Well hello Saturday! Is this your weekend too?
Today is part 3 of 3 in my mini-series of Wardrobe Architect week 1. Today I'm talking about how my activities, location, dreams of travel and my body affect my style. For those just tuning in, you may wish to read the previous 2 posts.
- History & Philosophy -- Thursday, 8/21
- Culture with a focus on Work Environment -- Friday, 8/22
- Activities, Location, and Body -- Saturday 8/23
When I worked in an office where I dressed up, I had “work clothes” and “play clothes”. I didn’t like having that many things. I didn’t like changing clothes. I didn’t like that I couldn’t pick my cats up because when I do, they dig their claws into my shoulder to hang on and that ruined a multitude of shirts and sweaters.
My mom said that as a kid I was the “fastest changer in the west”. As soon as company appeared at our house, I would race to my bedroom, put on an outfit, run out and show them, “See, aren’t I cute? Yes. I know.” Then race back and change, repeating the process until I’d showed off at least 5 outfits. Sometimes I’d show off so fast they couldn’t even get a word in edgewise. Hmm…
This is probably why I’m so attracted to the clothes and designs in Sewing Clothes Kids Love. Because kids clothing has to be durable. Most rough and tumble, tree climbing, dance everywhere, looking at bugs, laying in the grass counting clouds kind of kids aren’t going to think, “I can’t put my knee on the ground because I’ll get wet or dirty.” No, they just put their knee down and their face into the blades of grass to better see the spots on the ladybug. And so, most children’s clothing designers create “Play Clothes” that actually look great and still serve the purposes that kids need. I’m just a big kid, you see.
Dreams of Travel
- carry what I need
- work on creative projects as I'm inspired
- look fabulous
- feel comfortable (I may need to redefine comfort)
- easily transition from home to plane to hotel to party to beach to some wild athletic activity.
When outdoors, and especially in Washington you plan for anything from sun to bone chilling rain. It’s very humid here most of the year. One of the greatest things, besides our gorgeous mountains, lakes, beaches and desert hills, is that you can be outside 90% of the year if you don’t melt when it rains. As long as you are prepared for an occasional rain and have layers. By that, we usually mean wearing or having handy:
- A wool hat or a ball cap (seasonal)
- Sunglasses (usually year round even with cloud cover)
- t-shirt (with a l/s shirt available should you get cold)
- fleece or sweater
- gortex or some wind/rain blocking jacket
- pants that move with you (single layer)
- wool socks (even on summer hikes)
- sandals or shoes that keep the wet out (seasonal)
I’ve only just begun my outdoor clothing & gear sewing. I’ve plans to make many more pieces – top layers, bottom layers, gear – and try a variety of fabrics.
It hasn’t been until recently that stores like REI are making or even carrying a size above XL. Because I wanted to be active, but didn’t want to wait for them to make what I need, I started sewing it. I’m happier today with a perfect me fit than most of my RTW. However, I still have much to learn about flat seams, avoiding chafing, styling, etc. The active wear world moves and advances quickly. New fabrics, stylish designs, and comfort increasing construction are quickly coming to market. I love to observe these and learn. There really aren’t many who teach how to sew outdoor gear, let alone try to find someone who has depth in swimsuits, a sewing skill translatable to outdoor active wear.
Back to my curves, they are also the reason I began sewing my daily wear and dresses. I’ve spent countless hours whipping through clothes at stores. Honestly, I find it boring. Especially when I bring 15 pieces in to a dressing room and leave with not one fitting even relatively close. If more RTW pieces actually fit, I might be inclined to shop and/or buy. But they don't and I really don't like the disappointment I feel when I am done trying on the multitudes of clothes. Ugh. Why put myself through that, when that exact amount of time could be devoted toward a single piece that WILL fit me? Let's be efficient and effective, because I'd rather have more time to skate or hike, thank you.
I've definitely had my moments of, "I've nothing to wear". But since I've started sewing more and shopping less, those moments are fading with great significance. I'm happier and my quality of life is greatly improved.
I still buy RTW pieces. I doubt I'll ever go 100% me made. I enjoy a high-quality piece of RTW clothing. I appreciate not needing to make everything. But I will likely try to make as much as possible, shearly for the delight in learning how to design, fit, cut, and construct them. I just love to understand how and why things work. I gain a greater appreciation for the RTW pieces I own and purchase. I was taught to ask why from a young age and that was emphasized by my training as an engineer. It's nice to approach my sewing with such curiosity. Even if I only make something one time, I find it greatly satisfying, then move on to conquer something new.