Struggles With Style and Sewing

Friday, January 22, 2016

What happens when, without you even realising, your style starts to change and you're happily sewing away at various projects? The above happens: an ever growing pile of UFOs (UnFinished Objects for those of you new to sewing blog terminology!). I mentioned in last weeks post that I would be back this week with an actually, honest to goodness, real live finished sewing project - but where is it? Languishing in my pile of UFOs! 

I have a lot to cover in this post, my mind has been working in overdrive about what my 'problem' with sewing has been recently, and I'm not sure how co-hesively I'll be able to get my thoughts into writing, but lets try anyway.

So the above projects - some really lovely things up there. Actually, I do love them all. And almost all of them just need a couple of quick jobs to finish them off (a hem, a neckband, turn up the sleeves, etc.) but I'm just not inspired or motivated to finish them because I know in my heart that I will hardly ever wear them (apart from the grey jersey t-shirt on the right, I'm going to wear that a lot I think...but the neckband was proving tricky so I'm apprehensive to try again...but that's another topic!). I have a gorgeous red tartan Emery dress, and all I need to do is hem the sleeves - but I was making it for Christmas...and well, I didn't finish in time. And I do like it, but I just don't have many occasions to wear a dress. I have a really awesome striped Delphine Skirt (from Tilly and The Buttons' book), but once I got it to the stage of nearly complete (just need to sew on the waistband facing and hem it) I have realised that the style doesn't suit me. And I have three pencil skirts at various stages of completion. These will be perfect for work, but since I'm not going back until June, I would rather work on something I could wear immediately.

But the bottom line in that my style is changing. But into what? And why? I have really been struggling with this lately. Ultimately I know that it is down to the rather massive change in my life - becoming a mother! But it wasn't until I read this post from Felicia of The Craft Sessions that it really became clear to me. She writes about her struggles with hiding in her clothes during the early days of becoming a mother and then goes on to say: 
It was almost like when I came out the other side of the early days I wasn't sure who I was, and that was reflected in my dress. I wasn't the same person - the pre-motherhood, working in pencil skirts and heels, jeans and t-shirts on the weekend kinda girl. And yet I was. Everything I put on felt wrong. Too sloppy, too dressed up, to whatever...and that felt awkward.
 This rang so true for me. And it made me realise that what I was/am going through and feeling at the moment is probably something that all new mothers find themselves going through. It's that struggle with discovering who this new person is and where the old person went, and can we get them back? Do we want to get them back?

Couple that struggle with a different shaped body which no longer suits the styles you used to wear and I find myself scrolling through Pinterest daily trying to decide what styles I should be wearing. By 'should', I mean what do I like the look of and what will ultimately flatter me. I used to love wearing things that synched me in at the waist, or was more figure hugging - but I'm just not comfortable in that anymore.

But I also think that I'm in this rut because I'm on maternity leave and not dressing for the office at the moment. I used to live in skirts, blouses and cardigans. And when you are in the office for 5 days of your week those really are the main clothes you end up wearing - and so I probably gravitated towards sewing things suitable for the office.

Ha - and now I'm thinking that I only have another 4 months left of maternity leave before I'm back to my skirts and cardis, so maybe I should just cool my jets and not worry so much. See, I told you I had a lot of thoughts going on in my head at the minute!

That aside, I do still have a style vs sewing problem. I hardly ever wear the clothes that I sew. I am, ironically, wearing a me-made as I write this - its one of my Plantain t-shirts. And I think that hits the nail on the head. I need to start sewing more 'every day' things like t-shirts and tunics, and less fit and flare dresses like the unfinished Emery in the photo above, or the Swimmers Cambie dress. Yes they are lovely, but I just don't wear things like that very often! Also, what I make isn't always what is most flattering for me. I don't suit things that cut me across my waist as I think they make me look short-waisted. I don't suit things with tiny or cap sleeves, I would rather cover my arms thank you very much. And there are some neckline that just aren't right for me either. And finally, the BIG reason I end up not wearing my me-mades? Wrong choice of fabric! I wrote about this a long time ago on my old blog, but I am STILL struggling with this. It doesn't help that I have to do predominantly all of my fabric shopping online.

So. Once I came to this revelation (a pretty obvious revelation, that the vast majority of sewing bloggers have LONG since come to realise!) I 'shopped my stash' and realised that I had another problem - I like buying colourful, floral fabrics and I'm pretty rubbish at buying decent solids or fabrics that I think I would be drawn to wear on a daily basis. Don't believe me? Here is my stash:


Argh! You've heard the expression 'I've nothing to wear', even though you have a wardrobe full of clothes? Well I have nothing to sew, even though I have nearly 6 drawers full of fabric! So much fabric! If I hadn't accumulated all of this I would be happily shopping for some lovely new fabrics for my new sewing vision right now, but I just can't justify buying MORE fabric (plus my husband would kill me....if he ever found out! lol).

So I have riffled through what I have and have pulled out the below fabrics, which I think fit into what I imagine I would wear reasonably frequently. I'm still working on the exact plans, which no doubt will keep changing, but once I have a fairly decent idea I'll share them with you.





Gosh, I have so much more that I could write about, but this post has got very long, so I shall leave it there for today!

Have you had the same struggles with your style and/or your sewing? Do you have an enormous stash of fabric but 'nothing to sew'? Have you managed to figure out your own personal style and have any ideas, tips or suggestions to help me along the way (other than the Wardrobe Architect from Colette - I've tried that!)?  I'd love to hear all your thoughts!


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