Monday, July 02, 2012


INTENT--see a good definition here

I have been sewing a lot of late--(the sky blue jumper is almost finished.. it just needs snaps and bias binding on the arm holes)

My DIL, Sonya, has been sewing too.

What been different about the two of us is our INTENT.
My intentions are practical. I wanted some new clothes—ones that fit better. My sewing is a practical matter. I have a stash of fabric (and some new fabric, too) (the oldest fabric in my stash—at least 30 years old (it was old when  it moved with me when I got divorced, and again when I moved back into the house, and then it moved here to my apartment)--and I have the skill (I have been sewing a long time—my mother wasn't a great teacher—but she was a fantastic seamstress—I learned a lot just watching her.) and I like the customized details of home made clothes. (This was something I learned early in life—I remember the year when Santa brought a new doll--(for my older sister and myself) and each doll came dressed in a matching dress to my own!)

Now days, the customized details are different—like the newest jumper... The pattern is a Simplicity one (I hate their web site and can't find a way to link to it—it's pattern number 9890—a jumper (as we in the Americas know jumpers, i.e., a open neck, sleeveless pull on dress) and jacket.

First time round, the only way I altered the pattern was to add pockets. I always want pockets, and always add if they are not included.

Second time round, in a sparkley black linen, I changed the top by added a small placket and a 2 button closure.

This time round, I make the front fully open—able. (It's still waiting for snaps and armhole facings—NYC (and a good part of North East) have had a heat wave—3 days in row of +90°(32 to 35° C and even higher!--Blood hot as my Nana used to say!--and for the most part, too hot to sew)

All three versions have the same inset side seam pockets—that almost goes with out saying!

They are, all three, casual clothes (the linen is a bit dressy looking) and all three are nicely finished—with the seams over-sewn with a zig-zag stitches. 
  (I remember the huge cardboard spools of seam binding my mother used to have—I haven't seen seam binding like that in ages! I don't much like over lock machines, I like the look of seams worked with seam allowance. But I haven't bound a seam with seam bind in well over 40 years—OK that's not quite true.. I just finished some seams with bias tape (zig zag stitched in place!) but I haven't  use silky rayon seam binding (on seams, or on hems) in ages!)

My skirts, too, have nicely finish insides—I have always love that my clothes look almost as good inside out as out side in... It's a point of vanity with me.

My DIL has nicely finished detail on her clothes, (as a sewer, I notice the lovely details in the binding!) and some pockets on dresses she has made are pieced to get the pattern just right... Her dresses are skillful made, with nice detailing. But more than the details, her INTENT is totally different.

Her intent isn't practical—It's all very specific—It's an project exploring fiber and construction;, clothes and society; made things vs manufactured.   There are layers and layers of meaning to her actions.(See links below to her own expressions of her intent.) 

Her sewing is a work of ART-- the practical clothes that result, a mere side effect.

Looking at the mere detail of our dresses.. there are many similarities. But our INTENTS are so different. My sewing is pure practicality—practiced with skill and attention to details.

Her sewing has a practical outcome (new clothes) but it's all about the medium, the process and place.

It's like children engaged in “parallel play”--at first-- it looks like we are doing the same thing (Sewing clothes) but look closer, and there is hardly any similarity at all.

Still, I am happy for the small overlap of activity—I am happy being a crafty person who sometimes engages in a work of art (but more often than not, is just engaged in craft). And I am happy that Sonya find art in a very similar activity.

Wax and Wool (her blog)

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