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wardrobe epiphanies equal sewing epiphanies

Author:
myfavoriteoutfit

It’s been six months since I wrote about having a serious sewing epiphany, and I had such a strong focus for what I “needed” to be sewing at the beginning of this year, but something happened since that time. I got really distracted. I invented a twelve pattern challenge to prevent that from happening but there was a huge flaw (well, several actually) with that idea that has prevented me from even pretending like I want to follow through with it. Basically what happened is I added a bunch of patterns to that list that I have zero desire to sew now. So far this year I haven’t worn a single dress, and the only skirt I wore was to a WWII reenactment. My ideal wardrobe is still very much the same as I described before: I always reach for a menswear inspired button-up shirt and a pair of jeans with a bandana or hat to throw on my head. I know this is what I like to wear, but for some reason I haven’t been sewing much of that.

luckylucille_favoriteoutfit

(I need to be sewing much more of this ^^)

I’m not going to lie, I love getting dressed up and taking fun photos that are slightly costume-y and theatrical. It’s why I blog. It’s my creative outlet! I guess I thought I’d get bored of sewing a million button-up shirts and plain “normal” pants, and you’d get bored of seeing it. Well you wanna know what’s really boring? Sewing stuff you never wear! Don’t get me wrong, I wear my wide leg pants all the time, but recently my acid reflux is coming back full force (curse you, iced coffee and farm stand pickles!!!) and I just can’t wear the high-waisted pants lately. It physically hurts me, and I’m not the kind of girl who can sacrifice my comfort to try and look like a disheveled version of Miss Fisher or Katharine Hepburn (What? No, I have no delusions of grandeur. Nuh uh, not me never…).

So basically what I’m rambling on about is this: It’s really tough to be madly in love with vintage eras and want to wear that love on your sleeve, literally. It’s really tough when you’re utterly obsessed with vintage sewing but still want to try and support your friends who are incredibly talented independent pattern makers. It’s tough because it’s challenging to find a balance between proving your love for vintage sewing while still “fitting in” and contributing to a modern sewing community. I struggle with it. I know others do too.

I know my conclusion to this matter will continue to evolve so long as I keep sewing. I’ve sewn a bunch of stuff this year that I really love but haven’t worn as much as I had hoped, and that’s okay! I’m working on it. All I know right now is I love button-up shirts, and it’s really difficult to go bowling in giant pants (which is a problem because I bowl on a league like a nerd).

Now, please excuse me while I go and sew a bunch of Grainline Studio Archer Button-ups and some less theatrical pants.

xo
Rochelle

p.s. if this issue of mine sounds familiar to you, please let me know your thoughts on it. Let’s work through it :)

 

 

 

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  • Bonita Vear

    The funny thing is, I do wear the dresses I sew, but I need to not be scared of sewing separates either. A lot of my skirts and tops/blouses can only be worn with one outfit and that’s not very practical. I need practical for all the days when I want to wear vintage but not be afraid to because I have to clean the bathroom! ♡
    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  • Lynn

    I used to have the same problem… sewing a lot of dresses that I never wore. It took me a while but now I mostly sew clothes I know I will wear. I sew pants and tops and more practical, less “dressy” dresses. Now that I have gotten used to wearing dresses more I find that in the summer I prefer them and it’s actually hard to go back to wearing pants in the fall.

  • Vickie

    I just like you! You’re honest and can think and write, and I’ll read whatever you are willing to share. I’ve been reading your blog since I found it some months back, and please know that you’re missed when you when you go silent. Imagine! You have some other life beyond sewing! Now I know you’re out having a good time bowling, or playing with Lucille…or any of the myriad other things we do to keep us willing to get out of bed in the morning. You’ve been an inspiration and encouragement to me as I try to resume my sewing habit, lapsed these 25 years. So, sew a rich and varied life together. I’m grateful that you can earn a living by blogging. You’ve been a help to me sewing-wise, and made my life richer with this…being an old lady, I don’t know what to call it – limited acquaintance. I look forward to following you for a long time.

    • Rochelle

      Aww Vickie, it’s comments like yours that truly make my day. Sometimes sewing and blogging is frustrating but readers like you make it worth it. I’m all smiles from ear to ear. Thank you.

