On the sewing table and Made in the USA

As I’ve said, I have plenty on my sewing table and I’m just about done with my third version of the Colette Clovers.  I made two muslins, one was meant to be “wearable” but the fit was still so far off, I only wore them to make adjustments.  I’m hoping that the third version will at least fit well enough that I can wear them.

BBC news was on as I was working on seam finishes a couple of nights ago and there was a quick snippet about the Olympic uniform controversy.  Apparently, Ralph Lauren designed them, but they are made in China.  I looked into it a little further and found a good article about it in the Los Angeles Times that depicts a wide range of  reactions by many in the garment industry.  I’m reminded of an old HBO documentary, Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags.  It explores the garment manufacturing business in the United States and how it’s essentially non-existent anymore.  Designers are pretty much forced to produce garments overseas if they have any expectation of making a profit while still keeping prices (somewhat) accessible.  I wonder if the recession and the downturn in the European economy will change any manufacturing for the better or worse.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I’m hoping to get Simplicity 1880 made soon.  I was excited to see that Sunni was hosting a sew-along, she’s an AMAZING seamstress and I love everything she makes.  But, I couldn’t get my act together in time.  I am excited to see everyone’s creations though, I’m sure it will give me the inspiration I need to get going!  I’m also planning to sew up a Sorbetto soon, using some strange fabric I ordered online.  Have you seen this with fabric?  Where the design is split down the middle?

I did not know it was like that when I ordered it.  No wonder it was on sale.

-Kate

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Tiny Pocket Tank, cheap fashion and beginnings

There is so much on my sewing table but the hot weather has rendered me into a deep summer malaise.  I did manage to sew up grainline‘s tiny pocket tank with some inexpensive cotton shirting I got from fabricmart.  I love this pattern, it’s quick and easy and flattering on most people.   Best of all, no notions!  Buttons, zippers, hooks-and-eyes always tend to throw me into a bit of a tizzy.  I’m hoping to embrace a love for them one day.

I’ve been thinking a lot about clothing recently.  My husband, an incredible designer, has always embraced the mentality of quality over quantity.  He loves handmade items, that are constructed of good material and have a timeless design.  Slowly, I’ve begun to embrace this mindset and as I’m learning to sew, I’m appreciating it more and more.

Recently, I heard Elizabeth Cline interviewed on NPR about her new book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.  I haven’t read the book but I’m eager to.  I’m one of the worst perpetrators of cheap fashion.  I have more Forever 21 sundresses and Old Navy T-shirts then I have boxes to put them in.  I have made a promise to myself to limit my rtw purchases and fill my closet with more clothing that I have made.  I can’t promise that I will sew ONLY timeless designs, for instance, I’m dying to sew a peplum top, a chiffon midi and some bright colored skinny pants before that fad fades.  I have a feeling they’ll be around for awhile, I just have to eradicate this malaise!

I’m starting this blog with an incredibly smart and creative friend of mine.  I thought it would be fun to collaborate, especially because we have different tastes, lifestyles and looks.  We can explore different garments that are flattering for us as individuals and what pieces are practical for the lives we lead.  Both she and I are avid NPR listeners, especially while sewing, so I may talk more about something interesting I heard on “Fresh Air” while displaying finished garments then the sewing process itself.  I will leave that to the exceptionally talented women and men of the sewing blogs I am learning and finding inspiration from.

-Kate