Monday, December 29, 2008

This is the new year...

(bottom photo: vintage dress from Oh Leoluca on, middle and top photos: gleaned from my ever lovely sixties/seventies dressmaking/craft book collection)

And these are my inspirations...(sing it like Death Cab) I often hesitate to make my inspirations public because they are many and sometimes even I am surprised by what my end product turns out to be. So I don't want to mislead anyone else in the process. This means that my process is rather intuitive, and that I change my mind often. Well, let's put it this way: I often have a very specific impulse or desire about what I want to sew, it just takes me a while to nail it down and find it's proper manifestation in the physical world. This is just a little shout out to the current warm infatuation I feel regarding yellow and child-like cozy things.

That being said, there is a special (large) place in my heart for the handmade styles of decades gone by. Among the many things that draw me to the fifties and early sixties style of dress is greater emphasis on formality. People dressed up then. Women still wore dresses when they went out, with gloves and hats. Men wore button up shirts and ties with shiny shoes while they got sweaty on the dance floor. Regarding the seventies, something about elephant bells, long hair and earthy patterns in warm colors makes me feel great. About all three of these decades, there was still a significant amount of handmade clothing out there. To buy or to sew was a legitimate question, because the majority of mothers and grandmothers still had this skill set. It was like cooking. Everyone could do it to some extent and being able to sew one's own clothing or clothing for the family was not the novelty it has become today.

Of course the irony here is the disappearance of the ability to sew a wardrobe has given way to a newfound general appreciation of this once ubiquitous skill, thus allowing me to turn my primary artistic love into a business! So cheers to the fifties, sixties, seventies and 2009.


Martha Miller said...


regarding the color yellow and bygone decades, you might enjoy this post:

colleen k.d. said...

I enjoy reading your theories... and am amazed at how eloquently you decipher 3 decades of sewing leading up to your success.

My new favorite past time, on my few days off, is to read your blog while curling wieghts.

love always,

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