Friday, December 11, 2009

Making Clothes

My mom made this outfit for Olivia, an acorn-print corduroy and an appliqued acorn on her shirt, complete with embroidered leaf veins.  She has a kick-ass Husqvarna (love those Swedes), a new Pfaff serger, a sewing room full of inspiration, and a lifelong passion for making clothing and quilts. We are more than happy to provide a doll for her to dress!  (Actually Mom just won an award for making a traditional Hungarian doll outfit for a charity auction - Go, Mom!)

I am fortunate to learn (and continue to learn) sewing from Mom, but I have a complex about handmade clothes.  Growing up my grandmother and mom both made me things to wear.  The outcome ranged from some of my favorite things to being called "curtain pants" at the bus stop (overalls made from farm-themed quilting cotton).  So I'm always wondering in the back of my mind whether a handmade piece looks normal, if it's going to fit in or scream "homemade".  ("Handmade" has a positive connotation in my book like "artisanal", but "homemade" is negative like "cutesy crafty country".)  It's important to understand the motive behind making clothes.  Some people do it purely because they're looking for a project.  I do it to have pieces that are original, different than what one finds at the mall (though Gymboree & TCP are often inspirational), but hopefully not too weird.  I love the look of details like pintucks and smocking, although I'm happy to let others do that at this stage (she's growing too quickly to make it worthwhile for me).  I love embellishments like appliques and embroidery, and I'm hoping to try yo-yo flowers soon.  I have a folder of inspirational pictures, including...

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