Monday, 29 February 2016

Being Authentic. My new challenge.

Being the "authentic" you seems to have become an aim for lots of people recently and rightly so. I can completely identify with being yourself. I also have drifted away from the way I want to be in order to "fit in". In order to do the mundane jobs we do most of us have to "tone it down". But, I  need to make things I like to wear and recently I seem to have been making stuff that is a bit "girly" in a way that doesn't feel like the real authentic me. It is a case that I have found a pattern and followed it. It has increased my skill level but some although not all of my sewing has been a bit unlike me if you see what I mean. I do not want to be an everyday clone and that is my reason for making my own clothing in the first place so why am I just following a pattern and making stuff that doesnt feel right for me? It is not the pattern. Its my lack of daring. My lack of imagination that is my problem.

So my aim is to define and make things that are really ME. That probably, if I am honest, means punking everything up a bit. Or maybe more Goth. Either way I am sure that cannot be so very difficult. I just need to be a bit more imaginative while still challenging myself. Really most so called alternative fashion is simply made from everyday patterns. Its just the mix of fabrics and extras such as lace or studs that makes the item alternative. Punk and similar clothing simply uses lots of colour blocking and segmented patterns. I love a lot of the steampunk patterns around right now but I also need to be a bit more mature about things because I am no longer young so could end up looking a right idiot if I do it wrong or go too far. 

Having said that though, why should I have to dress boring just because I am no longer a teenager. Well of course I shouldn't have to. No one should. Famous people manage to do it and are expected to do so. When we are teens we all dress like rock stars. Its just what you do when you are discovering yourself. A small number of people manage to do this all their lives but for most of us life simply does not allow us to look how we feel inside. Or not if we want a career that is. Only a very small number of people manage to keep their own "style" past the teenage years. Well I am not having it anymore. I wanna be me again. It is just case of making my own look and making it work for my life as well.  

So now I am challenging myself to make clothing that reflects who I am rather than just follow a  pattern. But that also does not mean making unwearable items of clothing. So for the rest of my 100 garments I am going to aim to reinvent who I am and to become who I am inside again. But still maintain a liveable wardrobe that I can go to my normal boring job wearing and not upset my boss. I just need to find my own style again and live it.

I seem to have been collecting patterns now for about 5 years. I have a wonderful and huge stash of fabrics as well as patterns. I started with really good intentions to make them all but it seems I collect far more than I really get round to using. I have now stopped my Burda style magazine subscription as well because again I dream of making far more than I really manage to. I seem to always have an idea of what to make in my head but I simply do not have enough time to make everything I desire. Sadly!

Since all these patterns take up lots of storage space and I live in a very small house, I have decided to make a list of the items of clothing I most want to make in the next few months so I can look back later in the year and see how many if any I actually manage to complete.That way I do not keep getting magazines out and messing up my home whilst I ponder what and if I am making this or that. I need to be organised so I am making a list to keep my sewing on track.

Originally, I thought I should make at least one pattern from each magazine I have collected but I have found I like lots in one and none in another. Hence cancelling the subscription. Also besides very similar patterns from one year to the next a lot of Burda patterns are just not my style at all. I will probably still buy the odd magazine but will just buy those I want to make something specific from. Burda do lots of repeats too it seems. For example:

Drop waist leather skirt pattern from 09/2015:

Drop waist tartan skirt pattern from 09/2014:

 104 092014 B

The only difference I can see here is one has a back zip and the other has a side zip!  I have both of these magazines and other than that they look identical in construction. There are lots of other examples as well. So having realised this I reckon I will look at the previews I get from and decide then whether or not to buy a particular magazine.

But I also need to get my head round making things that I WILL ACTUALLY WANT TO WEAR! Not just "Oh I like that!" and end up making something I will never really have the lifestyle to wear which is what I have done with some patterns. I am seduced by the magazine image and it does not really fit in with my life so will rarely be worn no matter how lovely it is. 

For now I want to make these items:
At least one more huge hoody similar to the 15: Burda style 01/2016 hoody
I love to wear this despite making it in a naff fabric. It was always meant to be a muslin anyway but I find I am still wearing it lots and I need to make one or maybe two good ones. I am thinking a mesh or lace fabric without the pocket and a patterned fabric with the pocket.

