Getting it Together

 

Sometimes a bag is not just a bag, wrote Daphne Merkin more than 10 years ago:

Bags also serve as the portable manifestation of a woman’s sense of self, a detailed and remarkably revealing map of her interior….

Meet my interior:

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Make that my *former* interior.  I sewed a purse insert using Lazy Girl Designs’ Suzi pattern, with vibrant fabrics chosen on a day when my latent Dries Van Noten longings overpowered my minimalist aspirations.

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FYI, that is not an actual microphone. It’s a flash drive. Also inside: pen, hand cream, pressed powder, glasses, comb, phone, lipstick and lipbalm, nail file.

The directions were super-clear with innovative construction techniques. I made the medium version; the larger version is 2.5″ longer but otherwise the same. At some point I might adapt the pattern to make a larger-larger version that would better fit my bag.

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Insert surrounded by big-ass wallet, notes, and sunglasses.

I carry a second-hand Longchamp Pliage that I bought on eBay.  The color goes with everything, the design is classic, and the brand says that I’m subtly continental. I can clean it with a damp sponge. It’s pretty much the only bag I use, so for me this insert will function as a navigational aid rather than a purse-rotation-y thingy.

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I’m hoping that the stiff interfacing (I used Decor Bond) will prevent it from flopping over and spilling stuff into the cavernous interior. Fingers crossed.

 

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Shirt No. 1

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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.

Plantain Tee

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This might be my new favorite tee shirt pattern. I love the fitted shoulders, the subtle-yet-forgiving shaping, and the deep scoop neck (which shows where my daughter’s rabbit bit me; long story).

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I’m not sure whether it was the fabric or the pattern, but the neckband achieved the perfect medium between saggy and tourniquet.  The print is lovely; even if it is a little Alfred Dunner from a distance, it’s more Boden up close (no shade, Alfred Dunner).

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Up next: Flamingos and #OAL2017….

 

Seiren

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Central New Mexico rarely has “heavy coat weather,” but October-April is definitely “scarf season.” Temperatures rise and fall 30 degrees within a single day; mornings and evenings are chilly and afternoons warm-ish. A wool cardigan is enough to keep my arms and torso warm while driving to work and running errands, but my neck is always cold.

Enter Hiroku Fukatsu’s Seiren, an easy-to-memorize lace pattern done in fingering on size 4 needles (I used size 3).  A variant on the classic feather and fan, it’s reversible with a luscious, liquid drape.

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Yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts red label in OOAK Laurel colorway.

I’ve typically shied away from fingering-weight projects because #windingandtangling, but now that I own a yarn winder I want to knit all the fingering-weight, drapey things, as soon as I get done making all the other things.

 

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What’s your favorite fingering-weight pattern or project?

 

 

Power Skirt

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It’s more than what it looks like–really. 

 

Or as Sandra Betzina calls it in Power Sewing Step-by-Step,  “Terrific Tube Skirt.” I’m wearing it with second-hand Kork Ease sandals, although the early 2000s block heels shown in the book made me nostalgic.

One yard of fabric; one seam with 1.5″ allowance.  (It hangs so beautifully!)  I used her ruching technique on the back hem. The fabric is Marcy Tilton’s black “Parisian Plus” knit, no longer available. It reminds me of a pair of Sympli pants that I wore to death.

And there it is. Sometimes you just need a quick fix.

 

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Ruched detail along back seam.
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Blurry “styling” photo with latest thrifting score: Eileen Fisher chambray shirt jacket, tags still on. Woot!