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Reality is setting in

2012 June 20
by elizabeth_admin

I’m at home today because I had a meeting with the movers and I am showing the (messy) apartment to potential sublettors.  Oh, anyone need a two bedroom/two bath apartment in Manhattan????  Ostensibly I am culling/packing as well, but I thought I would try to sew something as I will have to start packing up my sewing room in a very short while.  I thought I might try to do the fba/sz 10 version of Butterick 5454 in one of my border prints.  And that’s when it happened.

The reality of my move and new life struck me like a lightning bolt.  A friend of mine on Facebook commented on my announcement that I was moving to San Diego that I would need an entirely different wardrobe for that city.  I completely discounted that.  I thought, why should I change the way I dress because of a different locale.  Sure I won’t be wearing my suits any longer, but the other stuff is ok.  But when I was contemplating my new wrap dress this morning, I realized that where would I wear this wrap dress?  Why would I need it?  It’s more business-y and not practical for the lifestyle I’m going to be living in the near future (less than three weeks!!!! ACK!!!).

Most of the garments I’ve made over the last 5 years has been for my work wardrobe at a conservative Wall St firm.  I am leaving the corporate world behind.  Hopefully for good.  I won’t need those suits and those sheath dresses.  At. All.

I need to start thinking about what I do need, like:

  • Casual tops
  • shorts
  • pants
  • skirts
  • summer dresses
  • bathing suits

I think I’m going to like this new life.  Why yes I will.

What are your sewing goals this summer?  For what kind of lifestyle are you sewing?

Happy sewing everyone!

28 Responses leave one →
  1. June 20, 2012

    I’m still figuring this one out. I went from corporate trainer, to an office based role where everyone wore jeans and I was the only one who ironed everything, to stay at home mum. As my children approach school age its dawning on me that I don’t need to be quite so childproof in my clothing anymore. I feel a whole new, exciting, age of sewing dawning, don’t you?

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      June 20, 2012

      Evie, I agree. I am very excited about this change especially in light of my new sewing goals. How awesome is it that I don’t have to have two wardrobes now? 🙂

  2. June 20, 2012

    I am headed in the opposite direction – I have been living in jeans and t-shirts (the student uniform) and now need to start thinking about looking “professional” in the hopes of eventually getting a job (still a student, but not too much longer). Of course, the jobs I am thinking about *probably* won’t require suits, but I should definitely make more of an effort than the jeans and sweatshirt look.

    And, I think a lot of your dresses would still be appropriate in SD. Suits would be overkill (does anyone in SD wear a suit? Not that I have seen…), but so many of your dresses are so pretty and colorful and happy that it would be a shame if you got rid of all of them. Maybe you won’t need sheath dresses on a daily basis, but I think they could still see occasional use in California.

  3. June 20, 2012

    Funny! I just moved from Minneapolis to Dallas – my husband’s job was relocated, but I ‘took’ my job with me, moving from an office-office to home-office.

    JUST THIS MORNING I was thinking that I need to make about 5 more 5454’s! I have 3 already and they are in heavy rotation in my new life. They’re super comfy, passable if I run out for errands (good ‘lawd the ladies in Texas dress nice for grocery shopping) and when my coworkers surprise skype me I don’t look like a slob. But they feel like ‘jammies!

    Of course, I rarely, rarely, rarely wear pants or shorts – always shirts or dresses, but I can’t believe how much I love the simple wrap dress for casual! I actually made one from material from hancock (eww, I know) in the SWIM WEAR section – c’mon, lime green gingham, who can pass that up? It’s super comfy, although wrinkles more than I expected!

    AND re. the FBA – I ALWAYS do an FBA, but just made this dress in a smaller size than I normally would so the top is more fitted – as long as I pay attention when I’m tying (and wear the right bra) it’s not revealing. I mean, it IS revealing, more than a T-shirt, but not in a ‘man, she needs herself a cami up in there’ sort of way. And those box pleats – good gravy. I made my first version straight from the pattern and it was fine. Then on the second I lengthened the bodice about an inch. The pleats were beyond awful. I, too, just shortened them to fix, and then on my 3rd dress I think I gathered instead of doing the box pleats. Tricky little buggers.

