Posts by Topic
I blog about sustainable fashion, earth-friendly fibers like hemp and Tencel, capsule wardrobes, travel wear, and related subjects.
Though I use machines in cutting and sewing the Trapeze Tunic, I consider my approach artistic and artisanal.
It's hip at the moment
We see the “artisan" tag nowadays everywhere; artisanal this and artisan-made that. Big companies are buying up smaller enterprises, seeking artisanal cachet. Everything from bread to beer to beans is being marketed as artisanal. But what does the term really mean?
Traditional methods and materials play a role
It’s probably fair to say that many artisans work with traditional materials and use traditional methods. But few do so in the strictest sense. In my craft, for example, hand-stitching is reserved for only the most exalted work (and maybe a little mending). I harness the power of industrial sewing machines and cutting tools; to do all my work purely by hand isn’t feasible.
But who gets to define traditional? My 60-year old Juki industrial sewing machine is a workhorse and brilliant example of mid-20th Century industrial design. Should I use a treadle-powered machine instead? Many of my colleagues at the Lithia Artisans Market face the same kinds of questions. Some use power tools and digital devices in their work, but you’d be hard pressed to argue about the artistry in what they create.
The creative impulse is important
Maybe artisanship has something to do with intent. Manufacturers seek to produce the greatest number of widgets in the least possible time, for the least possible cost. Often factories are often more concerned with the consistency rather than the quality of their output. Most of the artisans I know lack this bean-counter mentality. Their first and last impulse is a creative one: how to imbue everything they make with something of themselves.
If the many artisans I’ve met over the years are any measure, the financial calculation often comes last. Being an artisan is typically no get-rich-quick scheme. Many of my craft-fair colleagues struggle with rising rents and lack of healthcare. But for them, the prospect of a nine-to-five gig is unimaginable. Because a creative impulse, above all, stirs their hearts, these folks as the real deal: living, breathing, creative artisans.
Cleaning out some files recently, I stumbled upon some amusing old photos. The walk down memory lane was fun, but also instructive about how fashion, body shape and comfort have influenced my perception of fit over the years.This snapshot of my uncle and me taken in 1972 at a cousin's wedding depicts a dress length [...]
Anastacia in a Paprika Princess Top and Grey Fog Flip Skirt.How do you feel about new? If you follow the fashion world, you'll notice that newness is a critical part of headlines like: What styles are in? or What's new for spring? I think part of the attraction of new is that it wakes us up and reminds us that we're alive and experiencing something [...]
From casual to dressy, the Tuxedo Top transforms into your look. Create your own look on any given day with our wearable, durable hemp/Tencel clothing.Anna’s Tuxedo Top in Twilight worn with Stovepipe Pants in Black (left) creates a tidy profile; (right) pairing the Tuxedo with a Tank Top and a Flip Skirt in Black and boots produces a different look.
There's a controversy about modest fashion between those who think it is for oppressed women who are often seen as backward religious adherents and others who consider it aspirational and reflective of independent women who dress for themselves rather than for men.According to The New York Times’s chief fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, modest dressing is a defining [...]
I read recently that people mostly wear variations on only about five outfits. Considering how many garments are in my closet, that makes no sense at all! And yet, when I think about the combinations of items that make me feel attractive, comfortable and most like myself, it's true! Obviously I still need dress-up clothes [...]
It's become a habit of mine to slip away from the Sympatico booth at the Lithia Artisans Market of Ashland to see what our compatriots in the world of growing things are up to. I invariably come away with wonderful fruits and veggies, and sometimes, things to grow in my own garden. As fellow [...]
Today on my daily walk, I skirted the vernal pond in our back yard to allow the three mallards swimming there some peace on the water. I suspect they are finding lots of tadpoles to eat and am happy to welcome them back. One of the things I love about the change of seasons is anticipating the good [...]
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you focus on your flaws or do you see what you like about yourself? Finding balance between seeing imperfections such as wrinkles or saggy skin and outer beauty, say a nice smile, is part of my recipe for poise. [...]
Go places in style and be comfortable in a durable, machine washable blend of hemp and Tencel.