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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Collections versus Clothing

When sewing for myself (which is mostly the sort of sewing I do, being a bit selfish!) there is always some tension between an individual garment which is inspired by the fabric and pattern and where that garment sits in my wardrobe. The seasonal 6 piece sew alongs on Stichers' Guild and contests like SWAP encourage me to thing about a garment in the context of other garments I already have or am sewing.
My desire for these sorts of volumes of garments each season can however be counter productive, as I tend to sew a lot of simple things, rather than making the effort to have better construction and more detail. I am particualrly poor with regards to jackets, which is frustrating as I wear jackets a lot for work.
Even if you don't want to go the whole hog and have a collection for the season, you need at least to look at outfits, and how things work together. Will the collar on a blouse sit nicely under the collar on a jacket? Will a front fastening on skirt/trousers cause an unsightly bulge underneath a thin knit top? How do the lengths and proportiosn play together, the textures, the prints/plains/colours? And then don't ruin the whole look with a giant bag or inappropriate footwear.
Since as sewists we can sew anything we can find the fabric and pattern for, this can lead to over embellishment or poor choices. My aim is always to look like my clothes are current and came from one of the higher end High Street stores, but no-one can tell exactly which one. I am not one to have something so unique that its all about the artistry and creativity, my clothes are for wearing in my real life.

The plus of a collection for a particualr season is that a few accessories, a new pair of shoes, a smart bag, some costume jewellery will work with most of the pieces and it makes getting dressed easier in the morning. I do like to have several colour schemes available but to have options for an alternative top to wear with those trousers if the usual top is in the laundry cycle.

I like to give my collections names, though it doesn't always happen. I also allow myself to pass items on if they didn't quite work out. I must be getting a little better at this as more of the items from recent collections seem to still be in rotation.


a little sewing said...

Ruthie, you are getting quite good at collection sewing! And I wish the pictures on your side-bar would get bigger when I click on them. You are so right about making sure that individual pieces work well within the larger context of the wardrobe. I am working on this in my sewing, too. Your work is inspiring me.

sdBev said...


It would really be worth your while to spend the neccessary time to conquor the jacket. I spent 9 months on pants. I don't regret it for one second. Jackets would be ever easier.

kbenco said...

You are very good at collection sewing. I think adding jackets to your skill-set would be very rewarding - at least for your readers!