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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Friday, April 6, 2012

My First Piece "The Market Jacket"

Hello blogland.....

Its taken weeks, but I finally finished my first piece of ''sewing my own clothes lifetime project'' and I think I'm finally over a fear I was developing about not being to do this.
I am enamored with French Country clothing, as it happens, and with Les ours d'Uzes in particular. I adore Magnolia Pearl and some Robin Kaplan too. But mostly it is the gauzy linen fabric in organic tones that I find with Les Ours, and is what I want as a foundation for my clothes. I have had to spend many hours, weeks, time online to find a company that has a lightweight one that I will need because I live in hot Florida and all my fabrics have to be airy and light and I found one I love so much after I wash and dry it, that I sleep with it LOL. I not only love the lightness of linen gauze, but the durability, the way linen ages. the way it washes, and especially its texture. I am very much a texture person, and love quality. I almost don't care about color so much, whether it is subtlety present or even absent, as long as the texture is beautiful, rich and earthy. Les Ours does this exceptionally well, in my opinion. But because I cannot afford their clothing and in fact have not even been able to find out where I can buy them, and ''badly wanting'' is not a good feeling, I decided I finally had to get creative and make my own clothes as previously mentioned, as being helpless, or feeling  financially trapped not able to buy what I want, just isn't my way. So I decided if Medieval people can design and make their own clothes, so can I.
And truly the Medieval people have been my inspiration, because they had no schools, no computers, no books, etc, and yet the women of those times were able to design and make their own clothes which many of their styles have lasted into our era! and they even crafted clothing for the Royalty of their age, which means, extravagant designing and tailoring, figuring out how to do something new etc.....and this inventive ingenuity has been my inspiration to teach myself to make what I want.
In fact it is their designs, having been going to Medieval Renaissance festivals every year of my life for 35 years and having alot of their clothes which are made by those who sell them there, who inspired my love of old time, practical design. I am enamored of full skirts, petticoats, peasant blouses, and layers upon layers of clothing, I also love their textures, fabrics and dying systems. In Florida I can no longer wear layers and layers as I used to in New York, so the fabric now has to be very light. I needed a better fabric, namely linen gauze :D or silk.

So I begin sewing.    
Can you believe this....turns into something beautiful.....aren't peoples hands amazing???

And proudly I have reverse engineered LOL something I saw which I just had to have, it was one of those things where you just wouldn't be happy without having at least this one piece, and simple as it is, it draws at my heart for it expresses me so I could live day and night in it. My favorite colors are white with ecru together, or any similar pairing.
Les Ours d'Uzes

I looked at this and wondered again about those Medieval people and how they would go about making something by eye....well this is what I had to do. I am self taught in everything I do, and I mean everything. It is almost uncanny why I never had teachers for anything, but I do well.
In my quest to learn to sew either, I don't have teachers, I can't take classes, searching online for how to do something you have specifically in front of you doesn't work, and I'm not going to university to become a designer. Medieval craftspeople didn't do it that way either. I guess I'm a very indepedent person and I do like figuring things out myself, (yet hate getting stuck) and I find there is some organic and natural realism in this process, and my brain functions smoothly learning in this way. This doesn't mean however, that I would refuse any help from anyone who offered in a show and tell format! God how I'd love that!,.....but it's not happening. I'm left to myself, and Self is working very hard in the reverse engineering process.  I have had to call in the Angels of Sewing to offer me advise where I was stuck, and I might have had help from an old gray bearded, very calm old smiling twinkling eyed man, expert tailor from some era in ancient times from beyond this world, as I finished my piece yesterday with some encouragement from him *winks*

So last night I finished my first piece which I made from muslin which is another fabric I love. I don't know why people only consider it a base fabric to ''practice'' on, but I love the color, the lightness, that it's cotton and that it's cheap! Perfect for Florida. But it frazzles alot! and I needed to find a way to make neat clean seams without all the frazzle, because I wanted it to be as nice on the inside as the outside. So I looked at a white chemise top I've had for over 20 years that I was using a cutting pattern for the top part because the neck line was similar, and there the seam was so neat, without a serger, and I loved the engenuity of it and that was my answer, I knew I'd do all the seams that I could that way....turns out, as it happens..... again, its called a French Seam. (There is a French theme going on in my life without my help and I find this fascinating!)

I didn't want to ruin any precious linen gauze with an experimental learning process, but now that I know how to do it, at least in my own way lol, I will make another Market Jacket with the gauze and die it pink, using organic materials such a vegetebles which is something else I'm teaching myself, is how to die fabric with natural materials. I believe I'll be using beets for this, for while it is red in color, it dies into a pink. Doesn't pink linen gauze sound delicious? I can't wait until everything I wear against my skin is so naturally soft and organic, I will feel myself like a fruit! :D:D:D

So here is my own piece......

                                  ''THE MARKET JACKET''

And notice my Market Basket to go with my Market Jacket ....! LOL

I dyed the lace around the empire waist in black tea.....I adore this color and alot in the future will be Tea Stained!!

I didn't have room for the buttons, I can never get used to the increase in my own size there! and decided to just use ties to tie it closed....very light and airy for hot weather. The skirt is from the store, a beautiful all cotton frilly and full petticoat skirt. I have many skirts :D     Notice the peekaboo above the skirt for a little touch of belly skin? so sweet and sexy. :D

I have tried this on several times, and every time, basic as the fabric is, it feels like a luxury. Today my neighbor saw it and fell in love with it, and began a nostalgic expression of why we can't find things like this in the stores, and how she loves the lace and ruffles, in her too, it inspired some deep intuitive desire for feminine quality in clothing. Tomorrow  I'm actually going to Market and I'm wearing this.....I will try to take a picture :D

Thank you for listening and reading. Truly I think I speak mostly to myself. Its like this blog is a journal of mine, for me. A brief one because it is public :D, but still a journal of some sort.
Kind of a love letter I write to me......and anyone else who listens from the heart.....right Pammie?? :D

Here she hangs on my door, ready for me to dress. No, there's nothing wrong with your PC, the walls ARE green, :D "Hellebore" to be exact, by Martha Stewart. I love this spring fresh green in my room.

