Sunday, August 28, 2011

Food For Thought

I really enjoy Grandma's Sewing Cabinet, a podcast and blog. I've been listening to the podcast since it's beginning. Dr. Julie-Ann Fann, the owner, has an educational background, and started out just talking about her sewing. However, like many podcasts, it has evolved over time. Recently Dr. Julie-Ann returned to school to study sewing; not design, but rather custom clothing. She has regaled us with stories of her classes and has generously shared lots of great information. (Grandma's Sewing Cabinet gets its name from the cabinet that Dr. Julie-Ann uses as her sewing headquarters. The cabinet was made by her grandfather for her grandmother. Dr. Julie-Ann is lucky enough to have inherited it.)

Her most recent blog post and podcast is titled Plan Your Sewing Like A Designer. Looking at the blogpost I saw all these really fancy pictures of her "look book" for a wardrobe class project. My initial thoughts were about how much time it took to make these illustrated pages. "I'd rather spend that time actually sewing" was another arrogant thought that crossed my mind. And then I listened to the podcast. In her charming manner, Dr. Julie-Ann explained the process she went through to create this "look book". And I humbly admit it is a very worthwhile process.

I am not one of those sewers that buys fabric willy-nilly, paying no attention to color or pattern. I try very hard to sew items that go together and blend in and work with other items in my wardrobe. But recently I've been thinking alot about my lifestyle and how my clothes don't really reflect how I actually live. And the steps Dr. Julie-Ann talks about can really help me out in this area. Thinking of myself as a customer will help me identify what items I need to sew and add to my wardrobe.

For instance, I love wool slacks and tailored jackets. Unfortunately, I work from home and have very little need for a tailored outfit. I think I need to embrace the fact that my lifestyle is casual, not formal or tailored, not business casual, but just plain casual. I could get away with shorts & t-shirts for most of the summer. But I don't really like to dress that way. The challenge is to define what I like to wear in the realm of casual.

I really see the value in Dr. Julie-Ann's process. I don't have the expertise to create beautifully illustrated pages like Dr. Julie-Ann, but I definitely will create my own "look book" and use it on an ongoing basis.

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