A Strappy Red Dress
A simple alteration, today. My client had a shift dress with spaghetti straps. The top of the dress had a ruffle over the bosom, which was sewn right-sides-together to the neck and arm holes, then turned right side out, thus finishing the neck and arm-holes and hiding all the raw edges under the ruffle. Simple and cute. The problem: the straps were too long for the wearer!
"Adaptive clothing" is the term for clothes which are designed for use by disabled people. The goal is to look like regular clothes, but to have adaptations that either make them easier to don, safer and more comfortable to wear in wheelchairs, or more practical for caregivers. By their nature, adaptive clothes can be unique to the individual. Recently, a friend came to me with a particular need: a man whose Parkinson's makes it difficult to get the narrow ends of his pants legs over his feet (even if you sit to do it, it still requires balance and co-ordination). She asked if I could install zippers in the bottom of the pant legs so he could unzip them, get them on, and then zip them down? I said of course!
Why Are Women Always Right?
Right-over-left, that is. In the Western world, women's garments traditionally close right-over-left, while men's close left-over-right. As an example, the Moss Brothers jacket I showed you on Monday is a women's jacket because of the right-over-left closure (as well as the princess seams giving room for the bosom, and the flared hips with slanting pockets for style). That's why I was surprised to find no womenswear on their company website!
One of my medium-weight jackets (a nice wool tartan labeled Moss Brothers Covent Garden*, which has been very serviceable to me) lost a button on Christmas day, while I was shoveling ice off the driveway. Since another button was loose, I took the opportunity to change all three buttons for prettier ones, and took pictures along the way! The original buttons were plain black plastic shaft buttons. The new ones are bronze flat buttons with maple leaves on them in bass relief. There was even a worn area that needed patching, which makes me childishly excited. If such things interest you (or childishly excite you), read on!
*It's a women's jacket, but I don't see any women's stuff on their website now, so perhaps they no longer make womenswear.
Several years ago, when I was newly arrived in Portland, OR, and I had a basic, borrowed sewing machine and no experience with either pattern drafting or quilting, I found Sharon Ann Burnston's website and was taken with the idea of making my own version of 18th Century quilted jumps. Mainly, I wanted them because I was cold. I'm always cold in the winter, and I simply hate being cold. The jumps appealed to me as a garment to keep my core warm and leave my arms free, which would be an improvement over wrapping myself in blankets, and more interesting and unique than the "puffy" vests which were then fashionable.
Happy New Year, gentle reader(s)! ;)
This post is a grab-bag of recapping 2017, showing off my Christmas gifts, and looking forward to 2018!
As 2017 is done, I have now been blogging for a year. I find I enjoy it as much as I feared (yes, it has been a huge time-suck!), but that it's also done what I hoped: kept me accountable for finishing projects and served as a portfolio I could point potential clients and interested friends to. On my first post, I said I'd limit my posting to once a week, but soon I had such a backlog of posts and so much to say that I upped it to twice a week: Mondays and Thursdays, usually.
If not... well... how does your brain work, then? I'm really interested, because it seems like such a normal thought to me, and I'd be curious to know how someone thinks who doesn't have that thought.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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