Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Beating Sewing Block August 17, 2008

Filed under: Goddess-Sanctioned Pastimes — rebmas03 @ 2:29 pm

I love to sew, no two ways about it. Sit me down at my machine in my studio in the early morning, and I just may emerge 16 hours later. I’ve been known to take a sewing vacation, where I leave my husband behind and head to the mountains and sew for a week straight. That’s just the way it is.

But this summer, it’s been a real challenge, and I haven’t been able to work on a project since late May. Part of this, I attribute to my getting my draping certificate at FIT and all the intense projects that went with it last semester. I talked to another friend in my draping program, who is a card-carrying ASG member, who said she was having the same issue. We were just burnt out. The final semester is like taking one Project Runway challenge and stretching it over 5 months. I have never been pushed through such sheer physical exhaustion and survived.

Plus in June, I changed jobs, which eliminated a 4-hour per day commute. You would think that this would free up all kinds of time for sewing, but instead I just slept a lot more. A LOT more (zzzzzzzzz).

On top of all this, my husband and I have been doing major, complete-gut construction all summer, and so every weekend as I hear of friends heading to the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard and points further, we are installing bathrooms, sheetrocking, putting in electric, doing complete landscaping overhauls, etc. All of my sewing is packed away in large plastic bins that I can’t bear to unpack yet. Of course at the end of this, I will have my own sewing room in my primary house for the first time ever, but that doesn’t much help my sewing in the mean time.

I suppose that for the average bear, to sew or not to sew would be neither here nor there. But sewing is my anti-anxiety balm. For me it’s not just a matter of pleasure (in fact, at times, sewing can be very painful), it’s a matter of sanity and survival. That time that I spend at the machine, I can turn off the world and focus on a project that, good or bad, is completely within my control. I love creating garments, and no sale or shopping spree, no matter how deep the discounts, will ever rival the fulfillment of amending my closet with the work of my own two hands.

Sometimes you just gotta get back on the horse and ride. So I’m happy to report that while all my planned summer sewing projects have lain fallow (goodbye metallic-linen, Katherine Hepburn safari suit and John Cheever-esque, maxi pool-party dress), I have been able to turn my focus to fall and a cadet blue velveteen coat. I found the project stuck back in a closet; it had somehow escaped the plastic bin. Cadet blue is one of my most favorite colors anyway, but it’s also super-hot this autumn. And maybe it’s not too late for that pool-party dress….


The Coolest Vintage Site

Filed under: Vintage, Recycled and Retro — rebmas03 @ 4:08 am
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I love, love vintage clothes, but I have issues with the search. I can’t tell you how many thrift stores where I’ve pored over piles of clothes, always looking for that perfect find, only to emerge with nothing. Then, there’s the other end of the spectrum, the specialty vintage stores that have the good stuff are pretty pricey. Enter Catwalk Creative, a U.K.-based vintage web site, whose tagline is “quality, fun and affordable vintage, retro and recycled clothes and accessories for the modern girl.” Run by the industrious and talented Louise Sleigh, she does more than just hawk vintage goods—she also offers advice on how to wear vintage and extensive pictures and descriptions. She’s like the perfect vintage shopping pal! Read all about Louise and Catwalk in this Fashion Birdcage interview.