The Fabric Anthropology Fashion Week FLASH Round is coming to a close Sunday, October 21, and I know you've all seen the gorgeous and amazing makes from our exclusive, insanely talented collaborative team. This project has been in the works for months and these incredible women have given it their all, and I'm here to help share some of their stories from this round.
My Name is Michelle and I’ve always been an artist by nature. I love all type of art but photography has been a huge part of my life since I was in junior high. I loved planning over the top unique photoshoots back when film was still a thing. When I had my first son that type of photography and art took a bit of a back seat. I needed something to feed my creative side while I was home with him. I really wanted to try to cloth diaper so I started sewing my own. Everything kind of exploded from there and I’ve really found an equal love in sewing. Being a work at home mom of two, it’s very easy to lose myself, so sewing has become an important creative outlet that helps me feel like myself. It’s my opportunity to create and be something more than just a mom.
When Fabric Anthropology picked me to be part of this project I was absolutely over the moon. It was literally everything I love wrapped up into one. I had the grandest plans and was ready to take on the world and feed a side of myself that I don’t get to often. Well- I got pregnant with our third child early on in the project and something just kind of flipped for me. I’m already an anxious person who tends to doubt myself and if I’m good enough, but this pregnancy just amplified that. I started to question all my ideas, my abilities, if I belonged or could even hold a candle to all these amazing women participating. Add in being extra tired, some physical health issues, and taking care of two crazy boys, I kept pushing the project to the back burner. All the while, my belly was growing causing me that much more anxiety that my original plan wouldn’t work because of my changing body. As the clock started winding down I finally made the decision just to go with my original idea, get it done, and if it was horrible at least I tried and it would be done. After week or so of stressful sewing, tears, doubt, makeup tests, photoshoot falling through, stress, and more sewing and I was finally heading to the photo shoot.
I was with an old photography friend from high school I used to shoot with long ago so it was a tad awkward at first. The location I choose had a small hike to the location which ended up being good (except for my hair) because something happened on that hike. I suddenly felt that part of me come alive again. The part that thrives off creativity. Being in nature, no kids around, solely focused on these two loves of mine (sewing and photography) coming together and I just felt more Michelle than I had in a very long time. I wasn’t just a mom, a 20 week in pain pregnant lady, a wife.. I was me. The artist. The photographer. The sewist. Most of all, I was proud of myself. I pushed through all my doubts to make this happen. To bring my vision to life. While not everything was perfect and I continued, scratch that, continue to have what ifs. I really love what I was able to bring to life and I hope you do too. While I love being a mom, this project really reminded me that I have to feed that part of me more often.
I’m so incredibly grateful for this opportunity. It’s been amazing watching this collection come together. Watching these amazing women reach within themselves, past insecurities to create these amazing unique pieces that still managed to come together as one cohesive collection. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do and it inspires some of you to dig into those projects that have you doubting yourselves and to push past them.
*Michelle has also written up her own amazing blog on this sew, which you can read all about here!
Lindsay Heath Holder
Sewing has been part of my personal therapy program for years. Creating with my hands and heart is invaluable as I work through each phase of my life and define goals for who I want to grow into. When I received the fabric for this collection I fell in love with the juxtaposition of the birds in flight on one print, and the field of thorns on the other. I immediately thought of 2 themes, both very appropriate to what I had going on in my personal life as I planned and sewed my looks: “Fight or Flight” and “Catch Flights Not Feelings”. I couldn’t choose one or the other – both reflect situations I’ve been in and differing responses I’ve had to relationships over the years; neither fully reflect who I want to be going forward. I wasn’t expecting this collaboration to be as meaningful for me as it was, but I pushed myself creatively and technically while I was burning out personally. And now that the work is complete, the photos are done, and the scraps are set aside, I’m happy with the healing that this process helped me work through, and I can look forward to the next batch of challenges.
When Melody asked me to be apart of this project I was super excited and super nervous lol!!! Nervous because I have only been sewing for 2 years so I really felt like a baby compared to all the other more experinced sewist. Took me such a long time to figure out what I wanted to sew myself. At the start of this project, I was not pregnant so my fabric amounts were based on an outfit that my now 6 month belly would not of been able to fit into. I had to do a total 180, and opted for a maternity gown look based on a few inspo photos I found on Pinterest and yayy I absolutely LOVED how my dress turned out!! The flounce sleeves were my favorite!! This challenge allowed me to sew a garment that flaunted my bump, allowed me to put my pattern hacking and self drafting skills to the absolute test, and I learned that even when your first plan is perfect- change is good
.. Thank you Fabric Anthroplogy for having me
I’m still on cloud nine about being asked to be part of this project with such a talented array of women. I always aspire to do more and more complicated work and end up disappointed in the end when it still comes out “simple.” I was hoping to create something that was intricate and had a great WOW factor. Through this project and the time I took to decide on what to make, how to photograph and present it, I have come to terms with the fact that simple, clean, and classic is just my style and fits my overall brand. It’s something I do well and I couldn’t be prouder of what I produced. I did push my limits by making a woven blazer, causing myself to use fabric and techniques I don’t typically use, and in the end it turned out beautiful and is one of my favorite pieces. I look forward to more of these challenges to push myself further creatively.
