005.  In my defence, this pattern was either a gift or part of an ebay bundle.  I am ashamed to say that I can't remember which.  If you gave it to me, I apologise for dissing your taste!
Once again, I baulked at the illustrated fabrics.  And the more I stared at it, the more I doubted myself.  Was I only considering this make because it was a bit like The Latest Thing?  Would it have longevity?  Or would I make the skirt, wear it once and then realise that I did in fact look like Mother-of-Bridezilla and throw it in the charity shop bag in a fit of self-loathing?
And I realised that a lot of the time I just don't know what I like.  Because I don't buy clothes, I don't go to shops and try things on, so I have no idea what I might look like in a chiffon flamenco-dancer's frock.
I can imagine that the Cascade skirt has the swish and swirl of my flounced prairie skirt, but also risks a lot of exposure.  Where does the wrap go when you sit down?  Does the whole thing fall open to the waist?  Is it a skirt for beaches and discos and 19-year-olds? 
And if so, do I revert to Vogue 8040 to make the more practical 40-something-year-old's version?
Or wear shiny gold hot-pants underneath a Cascade?
Or avoid both like the plague?
Or stop worrying, buy Megan's pattern and have some fun with it?
Yeah.  That's what I'll do...maybe.
Meanwhile, I am stash-diving! 
This checked cotton was supposed to be a tablecloth for The Girl's room.  But I have itchy scissors...


Maria said...

Roo, this certainly brought a chuckle, since I am in the same predicament as yourself. I don't shop for clothes, don't enjoy the fitting room experience...but I do enjoy sewing; quite a bit in fact. I like the pattern blouses you have chosen. :)

Anna said...

That check fabric would look fabulous as the dress from that Lisette pattern I think.

I don't like the MN collection, just don't see the point in high low hems or slits up the sides of my clothes and I am quite happy to chose between shorts or a skirt, I don't need to mix the two together...

I have no idea how clothes will look on me as I don't go to the shops to try things on, I hate changing rooms, I always feel so demoralised when I leave!

Ruth said...

Same here. I started sewing partly because I hate shopping. I loathe the whole changing room experience. But now it is starting to cramp my style a bit. Lately I have been window shopping a bit more. It seems to help!

You can always just look at new collections and decide to ignore them. There's no actual obligation to sample every designer's wares. Personally, I have always found MN's style to be sort of hints-of-Lolita-fantasies, fat-legged schoolgirl. Already Pretty blog also does the "plump, knock-kneed schoolgirl in mismatched clothes is gorgeous" style too. I find this style extremely odd (even occasionally nauseating) in its possible interpretations/intentions about women's roles and value, but I accept that each generation has its own definitions of attractive and, indeed, transgressive. I used to be a mini-skirt wearer but more in the seventies punk, ultra-short, studs, leather, hints of bondage style! No doubt my parents generation thought my style horrible, even sick. Needless to say I am no longer young enough for MN's style now, anyway! So I let it pass me by. I think like most long-term sewing bloggers you have developed a very distinctive, personal style that suits YOU well (Shams and Sewing Fanatic also come to mind here). Actually, for me watching that process has been possibly the most interesting and helpful thing about reading sewing blogs.

Scruffybadger said...

And I am with you on picking up the urge that others' makes generates within I can replicate something that may not ultimately suit me, or be a flash in the pan, just because someone else has interpreted something to be absolutely gorgeous ( for them) that I would normally have ignored...

Minnado said...

Interesting post Roo. There's a fine line between following others and making something that doesn't suit me and picking influences that you can translate into something that does suit. I think I have gradually become better at not making up patterns i like on other sewing bloggers but which don't suit me. I used to love peter pan collars but realised they look awful on me after making a dress with one two years ago. I like the cascade skirt in picutes but it's just got too much fabric for me to feel comfortable in it, I think it would swamp me!

LinB said...

I started wearing assymmetrical hems in the 1990s, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, whether or not they remain in style. There's no fussing about, trying to get the hem even BECAUSE IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EVEN! Freedom! Joy! Also, they are very feminine without having to balance tiers of ruffles.

The Coffee Lady said...

I find if I get too hung up on online sewing that I end up making things that really don't suit me because they are The Latest Thing. That Portfolio pattern looks great on people with small frames, but once you try to put some boobs in it it makes you look like a sack of spuds. Believe me. And it made me think - why am I making clothes with no discernable waistline, when I know for a fact that things with a proper waistline are what really suit me? Because everyone else says they are nice, that's why. And that makes no sense at all.

I will not be making those Megan Nielson patterns. They look bizarre. I'm sorry, and all that.