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Jan 4, 2012

Practical Sewing vs. "Fantasy" Sewing



So I was thinking about Debbie's panties last night...

Wait.  Let me explain:

Debbie has just completed sewing EIGHT pair of underwear for herself (!) which she created assembly-line style (her term).   Apparently Debbie loves wearing self-made panties, though she hates making them -- but not enough not to make them!

I must say, I admire this kind of sewing: the nose-to-the-grindstone, just do it type that I hardly ever engage in.  Frankly, I don't have that kind of discipline: before I sewed myself eight pair of tighty whities, I'd head over to Rite Aide and grab a bunch of Hanes three-packs.

Underwear matters to me, but so does my sewing time.  Which is not to say that Debbie sews only practical things.  Remember this outfit, sewn for a friend of her son's who was performing at a local Renaissance Festival, or so he told her...?



Not to mention the shirt she made for Michael last year, now one of his favorites.



I guess there's a time for everything, and sometimes our practical needs take precedence over our need to let our creativity run wild.  Of course, with sewing, even practical projects can be creative.  But sometimes -- like for Debbie right now -- free time is limited and addressing real clothing needs becomes the top priority.  Fun -- always relative of course -- can wait.

Now, as you know, while I do engage in some practical sewing, the majority of my projects can be filed in the "fantasy" category.  I put fantasy in quotes because it doesn't quite describe the type of projects I'm talking about but I couldn't think of a better word -- can you?  (I'm talking about my wardrobe here, btw, not Cathy's (completely practical) work outfits; she's a professional fashion plate.)

I guess a better term would be not terribly practical, which is a mouthful.

I know nobody needs leopard print jeans.  (I did wear these out to dinner New Year's Eve, btw, and received a very nice compliment from a neighborhood derelict; can you still say wino?)  But they definitely have their place in my wardrobe.



As do these vivid cranberry cords:



This vintage Fifties jumpsuit I made, on the other hand, might as well be wall insulation or pillow stuffing.

What fantasy was this exactly?

Take sewer/knitter/chihuahua owner Laura Mae (Sorry, LM, you're in my sights again.).  Her sewing seems to exist in both the practical and "fantasy" realms, as it seems she regularly goes to work dressed like Shirley Jones in April Love, Bay Area weather permitting.





Is this practical sewing or "fantasy" sewing?  Only she can say.

How about this stunning 2011 Clio classic?  Practical or fantasy?  (Clio, are you out there?)



Friends, I ask you: how much of your sewing is practical and how much not-so-practical?

How do you define practical:  Necessary for work?  Necessary for a special event?  Something you'll get a lot of wear from, even if, to most people, it looks like one of Lady Gaga's wilder get-ups?

How about those popular (according to the New York Times) duct tape outfits, and don't tell me you haven't heard about them.  They're the latest thing -- probably to be followed by white paste evening gowns and Post-it note peignoirs.  Wait -- I think we may already be there.



If most of the sewing you do is of the practical variety, is this how you want it to be, or would you like to sew more in the fantasy realm but don't feel you should, or aren't sure how you'd explain it to DH or the kids?

How about those of you who sew costumes on a regular basis, for the theater, say -- do you secretly dream you could just settle down in front of the sewing machine and whip up a pair of practical panties -- or eight?

Practical or "fantasy" sewer -- which describes YOU these days?

59 comments:

  1. Almost all of my sewing falls into the fantasy category. I love vintage, luxury fabrics and embellishment. I have solved this dilemma of making things I will never be able to wear, by sending them off to wearable art shows. That way, I can feed my need for sewing extravagance without feeling too guilty. My closet is rather full right now though...I suppose eventually I will end up donating everything to the local civic theater! In practical areas, most of my own wardrobe comes from the Goodwill...

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  2. this is a great post. i absolutely shared your awe at debbie's dedication to "work" sewing...i've been trying (and failing) to do some of my own with respect to shirts...

