Well, I guess if I really were a contestant on Project Runway, this top would be ready for the runway… Just use the glue gun on the hem (this never fails to enrage me when they do it on the show—I scream, “Put down the damn glue gun and sew your stupid hem!”) and call the unfinished arms an edgy/youthful design element and I’d be ready for Heidi, Nina and Michael…
I’m working on a quick project, one of Simplicity’s new Project Runway-inspired patterns, this one being number 3535—a lovely top/tunic/dress thingy that’s pretty much identical to a style I was eying at Nordy’s this fall. I was looking for some rich blue silk like the Nordstrom top, but haven’t been able to find just the right color. However, during my search, some raspberry colored silk/cotton from Robert Kaufman’s “Radiance” line made its way home with me. I haven’t ever used the cotton/silk blends before, but this stuff sure is yummy… It’s got all of the lovely drape of silk but some of the sturdiness of cotton.
Anyway, it’s progressing nicely and is a really quality, albeit simple, pattern. It’s well designed with some nice details.
What this project really got me thinking about, though, was an article I read recently on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s web site about Project Runway and the revival of sewing in recent years—especially among younger people (like me). What the P-I contends is,
…[Project Runway] has touched off a home-sewing renaissance among young, urban hipsters eager to add fabric draping and bobbin winding to their repertoire of craft skills.
I think that it’s fabulous that the show has inspired people to think about sewing, but I also think that the timing was right for P.R. to become popular. Many of the young people that I know really are fed up with everything in life being mass-produced and, well, boring. If this frustration hadn’t been building, would the Bravo series have been such a hit? It’s a desire for self-expression and something different that gets a lot of people excited (me!).
The Post-Intelligencer echoed this sentiment a bit (although the “girls night out” thing annoys the crap out of me),
Rising from the ashes is a new brand of sewing that emphasizes self-expression, individuality, digital technology and girls-night-out camaraderie (though a surprising number of men have take it up as well).
Anyway, I’m being a smidge stream-of-consciousness here, but I guess my point is: Project Runway has helped sewing come to the forefront as a hobby. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if once the show has run its course (I’d hate to see it go—it’s definitely on my Netflix queue), hopefully the groundwork has been laid that people are still feeling energized and excited about sewing. I like these new Simplicity patterns because they do encourage creativity (apparently, I’m a minority in this—most sewing people I’ve talked to are really annoyed at the way these patterns are put together, with the individual elements and add-ons). I hope that they help inspire people new to sewing to stay excited about what they do, to build on their skills (because I think this is key to staying interested) and experiment (also key to keeping one’s interest up). Although, for Josh’s sake, I do wish they would put out a couple of these patterns in menswear, too.
Simplicity does need to include a note in the Project Runway pattern instructions reminding people that a glue gun has no role in hemming. Just in case anyone’s a little too inspired by the show.
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