The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Something Interesting…..

Been perusing through some familiar and not-so-familiar sites and came across this site, that says they dress for normal people who don’t have time to shop.  Usually, that’s code for “Something that fits everyone from a tall bean stock to apple or pear with little or not fit to it!”  That’s okay if you want to look dumpy, but to steal a few words from Karl Lagerfeld commenting on women wearing sweatpants as a regular daytime garment,  “These are people who look like they’ve given up looking nice!”  It’s the norma in-your-face sort of comment from Lagerfeld, but it hits right on point.  This is my problem with art-to-wear – it may be pretty and fancy and a little on the junky side, but with no fit or shape, it’s simply another gunny sack.

So I was all ready to give these folks a quick look and summary judgment that we were headed toward to gunny sack squad again…..but…. (click the pic for a link to their site)

These look very interesting. They even look…..(gasp!!!)….business-like.

If you’ve been following my little weekly missives (and if you haven’t click your name on the right of this blog and sign up – they are free, and if you don’t like it, it’s easy to unsubscribe), you’re ahead of the curve, and these outfits are all about the new silhouette which is clean, neat, fitted – not ill-fitting (which is either too large or too small) and focused on the waist, not the hip.  These are all terribly lady-like looking and if you were conducting business with a person like this, you would instantly think not only do they look responsible, but they look like they know what they are doing.  Like it or not, and some don’t and like to rail against it, but the reality is that looks, grooming, dress and your attention to your garments and how you look do matter.

What this company does is sell you a package of clothes for the lifestyle you have.  It’s a noble concept as so many have totally lost how to dress with a whole generation being raised on a fashion trend that was anything but flattering.  Suddenly these people are asked to look flattering and they are totally lost.  No jeans, no torn clothes, no too-tight or too-loose clothes, and for those who were so woefully fashion-less during this last phase and have remained in a fog on fashion, are actually ahead of the game now, as they are the ones who didn’t succumb to the unflattering look of the last 2 decades!

Of course, the huge elephant in the room that isn’t really addressed is size and fitting.  I know a lot of professional women, and most of them run on very tight schedules, that involves a lot of time to their job and their families, and frankly not much time for themselves, which means that a lot of them do not have svelte figures like the women above.  Some do, but most of them do not.  And the real truth is that the normal shape for centuries were an infinite number of different shape types, till we started having this fascination with a post-apocalyptic/starving-refugee look.  That’s really about 2% of the population and not normal.

So how do we fit these infinite figure types?  Therein lies the big question for clothing manufactured for the consumer.

I came to sewing for the fashion that I could create with my own mind and hands.  I discovered later that it’s all about the fitting.  As my shape has changed through early marriage, middle-age, quitting smoking (yes, I was one of those), and now living in my one-level home, my body has changed too.  But folks still say: “Oh Claire, you don’t have a weight problem.  You can eat anything and stay thin!”  No, that’s not really true.  I’ve put on pounds since my 20’s and haven’t taken them off.  What I can do and what I’m good at doing is designing looks that fit, flatter and are fashionable – so it doesn’t look like I’ve gained weight, but I have!  Unfortunately, this sort of fitting of shape, size, and style is very hard for the retail clothing industry to do.

But I do like where this company is going with their looks – it’s much more flattering – at last!




  1. ” This is my problem with art-to-wear – it may be pretty and fancy and a little on the junky side, but with no fit or shape, it’s simply another gunny sack.”

    I belong to a wearable art guild. We do not cut up quilts for jackets or glue rhinestones on sweat shirts. Our work is not junky, ever, and sometimes it’s even fitted! We make beautiful garments and accessories with fabulous fabrics and advanced sewing techniques. I hope you’ll reconsider or make a greater effort to explore the world of art-to-wear.

    • Thanks for your comment and I appreciate you responding. It’s not the techniques, it’s the fitting that drives me crazy. I have built a reputation for designing and sewing for people who either can’t or wouldn’t fit into RTW and they come to me. I shape garments to flatter their good points and de-accentuate their bad parts. It can be done, and most of all these individual and different shapes can be fit. RTW seems to have given up on it, and art-to-wear uses the techniques of fiber manipulation and artistic application of fabric to disguise the art-to-wear-er. I hate to see that much time and talent going toward a project that disguises or hides rather than fits.

  2. Yes, art-to-wear uses fabric manipulation, dyeing, painting, embellishments, etc. but not with the purpose of disguising the wearer. I’ve never heard such a thing! The purpose is to create something artistic which certainly does not preclude the practice of fitting and flattering the wearer.

  3. I’m so glad to hear that you don’t use this as a way to disguise your figure. That speaks volumes. The purpose may not be initially to disguise the figure, however after all the work in the fabric manipulation, or surface decoration, the sewist can often get so tired of the project that the fitting suffers or there is no fitting at all. It seems insurmountable to fit after that much work on the fabric!

    • Actually, I do the fitting first. It makes it easier to make design decisions.

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