I really do feel happy when I wear this. I bought the T-shirt at the Salvation Army because I loved the stripes, but it was way too big for me. And I figure that if I am going to bother remaking something to fit my body I should personalize it a bit so I don't feel like one of thousands of Target clones. As usual, I used the Lydia pattern at Burda for the armscye and sleeve top and just narrowed the sides. I cut the flowers out of Kaffe Fasset quilting fabric and stitched it on with a small straight stitch.
There was an internet conversation going on a few weeks ago about homemade versus handmade clothing that I am still mentally processing. (My analog brain is so not up to digital speed.) Anyway, I have been thinking about how hand knitting has really diverged from fashion knitting in the last couple years-- to the point where much of what I see on Ravelry and blogs is far more compelling and better made than what I see in stores. I think this is because hand knitters started designing in a way that is much different than machine knitting--mostly by abandoning the practice of making and then assembling flat pieces with shaping only along the edges. Instead, a lot of the most successful designs have shaping and design integrated throughout the garment in a way that mass produced garment can never have--and because of that they also fit much better than factory made sweaters. Although they can fit in with today's fashions, I also think their look is a bit more timeless.
Anyway, I wonder if home sewing might experience a similar transformation. I am at the point where I want things I make to look like me, but I still mostly use commercial patterns. Most of the personalization I do involves surface embellishments like this T-shirt applique to alter them. Lately, I'm feeling this is a bit superficial--I'm interested in the idea of building the personality right into the structure of the garment.
After a head's up from some other sewing blogs, I have been following Natalie Purschwitz's documentation of making all her own clothing for a year. What I really enjoy, is that she designs her clothes to convey her personal design aesthetic.
I am also inspired by a local architect/designer here in Minneapolis who has a small clothing line called Uniform Studio. The clothes are more about form than fashion, and the non-solid fabrics have the designs dyed right into the fabric.
Both these designers seem much more interested in making stuff that fits with their style, even though it might be a bit outside the current fashion world. And interestingly, that is also what seems to inspire a lot of the sewists who are using vintage patterns to make their clothes-- a certain line and form that might not be the fashion right now.
So I'm wondering, what inspires you about "handmade"? Is it the simple fact and beauty of being made by hand? The details ? The uniqueness of the fabrics/colors etc? Or are you drawn to design lines that you just don't see anywhere for sale?
P.S. The postage stamp quilt in the first photo came from my grandmother's house--talk about the beauty of hand made!