Friday, 26 June 2015

Bits and pieces

  • I have been quiet here because I am STILL sewing Giant Rectangles in the name of home decor (specifically, roman blinds for my hall and landing windows). Truly, this is the most boring of all sewing activities. I am also mildly allergic to something the fabric manufacturer has put on the fabric (probably chloroform, which is widely used to stop creasing) so after I've been sewing for an half an hour or so I start to come out in hives. This does not make getting on with an already-tedious sewing task any more appealing, let me tell you. At any rate, I am done with the first blind and the second should be faster because it is smaller and also, I know what I am doing. Although, once it's done I still have to sew on rings and string them and hang them and oh, lord, it'll be Christmas before I have window coverings, won't it.
  • I have succumbed to Instagram. At the moment I have not actually posted anything but you should tell me your account name so I can follow you and ogle your sewing creations & other photos. Also I will start taking photos myself forthwith, now that I have a regular data plan for my phone, although I can't claim that the content will be in any way exciting or visually spectacular. (In fact, the likelihood that it will be exciting or visually spectacular approaches nil, if I'm honest.)
  • I did manage to cut out a quick project -- another knit top -- and hope to sew it up this weekend. However, my last planned June project, a maxi skirt from Burda, has been somewhat stymied by (a) boringly, my long-running, wish-it-would-just-go-away illness, which I can't even discuss without wanting to scream with frustration; (b) the aforementioned blinds taking all my sewing time; and (c) the enormousness of the pattern pieces, which are proving challenging to trace. I think I might have to clear off my dining room table in order to trace it properly, and you know, when you start adding in even one more little thing you have to do before you can get started on something it all suddenly starts to seem like a lot of effort. Or maybe I am just extremely lazy. One of the two.
  •  I came to the realization, as I paged through my "summer sewing inspiration" Pinterest board, that my major stumbling block is that apparently I am strongly drawn to an aesthetic best suited to someone with an A/B-cup bust. This is unfortunate, since I don't think my G-cup bust is going anywhere. Boobs are a trial, seriously.
  • Also, wow, browsing Pinterest is depressing after a while. It is 90% different women who are basically the same archetype over and over: very thin, young, white affluent (or affluent-faking) Americans with long "beachy waves" hair and Michael Kors bags. The other 10% is "everyone else", which is kind of a shitty level of representation for anyone let along the diversity of "everyone else". There are some images of plus-sized women, but Pinterest is a study of extremes: there are images of lots of women who are like, a size 0, and a smattering of women who are a size 20+, and nobody much in between. And if you intersect any two of the less represented groups -- let's say, you're over 25 and a woman of colour -- then you could look for HOURS and not see any images that even remotely resemble you. Which, you could argue that maybe Pinterest reflects the user base, except that the sheer size of the user base precludes that. Also depressing: how many of the photos are annotated with glum little comments: "I don't know that I could wear this"; "I couldn't pull this off but it's so cute"; "Maybe if I were 20lbs lighter!"; "#fitspo dress!" and so on. I wish we were kinder to ourselves, fellow women.


  1. Yep yep yep. I'm not really into "fashion" but awhile back I was looking for some inspiration.

    22 year old rich, thin white girls or actual plus size.

    Asked on GOMI for some "curvy" fashion blogger (who are NOT plus) recommendations and they told me Mimi G among other SEWING bloggers. Doh!

    So I agree, if you're outside the norm, good luck! Meh.

    I'm sewcraftychemist on IG. "See" you around!

    1. I like looking at Pinterest because I can search like, black and white blouses and get a million hits for different things that frankly I don't have the imagination to think of myself. But I don't like it for being the most blandly "pretty" white American girl nonsense 99% of the time. So much pigeon-toeing. So much casual Starbucks coffee cup holding. So much brand name dropping. Dull, depressing and also makes me mad I am not super thin, which, I don't even WANT to be super thin, so why do I always want to drop 20lbs if I spend any time on Pinterest :|

  2. Good luck with the home dec sewing! So tedious! I have a patio umbrella cover I've been needing to finish for my mom for months now. (that project = boring plus precision because it needs to fit precisely).

    I haven't really used Pinterest for fashion, though I've pinned a bunch of vintage patterns there and occasionally some other sewing things.