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  3. I'm naturally drawn to 'fantasy' sewing (I actually started sewing because I want to go to the Venice Carnival and make my own 18th century outfit for the occasion), but I've been trying to be practical. Stays and Gainsborough hats just aren't the thing for teachers, apparently!

    But, having said that, I'm trying to put a little fantasy into my everyday wardrobe with dresses, fun/pretty/couture details and a (gasp!) coordinated set of clothes that go together, so maybe (just maybe), I can look like some sort of polished 'lady'. And that much more fantasy than reality for me!

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  4. I'm a practical person (although that doesn't extend to making my own underwear - yet). I detest clothes shopping so I try to make all my own every day clothes. I do own a couple of costume and 50s retro patterns that I may get around to one day, but normal clothing always takes priority for me. (BTW - love the cranberry cords)

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  5. I don't like sewing things that I'm not going to wear - so I guess you might call me a practical girl? I also refuse to wear boring clothes, though (ok, except for my Mousy Dress, maybe) - what's the point of getting dressed if there isn't a bit of dress-up going on? ;) I have underwear on my soon-to-sew list. But it's going to be lacy. I have practical fantasies. ;)

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  6. Practical here too and I mostly sew clothes to wear to work.I indulge myself with fantasy sewing when I make dance costumes and I get paid to do that, which is good because that is often production sewing (such as 56 two-piece Bollywood costumes). This past weekend I made 30 pointe shoe bags for gifts. Each fabric was different and I used up stash remnants too!

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  7. Mostly practical. There are a few things I've made and not really found occasion to wear, but not many.

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  8. Hey, you're the one who led us into so many practical sewing projects: men's shirts, jeans, and boxers. If it wasn't for your influence I'd probably have made an emerald silk evening gown a la Laura Mae by now.
    Yeah, right. My sewing alternates between the ridiculous and the sublime, with a few practical pieces here and there. For me, sewing is more about taking my creative flights of fancy and seeing if I can make them real, rather than stocking up on wardrobe basics.

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  9. I would definitely fall into the practical category. My mission so far is to try and make most of my wardrobe from scratch, and most of my projects reflect what I like wearing, which is simple stuff: jeans, shirts, etc.

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  10. I work from home and live in a big city so fantasy tends to be what I make it. Some days I'll dress up, even if it's just to collect the kids or go to the supermarket; others I'll throw on a skirt/ t-shirt/ cardie combo. If I'm at home I won't always comb my hair or wear make-up, but I'll always be dressed like I'm ready to go out.

    This reflects into my sewing. I naturally grativate towards making the big vintage dresses, but after having assembly-lined six 60s skirts last year, I'm amazed at how gratifying an experience it was. Admittedly they were pretty dull to make but they're my choice of prints and great fun to wear. So much so that I'm planning on making many more this year. I could never be bothered with underwear though. I need to be able to see what I've made and I'm not going to be walking around in my knickers!

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  11. Most of my sewing is of the 'fantasy' variety (usually Victorian and Elizabethan costumes for myself and others), but some of it is definitely practical, like assembly-lining a few shirts which I've done recently. I do try to blend the two sometimes; I'm presently working on some Victorian-era trousers which I plan on sneaking into my work wardrobe. I'm a fairly conservative dresser, so these things are pretty much on the down-low -- but they make me happy and give dual-duty.

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  12. I don't sew to be practical because I don't have the time. I can find useful things at some store. So when I do sew I want to make something a little more unusual out of a unique fabric for instance. Something I won't find or see in a shop.
    All your sewing projects are very informative however basic the item may seem and you cover both bases, men's and ladies, and a little bit in between. For an amateur sewer like me you provide personal experience and inspiration.

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  13. I would call my sewing, practical fantasy!!!! I like to sew things that are pretty, yet don't cost me a fortune to make. I also like to make something that looks complicated but in reality, was simple to make. I have too little time to go full fantasy! Maybe when my children are grown I can settle in and make a couture gown of my dreams!!!! Until then I say easy, inexpensive in styles that make people believe that I did far more work than I actually did!!! My sewing falls under the 3 b's, bueno, bonito, y barato!!! (translation- good, pretty, and cheap!!!!)