  • miukat

    Hi! I recently started to get back into sewing and have spent the last few days catching up with the sewing world, organizing my supplies, going through my stash, etc. You have really summed up what I’ve been going through. On thing that helped me put things into perspective was organizing my time on a pie chart to see what activities I do daily. Through this exercise, I discovered that a good percentage of the pie was lounging around the house, sleeping, and going to work. So why, if I only spend about 5% of time going to parties, do I buy/make an endless supply of party dresses? Since then, I really try to think about what I do and what I need. First thing I did was splurge on a lounging wardrobe. Eventually, I’d like to replace pieces with ones I’ve made myself. Now that I’m a teacher, I find I need more work-appropriate clothing that reflects my personal style. I agree with Ybat in that I put a lot of undue pressure on myself to do things like “Make all my own clothing” or “I’m only going to wear dresses” or “I’m going to spin and knit a sweater using one sheep” or whatever pops into my head. I look forward to approaching this whole crafty thing with a more relaxed attitude. Thanks for making me realize I’m not alone :D

    • Rochelle

      I love the idea of a pie chart!! That’s an excellent suggestion, I’d definitely going to try that. See? We’re helping each other out :)

  • Jodaleeb

    I’ve been following along for quite sometime. I am an avid 40’s lover, yet to embark on my wardrobe and style journey. I thought I was weird, then I found your blog, which led me to a whole new world of fashion and style that I always wished existed… You inspire me. I love that you do wear pants and shirts. I’m hoping to embark on my first pair of swing pants and a blouse in the coming weeks (oh hurry up end of report writing time!), and I have you to thank for that. Blog your pants and shirts. Blog your nots. Just hang in there cos there’s plenty of us that appreciate you, your blog, and your creativeness. Xx

  • Ronja

    I’ve started realizing that since I’m not really confident in sewing from patterns, and that nothing ever fits me when I try to do that, that I’ve stopped sewing. In fact the things I wear the most that I end up sewing are drapy, unfitted tops, and stuff I get second hand that I tweek so it’ll work well for me. I think part of it is that i’m not confident in my sewing. I have the pieces cut for a dress I want to make, but now I can’t remember which piece is which and I need to put in a lining, since the fabric is too thin, and am just overwhelmed thinking about it. Plus… then I have to insert a zip!

    https://www.etsy.com/your/listings?ref=si_your_shop

  • Snowma

    Were all makers and I think that supersedes any other sewing “label” we put on ourselves, like “vintage” or “modern”. When I do my blog reading rounds, no matter if the sewist is doing retro or contemporary patterns, i feel like I’m checking in on my community. Its a wonderful little tribe that’s going against the grain – were making our own and not buying. Sure, It takes time and its expensive compared to a quick cheap thrill at Forever 21 but it feels so right for us. Give yourself the freedom to grow and change. Sew what makes you happy and we’ll be there to cheer you on. Keep making!

  • kkegeland

    I love sewing from vintage patterns and wearing vintage clothing. At first I got swept up in all of the beautiful and glamorous aspects of it. Then, I stared at my closet and realized I had nothing practical to wear. Lately, I have been focusing on making practical clothing that I really need. Luckily that does not mean giving up on my passion for vintage. I have been digging through my vintage pattern stash and pulling out things that I can see myself wearing on a daily basis. At the moment I have been making the high waisted shorts of my dreams from a 50’s pattern. I will have 4 pairs of them by the end of the month and could not be more excited because I am going to wear them all the time (well, maybe not the brocade pair In just finished :P ). I think you can be true to your style and your passions by taking the time to make functional items for your day to day life and then throwing in a fun project once in a while to keep your creative juices flowing!

  • Victoria

    I’d be fine seeing a bunch of button up and practical pants. I like wearing those things. I am trying to find my style right now, I just wear jeans and tshirts every day, but I want to wear cute dresses and vintage clothes (or vintage inspired that I make). I am trying to figure out if I don’t wear them much because I don’t have them exactly what I want, or because my house is so small that I don’t have a closet, and so all my clothes get rumpled and I don’t have a convient ironing space set up. Or is it because I don’t have shoes that go? Or do I just not like wearing dresses and should admit that that is okay and find something else?
    I am enjoying watching your journey, it is making me think a lot about mine. I also really like having a sewing blog that isn’t just all cute dresses.

