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Wardrobe Architect 1: All About Style

Wardrobe Architect 1: All About Style

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I have a brother that is nearly 8 years older than me and he was really the first person who introduced me to the idea of personal style. He was the person who introduced me to the idea of “pegging my jeans” and all sorts of other crazy 80’s fashions. If there was anything I would say about him though, it’s that he’s always been confident in his style and who he is with it. But me, no way. I know what I’m comfortable in but I’m still playing around with what my style is. That’s why I love and hate this wardrobe series. It’s asking questions I’ve never really considered.

The focus for this first section is all about your personal style. You can find the style worksheet here. The worksheet is broken down into different sections that should help me figure out how I dress and what I like. Here’s how my answers shook out.


History

How has your personal history informed the way you dress?
I think I started out being a little different (thanks to an stylish older brother), but over time I got nervous and I’ve gone very plain and traditional. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve really realized what I like, what I feel good in and what fits my body well.

Philosophy

How does your philosophy, spirituality or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits?
I’m not super fond of short skirts or showing off my back. I don’t mind a good tank top, but overall I’m pretty modest. I’m not sure if that is as much a reflection of just who I am deep down or my religion.

Culture

How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?
When I was young, I wanted to dress cool to impress my older brother. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve started to slowly let go of the desire to dress to impress others and focus more on what I like.

Community

How are you influenced by the people around you?
Their encouragement definitely plays a role in what I wear and sew. I do dress for the different communities that I’m in. If I go out, take my daughter to her homeschool cooperative group, hanging out with friends or traveling to a bigger city. Each of those places plays a big role in what I’m going to wear. If I sew something and get compliments on it, I definitely get a boost in my confidence – not only in my sewing ability but also in my sense of style.

Activities

How do you day to day activities influence your choices?
I tend to be at home a lot so there are many days that I honestly just throw on something super comfortable and throw out the idea of any sense of style. When I do go out for different activities, I do try to be more intentional about what I’m putting on. But honestly, most of the time I’ve got on stretchy shorts and an old t-shirt 🙂

Location

How does climate factor in?
I live in the Southeastern US and the climate changes for sure around here. Layers are key in the spring and fall. Winter can be fairly cold and summer can be miserable humid and hot.

Body

In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?
I like fairly loose fitting tops, but yet tailored. I like skirts a lot, especially long flowy ones and can live in a soft, knit tee for days. I love cardigans.
I’m not a fan of tight tees or shirts with collars. I have almost completely lost my love of capri pants, although I do like to roll up my jeans just a little bit above my ankles. I don’t like cropped shirts and want my shirts below my hips most of the time. I’m also not a big fan of hoodies.

31 days {random writing}

I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound…in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:12-13

The last part of verse 13 has been our son’s “verse” for the longest time. For the years that he was wrestling, it was the verse my husband prayed with him before he went to the mat. It’s the verses that come before it that speak into my heart. I feel like I’ve been in this cycle for so many, oh my goodness, so many years.
Heaviness, weariness, burdens…so, so much. My response to this has been to count all of that as hunger and need. Now I’m wrestling with the thought of: was it all?
I can get stuck so easily into a habit: good or bad. Carrying my burden like a trophy. Thinking that our financial struggle is a burden. Never thinking that maybe it’s not. Maybe I am living in abundance, but I’m refusing to call it that. Maybe I am living in plenty, but I sit ignoring it because it’s not the plenty that I want.

I want so desperately to wake up in the morning looking at my day as a day filled with abundance because it is a day I know that He is in with me. The longer I ignore and call a goose what is really a duck the further and further I sink away from the world around me. This cloudiness that sits around my head is so much the result of my sin and failure to live here and now…this place and this season with my words and thoughts to His glory instead of my failures. Knowing that although we live not yet where we are meant to be, we still live in the time and place and circumstance that He is in with us.

No matter what time it is we learn to adjust to it on the basis of hope and purpose that GOD IS IN IT. ~ Z. Eswine

embroidered commissions {custom wedding vows}

For the past month or so I’ve been working on one of the most labor intensive custom orders I’ve ever taken on. I’ve stitched a few custom wedding vows before, but this one was special.

Custom wedding vows - tapestry inspiration

I got an email from the husband with photos from their wedding and specifically of this huge tapestry in Australia that was an integral piece in their love story. It was also the backdrop for their wedding. From the invitations and programs to the decor pieces images of this tapestry was everywhere. So obviously, it needed to play a big part in this 2nd anniversary gift…aka a cotton anniversary.

I’m always up for a good challenge so I took it on and I’m so excited with the results. While I had a few ideas running through my head of how to best incorporate the words he spoke to his bride and the tapestry, I ended up deciding on recreating a few of the blocks from the tapestry.

Custom wedding vows - tapestry inspiration

Custom wedding vows - tapestry inspiration

I added a some satin stitched text to the piece to give it more texture to go along with the squares.

Custom wedding vows - tapestry inspiration

I have to say that this piece taught me so much though. It stretched me as a designer and as a stitcher, but it also helped to clarify who I am as an artist. I realized while stitching this piece day in and day out for so long that this is who I am. I’m not an embroiderer who can bust out a million different orders a day. I am slow and methodical. I love absolutely nothing more than making one of a kind items for people. Heirloom items that match that picture that they’ve had roaming around in their heads.

As I’ve become more and more familiar with other embroiderers out there in the world, amazing people creating amazing things; I’ve caught myself so often getting down on myself. Down on myself for not creating something like so and so is making. Frustrated because I’ve been working on this one order while nothing else is really coming in. But to be honest, over and over again I am reminded how God truly provides what we need when we need it. Nothing has taught me this more than growing this little etsy shop. I’m blessed to be able to have the space to create items such as this and I’m going to keep looking at it from that viewpoint. As nothing more than an amazing gift.