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  14. My sewing began as practical with a quirk,and degenerated to altering readymades and forcing them into submission. On occasion I do fabric collage jackets and purses that are more ornamental than practical, and enjoy it immensely.

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  15. I am most DEFINITELY a fantasy sewer. I must be practical at work since I am a seamstress for a dry cleaner, but when I get home and let loose, it's fantasy all the way. My last large project was Civil War Era outfits for my son and his friend to attend the Gettysburg Remembrance Day celebration in November. A pair of silk duiponi vests, a black wool flannel sack coat and a wool/cashmere blend frock coat with silk velvet trim. What FUN - except for the pattern instructions - ugh. you can see pics on my blog:

    http://www.learnhowtosewnow.com/learn-how-to-sew-presents-the-1860s/

    Oh, and the dress Laura Mae is wearing is Divine!

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  16. Wait -- which Divine are we talking about? ;)

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  17. Hmmm, well, most everything I make is to wear to work. But it's not boring and serviceable, but generally in bright colors and prints and interesting silhouettes. But I'd probably fall on the practical side, more's the pity!

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  18. I'm practical, but in a vintage way. I like looking a little dated, a little classic, and I'm not a jeans and t-shirt kind of person. My personal uniform is a skirt, cute flats, a nice top and a sweater, depending on the season, that's my go-to. So I sew for that lifestyle, but I would admit there is a certain amount of fantasy in dressing that way, and while I try not to be "in costume" I can't help that I love Laura Mae's opulent sense of the grand in the every day.

    I've never made my own underwear, though.

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  19. I wish I could be a fly on Debbie's wall when she reads your opening sentence, "So I was thinking about Debbie's panties last night..."

    ;-)

    This dichotomy between "fantasy sewing" and "practical sewing" is interesting to me. One person's fantasy is another person's practicality. For instance, when I see that other people have sewn "practical" pencil skirts and blouses to wear to work, I have to remind myself that I grow horns and transmogrify into a grouchy, evil demon whenever I put on pantyhose. So for me, that outfit would never be worn and would hide in the back of my closet. I need to make and wear clothing that stretches, that gives, and that doesn't require hosiery or their evil cousin, Spanx.

    I can't imagine you sewing any tighty-whities. But why not keep your eye out for some wild raspberry animal print knit fabric to make yourself some fun and fabulous undies that will put a smile on your face every time you put them on?

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  20. I would say I'm both. I pretty much sew things that I need, but I make the things I want. Does that sound right?

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  21. 100% fantasy! I can't be arsed to sew things I'd wear to work or to sew *gasp* underwear. If I can buy it cheaper &, of course, faster, I will.

    Frankly, I hate the process of sewing. It's a means to an end. I love designing outfits & I enjoy certain things like sewing trim & cartridge-pleating, but so much of sewing is tedium.

    Also, I have very limited time to sew, so I'll spend it on big, outrageous, amazing projects like these http://www.trystancraft.com/costume/ not some plain ol' pencil skirt.

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  22. I just LOVE my jumpsuit! Seriously, I feel like Wonder Woman (a la Linda Carter) every time I wear it. And, while it isn't the most practical garment in my wardrobe, it has been worn... on vacation, out to dinner, and likely to the next wedding or event I attend.

    Over the last year I've shifted almost entirely away from need based sewing (trousers, tops for work...) and toward passion projects/statement pieces (jumpsuit! flowered pants! orange zipper skirt!). There's definitely an element of "stunt dressing" going on in my wardrobe these days (your's too, Peter), but these projects make me want to use exclamation points. And that's how I feel when I wear them.

    I admire those like Debi who do sew everything they wear, but I just don't have the hours in the day to make that a reality. And I get much more joy in sewing things that push my style boundaries and that I would never be able to find or fit in RTW.

    Great post!

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  23. Practical all the way. If I'm not going to wear it (sewing goddess willing), then I don't have space for it. Mind you, I think I wear a few items that are out of the ordinary... (FYI, I have everything at home to make undies right now and I still can't bring myself to do it. Seriously, I can find cuter ones in a shop.)

