well you guys, here it is…the premier of my women’s clothing line! honestly it feels a little anticlimactic to me because i completed these garments and mostly photographed them almost a month ago. i had plans for pattern tweaking and re-photographing, but honestly, i had to cut my losses. i am not a professional designer, pattern drafter, model or photographer, nor am i expecting a gross influx of business based on the desire for women’s clothing made by yours truly. i spent a while mulling over these pieces, planning other pieces for the collection, even getting so far as a few new muslins, but i decided to just start small and see how it goes. i finally overcame the hurculean task of photographing and creating etsy listings, so i thought i would follow up on the old blog about each piece in a bit more detail. i really do love them all.but first, i want to take a moment to talk about why. there are a few reasons, and i think they’re all important. i was first interested in women’s clothing just because it was something new, and like many creative people, i’m always itching to try the next thing. i have enjoyed making clothing for myself, and the way my style has evolved as a result. making clothes for other women seems a natural progression. i get asked frequently whether i make women’s clothing, and now i can say YES (although i also used to get asked constantly about children’s clothing, and that didn’t really pan out).
on a slightly deeper level, and because i am introverted and thus it is my nature to be so introspective it’s borderline narcissistic and i like to really work out big issues in my brain at all times, i will also offer the following. there is increasing chatter about “fast fashion,” and i’m grateful for it. changing trends happen gradually enough that it’s sometimes difficult to notice…the growing size of our food and beverage portions over the last 20 years mirrors the rapidity with which one fashion trend is replaced by another. no longer seasonal, high fashion trickles down to highly accessible fashion in a matter of weeks now, and clothing is so cheap and so plentiful, it’s tough on our psyche to resist. it’s also easy not to examine where our clothing comes from, just as we’re blissfully unaware of where our food comes from (coming from a nutrition background, i see many disturbing, haunting, and interesting parallels between the two). when the cost of everything is rising, yet certain things (meat, clothing) stay the same price or even get cheaper, one can certainly suspect that unsustainable practices are responsible. i’m not getting up on my yuppie/hipster soapbox here…i too used to shop at forever 21 and buy meat at the grocery store. i mean only to say it’s my belief we have a moral obligation to think critically about things many big industries would rather keep us in the dark about.
i have read a number of interesting articles about changes in the fashion industry since this eye opening tragedy one year ago. i have learned about the disappearance of american made goods and american tailors. i have learned about the significant decline in quality of our garments and the amount of garment related waste we produce now, since we believe our clothing is disposable. i have read alarming things about widespread exploitation of workers overseas to keep these costs down, and refusal of many large retailers to acknowledge the rights of these workers, let alone advocate for them.
big issues like these don’t change easily or painlessly, but on an individual level, we certainly can stand our ground and take action on a personal level. i love a bargain as much as the next person, but it’s been enlightening and liberating to stop buying clothing and to start making it. i grapple often with the purpose of what i’m doing here–i seem constantly to be grasping at meaning. these clothes mean something. these four pieces are an opportunity for people who cannot make their own clothing to take a stand against appalling and sad practices. yes, for the price of one of these items, you could buy 15 shirts at target. but, do you really want to?
i am working hard to create pieces that are classic yet modern, comfortable and low maintenance but also durable. i want them to look great now, and in five years from now, regardless of trends and trips through the washing machine. they are all made (obviously) 100% by hand, by me. the creation is local and ethical. if a stitch or two is crooked, consider it character. the cost is based on raw materials and the going hourly rate for a tailor in sacramento…forget about the hours i spend drafting patterns, making muslins, sourcing and ordering fabrics, researching trends and inspiration. this is not a lucrative or even self sustaining endeavor; it’s just a passion, really. to underscore my desire for these pieces to be lasting, i am offering to repair any damage over time. seriously. so, here they are!
black and white seersucker top, subtle gathers on the bias cut, curved bodice, drop hem.
stretch lattice tee with the softest double gauze body.
yarn dyed cotton shirting dress with pockets, pleats, drop hem and contrasting stripes.
and my very favorite to wear, chambray dress with pleats and pockets, drop hem, dot and solid color blocking. i could live in this dress it is so comfortable.
i hope you like them all as much as i do. think before you buy.