Perception

I finally got around to taking pictures of some of my latest garments the other day, after months of not being able to get in front of the camera.  I modified the sorbetto and made it into a little peplum top using a tutorial from four square walls.

It’s not a style that I would be typically drawn to if I was buying it off the rack, I think my torso is too long and it breaks up the middle of body in a weird way.  I lengthened it a bit and I quite like the way it turned out at the end of the day, and I’ve worn it more then once.

I brought home some vintage patterns courtesy of my mother-in-law when we were there for a visit about a month ago.  I’ve never worked with vintage patterns, but I like several of them so I might have to give it a try.  They’re all a little small, bust 32 and waist 25, so I’ll also have to try my hand at grading.  It’s something that I’ve wanted to learn how to do, so I’m looking forward to learning.

What I find most shocking about vintage patterns (and many contemporary patterns) is the sizing.  At bust 32 and waist 25 1/2 you’re a size 12.  If you were to find those measurements in a contemporary RTW garment, it would probably be a -4.  All joking aside, they had a snippet on the Afternoon Shift awhile ago about “vanity” sizing and how much garment size have been manipulated by the market over the years.  A size 12 in the 40’s became a size 8 in the 70’s, which became a size 4 in the 90’s.  I would wager that sizes have been reduced since then, and, what was a size 4 in the 90’s has become a 2 or 0 now.  Apparently, the idea is, if the consumer is able to fit into a smaller size then what they would normally wear, they’re more likely to buy that particular garment.

The social scientists explained the findings with another experiment.  Two different test groups were given a box of cookies.  The cookies were the same size, but one labeled them as being “medium” sized and the other was labeled as “small”.  You can guess where this is going, the group that had “small” cookies ate more, while the group with the “medium” cookies resisted.  It’s amazing how a label can manipulate our perception of something so simple.

Sewing Expo

Several weeks ago, I packed up my 9-month-old son and husband and headed to Michigan to visit my parents and attend the American Sewing Expo.  My parent’s house is about 10 minutes from the expo center and they are enthusiastic babysitters, so I thought I would take the weekend for myself to learn some sewing related stuff.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I can tell you, I was pleasantly surprised.  Gertie mentioned on her blog that she would be teaching some seminars and asked if there were other sewing enthusiasts on the world wide web that attended sewing expos and what their feelings were on the matter.  I read through many of the comments, because, not knowing what I was in for, I was anxious to hear everyone’s thoughts.  The two things that stuck out were, “sewing expos are what you make of them” and “the majority of the attendees tend to be ‘older'”  I took the former comment to heart and decided to make the best of the experience, no matter what, as I rarely get time to myself these days.

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I had the pleasure of taking Gertie’s class on blogs and, in retrospect, I wish I had taken her class on vintage patterns.  I also made sure to catch Sunni’s free “demos” (as they were called), one on the anatomy of the pencil skirt and one on wardrobe building.  I’m a big fan of Gertie and Sunni, both their style and their sewing skills and they were both excellent in their presentations.  All of the seminars I took were incredibly valuable and I learned more then I expected.  Despite the fact that some of the women teaching the seminars were older and their style and aesthetic were wildly different then mine, they all were incredible talented and had a lot of knowledge to offer.  I hope to attend again next year as there were several other classes I would have liked to take.

While my posting has hit a bit of rut, I have been sewing and I plan to take pictures and get them up soon.  I was thinking of making a wardrobe plan for the fall, but, I decided to amend those plans and instead focus on sewing with different textiles and tackling some basic skills such as sleeves, linings, and fitting.  I hope to make several knit pieces and finish up some garments I intended to sew for the summer.  I want to beef up my sewing skills so that, come spring, I can make a plan for a spring/summer 2013 wardrobe.  Right now I’m focusing on getting my son’s Halloween costume put together.  More on that soon!