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  24. I have made all the trousers in my wardrobe now; it's the only way to get a pair that fits. I suppose all my sewing is practical, I can't imagine making a fantasy outfit; I live in a village in England, where only the seriously eccentric would dress that way.

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  25. At the moment I am makingvintage baby layouts.
    I have learned some new skills, pin tucking etc. I also have a wonderful brother sewing machine that has lovely embroidery stitches that I am loving.

    It is not practical, but just fun. I do make practical clothing for my two children too.
    However, I have learned that for me it is far cheaper to buy kids' clothing than to make it, unless it is for a special occasion. I have bought some really great clothing at amazing prices for the kids.

    This year I am focusing on sewing gifts which I am preferring, my baby layouts, and some stuffed material dolls. I made a rabbit and everyone says it is way too cute. However, they are kind of fiddly.

    I LOVE LOVE the clothing that beautiful young lady is wearing. She has some serious skills.

    Josette

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  26. Starryfish. I am so envious that you live in an English village. That is my dream one day to live in a village and I love the rain too.


    Josette

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  27. I fall mostly on the practical side these days -- but that's not to say that practical can't look fabulous. ;) I haven't quite gotten to the point of sewing panties or pajamas, but they're both on my list.

    For me, sewing has always come from a place of need. It started out with prom dresses and costumes for my hard to fit short-but-top-heavy frame. Sure, not the sort of thing you wear every day, but practical in that I needed a prom dress and not a single dress in the stores fit me. That branched naturally into costumes, and for a few years I was mostly sewing gowns and costumes for various one-night events. Eventually I got sick of not being able to wear the wonderful things I was sewing on a regular basis, so I started making day dresses and skirts as well.

    The last few years, though, my chronic illness has kicked into high gear, and I've been spending more of my sewing time on very practical things. In the last six months I've had to give up jeans, trousers, yoga pants, and tights, because of the pain in my joints. And suddenly my wardrobe needed serious help. So I sewed a bunch of skirts, focusing on full 50s-ish styles that won't put pressure on my painful hip joints. I modified a purchased crinoline to be the right length and gave it a lining so it wouldn't be itchy against my can't-wear-tights legs. (And promptly discovered how *awesome* petticoats are for padding painful joints, omg.)

    Around that same time, I realized that my computer desk chair (where I spend most of my time when I'm not sewing) was aggravating my joints as well, so I made a seat cushion and a footrest to solve the problem. And then used the rest of that fabric to re-cover my sewing bench, and stuck some extra padding in there while I was at it. All very practical projects, but all still pleasing to look at.

    I still sew a couple of costumes and gowns a year, but even with those I keep an eye to practicality, fitting my hard to fit body type and accommodating my illness best I can. Honestly, without the ability to sew, I'd pretty much be stuck in pajama pants and too-big off the rack skirts 24/7, and I'd look as sick as I feel. My practical sewing gives me the ability to look good while being in less pain, and that combination is pretty darn fantastical, if you ask me.

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  28. Nothing wrong with a bit of fantasy! (As I try to tell myself that I will actually wear my latest project, a 1940's dress!)
    One of the great things about sewing is you can create something out of the ordinary, so why not. But then another great thing is that you can save money by making essentials like undies, so why not also? I suppose I'm on the fence!

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  29. I suppose that I don't have to answer this question since it appears you already did for me (and imagine how confused I was to peek at your blog during my lunch hour and think I was somehow stuck in a time warp between mine and yours), but I will anyway.

    I don't have a fantasy life (wait! I mean a fantasy-TYPE life), so I don't do much fantasy sewing. But from time to time I do sew costumes for my sons and/or their friends and I've enjoyed it a lot. Reko's costume you show above was the creme de la creme in that department. While office and home wear sewing *is* practical, I can buy it RTW too so practical turns into fun when practical becomes custom-made. At least that's how it feels to me.

