Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why I Make Things The Way I Do

Ive been thinking more and more these days about teaching. Its not that I know everything about sewing or constructing clothing. Its not that I have endless ideas that I want to pass on or the patience that this takes. Its not that I know better than many about how things are supposed to work. Its just that I want people to sew and create and keep the fabric stores open. I don't want this skill to die. I want fabric stores to stay open with well stocked shelves. I want people to experience all the highs and lows of making something with their own two hands. I want people to learn how to problem solve. I want people to think about how things are made and why they are constructed in the manner they were created.

This morning I posted a blurb on Facebook about a new pair of pants that I recently made. I named them after my granddaughter Ivy. I just changed out the ruffles on a basic upper body that has been working well for most. I had been wanting to make these for a long time and  they turned out pretty cute. Immediately someone said they were cute but would look cuter if all the ruffles were in lace, and not just the lower one. All ego aside, this made me think about why I made them the way that I did and I was very grateful for her question.  I didn't have to make the upper body AND the first tier of flounces out of the cotton lycra. I could have made all the ruffles out of lace. So many others do things like this - but why didn't I? Why will I do this on the longer pants and not the shorter pants?

Its because short pants - Capri's - can very often look bad on most legs if the seams and hemline are in the wrong place on the leg. Any time you place a horizontal seam on those limbs, you are in danger of tricking the eye into seeing a shorter leg. When you don't carry that line down the leg, your legs look chopped up. And lets face it, most of us do not have models' legs. And even though I did have those legs and could wear a multitude of sins quite well back when the comets were hitting the earth, those days are over and many never have that chance.  Yet we should all be able to wear fun clothing. I also want to be able to wear this stuff. The trick is to convey to the observer that you look just as nice in this garment as the next person. So if I had made both my ruffles out of lace on the Ivypants, your leg could have looked chopped in half depending on your body type, whereas now the line is more flattering.

I can successfully stop the flounces at the lower thigh on my longer pants because I know which fabrics will carry that line down the leg - and with five flounces, the eye does travel down the leg and doesn't stop at the lower thigh.

See - this is the stuff that you pay for when you buy my garments. There are lots of pants out there on the market now, but I'm telling you - without meaning to toot my own horn all that loudly - that many of them may be cute on the hanger, but not so much on you. Oh, the horrors of what Ive seen on stage!

I also want much of my line of clothing to be crossed over into other areas of dress - not just for stage or dance practice. I want you to be able to incorporate these items into your wardrobe as well as your stage wear. This isn't always possible, but I do design with that in mind when appropriate. So the pants just have to look good on your legs - tall, short, skinny, fat........the lines have to go in the right places. You don't want the eye to stop and screech to a halt in the wrong places - trust me on this. I sure don't!!!!!! I can make a lot of stuff. I can throw fabrics together and put seams in inappropriate place just to make a buck. You might even buy it - but I wouldn't do that to you.

Sorry for the bad photo - I'm saving up for a new camera that does the trick!


Amber said...

I think you better make more Ivy pants, I just bought the pair on Etsy! =)

Lisa Falzon said...

As a wearer of your Sampants, I 100% agree with your horn-tooting because the fit on those pants is incredible.. tight but in just the right places, and SO flattering! I'm a short girl so wrongly-cut capris would make me look plain dumpy. I can't tell you the number of people, even random stranders, who have stopped to remark about the pants. They're just that well made.

You don't need to justify the 'expense' - they really speak for themselves Kathleen!