  • Ybat

    Since you asked for peoples opinion I will give you mine. You are right that this post sounds like many others that you’ve written and I think that part of it is that you’re taking this whole sewing thing to seriously. You write about “proving your love of vintage sewing and still fitting in and contributing to a modern sewing community” but who are you trying to prove this too yourself or your readers and why cant you contribute to a modern sewing community. Loving one doesn’t mean you cant have an opinion on the other. I think your putting to much pressure on yourself for some reason and you shouldn’t. For instance you wouldn’t use a serger for a long time because it wasn’t appropriate for the times but who cares if it wasn’t used then if it makes your life easier. I mean its not like the sewing police are going to arrest you. I truly think you are the one making it so difficult for yourself and putting undo pressure on yourself. As a reader of your blog I think that you should do whatever makes you happy not for the “sewing community” or your readers but just YOU because you seem to be sucking all of the joy out of what is supposed to be a hobby. Remember you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

    • Rochelle New

      Of course I take sewing too seriously. It’s not my hobby, it’s how I make my living right now. If I didn’t have a readership or blog followers, I wouldn’t have a job so of course I need to consider why people come to my blog in the first place. Obviously the types of things I sew, the types of photos I take, and the types of things I write about play a big factor in why people keep coming back. So yes, I do put a lot of pressure on myself and I do take sewing and blogging really seriously. I want to take it seriously.

      I used to sew primarily for WWII reenactments so I chose to only use fabrics made from fibers that existed in the 40s, and I only used seam finishing techniques that would have been available to the home seamstress at that period of time. It’s important to be as authentic as possible when you do those kinds of events so I used my pinking shears. Now that I want to sew more for real life and not just historical events, I started using my serger again and yes it does make my life easier.

      As far as wanting to “prove” that I love vintage with how I dress, that’s something that makes ME feel good and makes me proud of how I look. I want to look and dress more vintage than modern. So that’s why it’s hard to want to sew things that look vintage and still support independent sewing companies who are making modern patterns for modern style.

      I’ve been told over and over again that I’m too hard on myself but in actuality I think I’m just too honest lol! I appreciate that you’ve been honest with me too. Thank you for that.

  • Anna

    Make what feels right, make plans (tell us about them) and change them. I for one will still enjoy reading about it!

  • MaryEllen

    Have you considered some fun bowling shirts and cigarette pants? Maybe that’s not your exact vintage niche but it could be fun.

  • Laura

    I love how honest you are on your blog. I’ve been having such a complete nightmare recently trying to perfect the fit of bodices on my short body and large bust, to the point that I’ve utterly lost my sewing mojo. But through Me Made May I’ve had the same realisation as you, I need to sew more of what I actually wear! Which is separates, dark denim, toddler-proof comfy stuff. It got me down that I couldn’t get to grips with pretty dress patterns…but these aren’t practical anyway!! It’s always good to keep reassessing our creative output and striving for a balance of pretty handmade but useful clothes! Xxx

  • sewlittletime

    you look great in that photo! seriously, sew what you love and blog about it. you don’t need to sew things you don’t wear to have something to blog about! people who follow your blog want to read about what you are making and planning, not what you think you should be making. i just want to read about sewing. i don’t care if people are sewing shirts or skirts or trousers on dresses!

  • Chantel

    I love to hear what you are thinking about and doing — you put into words what many of us struggle with and we adore you! Please carry on!
    I seem to sew 2 kinds of things – some things I use almost every single day: a skirt I garden in, my robe, my night gown, any and all of my brassieres. But then I make things I rarely wear since they are history clothes (1810-1920’s). They just make me happy even if they are rarely worn, I kinda look at the projects as art. That being said I am trying to move in the direction of sewing useful items that are beautiful. I try to treat myself as a work in progress.
    Please keep writing and posting — you are an inspiration and a treasure :-) Thank you!

