Been awhile, been a-sewin'

I have a hard time keeping up with blog posts. This year I started teaching college in addition to my full time work as a fabric engineer. I have wanted to teach for a long time and the fulfillment of that goal, at least in a small way, has been absolutely amazing. It's energizing and exhausting. Humbling and ego-boosting. It's a head trip. Perhaps I will write about my classes more in depth in the future.

 Today I am mostly itching to write about my shift in personal style and how I've been using it to spur my sewing to newer, more productive and more rewarding heights. My Mom taught me about sewing at a fairly young age and I was not so thrilled. I remember getting my first sewing kit when I was 8 years old. It has a pink and white fabric lid that doubled as a pin cushion. My cousin D got one, too and I was thrilled to play with all of its little parts but not keen on using them to any productive end. It's kind of frustratingly hilarious to compare that to where I have taken my education and landed in my career. In high school I started getting more into it, making very simple skirts and pants, altering clothing I already had to be new and different. Often times driven by my urge to go club dancing and have a new, fun outfit every time.

These days my style is a bit different. I realized awhile ago that I've been dressing very dark. I told myself it was an easy solution to my work wardrobe (business dress was required at the time). I dressed almost exclusively in black for work and them "mixed it up" on the weekends with black t-shirts and blue jeans. As my work and personal life has taken a major uptick in the chaos field I looked at my wardrobe again and it dawned on me that black wasn't easy, it was giving in. I was hiding. Black clothes are slimming. They match everything. You don't have to think about the style of things so much. It's just shapes. I looked more pulled together without having to work at it. I started hating my closet and having to get dressed for work. Which is most unfortunate since my job is still pretty cool (even with the chaos) and I get a tickle every time I walk into our giant building. Something had to give. So I decided to go backwards. To when I was happier with my body, felt more balance in my life and was excited to get dressed each day.

I've gone back to vintage and vintage-inspired clothing. Circle skirts, striped tops, buttons, belts, red lips, bold eyelashes, pearls and bead necklaces galore. Dresses and skirts make me feel fun! Instead of like I am just trying to get through the day. It sounds a little superficial to say it that way, however, I have found that it makes a big difference. My boyfriend has commented that he sees a change. I walk into my closet each evening (I find it best to choose my outfits before bed) and I am excited. I am excited to put together a new outfit. I am excited to put it on each morning.

 Before coming to MN I sewed. A lot. It was my zen. I would get the urge and before I knew it it would be 3am and I would be entirely engrossed in what I was making. I am recharged. The 3am part may not be the best... there's nothing quite like a sewing hangover! But, I fall in love with my machine and my ability and my family history every time I sit down with it again.

 The latest project is the blouse from Simplicity 4047, the 1950's retro wardrobe, now out of print, but which I have had for nearly ten years. I made the skirt once upon a time and remember wanting the pattern since it had so many useful, functional daily-wear pieces (it includes a swing jacket, pencil skirt with 2 length options, blouse and capri pants). I took a risk and decided to make the blouse from a reverse-print slub jersey I had on hand and it is going really well! I can't wait to post a picture. I had been worried that the fabric wouldn't have a retro or vintage feel but it looks amazing in the silhouette and brings some much need lightness to my wardrobe. I am very excited to wear it year round and have started thinking this pattern was destined for knits (though the envelope says nothing about them!) More soon! xoxo Sarah