Tuesday, 13 October 2009

An inability to sew equals an inability to make do and mend...naturally

The 'new' big thing...also known as the thing that has been around for decades...is Make Do and Mend.  I saw 'new' because now people are cashing in on it.  Vogue's latest November issue, focusing entirely on their monthly feature 'More Dash than Cash', discusses heavily the trend for knitting, quilting, making our own and customising/altering what we already have.

Several features particularly interested me.  Firstly, the use of updating Victorian patterns using modern fabrics and methods or simply updating the look with accessories.  I constantly turn to history for inspiration.  As do other people...whether it be in the form of film, music, photography or fashion.

Secondly, I was interested to see the use of domestic household objects to create clothing.  Clothing in this case is used fairly loosely.  Whilst this was obviously to highlight the creativty that can come from spending nothing or very little I don't see myself going out in an outfit made of yellow rubber gloves any time soon.  This is less fashion statement and more fashion victim in my option.  Conceptually though it was quite interesting to me.  Read the issue and you'll see some outfits actually aren't that obviously made of these materials.  As I have taken poor quality pictures with my phone to allow me instant access I figured the more obvious the better.  Check out Vogue TV for a good flick through the pages or, better yet, splash out and purchase a copy.  Stereotypical or not...I love Vogue.

It's not just Vogue tapping into this trend though.  Brands such as Cath Kidston are in on it too.  Sew, the follow up to her book Made, is to be released on October 16th.  "Cath Kidston has now put together a treasure trove of fabulous simple projects for stitchers to get their needles into - bags, clothes, soft toys - and all designed to be made with her popular printed fabrics."  Clever, clever Cath Kidston...showing us how wonderful things look in your fabrics.  Not as if you're getting money from the book and the subsequent fabric purchased?  Of course not.  Genius.

Cath Kidston actually featured in the Daily Mail's supplement this weekend, giving basic outlines that most likely feature in this book.  They are good.  Simple yet effective...to the point that I thought maybe even I could manage it.  The problem is though that I can't really sew.  In fact, today at work whilst using the overlocker I pretty much managed to terrorise a piece of organza.  The poor thing was haggered and frayed by the end.  The lovely Becky, my mentor, merely laughed and (as it was the end of my working day) sent me home.  Maybe she won't be as pleased to have me 9-5 from tomorrow when she realises that I probably won't get any better any time soon.

My sewing machine skills are lacking merely, I believe, because of my impatience.  When I sew I am either like a snail or so fast I nearly cut my finger off.  Becky is convinced this is going to happen and watches through the gaps between her fingers...which are over her eyes whenever it gets close.  I need to get some extra control skills so I can find that middle ground.  That is the plan.  Then...sadly for you all...I'll buy some fabric off cuts and you'll all get quilts/pillows for Christmas.  And then your birthdays also.  Sadly for my aunty I'll be needing my sewing machine back...yes Aunty Anne I know you've had it for about four years but it's time it comes home.  Though god knows where I'll put it...maybe I could just come to yours and use it?

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