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