It may not look like much to you but this is my #teahousedress sewed in beautiful dark blue linen I bought at the The Fabric Store a few years ago with my sister. I fell in the love with the linen and at the time thought I’d make a roomy wrap dress.
Then I came across this pattern from @sewhouse7 which is inspired by the lines of a Japanese kimono. For a fairly novice sewer like me this required careful concentration. The pattern is so well written, it was actually a pleasure to follow. I took the advice of others and sized down for a more fitted look. I am so so happy with the result - it is truly comfortable and beautiful feeling dress that doesn’t over expose or hide away oneself. The deep pockets and waist tie and box pleat at the back are my favourite details. I now want to make another three!
I’ve felt for a long time that sewing my own clothes is a profound act of love to myself. Taking the time to make something for my specific shape and needs. To champion patterns by independent, female designers and purchase fabric from small businesses who follow sustainable practices and source their fibres ethically. To limit waste and save the leftover "scraps" for future making.
There's a tension that I feel between wanting to care a lot about clothes, and not care too much at all.
In a time where collectively as a culture we own more material posessions that ever before; when fashion fads seem to come and go at whim; when clothing is cheaper and flimsier than ever; when garments are made by people who are underpaid, undervalued and overworked; when we dispose of so many still "wearable" things into landfill or dump by the garbage bag to our local charity shops (for them to deal with) in our pursuit of "joy-filling" minimalism - I want to say enough! I want to spend more time making and mending garments I will savour wearing, and save up for fairly-made items I can't make myself but will last a very long time. Because the process, materials, intention and feeling do matter. The ethics and disposing of our things matter too.
Here’s to our clothes, and the stories we sew into them...
ABOUT the author
Emily Clare Sims is a farmer and mama to three young boys. Each day she looks for ways to notice beauty, contemplate her faith and savour the seasons...