    • Rochelle New

      I know exactly what you mean about sewing “art”. I feel like I’m sewing a little piece of history every time I sew a vintage pattern and it makes me so happy! …but then when it sits alone in my closet, only getting worn for a special event, that does not make me happy lol. I just need to start picking projects that are the right mix of practical and true to me. Sounds like everyone could do a little more of that :)

  • justine

    I used to sew a lot of vintage patterns but found I felt too costumey in them and wasn’t wearing them often.I just love the feel using them.

  • Laura

    I enjoy reading your blog because you write nicely and you have a distinct style – it doesn’t matter if it’s exciting dresses or practical shirts, I think most people are just interested to see what you’re up to!

  • Philippa

    I too have acid reflux :( I find it’s worse with some things than others (red wine and peanuts for example), but stress is a factor too. Anyway I am a great admirer and lover of clothes from the past. The 1940’s is my favourite era but I also appreciate the ’30’s and late 50’s/’60’s (I like the straighter silhouettes). Do I sew and dress like this every day? No. I would love to, but my life involves walking two dogs, doing housework, decorating and gardening and getting down on the floor and playing with kids. Many of my clothes end up completely trashed and I don’t want that to happen to a vintage treasure (just my opinion)…so i love and admire these styles, I wear them when I go out or I’m having a restful day. The remainder of the time I sew for my life, practical, hard wearing, not too precious clothes like denim skirts and woven tees that if they get damaged, won’t make me cry! Your most worn look seems beautiful and practical to me. Enjoy finding your balance :)

  • loranc

    I am finishing up my 15th (?) shirt from the same pattern. Well, actually I’ve done a couple OTHER patterns as well but they all look about the same from afar. Do I care? No. I LOVE the pattern, I change up the details, I mix and match pants and skirts and still can’t fit everything into the closet because my brain is still scattered from school and Australia. Oh, and Miss Fisher. You know, life and stuff.
    Sometimes I wear a skirt to work, but I have to plan ahead and make sure stuff is ironed and I can ride a bike in it, which leaves out my very full circle skirts. It is about 30 degrees cooler in the morning than when I ride home in the afternoon so I’m constantly layering, which can get tiring. I often resort to a camisole, a sweater and a cool broach or necklace because its easy and no one notices (I work with scientists and nerds, who are very nice, but nearly lost their cool when I wore stockings with seams…). I’m not happy where I am in life right now, I’m right in between where I’ve been and trying to figure out where to go so I sew for fun, to relax, and make something pretty. I figure no matter what the journey you can’t have too many polka dotty clothes in your closet, right?

  • BusyLizzie

    I don’t care if you make 50 Archer shirts, it is your blog, make what makes you happy. If you want to blog them, blog them, if not, don’t. People will read or they won’t. At the end of the day, hobbies are for you and keeping you happy. You have to use your spare time wisely making yourself happy.

  • the Garment Farmer

    I’ve sewn a lot of plain shirts to wear to work these past 6 months, and a few pairs of pants too. Although not exciting to blog about (yeah, when was my last post?!), I can honestly say I’m wearing me-made clothes at least 4-5 days a week, if not more. And that’s exciting! I love that my makes are really starting to take over my wardrobe. Also, if you want to wear more skirts and dresses, move to Texas. During the summer, it’s just too darn hot to wear pants here, and I really get a lot of use out of my skirts and dresses (that never happened in CA). So yeah, make them shirts girl! You won’t regret it.

    • Rochelle New

      That’s awesome! My goal is to be wearing me-made things every single day! I don’t mean to sound like practical clothes are too boring to be blog worthy, because that’s not true. I really enjoy reading about what people sew to wear everyday. I just get so excited when working with vintage patterns and notions and modern sewing has fallen a little flat for me in the past. But obviously I’m working on that :)

  • Angie at Letters Across America

    THIS is so refreshing. Thank you.

    I’m glad I’m not alone in this struggle. I want to wear beautiful things – I want to be the type of person who wears beautiful things. All the time, always, without exception. And in my ideal life, I do.

    But in the real world, I go for comfort. And, for me, that means jeans & yoga pants, unless I have something even MORE comfortable. (Jeans aren’t actually that comfortable – I live in a hot & humid tropical climate most of the year).

    So, I started making dresses out of vintage bedsheets from the thrift store. They’re super cheap, 100% cotton (which is great when it’s hot & humid), and easy to make. After LOTS of experimenting, I’ve found a few patterns that work for my body & that are easy to make. (I use 2 skirts, 3 bodices, and use full linings instead of facings).

