Top 5 Inspirations for 2014

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

I’m cheating a bit here with my Inspirations post… instead of posting about what inspired me over the last year, I’m going to write about what is inspiring my plans for 2014! 

(BTW, I’m thinking of changing the topic from Inspirations to something else next year… but more on that in another post!) 

Here’s what is getting me excited about sewing right now: 

1. Canadian Indie Designers

I spent some time poking around indie fashion stores in Ottawa this week, and was so inspired by what people my age, in my country, are making with materials that I have access to! What stuck out at me was the use on ponte to create fitted but comfortable dresses (I haven’t loved ponte in the past, but I’m going to try it again!). There were also a lot of basic silhouettes made special with curved colour-block seaming. I can’t wait to give it a try! 

Here are some examples I’ve pinned for inspiration! Click on the link to see my pin and follow it back to the designers’ website. I’m interested in coping the concepts, but I’d never outright copy the designer’s work! 

2. Wardrobe Twins

Do you have any wardrobe twins? Bloggers who make just exactly what you’d like to wear yourself, or choose all the same colours and fabrics as you? I’ve got several!

First up is Alessa from Farbenfreude, who has the most amazing wardrobe of turquoise, red, and emerald green knit dresses. I want everything she makes – and in fact, we’ve planned to make outfits inspired by each other! The only thing holding me back is that currently everything I plan looks like what Alessa would make – how can I choose just one outfit? 

Next is Alison from Another Little Crafty Creation – we’ve got the same colour palette and we are both teachers, and I love seeing what she makes! Another inspiring teacher is Sally from the Quirky Peach, who makes modern comfy clothes that still look fun. (Though when I copy her looks, I have to remember she is 10” taller than me!) Locally, there is Sara from Hamilton Chicklets, who has a similar figure to me and likes similar colours and styles. We’re already sharing patterns back and forth! 

Finally, my last wardrobe twin is Jen from Huff Makes Stuff. Have you seen her monthly planned outfits? They are quirky, colourful, practical and fashionable. We don’t necessarily make the same kind of garments, but I’d love for my wardrobe to encapsulate my spirit as well has hers does her own!

3. People stepping outside their box

Reading through the Top 5 lists, I’m so inspired by bloggers who are trying new things and experimenting. There’s Heather at Handmade by Heather B, who constantly tries new and challenging patterns… Clare from Sew Dixie Lou who is a total chameleon project to project, from 60’s to modern, but always looks fabulous… Morgan from Crab and Bee who took a break from sewing clothes to make the most amazing quilt… plus all of the newbie bloggers who joined in the Top 5 lists who are in that exciting phase of airing their sewing out in public for the first time!

I can be a bit unadventurous as a sewist, but these people are inspiring me to be adventurous!

4. People who are taking pride in defining their sweet spot

On the other hand, I’m equally inspired by people who are learning what they like to sew and wear, and are defining that look for themselves. Leila from Three Dresses tried prints, but she’s going back to solids… Rochelle from Lucky Lucille is determined to sew what she wants to wear, not what she loves looking at on a hanger… Roisin from Dolly Clackett who knows exactly what she likes and isn’t afraid to make a LOT of it! This is all good stuff, people. I think sometimes as bloggers we push ourselves to always chase the newest pattern, the latest trend, the unknown technique… but if, like me, you sew for a wearable wardrobe, then there is a lot to be said for learning what you like and making it!

5. Enablers of the best kind

I think I’d better explain this one with an example… In the time it took me to draft this post, the crazy Sewcialists on Twitter and I have come up with a brand new sewalong for the Spring: Sheildmaiden March! Ya know, Viking fashion, Tolkein costuming… plans for sewing deer hide and 14thc tunics… Another morning on Twitter! It started when proud Viking Lady K suggested Katie try a VIking hairdo, and suddenly, BLAM! A sewalong was born! 

This is the stuff I love about twitter. It’s like a big Improv game, where no one ever says no or negates your imaginings! Anything is possible when you talk to the Sewcialists. Want to learn a new skill? 5 people offer to help. Scared of a new pattern? The designer is tweeting you help. Thinking of buying that fabric? Everyone chimes in to tell you why you need it! Think your new dress is looking wrong? Someone will tactfully tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it. 

Sewcialists, I love you for always saying “Yes, and…” and never “No!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Wow! I can’t believe I almost didn’t write this inspiration post, when i clearly had a lot to say! I’ll be back soon with my goals for the new year… and in the mean time, tell me: Do you have any Wardrobe Twins in the blogosphere? Who uses exactly the colours, patterns, and silhouettes you dream of?


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