Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Thinking about handmade clothes
Have you seen the new patterns that Figgy's have launched since rebranding themselves? I'm quite in love. The promotion photos have a feeling of Japanese pattern book about them, with their stylish prints and minimalist backdrops.
The garments themselves are full of crisp, clean lines and subtle styling details that give them a very modern feel. I love the the little shoulder puffs on the dress, and the curve that sweeps down either side, ending in slanted pockets.
To me, they feel like big-girl patterns and as though they've been drafted to produce the perfect garments to fill in the chasm that I worry may open as my children grow older: that of a mama who still wishes to make a few garments for her children; and her children who wish to look fashionable and may feel self-conscious wearing designs where the styling may make them appear overtly homemade. These are exactly the kind of clothes I can imagine my daughter wishing to swoop up in Zara.
You can find these patterns from Figgy's new range for sale here in Alice's lovely shop, Backstitch.
Thinking about children growing up and minding their clothing appearing homemade: is this an issue for those with children older than mine? Or is this simply a perceived issue that's come from my growing up in a generation that, for a time, rejected the handmade to the extent that it was seen as a symbol of poverty, rather than creativity? I wonder whether this generation of children has entirely cast off these negative connotations?
I remember as a young teenager going to a school disco where one of the girls wore a dress that she'd made herself. I can't recall what the dress looked like, but I do remember that the boys ridiculed the dress loudly in the corridors, while many of the girls whispered and giggled over it in the cloakrooms. Shamefully, I wasn't so filled with confidence at that age that I felt able to defend her bold move, or even to let her know that I thought she looked rather super, so I said nothing and just wondered at why anyone would intentionally put themselves in such a vulnerable position (she was clearly a year or two ahead of me in watching Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink, where her character arrives at the highschoool prom in a homemade pink dress and went on to serve as a fiesty independent-spirited role model for every young girl growing up in the late 80s. If I'd already seen this myself I may have had more awareness that she'd just outfoxed the entire school with her own coolness). Instead, I remember lying in bed that night feeling guilty and worrying over whether she might be lying in her own bed crying. My school was large with several classes in each year group and I barely knew this girl -I now wonder at how much I probably would have loved her as a friend if our paths had ever properly crossed...I may have branched out earlier from my undercover knitted glove-puppet making, which was my speciality aged 13. My memory of these creatures is of them being rather fine...which leaves me wondering at what point in time the ability to knit proficiently decided to leave me.