Welcome to Sew Altered Style!
Ahhh – welcome 2018! Each new year seems to bring with it endless opportunities for growth and fresh beginnings. As 2017 came to a close, we found ourselves reflecting on what we were doing individually as sewing hobbyists (sewists, seamstresses, or whatever title you’d prefer to bestow – here we will likely use them all) and thinking through how we would want that to remain the same or change in the new year. We knew that we are both PASSIONATE about the creative space that sewing affords us, but with crazy full-time day jobs, it is difficult to really contribute in a meaningful way. Sew Altered Style is our chance to do just that — to go beyond the individual posts on a garment sewn here or there or pattern/fabric review (which we will continue to do at Katie’s blog, The Creative Counselor, and at mine, Harper + Lu), into the territory of building a database of knowledge and experience that we can all learn from and contribute towards!
Going beyond the individual and into the collective
From our first conversation (learn more about how Katie and I went from a passing virtual friendship to getting to meet in person and build a community here), we knew that we wanted to do SOMETHING together — but what? And how could our own experiences translate into a resource for other seamstresses? We began talking about New Year’s resolutions and jeans were the first thing that came to mind! But how in the WORLD do you navigate all the disparate resources and supports already at your fingertips? How can you learn about what fit adjustments will work best for your own body and bring others along as you do so? And how do you build this resource with intention – so that when someone who hasn’t been a long-time follower, can come to your site and understand the fit adjustments you’ve made and potentially translate that into their own?
Let’s clear the air on credentials…
I will be the first to admit – I am NOT the EXPERT on fitting all bodies and shapes. I would even take the leap to say that Katie isn’t either! Nor any of our other contributors (though this may change in the future – so never say never). NO ONE will know your body (or be as invested in getting the right fit) as well as you will. We want to be there to provide information, be a source of feedback/cheering squad and to continue to grow and learn in this journey alongside you! That’s why we have built this as a collaborative blogging venture – so that we can have contributors from a wide variety of heights, shapes, and needs, share their experiences in a structure that will (hopefully) be easy to follow along. If you would like to collaborate and join in on the fun – please don’t hesitate to reach out to Katie and me to let us know about your ideas and interest! You can also join us in our facebook group: Sew Altered Style Society.
What can you expect in 2018?
We have structured the year to complete 6 big (but hopefully not overwhelming) project garments – which will help us to round out our wardrobes (see our full calendar here). These garments were intentionally selected as largely woven-heavy projects, because woven fabrics tend to be tougher to fit – but oh so satisfying to wear. We will start with casual pants (think jeans PLUS…) This will include skinny jeans (like the highly regarded Closet Case Ginger Jeans), pull on pants (like the Eleonores from Jalie – one of our January sponsors), wide legs (like the True Bias Landers or Baste + Gather Birkin Flares), and cargoes to name a few (that last is an obvious nod to one of our sponsors, Hey June, who will be releasing the Bryce Cargo Pants very soon – based on this instagram sneak peek here). After that, we will turn to dress pants, including chinos (like these Alina Sewing + Design Co Chi-Town Chinos) and trousers (like these Itch to Stitch North Point Trousers)
Preparing for Me Made May – EARLY!
Some of you may be familiar with Me Made May (So Zoe, the founder of Me Made May, has a post here talking about what it is AND what it is not), but in case you haven’t – the cliff notes are that it is a one-month sewing challenge dedicated to pledging to get more usage out of your handmade garments (refashioning, crocheting, knitting, and of course sewing – all included). You can participate as often as you want (decking yourself out in handmade garb daily), sharing in whatever form you deem best (on social media, in person, through your blog posts), and as challenging as you feel comfortable (some will use it to finish UFO garments, while others will make all new items for it). Super flexible and low-key challenge, and really a HIGHLIGHT in this sewing community. We plan to participate – and think this format for 2018 will help us to both prep for that challenge and for the RTW Fast 2018 hosted by Goodbye Valentino (yep, there are more challenges around then hours to sew – such is life)!
FOUR Months of Pants???
As we are gearing up for the challenge, we realized that clothing our bottom halves, would be PRETTY important for us (and possibly you too)! Given that so many seamstresses end up with heaps of tops and shirts and dresses, we thought we would dedicate our first four months to pants and fitting. Recognizing that many of us are EASILY distracted by the bright and shiny new releases and oldie but goodies inspired by new or stash fabric immensely creative, we wanted to provide enough time to actually complete the goal garment, AND have time to work on other projects (or life – since little people need feeding, and jobs/family/etc can be serious pulls). We hope that you will also find this structure helpful (and encouraging). For me, personally, the thought of removing wrinkles on the backs of my legs just makes me want to sew a two-pattern piece dolman and move on – this will help me to stay the course!
So, with that said – let’s get to it!
Katie will kick us off with a post on selecting casual pant patterns and fabrics later this week. We will use instagram (and tag us with the hashtag #sewalteredstyle) and our facebook group to share progress updates and engage as we go. We hope you will join us there (and here) as we go – thank you for stopping by! Leave us a note with anything you would love to see over the course of 2018 – we are pretty much building the plane while flying it, so hold on to your hats for a ride that may include a couple bumps (but hopefully not too much turbulence)!
Here’s to a fantastic 2018!