    Yeah, I basically wear a uniform of dresses, most of the year. And it’s awesome. I look 100x better than I ever did, wearing jeans & yoga pants. And yes, people have noticed, but mostly they’ve noticed that I have a consistent style. Something that suits me & is always appropriate for my lifestyle.

    And even better…my clothing budget is miniscule. I sew only the things that I know I’m going to love wearing. I only have a dozen dresses in my closet, but I always have something to wear. Everything I own is beautiful, and nearly everything is me-made.

    So, I say “go for it.” Make your jeans & button-downs & bandanas. You’ll be happiest, and you’ll have a closet full of clothes that suit you and that you are eager to wear. You’ve inspired me already – I’m even more excited to see what you come up with when your closet really reflects you & your lifestyle.

  • TinaD

    Please. Sew pants. Blog pants. The blogosphere is very tea-dress-centric, with the occasional foray into the indie pant pattern du jour, but pants get nothing like the exposure of skirts and dresses, which is a shame because in the 21st century the blue jean is practically party attire. Ditto the button down, which is outpaced by t-shirts 5 to 1. Some of us would love to see pants happen. If you want to keep the vintage feel of your blog, are there vintage-style embellishments that can be added to non-vintage shirt and pant patterns? Maybe fabric, outfit, or styling choices that make them more vintage than rockabilly?

  • Juliana @ Urban Simplicity

    Yes! I swear, sometimes I think you live in my head. (Oops, that came out kind of creep-tastic). I’ve sewn a ton of things this spring, and while a good portion of the items I’ve made I love and wear all the time, I did make a few things that I love on the hanger, but not necessarily on me (*cough* two New England dresses *cough*cough*) I’m still sorting out what I like to wear, and sometimes I feel like my fashion brain is stuck in 1995, and I’m approaching my wardrobe gaps with that sort of functionality: dressy dresses for church, check (um, no), moderately dressy outfits for every day (um, no), yadda yadda. I have four children, including a nursing baby, and my body has changed a lot, including the silhouettes that look good on me (I was highly illumined on this point by Sarai’s recent post on what she learned in MeMade May), and I’m trying to pay close attention to what feels good to me on a daily basis. It is hard work!

    So many things I like in theory I feel twitchy in on a daily basis, and I find I have almost zero tolerance for high percentages of synthetic materials in my clothes these days. I also have digestive issues of a different sort, so my waist size can fluctuate up to 2-3″ in a day’s time, and my clothes have to accommodate that reality. I’m still working through it all.

    I’m also realizing that there are a lot of styles that I love on other people, but not necessarily on me, so I’m trying to steer away from sewing things for other’s styles and not my own. My goals with my wardrobe are 1) to emulate a 1940s style, but it doesn’t have to be a literal interpretation; 2) not looking costume-y or standing out in the crowd (this is especially a tricky point, as I live in a very casual city, and moms in my circle of friends tend to be VERY casual; I realize there are plenty of authentic 1940s casual looks, and I’m still working on cultivating that particular vibe, as I tend to gravitate more toward dressier items, even though I’m finding I don’t wear them enough to justify giving a lot of closet space over to them); 3) maintaining a coherent look; 4) feeling good in my clothes and how they fit. A task. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter, going forward. You always give me so many good things to consider.

  • Stephanie

    First off, I love that you bowl in a league! Nerds rule!

    Secondly, it is so awesome to make things you actually wear! I’m realizing that my wardrobe needs to head in a different direction since graduating from college, getting a real job and moving out of state soon! Can’t wait to see all of your fabulous pants!

  • gilliancrafts

    Oh man, life’s too short to let yourself feel pressure to be what other people expect! One thing I loved about fashion in japan was that people changed style daily, if they wanted to. Goth one day, girly the next… I think maybe you are feeling like you should be all one era of vintage all the time, but there’s no reason you can’t change it up! I hope you can get some good stretch denim and figure out a jeans pattern that is comfy but nods to the retro look you love. Good luck!

