After ogling her Instagram account for the past 18 months, I finally ordered and made up Sonya Philip’s Shirt No. 1 pattern.
Her views on the politics of clothing and the agency of sewing really resonate with me:
Clothing is an elemental part of day-to-day life, offering both protection and adornment. It is also bound up with ideas of culture and the body. Alternately encouraged by and excoriated by the media, women in the US forge a deep discontent with their bodies that leads many on a constant search for clothes that alter appearance. In response to an ever-varying trend to either conceal or reveal, women go through a series of manipulations of their bodies through clothing under the rubric of “fashion.” Sewing is a way to return to a more primary mode of expression, which a person can choose to follow or create their own style.
The pattern’s simple lines, together with the fabric’s whimsical print made this a joyful yet mindful project. The resulting garment is not about being sex-ay or even “feminine”; it is about expressing myself by wearing flamingos, as one does.
If you’ve never visited Sonya’s website or IG account (@sonyaphilip), run don’t walk (or the digital equivalent). She wears color brilliantly and prints fearlessly, and spreads the love generously.
Sonya, thank you for being. If you’re ever in Albuquerque, I’d love to get hopped up on Vietnamese coffee and pastries and go fabric shopping.