Thursday, April 4, 2019

Why you should be a dressmaker... or at least, make/change some stuff... (To be followed by Why you should NOT be a dressmaker)

Repost: originally written 10/14/15

Previous (related) post: Why you should NOT create/design your own projects

Yes, you should be a dressmaker/custom sewing professional.  Or maybe not. Seriously. Are you considering it?

Here are some things I've made and redesigned over the years...

A grand entrance

The skirt zips off for the reception dance!

A mother's wedding gown combined with a Sri Lankan sari to make an American/Sri Lankan love story.

Bought at auction, 1890's dress made fun for the bride!

A winter reception dress for a classy bride

Tidy work pants for a minus-size client.

A Valentine's day duvet and pillow set...

Well, for one thing... there is a frightening shortage of creativity and fun in the affordable ready-to-wear and other markets, and far less variety when it comes to costumes, home dec, outerwear, and party-wear.

So why should you do this kind of work?

"You'll be able to earn money."

I may be lying a bit here.  You probably won't earn much, and your income will be BOTH unreliable and unpredictable (fun!), but you can create lots of great things for people who need/want them, and you can be paid for doing it.  How will they find you?  You can list yourself on a site like mine, or on a free site, like Mood, or post ads in your local area for your target market.
"You'll be able to stretch creatively."

You can expand beyond the ready-to-wear items offered in stores, within the limits of your skill level. Bias, cross, or straight grain?  Your choice.  Your design! Your colors! Any size! Will you fail?  Will things go wrong?  Yes!  (Unfortunately.)  But things will also go beautifully at other times.  If it doesn't, you'll know when to stop, for sure.
"You'll have complete control."
Ha!  No you won't.  The client tells you what she/he likes.  But you can get as creative as the client will allow, and it is a fabulous feeling to truly please someone with something fantastic!  It is always at least a bit of a gamble, but if you can keep an eye on quality, technique and execution, you really stand a chance of doing some great work.

"You can think outside of the box."

This is the greatest part of all.  Some of the most fun I've had has been doing things like making convertible wedding dresses (zipping off lower tiers of a skirt for dancing, combining cultures), making clothing suitable for physical challenges and disabilities, answering all kinds of unusual requests - it really can be a joyful experience, should you choose to give it a whirl!

Next post on related topics:  Why you should NOT be a dressmaker (will be posted in the near future)

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Make the things that love the body they adorn... (Body Shaming, cancer, and Pink)

Repost: Originally dated 4/22/15

You may be reading this because you love Pink somewhere around half as much as I do (because any more would be IMPOSSIBLE.)  Let's start with a photo, shall we?

My ridiculous fan-love for Pink has inspired my post today.

Pink, at an event honoring Maggie DiNome (2nd from right), Chief of General Surgery at St. John's Hospital

Curious about what Maggie DiNome has done? 

Curious about what Pink has done?  See below:

So, why am I telling you this? Because the "news" the media chose to embrace was Pink's appearance in a particular dress.  And, this was Pink's perfect Twitter response to all of that noise...

So, let's think about love, life, and cancer recovery/survival.  Chances are, you know a woman affected by cancer, and may have thought about ways to make her feel beautiful.  Here are some ideas:

This is a current McCalls pattern, available online, if you don't have a vendor near you.

Gorgeous patterned silks abound at Fabrics & Fabrics, a fantastic selection of jerseys are at NY Elegant, and you can get fantastically fashion forward with fabrics from Elliott Berman! (Just to name a few...)

Post mastectomy?  Steinlauf and Stoller has some bust cups that will do wonderful things to help even out the bust line (and swim cups, too!), and Manhattan Wardrobe Supply has "petals" to help with "nipple-consciousness".

If this is a current struggle for you or someone you love, here's an even more immediate idea:

The "anti-ouch pouch" is a pattern and instructions offered by the American Sewing Guild's beloved sewing publication, and it is meant to ease the pain of movement following surgery.

And, let's consider the shaming part... Why do people do this to each other?