    • Ronja

      When I worked at Macy’s one of my managers mentioned that she couldn’t figure out my “Style profile” because I would go from black pants with drapy top, to a killer mini with sequin top, then a super feminine dress, then a peplum wiggle dress, or pigtail braids and jeans with a t-shirt, or goth boots with fishnet, or summer dresses, or onesies with roller skates, or sports outfits or simple hippy skirts for dog walking. I have realized I love all types of styles! I do wear jeans 90% of the time though… Why do we feel that we have to have a simplified style?

  • Sarah

    Have you been peeking inside my brain again?! This post is great and exactly what I’m going through! I so enjoyed blogging about the Sew Dolly Clackett contest, but after that closed, my desire to blog went again. All I want to sew are clothes with simple or no closures (i.e. Washi and Oolong dresses) and mini capsule wardrobes. Boring, no?

    I adore you in this outfit and I would love, love to see your posts sewing up what you wear daily. That’s one of the the things I love about sewing bloggers – seeing them take a ‘basic’ pattern and run with it :)

    PS: I work in GI – try Tecta for your reflux. It’s a prescription but works a treat!

  • Debra

    What I learned about myself and vintage was from reading yours and other peoples blogs. I love making and wearing vintage but that’s not my everyday, it can’t be. I need comfy and clothes that move with me. So for sewing, painting furniture,taking dogs for walks, yard work (the list goes on) its sweats. So it’s become ” when shall I wear it”. What your wearing is something I would wear to the grocery store. To church, I’m all about skirts and as much as I would like to ” dress” for bed and look like they do in movies of yesteryear, you’ll find me in fuzzy pjs.
    So thanks! to you and others for helping me figure out what’s just right for me.

  • grainlinestudio

    You’ve got such a great sense of style, I think that whether you’re sewing vintage or modern you have the ability to make it look ‘you’ if that makes any sense. Don’t worry about what you should or shouldn’t be sewing and just sew whatever you want! I’ll be here looking forward to whatever that may bring!

  • Beth

    I love reading your posts because it reminds me that others deal with the same hang ups I do and you’re always so gentle on yourself about it. It’s good that we all remember our creative journey is just that–a journey– and we just keep learning and plugging along!!

  • Rachael Munson

    I hear you! I have a closet full of dresses, some vintage, some not, some sewn by moi, others bought. You know what I always end up wearing?? Jeans and a button down shirt!! or a tshirt and card! I’ve sewn many things which I never wear. But a few that do get use are the Simple Skinny jean from Meg at Sew Liberated (they have an elastic waistband which is the best thing EVER! I know know why so many women continue to wear maternity pants after giving birth!) I have 2 pairs f the Thurlow Trousers from Tasia at Sewaholic, also amazing! And the first pair I made with an elastic waistband like my simple skinnys! I finally (this week) purchased the Archer pattern. I should have bought it a long time ago.So I’ll join you on the Archer journey, making clothes we’ll actually wear!!

  • misscrayolacreepy

    1. Well, I guess there wasn’t any holy water in those pickles! haha
    2. Your outfit above is perfection.
    3. Sewing should be fun. If it’s not then change it. I think that when I sew things I feel like I “should” be sewing then the process isn’t as fun and I almost kind of resent the outfit as I’m making it. Is that weird? Anyways, the Archer won’t let you down. I know that you will put a Rochelle twist on anything you sew and make it your own, which is what brought me to your blog in the first place :)

  • onefootinthesea

    I used to sew a lot of 1950s and 1940s dresses and skirts, but I didn’t wear them very often. I felt like I was in costume, and I didn’t feel like “me” even though the dresses were fab. I actually took a few years off from sewing because I was pretty discouraged. I started sewing again in the last couple years, and I’m doing a lot better at choosing things I’ll actually wear. I still sew about 1/3 vintage, but I ask myself if it’s something I will really wear and try to picture how it will fit in with the rest of my wardrobe. It’s also mostly separates now, not dresses. I love a femme vintage top with jeans and boots :) I’m wearing most of the things I’ve made a lot and they’re integrated into the rest of my clothes — and I’m excited to wear them. I still make mistakes and make things that look horrible on my body or don’t quite work with my style, but I think that’s inevitable once in awhile. It’s important to love what you make. Definitely listen to yourself, and don’t worry about being boring on here — I love your photos and makes (and Lucille, of course) so don’t feel like you have to please your readers!