    And I didn’t read the response to your comments, but my experience is that surplice necklines really need a true slash and spread, otherwise you might get some goofy drooping going on. I usually have done the slash and spread and still had to mess with it a bit to get the neckline to lie straight, but I have unusually narrow shoulders compared to the the rest of my (sexy, I know) and this causes endless neckline drooping issues, so it might just be me!

  4. June 20, 2012

    Ha, ha, ha! You mean you engineered this whole life change to give you some new types of clothes to sew? You did, didn’t you? Just kidding. Hey, if a radical life overhaul gives you an excuse to buy more patterns and fabric … who are you to argue? It’s just the logical thing to do!

  5. June 20, 2012

    The look that I’m trying to achieve with my sewing changes periodically. For about a year, until recently, I called the look I was trying to achieve “Edgy Librarian”. Currently, I’m going for “Ageing Rocker Chic”. Kind of like, instead of living my boring life, I am actually in a movie starring me. My first Ageing Rocker Chic garment was my embellished jacket.

    Coming up with an overarching theme, then thinking of individual garments, makes everything go together better.

    The only problem with this approach is that, when I feel the need to make something that does not fit with the theme, it never comes out well. Like when I tried to make jeans during the Edgy Librarian phase, I hated them. I’ll try jeans again as Ageing Rocker Chic.

    Good luck with your new look!

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      June 20, 2012

      Claudine, that idea is sheer genius. I love it!!!!! I will have to think what my theme will be. All I know right now though is that I definitely want to incorporate purple hair. 😉

      • June 20, 2012

        Thanks! You are, perhaps, the only person I know who would not think this idea is sheer lunacy.

        • June 20, 2012

          hahaa! I love it!!

          People say dress for the the job you want, but you say.. dress for the life you want!

        • Brenda permalink
          June 20, 2012

          Claudine!
          That articulation is sheer brilliance! It makes complete sense!

          …off to think through my current theme!

          Brenda

    • June 20, 2012

      I TOTALLY sew for the movie of my life starring me vs any kind of practical needs.

      My dream life lifestyle would call for lots of silk pj’s. What fun you are going to have sewing clothes that suit your new life!

    • June 20, 2012

      Any you know I’m down with the purple hair!

    • June 22, 2012

      I also love this idea of having a life theme.
      Hmmmm.

      And I am just arriving in New York. I thought I would feel intimidated but I feel really free.
      As in, you can wear whatever you want in NY and it is just dandy.

      I need a theme!

    • June 22, 2012

      I also love this idea of having a life theme.
      Hmmmm.

      And I am just arriving in New York. I thought I would feel intimidated but I feel really free.
      As in, you can wear whatever you want in NY and it is just dandy.

      I need a theme!

  6. BeckyMc permalink
    June 20, 2012

    In San Diego you won’t need your winter clothes! Lucky you!

  7. June 20, 2012

    Dress the sheath dress down with flip flops or sandals…make the wrap dress and wear it more casually…maybe you won’t need suits but I think you will find that you’ll like dresses and skirts in your new life. And I don’t think Claudine’s idea is lunancy, it actually makes a lot of sense to me too!

  8. annie permalink
    June 20, 2012

    I only met you the once, and very briefly, when you organized the Saturday trip to Berman. Nevertheless, it was nice to know that you were in NYC and that we might meet again someday. Sadly, I shan’t get to California, I fear. Hope you will continue to blog. Best luck!

  9. June 20, 2012

    Very interesting post and comments. I found that when I moved across the country the way people dressed changed a lot— even though I was working in a similar environment. I did get called out for dressing too Boston at a conference once by some of my old colleagues. I love the idea of a theme. Right now I’m trying to bring more creativity and fun to casual pieces. I was always bored by the idea of making jeans but maybe with some interesting topstitching and pockets… we’ll see.

  10. June 20, 2012

    Delurking to say- good luck with the move, and hope it all works out well.

    Working in a Wall St firm myself, I know how dull it is to be thinking of clothes in navy blue, black and grey. But, wrap dresses, skirts, trousers in fun colors and patterns are perfect non-work clothes. I think the way we dress also impacts our mood- for instance, when I’ve spent 2 days in a row in pajamas, I’m only able to bum around. Whereas even if I’m at home, but have a shower in the morning and dress in something pretty, it feels amazing the rest of the day- it feels like I’ve got so much more energy and enthusiasm to do stuff- maybe experiment with a new recipe or go out for a cycle ride, anything!

