Continued from Part I
I now have three pattern pieces for the hat I'm making my sister. I decide to cut the body of the hat (side rectangle and top oval) from the ice-blue fabric, and quilt it for shape, warmth, and beauty. The brim will be silver, lined with more blue. The inside of the hat will be lined with whatever is to hand... in this case a bit of white curtain lining and more of the blue fabric.
My favorite blogger and my inspiration in many things is Leimomi Oakes. For years, she has done regular historical sewing challenges designed to help people get out of sewing ruts, finish UFOs (UnFinished Objects!), and learn more about historical sewing. This is the first year I've participated.
Given my current scattered set of sewing goals, and how few of them are historical, I found January's challenge somewhat... challenging. "January: Firsts & Lasts – Create either the first item in a new ensemble, or one last piece to put the final fillip on an outfit." Thing is, I haven't been making ensembles lately. But as I thought on it, I realized that I have been very interested in nightwear.
Something about having a sister... or being one... dictates that one must adorn the other. So my favorite person to sew for is my sister. Maybe it's because when we were growing up, she was my doll to be decked out as I wanted in all our games. Maybe it's because I love to show her to the world as I see her: beautiful and unique. But nothing I sew her is a success unless she wears it, and she is firm in her tastes. When I make things for her, I get to know her better: her preferences, her insecurities, her boldness. I want to learn what she wants to say, then give her the styling "language" to say it herself.
One of the first patterns I drafted was for a pencil skirt. I found directions online, and followed carefully, measuring and drawing and fretting about quarters of an inch. Those were early days! I have since used my pencil skirt pattern many times, since it calls for so little fabric, making it a good go-to for stash-busting!
So here's a picture of a bit of lovely golden damask from my stash, folded selvedge to selvedge, with the pencil skirt pieces laid on top. The Center Front (left side of picture) is on the fold. The Center Back (right side) is on the selvedges. Plenty of fabric for a pencil skirt, but why not use bit more of that lustrous fabric?
My name is Karen Roy. I have always sewn, but only about three years ago began making clothes and patterns for clothes. I have now reached the point where people other than myself want to see them (or even wear them!), so I'm starting this site.
I have begun this blog as a way to keep track of my sewing projects and share them with friends and family, as well as to cultivate discipline in meeting deadlines and to become a better writer.
In the past I have resisted blogging, for various reasons that would take a whole post to explain. For now, suffice it to say that I limit my online activities in order to prioritize in-person interactions. For the past several years, I have not used the internet for much besides email and reading other people's blogs.
So what has changed? Only that I am now sewing things for other people as well as myself. With sewing as a side-business, it becomes useful for me to have a portfolio I can point potential clients to. And, as I hinted before, time management and deadlines are a challenge for me, and I could use the accountability of an audience to keep me on task.
Finally, having learned so much from various sewing bloggers, I want to be a resource, in turn, to other people. Not that I am an expert -- far from it! I am mostly untrained and learning as I go along. But “simply by its existence, example is enabling,” writes Roxana Robinson, in her book Georgia O'Keeffe. I shall honestly present my work (as well as my struggles and failures) as an example, in the hopes that some reader will think "I can do that" and will try.
ROBES DE COEUR
The name is a pun. A robe de cour is a French "court dress" (defined excellently here). "Coeur" is the French word for "heart". Since I love clothes, especially formal, old-fashioned ones, "robes de coeur" means "dresses of heart". (I can't vouch for whether it's grammatical in French!) It is partially a statement of intent--I aim to make clothes the wearer loves--and partially a philosophy: we should care about how we cover ourselves.
If you search online for "blogging tips", a common one is to have a particular reader in mind when writing, to stabilize your tone and keep a conversational style. I am writing for someone like myself.
As it happens, I am verbose. I enjoy reading in depth and writing in depth. Plus, I often work with slow, old computers, and nothing is more irritating than to click on a link and watch it take forever to load, only to find a measly 400 words, in simple sentences, with extra space taken up by large headers and pretty but unhelpful pictures. I care about ideas, and my ideal reader does, too. I enjoy reading well-constructed essays, and I want a readership who appreciates the same. I am a bit of a geek about esoterica, and I hope fellow geeks will enjoy my posts. So my posts will be the kind I like to read.
FREQUENCY OF POSTING
Once a week.
I pledge to be honest, respectful, and positive. If anything I post falls short of this pledge, I ask my readers to tell me, so I can correct and make amends. In turn, I ask commenters to follow the same code.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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