Sara McKee blogged about her journey and you can read about it here <3
This challenge meant me being allowed to showcase who the real me is without fear of being mocked. It's about finding the beauty in darkness and sharing it with others who have an appreciation for it and creativity as a whole but mostly it's about being able to create and share without judgement and negativity.
I was so excited when Melody announced this project and put me on this team. This type of thing feeds my soul.I love mixing photography, making unique clothing and creating a story with a photo. My stories with this series were a strong, fierce woman, taking on the world, as we all do, and then a forest witch in search of magic. I think we all need a little magic sometimes!My creative projects are my way of staying sane and keeping balance in my soul. I can always tell when I haven’t gotten time to create something…I get really, really crabby. My creations take me in many different directions, but I always come back to my sewing!
*Stacy also posted an amazing blog post here: http://www.stylinstacy.com
I blogged about getting the photos, not so much about creating the outfit, Part I and Part II.
When I found out about the fashion week prints, I was so excited and knew I wanted to be a part of the select seamstress group! I had been in a sewing rut for a few months and I knew this project would help bring out that creativity and excitement that I had been missing. As well as help me get back into the tailoring part of sewing that I loved when I was sewing my own prom dresses in high school. As soon as I saw the prints, I had this vision in my mind of a total bohemian dress with a photoshoot in the woods. I immediately set off to start a vision board, thanks to trusty Pinterest.
Once I had my vision board complete I went in search of a pattern I could use as a starting point to modify in order to get the look I was trying to achieve. I ended up with a pattern that was close from Burdastyle. Unfortunately, that turned out to be my biggest issue. First off, their pattern instructions are so redundant and confusing (there are no photos) that even an experienced seamstress would have issues. I've been sewing since I was 8/9 and started out using paper patterns and woven fabrics and I've never been so confused as I was when reading through those instructions. Nevertheless, I persisted with sewing a muslin. With my first muslin, the fit was so off that I could have fit two of me in the dress. So, I sized down and tried again. The second one was a closer fit but I realized the drafting around the armsyce was not right. I tried again with muslin three to fix it myself and got close but was so frustrated that I had to put the project away for a bit.
Thankfully, a few days later, I saw an advertisement for the new Magnolia Dress from Deer & Doe Patterns. While it wasn't a true wrap dress like I had planned, I knew that I could modify it to be what I was hoping for. Plus it was drafted for a C-cup so there was no full bust adjustment needed!! Yay!! The first muslin of the bust I made was perfect! So I carefully planned out my pieces, the modifications on by list, and set to work sewing up my final dress. It came together beautifully and I couldn't wait to get out and photograph it!
Earlier in the fall, I had found the perfect backdrop for my photoshoot. It was two hours from my house but in a burned area of the forest, where the trees were charred black with very little undergrowth. Unfortunately, the weekend before I was planning on my shoot it got 18in of snow in one night! So plan B was a small grove of aspen trees near our house. I felt a little silly taking photos with a bunch of people driving by and even a few pulled over to ask what I was doing, but the snow in the aspens turned out to be a blessing and the perfect backdrop for the shoot. I'm so happy with the outcome and cannot wait to get some of them printed to hang up in my future sewing room.
Even though this project pushed me to the brink of sanity, thanks to all the fit issues, I'm so glad I pushed myself to sew with woven fabrics again. It proved to me that ”I got this” and that I am more than capable of accomplishing more tailored gatments in the future. As T. Roosevelt said, ”Believe in yourself and you're halfway there.” Finally, thank you, thank you, thank you, to Melody and the entire FA team for allowing me to be a part of this amazing journey with all of you! It was such a fun ride and I can't wait to see what the future brings!
*Alexis is also posting her own blog here: www.craftingagainstthegrain.com
These are just a handful of the amazing and talented sewists who joined us this round and we're SO grateful that they took the time to tell us their stories. We're so, incredibly proud of their work and grateful for the time they put into this project. Every photo is absolutely stunning!
Don't forget that the Fashion Week FLASH round closes tomorrow, October 21 at Noon CST!