I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
Happy Fourth of July, readers! It's a long weekend here, so I'm just catching up on things in blogland.
One of the most surprising things about quitting my full-time job is how it's kept me away from the internet. When you have a desk job, you're constantly connected. You know, you check your e-mail between meetings, write a blog post on your lunch break, refresh Google Reader constantly. But now that I'm a free agent, I don't spend nearly as much time on the computer. I can't even remember the last time I checked my RSS feed--the horror! So forgive me if I've been spotty on keeping up with your blogs (and mine for that matter).
The days have been filled with teaching, writing, editing, and sewing. And like a lot of freelancers say, I've never worked this much in my life. I never thought I would love working 12-14 hour days, but I do.
I've recently picked up a few students for private lessons, and I love teaching that way. I've also been working some late nights out of the studio with a couple fellow teachers, and it's amazingly fun. This is the first time I've had sewing buddies--you know, people who will mark your hem while discussing the merits of various types of interfacing. It's delightful.
I also went to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Met on Friday and it was stunning: beautiful, haunting, and impressive. When I went to see it, I was in the middle of trying to draft a shirt dress pattern for my book and it was giving me the hardest time. Looking at the work of McQueen was pretty humbling; it's amazing what he achieved in his short life.
One of my favorite pieces was this corset, from his Dante collection (1996-1997):
McQueen was inspired by death and mourning in this collection, and he chose lilac for the corset because it's a color required by one of the stages of mourning in Victorian England.
The exhibit was beautifully presented, with tons of garments, accessories, and multi-media elements.
I've been doing a ton of sewing, but unfortunately it isn't anything I can share here yet. The shirt dress I mentioned earlier came out wonderfully after a bit of frustration. It's one of my favorite patterns I've made so far: comfy, form-fitting, chic, and practical all at the same time. The pattern just needs a few more tweaks (moving notches and other exciting things like that) and then it will be ready to send to the grader. Hurrah!