    I find Pinterest useful for pinning things (I rarely search, except paint colours, as it were), but something about it annoys me. I think it's the pragmatist in me. I see a lot of pinterest boards the same way I see magazines like Bon Appetit - all of these visions of 'the perfect life' that people are aspiring to. When I look around my apartment, my reality is that I need to tidy up, vacuum and take the recycling out. It's pretty 'unpinnable,' as most people's apartments are. I guess I like it when people represent who they are right now rather than who they aspire to be.

    I'm on IG, but only occasionally use it for fashion/sewing. I use it a lot for documenting Aboriginal art and iconography around Vancouver, BC, so if that's your jam, there you go! Alicecam.

    1. I search because I have the imagination of a stick insect and it helps me find ideas for what to sew. I can't bear any of the decor stuff. It's always either artfully arranged decorative items (which I loathe and will not own) or else pictures of like, someone's bedroom where they have one tiny hanging rail with three striped shirts and a white dress hanging artfully. I'm like, well, that's very nice, but if you work for a living three striped shirts and a white dress don't cut it, sartorially speaking, and so all I'm wondering is WHERE IS THE REST OF YOUR STUFF.

  3. I think I'd rather stick needles in my eye than do home dec sewing. When we bought curtains at IKEA for our new-to-us house two years ago, it took three weeks of nagging from my husband for me to just hem them so that they didn't drag on the floor.

    I know what you mean about Pinterest. I associate Pinterest with my SIL, who is gorgeous, tall, slim, smart, and has an incredibly well-paying job (my brother's pay, on the other hand, kinda sucks, so there's that). Whenever I go over to their house, and her friends are there (she was in a sorority at UCLA), I always feel like an oompa loompa. :P

    1. So many looooong straight lines of sewing. So boooooring. I can only do half an hour at a time and then I just nope out of it in favour of ANYTHING ELSE EVER. I even mopped my kitchen floor rather than continue sewing my blinds.

      Pinterest is like everything I like least about the clothing industry and fashion in one place: the overwhelming conflation of "youth" and "thinness" and "whiteness" and a certain calibrated level of display of wealth with "beauty". It's just depressing.

      I know what you mean about having conventionally attractive friends and feeling like a heffalump around them, but then I guess you have to think that probably they have all sorts of problems and insecurities that you can't guess at just from looking at them. I always remember being told by this woman I worked with who looked the EPITOME of gorgeous, conventionally perfect everything that she'd been sober 2 years and AA had saved her life when she'd been rock bottom and now she sometimes felt like nobody knew the "real" her any more. So you just don't know what's going on behind the facade.

  4. Can you wear gloves and long sleeves for the weird hive-inducing fabric? I don't think I'd have the perserverance to do much home dec, but home dec that was giving me hives? Nope nope nope.

    I loved instagram at first. Now I think maybe I just like it. It's not in depth like a blog post, but you see smaller snippets of a project that you might not see otherwise.

    I am not plus size, but not a size 0 or 2 or 6, and I totally agree with you on the pinterest thing. Even general googling for medium/size 8/10/12 people turns up very very little, and the people I find tend to dress in a style I associate with cutsey blond women in the middle of america wearing clothes I think of as suitable for being a primary school teacher or going to church. Nothing fun and edgy going on in the size 12 arena apparently. I wonder if it's just the type of person who thinks to make a fashion blog in the first place, it's a self selecting bunch borings. I know I see people who dress in fun and up to the minute ways on the street, but it seems they are not documenting it for me to copy. Meanies!

    1. Weirdly, it is my FACE that gets the hives. I guess the fabric sheds the chemicals as I handle it and the skin of my face reacts worse than anywhere else. It's grim. I have the same problem when I shop RTW, because a lot of manufacturers spray clothes with chloroform as part of the finishing process. Many is the time I've had to go home because of hives from a shopping trip D:

      I think that the absence of images of actually average sized women is a real problem. Like, I have zero problem with women who are size 0 or size 30 taking their photos and blogging all over the place about their fashion experiences. But Pinterest, and everything else, is so weird. It's like only the extremes even exist. I guess people in the middle either think they aren't thin enough to fit in with the dominant very thin, very young group, and they don't have the level of commitment to opening up discussion and subverting the industry that the so-called "fat fashion" bloggers have. So, they just don't. It can't be because people in middling sizes aren't interested or into fashion because evidently they are! The one thing that is nice about the sewing blog world is that actually there IS a good level of body diversity on display, but on the other hand sewers are not necessarily particularly edgy or fashionable, and if you're looking for ideas for WHAT to wear rather than how to make it, you won't necessarily find it.