I'm sharing this post with Katie's Nesting Spot



  1. Oh that jacket is so pretty! I love it. It looks fantastic! I am inspired--I want one!

  2. That is beautiful! You did a wonderful job and are rightfully loving yourself and your creativity. I am really coveting it.

    1. Thanks Diana, loving myself may be a long shot, but more like relieved I wasn't failing my self in such a passionate venture....a bit satisfied that I can do something else. I hope I can take this is a lifelong wish to dress for beauty and to dress others for beauty :D

  3. Wow Lady that came out so beautiful...and self taught is always the is instinctual in us...this is very inspiring... You did an outstanding job...:)


  4. That is so pretty. I love it. I think it is great that you made up the design.

  5. Oh wow! Beautiful indeed. I'll be back for more perusal of your lovely blog!

  6. Fantastic! Beautiful job! You should be so very proud of yourself. I love sewing and just recently started spending more time in my sewing room. It's such a good feeling to be able to create exactly what you wish.



  7. Congratulations and well done! sat nam, jill

  8. You do grace the world with serene beauty and enchanting magic. This piece is fabulous!!! How exciting. I am flying in the air right now,(literally, on a plane from seattle to nc :-) thinking of how happy I am that you hold space hear with our onederfull mother, our brethren, and my self. much love to you siStar. xox- tree

  9. Serena, your market jacket is just lovely. But i want to see a photo of you wearing it! Can you do that for us?
    Also, I love that you have an actual dressmaker's mannikin. I have been searching for one to buy for my various creative and business pursuits--can you advise me on where to get one at a reasonable price? Keep up the beautiful work!!

  10. Your market jacket is a work of art. It is gorgeous. I also have a water garden and love to create. I just found your blog. I have created some fairy gardens also.

  11. I hope you answer some of your comments questions because I am wondering them too!
    Absolutely wonderful job... I sew exactly the same as you... follow my senses and create. I felt like I could be writing that post, and adore the jacket too! wow, inspirational!

    1. I actually respond to everyone Caroline, especially if they have an address that comes with their comment, but yours is a no-reply-blogger address so will comment here. Thank you for your kind comments, I'm smiling to think you could have written it. blessings, lady

  12. I stumbled onto your blog while looking for patterns or tutorials to create my own clothes similar to Les ours d'Uzes. I too, am in love with their styles, but not their prices. I am not as skilled and intuitive as you. I need to start with patterns. Have you found any basic templates or patterns that have been useful in getting started?

    1. No Sarah, I have no templates or patterns, I don't work well with them. I literally sat and looked at, studied the pictures and figured out how to cut. I used cheap muslin so as not to feel bad if it didn't work out, but it did.
      Its not that hard basically, in the old days before patterns, they wore clothes too, and I thought if medieval people can make beautiful clothes without patterns, so can I.
      Patterns are easier I know for some people, but I gave up looking for them as the clothes I like are usually designer made and have no patterns for sale. What you can do is browse through patterns, and when you see for ex; a top part of something you like, and a bottom part of another pattern then try to fuse them to work...that is all I can think of. But good luck.

  13. Here I am, reading your archive posts and learning that we love the same style of clothing. I adore the Medieval style, and going to the vintage clothing faires is amazing. I adore your jacket! Yes, muslin, organza(cotton)silk, and linen, and what they call scrim in England, is the soft fabric I love. You do inspire me to get going on my own wardrobe. I used to sew all of my dresses, skirts, and blouses for my school years.
    Ah, and I have a dear, precious, sweet friend who is 90 years old, who was a Vogue model in New York, back in her day, and who became a Los Angeles dress designer,in the 1960's and she created the 'look' of the 60's with the flowing over-coats, the Empire waisted dresses (and of course Paris loved my friend's designs and all of the designers in France stole my friends ideas!). She had a million dollar garment corporation, with one-of-a-kind dresses. And her husband ran off with a mistress and took all of my friend's hard-earned money...Sigh...typical. My friend was a Renaissance woman. I love dressing feminine.
    I actually haven't sewn any of my own clothing for about fifteen years at least. I have the fabric stashed away, and I have a new sewing machine, which I need to get used to, so I really have no excuse for not sewing for myself like I used to. I have about five yards of white cotton gauzy fabric which has the rumpled look to it, and it's real name evades me at the moment. I think I got it for a song at a collectible flea market. The fabric is just waiting for me to do something with it. Thank you for the inspiration. I needed this.
    love and hugs,
    Miss Teresa

    1. cool about your friends talents!

      ohhhh just please do something lovely with that white gauzy cotton, there are sooooo many beautiful ideas of what to make with it I have a large collection of pictures of beautiful things I hope to be able to try to duplicate on my own. Making something new to wear yourself is rewarding, and I wish I could just make everything I wear, but I still have things to learn about sewing. I recently tried to make a long aqua colored beach jacket and in my mind tried to figure out how to make it and I think I cut it wrong as it falls wrong, and I couldn't figure out how to fix it and it discouraged me a great deal. However, I have to force myself to get back into the machine and do something that works and this encourages me to continue.

      Summer is coming, try to make something pretty......send me pics of what you may have in mind, could be fun to share. I may have some here you may want to try to make.

      Blessings, Serena


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