I think there’s some things in the sewing world where there’s an awful lot of ideology and rhetoric behind ideas that don’t necessarily translate to real life. Particularly, I find that sometimes there is distain for ready-to-wear clothing. I’m all for people having their own goals and aspirations to create completely handmade wardrobes, but this doesn’t always translate to real life. We don’t always have the financial resources, time or energy to put into such an endeavour. In an ideal world, every item in my wardrobe would be completely individual, handmade and loved. But there are a lot of things that I’m not only not able to make and don’t want to either.
Maybe it’s a personal thing but I love looking at sewing blogs and living vicariously through their adventures. That doesn’t necessarily mean I want to make the exact same items as them. There’s been a huge craze in the online sewing community for sewing lingerie such as the Watson Bra, which is amazing but not something I’d ever want to do. It’s beautiful but it just doesn’t appeal. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to check out what everyone else has done. That’s one of the wonders of this amazing online community.
Another thing I see people tackling is jeans, particularly the Ginger Jeans. These are all gorgeous endeavours, and the patterns are exactly what I would want if I were sewing jeans. Except I don’t want to. I just wouldn’t get the wear out of them, and the effort necessary would not translate to number of wears. It’s the same thing with swimsuits. I love the Bombshell swimsuit pattern and the many versions I’ve seen are so inspiring. It fits with my vintage and feminine aesthetic. However I’m not a swimmer (even though I live in Australia).
So I thought about what I actually wear everyday. And what I’d wear in an ideal world. In an ideal world I’d be able to wear fancy outfits everyday, dressed to the nines. I’m definitely not a casual girl, I’m a dress and skirt person, sparkly jewellery, cardigans, I love it all. I want fine cardigans and details, a lot of the time things I can’t do myself. I’d love to learn but it’s not necessarily viable. So I live somewhere in the middle between ready-to-wear and handmade. And I think that’s ok. If I made everything I wear (on top of all my other commitments), I’d probably burn out and I love sewing and creating too much to jeopardize it. Not that this means this would happen to someone else attempting his or her own handmade wardrobe (Lladybird) but that’s my reality.
Which brings me to my second point regarding my wardrobe. It’s an extension of my personality: what I like, who I am and what I want to portray to others. So when someone criticizes it, it feels very much like a personal attack. I was shopping recently, browsing not only for things to buy but also for inspiration for things to make. One particularly pushy sales assistant made a comment that I – as someone who also works in retail – probably wouldn’t. She said quite aggressively that I should try something I don’t normally wear. And I thought ‘why?’ Why should I have to try something different that I don’t want to. I like how I dress. Sometimes I experiment and sometimes I play it safe. But that’s my prerogative. We are so easily influenced by people’s opinions that sometimes we forget that at the end of the day it’s our own opinion that’s most important. And I know I need to remember that.