  • Tina C.

    I so feel you. It’s tempting to line up all these pretty dresses or fancy pants (heck, even fancy blouses) but when it comes down to it, the hard question to ask (and answer) is “Yes, but what will I wear?”

    The challenge for me right now is redefining my wearable wardrobe. I’m an Central NY girl who moved to Miami, FL. My wardrobe–and specifically the items *I* find the most comfortable and flattering–consists of jeans, sweaters, layering shirts (that don’t really work on their own as shirts), and boots. None of this is Miami appropriate, not even in the “winter” (which, at 70 is really just the less hot/less humid season). So my conundrum is, “What do I wear?” I like skirts and dresses, but not all the time.
    Not a huge fan of shorts (they ride uncomfortablely). I have a few pairs of capris. I have a few non-layerinntank tips. Neither of these are things I really enjoy (largely because they were bought from the store in pure desperation and don’t fit right.

    It’s a pickle, intel you.

    • Tina C.

      Lets try this: It’s a pickle, I tell you.

    • Ronja

      Have you considered hitting up the thrift shops in your area? They’ll have a huge selection of stuff for that weather and you might get some good ideas of what you like. In fact, the prices will probably let you try some new styles that you won’t feel guilty about hating if it comes to that.

      • Tina C.

        I have–thrift around here is a bit more MTV music video (read: short shorts, belly shirts, and neon colors) than I can stomach.

        • Ronja

          hahaha! I needed that laugh so much today. Good luck finding what works. Stinks that it’s so hard to find the things you like. I don’t think you’re magically gonna become a neon clad MTV extra, so sorry that my idea was a flop.

  • Emileigh

    Yes, I totally understand! I am constantly drawn to pretty dresses, breezy fabrics, and vintage patterns, but I find myself needing other things completely! I started a new office job a couple weeks ago, and I realized that though I have lots of pencil skirts and dresses, I have ZERO trousers that aren’t jeans. I don’t have nearly the right kind of clothing now for this job, because there are so many days when I’d much rather just wear pants, but I don’t have any! This realization has helped me narrow my focus from all the “shiny” patterns I’ve been planning on and getting to the stuff I actually need and will wear.

    And I’m having a similar problem “fitting in” but with knitting. I haven’t knitted many new patterns yet (vintage pdfs are just so much cheaper), but I can’t “talk shop” with other knitters because I don’t know modern needle sizes, yarn weights, etc. well enough. It’s kind of frustrating to realize I’m a new knitter without a lot of the basic knowledge needed for modern patterns. I have to go in and fill in the knowledge gaps! Not to mention, unless I’m at a specialty yarn store, I haven’t encountered any store employees that know how to answer my questions about vintage patterns so… many issues with being a vintage fringe knitter.

  • Lady Stitcher

    I love your outfit in that photo!! I’ve only been sewing in earnest for about seven months now and because I’m a learner with limited resources, I’m trying to focus on things I know I’ll get to wear pretty often. I’m still figuring out what kind of silhouettes suit me and my lifestyle best though, and reading your posts about considering the items you’re sewing from a practical position is really, really helpful and inspiring! Good luck with your ongoing project! :)

  • Jeanne Marie

    I’ve decided no sewing guilt for me. Work is for what you SHOULD do. Hobbies are for what you WANT to do. Sew what you want, when you want and make no apologies!

  • Mother of Reinvention

    You should sew to suit yourself. I think that people read this blog because it is well written and interesting blog and your personality shines through, as well for all your great sewing (or should I say it’s not just for the pretty dresses). Don’t beat yourself up about not sewing 12 vintage patterns or not sewing anything. We all have times like that. Keep up the good work. :)

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A Blog By Rochelle New

I'm a fabric wizard and wielder of needles with a passion for quilt industry cottons, bygone eras, and natural things.

i.e. I mostly do nerd things like pretend I'm a wizard, collect moldy books, and spend too much time picking up acorns in the woods, all with my spirit animal (a dog named Lucille), my personal photographer (a man named William), and a few literal fat cats in tow.

Making magic and messes in the backwoods of New York.

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