Monday, September 14, 2015

It's why we sew...

A few weeks ago my seamstress and friend Laurel came down for one of our fitting/lunch/wardrobe planning days at Stonemountain. Over lunch she recounted a window shopping day she had recently, on the search for a dress to wear to her high school reunion this coming fall. In fact, her hubby' reunion in Texas is later this year, so she was on the hunt for some ideas - you know, one of those smashing little dresses that will make the old girlfriend ever so slightly jealous (LOL!).

Even if we make the majority of our wardrobe, sometimes we just want to see how ready to wear styles might look on our frame. That's why we window shop, trying on dresses to help us imagine what we might wear to a special occasion.  If we're lucky, we might even score a new dress off the rack. But because we sew and are able to recognize quality fabrics and good workmanship when we see them, even window shopping can be a disappointment. Laurel's recent expedition was not without challenges.

First, how do you even find anything? 
With the sheer number of choices, you would think you should be able to find one dress you like...

Second issue: who wants to show up for the party looking like everyone else?

You want something unique, but most of us who are of a certain age 
can't imagine some of today's "styles" working on our bodies...

For Laurel, many of the designs were not suitable for the "knock 'em dead" look she was after. We can image wearing this simple sheath design, but its way too corporate business looking for a party...

This fabric was unique and feminine, BUT unless you're twenty something,
it's way too short.

Conclusion: Making the perfect dress is why we sew! When we see a gorgeous piece of fabric,  we imagine all sorts of garments that we could create.  And best of all, we know it's unlikely that we will see someone with the same outfit across the dance floor.  Our creations are unique to us.  They fit us like a glove.  They speak to who we are as designers and sewists.

Two sewists can use the same pattern and just by changing the fabric make the garment unique to themselves.  For instance, we've had this unique La Fred Helena dress hanging in our shop for quite some time, but it just caught Laurel's eye this month.

Laurel chose a gorgeous rayon knit to make one for herself. 
You won't find this print in the department stores, so her dress will be uniquely her.
It won't be worn for her reunion, but it's a perfect example of why we make our own dresses instead of buying off the rack.

I too love a dress that will speak to the Berkley girl that I am.  Sometimes the pattern is classic but a fresh take on fabric brings it to life all over again. For instance, take this Boho Chic look that's been around for ages: Vogue 9124.

Let's make it up in a gorgeous rayon border print. 
 I can't wait to see how Laurel works the fabric's border into the design!

The fall season is just around the corner, so it was inevitable that we would get distracted away from the "Reunion Dress Mission".  Fall speaks to each of us in different ways - the colors and textures of fall fabrics are infinite. We chose this silk knit first because of its unique color block pattern.  So why not pair it with a solid fabric and make a color blocked top with Vogue 9067 to wear with some nice black jeans?  So very very Laurel! 

After our day of wardrobe planning and dreaming, we still didn't find the right look for Laurel's two reunion events this fall, but we were off to a good start with this fabulous's definitely a show stopper.  Stonemountain often stocks these one-of a kind fabrics - I think a long flowing maxi skirt could be the ticket. It's a definite "maybe".

There's nothing complex about picking out just the right look and fabric for a special occasion:  You go with what strikes your fancy. Fabric speaks to those of us who listen. The option of facing jammed aisles of ready made dresses is often overwhelming - it's so "noisy". But a wall of beautiful fabrics...touching them...holding them up to our face; we can see the image of our garment start to take shape. We are creating something uniquely outward expression of our inner soul and spirit - it's almost magic.

And it's WHY we sew.

Creatively yours,


Cabin Top
Take a look at some of the fabulous garments we have been creating - you just can't buy these in the stores! What are you ready to make for Fall?
Given a Chance Dress!