Friday, 13 September 2013

September Sewing Tea

I am currently sitting at my laptop, watching an aerodynamic display of swallows in the fields through my windows and musing over the lovely morning I've had. My mind should really be engaged back in work and sewing up, (entirely unintended pun!) those 'end of week' emails and work calls. However, I decided this post couldn't wait!

Friday 13th has its own connotations, but it was Lucky for the Whitstable coast this morning when a group of uber-talented, gorgeous ladies convened in the splendid Marine Hotel, each enrobed in their own hand crafted attire, for a morning of seamstressing chatter. The inspired idea of the lovely Vicky - and what better antidote to the passing of  the Summer!

Not only was it inspirational to see everyone together wearing their own creations, but it reminded me also of one of the reasons I took up dressmaking in the first place. Everyone around the table had created clothes that reflected their own unique styles and personalities and wore them with panache and confidence. It struck me that even if you only make one, simple signature skirt or dress in a fabric/style that expresses 'You' individually, then one is almost entirely constricted by what is available on the High Street, or even what the catwalks, celebrities or fashion magazines are 'telling' us we should be wearing.

I have no problem with this per say - (and I buy clothes on the high street as well !), but I reached a stage where after the initial excitement of finding something in a shop I liked and that seemed to fit my 'style', I would then lament the fact that I did not like the feel of the material, or else the colour was not right for me, or worse, it did not fit as well as it should - or curiously did in some places and not in others!

Today reminded me that ultimately, there is nothing more personal than being able to choose and fall in love with your own fabric, seek out a pattern that does what you want it to (and that you can make changes or additions to where it doesn't) and create something tailor-made to fit You. (Not to mention the inimitable thrill of wearing something you have made yourself !) Several people amongst my circle of seamstressing pals have patterns that they have made over and over again, in different fabrics, for Winter and for Summer, simply because they 'fit the bill' and tick all of the right boxes for them.

Everyone sipping tea today, including our very own Tutor, (the best in Christendom), exhibited this 'thought for the day' in their own unique way....everything from a gorgeous burnt orange, fitted skirt and jacket, exquisitely crafted linen shirt, bellows pocket skirt, a fabulous array of Summer dresses and skirts in gorgeous jersey and cotton prints and not least, the Fifties vibe in a full skirted dress complete with short socks and ribboned pony tail, (made my heart sing - and we got a twirl!)

So, it's been a good morning and now, somehow I've to get back into work mode and stay away from the fabric and pattern websites! Though, in my defence, dressmaking was always intended to stretch me a bit and motivate me in another direction away from the laptop! Being part of such an inspiring and lovely group of ladies has been an added bonus. I've said it before and don't mind saying it again....sewing and friends....good for the soul!

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