I also have some lovely ladder mesh fabric which I want to make into something. Punk styles would really work with this so I may just stick with a quick easy top similar to my
7: Dark navy top with a step by step tutorial guide to making

It will look kind of jumpery I reckon and will be very wearable.
Then I want to make some more of the 19: Green leather look leggings 
because I have loved wearing them even to work. But I think maybe in dark red and black faux leather.  So thats several quick makes I want to do, where I have already traced the pattern. I also have some light brown faux leather ( no idea why I bought this cos I hate brown as a colour) and some almost metallic jeans-blue faux leather but I am not too sure I want to make these trousers in either of them so need a new project for them. Maybe a leather dress?

Or maybe this top:


I think it would work in leather, but that also brings me to a sportswear kind of look. I am kind of hankering after a sportwear look right now. Probably because it is spring. I do not want actual sportswear but something with A 90's feel so colour-blocking and maybe piping.  Maybe black and a flourescent in colour blocking. I have not quite made up my mind as yet. So what I need to find is a raglan sleeved top or dress pattern since I think that is the look I want to go with right now.

I have a  raglan sleeved patterns such as this from Burda that could be made with or without the colour blocking:
I might have to chop the hem a bit shorter though for the look I am after since I am thinking more tennis-ey but not quite as short as a tennis dress and I also would like a top or two in a similar style. This would make a reasonable raglan sleeved top I think. Maybe even keep the A-symetrical hem if the bottom panel was missed out. I am very short of nice tops so that should be high on my list.

I also need some kind of jacket. I have had several jacket patterns out on my work table but so far not made any of them. I even washed and dried some fabric but I think first I need to decide what I want. Like; do I want a leather jacket, a peplum jacket or a coat?
I am considering all of these:
burda style: Damen - Hosen - Röhrenhosen - Hose - Reitereinsätze
117_largeburda style: Damen - Jacken & Mäntel - Jacken - Lederjacke - Bikerstil

But along the sportwear line I also like these :

I can see matching leggings for the Burda young 7140 too. Or maybe a short skirt?  Maybe in a double sided fabric. I have some that is magenta one side and black the other.Kind of a ski look but not as warm as ski wear since I am after all in the UK and even in winter it is rarely that cold.

On Pinterest  I have a "bags, hats, scarfs, shoes, cuffs and gloves" page
and I keep going back to this kind of thing:


Long and simple velvet gloves by on @deviantART:
I love mitts because I suffer from Raynauds syndrome so I often have very cold hands even in summer. And air conditioning is torture for me! I work in real life in a cold office with air conditioning or in a lab. The lab can be stupidly hot or very cold. In the lab usually I have to wear rubber gloves anyway so really I want these for when I am sitting typing in the office. Because I work with mostly very average boring ( clothing wise) people I cannot really get away with anything too outrageous but these I could wear. I have some fabric off-cuts of grey stretch velvet left over from my 21: Burdastyle 01/2016 112 track pants or lounge pants which I think would make some lovely mitts. All I need is some stretch black lace and I am pretty sure I have some hidden in my stash somewhere. Maybe this should be my next make!
Or maybe first for spring I should make some cullottes before they go out of fashion again since I did make a pair when I first went back to sewing but have never made any since. These were my circular cullottes made with my own pattern:
I think maybe some more like these next:
from Sasha on Kollaboro.

If I made them in Khaki and wore with tights( maybe stripey tights!) that could be a nice spring look and I could wear that to work.

First though before I can make anything, I am aiming to spend an afternoon just tracing loads of patterns since I have found I am most productive when I trace several, cut several and then sew them up as and when I am able to.
So my list looks like this:
  • raglan sleeved tops - colour blocked
  • dress also colour blocked
  • cullottes
  • mitts
  • jacket
  • hoody x2
  • leggings in red and black faux leather
  • sports wear jacket - Burda Young 7140
  • leggings with side stripes to match 7140
  • short sporty skirt
So that gives me 10 key items to aim for. That is not including any repeats since I want two pairs of trousers and two hoodys. So what to make first?
Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you have time. I love comments!


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