Reason #1 - My children are old enough for me to join my spouse on an occasional business trip. Like tonight, for example. Can you say "hotel spa bathtub" and "room service?"
WE ARE GOING TO FRANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This last reason is a pretty big deal to me, as I am completely enchanted by the Handmade Wardrobe movement (well, maybe it isn't a movement yet, but it is popping up quite a bit on podcasts and in the blogosphere). I totally blame my knitting friend, Emily, from Fibre Town. Really---it's all her fault (lol). It's all good.
I'm enchanted with hand making clothing for a few reasons. First, it's sentimental. My mother and HER mother were both professional tailors and sewing teachers. I remember our house full of fabric almost all the time. Did I appreciate it then? Absolutely not. While I wanted (and did) learn to knit and embroider, sewing clothes was seen (by stupid me) as tragic and unfashionable. I didn't know anyone who wore home sewn clothes. Fortunately, I have since pulled my head out of my ass in this regard, and deeply appreciate the skill these women posses. Luckily, they both still like me enough--despite my former unappreciative nature of sewing-- to teach me their thready ways.
Second, handmaking one's clothes offers lots of freedom. I will not claim that it's less expensive than off the rack (because I don't think it is anymore), but I like the fact that I can choose lines and silhouettes that flatter the different parts of my body and put them together. I like that I can pick the fabrics, prints and colors I like best. Clothes shopping is often joked about as a demoralizing experience, but if you are outside the average fashion standard, it's hell. Not only is it difficult to find sizes, but the clothing is frequently proportioned incorrectly, shows little to no thought about the direction or size of patterns (e.g. - vertical stripes as opposed to horizontal stripes), and is often shapeless or misshapen.There are exceptions, of course, but not many. A shopping trip has the potential to be not only challenging from the "I need to find something to wear that I like" standpoint, but a direct and pointed attack on one's existence. Fashion hates tall people, wide people, petite people, and people with any shape. I'm so tired of it.
Sewing and knitting things just the way I want them makes me feel powerful----like I can change the situation from frustrating to fabulous. This is the final reason I am so enchanted with the idea of making a handmade wardrobe. Unfortunately, there are limits to what's available in the most widely available pattern resources. Just browse the plus size patterns online on McCalls, Vogue, Simplicity, etc. Not much choice. Knitting patterns have done a much better job increasing the variety of sizing available in patterns. I think this is great. I had a friend (who is a designer) tell me once that she didn't understand why people get upset about limited size ranges; maybe people should just get over it and accept that you probably shouldn't wear that garment anyway. "Some designs are not for certain people" she said. While I agree that not every style is flattering for everyone, I vehemently disagree with her attitude. Let people decide for themselves. If a design is to be mass marketed, please be as inclusive as possible. I know it takes extra work, but I know MANY people (including myself) who would be happy to pay for it.
Anyway - enough ranting except to say, this is why finding Lekala Patterns is so exciting. Armed with that and a few really good books on sewing, I feel ready to start turning my wardrobe into a true reflection of me, and that is a really good reason to say SQUEEEEE!!!!!!