Do What Feels Right
I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now. I can look at a product and after a few minutes I manage to analyze how it was done. There is a blessing and a curse to that ability. I can also teach how to sew almost anything.
Why can it be a problem? As a teacher I create my own syllabus and don't use somebody elses. I have thousands of ideas racing around in my head. I enjoy creating samples and writing tutorials. Many different ideas, many different fabrics, many different products and many different techniques.
How do I set up my studio for all of these? I can't and that is the problem.
For creating clothing the studio needs to be larger with a decent sized cutting table and a modelling doll. A large ironing board, a serger (overlocker) ready to be used, and maybe even a flatlock machine too I don't have that space anymore. The serger is taken off the shelf when I am working on a specific product and then reshelved.
For creating clothing I need a larger supply of fabrics at the ready. I have downsized and given away most of my fabrics.
The studio also has to work according to a functional system. Storing fabrics and notions and working according to some sort of production line.
I can do that when I make mini art quilts and fashion and home decor accessories. The techniques and products I design go from large to small following the life cycle of the fabrics as I work and the sewing machine that I need for these is a basic domestic that has a straight stitch.
I have spent the last 2 weeks, as I always do when I have a birthday coming up, analyzing what I enjoy creating and teaching and what is feasible bearing in mind the current size and structure of my working studio.
I took a very thorough look around the studio and decided that my dealings with clothing would entail mending of course and any creating would be one of a kind art pieces for myself or to gift and any tutorials created from those would be accessible for all on the blog.
I arranged the physical aspect of the studio according to the production line I had in mind. My tutorials work according to this system and any new ideas that I have will have to fall in line with this structure.
Another decision that I made was that when working on a line of products, to create that week using only a specific line of colors. One bag of fabrics, a particular color of thread and notions. This system enables me to work in a small studio without feeling cluttered and overwhelmed. It also forces me to step even further out of the box to create new techniques using only what I have on hand from those particular supplies.
It was actually quite difficult to do. I had been working on pinterest and getting inspiration for the last 2 weeks. More than usual. I gave myself time to do some deep searches, hours at a time in fact. There are so many talented and innovative people out there who create beautiful items.
Here is the problem, after looking at them for a few minutes and making rough sketches I could create all of them. My 2021 inspiration notebooks are almost full of ideas, the notebooks are also for a separate post. I was finding that instead of creating I was searchng and thinking.
I spent a week looking at some modern geometric ideas, I even made a few patchwork pieces, that is for another post. It just didn't feel right for me. I do teach that in my classes but it felt too technical, too structured for me.
I gave myself a deadline by when to make a decision of what to work on. Turned the computer off, went to the studio, took out a random bag of pastel fabric, white thread and sat down and looked at it. Took out my tutorials and realised that I already have quite a good production line and all I had to do was fill it in with a few more tecniques.
I don't have to create everything, it is also enjoyable to see other people's works. It is important to work within a particular structure.
And then I had a eureka, I most enjoy abstract patchwork fabric art. Looking at the fabrics 3 new abstract ideas came and I made a cup of coffee, began to work and creation flowed.
I felt like Rumpelstiltskin from scraps to these