  11. June 20, 2012

    but but but those nice colorful clothes that you sew are totally great non-work clothes!

    I live in California for a couple of years … and those clothes would have perfectly suited that lifestyle!

  12. June 20, 2012

    I went through this a year ago, moving country. The reality hit me hard the day the mover showed up to quote us on the sea container that would transport our lives across the ocean. It goes fast after that 🙂 I never through about the climate differences but your friend is so right. It’s taken me a while to get back into proper Wellington winter mode, I need more merino in my stash for winter warms 🙂 Best of luck with your move xx

  13. June 20, 2012

    I live in California and I think a lot of your clothes would be perfect for church. I think most people in CA dress to casual for church but my husband and I always dress up! You will LOVE San Diego.

  14. June 21, 2012

    Hi! Your post hit me like a ton of bricks – my best friend goes to NYU Polytech in Bklyn and her and one of her out of state friends have been looking for an apartment either in BK or the city. It would be great if you could email me and I can relay you her info. They’re both very legit and hoping to move in by August.

    On a different note, I’ve been on a huge sewing hiatus, busy with school and work. But I’ve been meaning to make some skirts and tops – I’d love to make dresses but I really don’t wear one pieced items :p

  15. Elaray permalink
    June 21, 2012

    Ya know, I kinda have the same issue! It didn’t hit me until I read your post. I have seven or eight pieces of fabric that were supposed to be work clothes. Not corporate work clothes like yours, but definitely not what I’ll be needing as a semi-retired person. I’d be thoroughly confused if threw relocating into the mix! Now, we have to worry about what to wear! No wonder change is so stressful. 😉

  16. Burke permalink
    June 21, 2012

    My husband and I are moving from TN to St. Simons Island, GA in about 2.5 weeks and I have similarly had to reassess my sewing plans, as I most likely will NOT be in the same profession I’ve been in for the past 5 years (thank God!) but we also won’t need all of our cold-weather sweaters and coats. He has a lot of cashmere that will most likely sit in our closet. We did joke that we could just crank down the AC in December so it will at least feel like winter! Best of luck on your move! This sounds like it will be a great thing for you!

  17. June 21, 2012

    Fortunately I work in creative, so I never have to wear suits unless I’m interviewing for a job. So far I’ve been sewing with a lot of knits, but I hope to get back to sewing with wovens (and vintage patterns) again soon.

  18. June 21, 2012

    Re: moving. I once read an article in a magazine outlining what could cause depression. I was surprised that moving house could be a cause. Now, I know better. Having moved twice semi-voluntarily (family choice) and twice UNvoluntarily (Earthquake!), I can say that it is true.

    Now, re:wardrobe. I say get rid of the bulk of your winter clothes, the ones that you won’t every really need again. Keep one or two good suits and other warmer stuff, you never know when you might have to go testify in court in NYC. Just kidding…but you never know. Likewise, if you might have to go back in the Northeast for professional reasons, funerals etc. keep one or two things. It’s not like you are NEVER going to spend Christmas in NYC, right?

    I do have a personal request. PLEASE DON’T WEAR FLIP FLOPS AS SHOES!!! I have never understood this North American thing. Here, they are house shoes/going next door to borrow a cup of coffee/sugar/flour. They are constitutionally inelegant, IMO. You walk funny and you look stumpy. A better alternative, IMO, is a small heeled sandal in the flip flop style i.e. thong, strappy upper. End of mini-rant.

    I do feel, like Snug Bug, that you can keep the wrap dress, just change the material. Also, from my experience in Louisiana, visiting my aunt or even in Florida, AC in public buildings is INSANE!!! I thought I would get thermal shock once or twice, LOL!

    Good luck. And set up your sewing room asap. It will make you feel better, I’m sure.

  19. June 23, 2012

    How lovely to have a new track to go down with sewing – your new life wardrobe theme (gosh that Claudine is clever). I agree about the dresses you have made – its all in the styling. Didn’t you link to a styling post a while back? Well, I think have fun with it. Get your bling out and your scarves, shoes, hats, etc and mix n’ match in front of the mirror. Suits can be worn as separates, well you will be going out of an evening right?

    Oh. But. Then there’s the need to sew other stuff. Yipee. Fun.

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