    For Nathalie, who said she wants to see her sewing thereby crossing undies off her to-do list, I have to ask - does she never go to the bathroom? I see my new undies at least 10 times a day. In fact, I just saw them not 5 minutes ago. TMI?? ;-)

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  30. Quick, Debbie: paisleys, polka dots, or baby blues?

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  31. practical, probably. Or maybe not so much. A lot of what I end up making is little girls' dresses because that's what Bit and Boo need. They're tall kiddos, which means that if RTW fits lengthwise, it's too big around. Which means that I'd have to take them in, anyway, which I hate. So instead, I make them "Auntie-Laura-Loves-Me" creations.

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  32. I guess I'm a practical sewer because I like to know I WILL actually wear something — and not just for the bloggable photo shoot. I started making underpants last year because, like Debbie, I found I could alter the pattern to make them the most comfortable drawers I've ever owned. But they ARE a pain to sew. All that stretch. Yeesh.

    Any home dec sewing I do is also very practical and no fun, which means the results end up second-rate because I rush things to get it done.

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  33. Would say practical - with limited time to spend on sewing I want to be able to enjoy what I make as much as possible, although when I recently visited a fabric shop in Vienna that had the most fantastic fabric I have ever seen - just for evening gowns - I was inspired...

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  34. I used to be 100% practical: outfits for work, clothes for the kids, things for the house. Now I don't work, and am leaning towards fantasy as in it's a fantasy that I can find anything out there I want to wear or really nice lingerie. I haven't seen what used to be called loungewear for years, and am in the midst of sorting out my stash to find the makings in there. I'm going practical fantasy, with decided leanings towards the same fabrics Devine wore so well. The hair and makeup, not so much. I figure it's no one's business if I wear maribu and sequins at home.

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  35. Ha I have just finished making myself a new pair of undies ( i hate the word panties for some reason) an i have found that homemade undies are the best. you can use up fabric, you can try different styles without spending money (bikini cut, boy cut...) I have been trying to make ALL my clothing, and as much as i would like to get real dressed up for work its not something i can do. and in my downtime i am very casual so i would not wear a dress or skirt that often. I have been thinking of trying a bra eek! maybe when i am a little more skilled!

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  36. Since I am a goth/punk at heart, I usually start with wanting to buy the "practical" stuff. After days of shopping, I end up making something because I literally can not find what I want....it isn't really a choice! OTOH, when I find the perfect pattern then I can modify it a dozen ways with different fabrics to reflect my style. At that point, it becomes a lot more fun and more "costume-y."

    For my next project, I am considering making nightshirts -- not because I can't buy them, but because I hate pastels and all the nightshirts I like seem to be in pastel colors. BLECH. I am not an infant!

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  37. I am a practical sewing type, unless I am making a costume for geeky conventions or Halloween.

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  38. Pratical sewer 99 % of the time.

    Reason is simple: I'd love to buy clothes if they'd make what I like in my size and (worse) my proportions. Industrie does not, I cannot afford having everything made (I have most of my business suits made, there is a company around that does it affordable, but the choice of pattern is small. Okay for work but that's about it.)

    Only sometimes I manage to hit both. My brother got married last year and I could make myself a Vogue Vintage 1948 pattern I had in my stash for ten years or so.

    Sewing baby clothes as gifts is also a bit less necessary sewing, because I could buy those. But that is perfect to use up restover fabric. :-)

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  39. This is a great post, something I have really been thinking about this past year. When I started sewing I wanted to sew all fantasy all the time. Skating dresses and costumes were the only things I wanted to make, figuring I could buy "real" clothes if I wanted them. I changed gears towards more practical sewing about a year ago when I made a coat (still a bit fantastical, but infinitely more practical than a full length cloak). After that I became much more interested in sewing things I can wear more often, because I really enjoy wearing something I have made myself.

    I think a lot of my favorite sewn pieces walk between fantasy and necessity (my bright green wool coat or snake print trench coat). I have noticed that this does give me a somewhat unbalanced wardrobe though - often times it is difficult to make an outfit because I have made a lot of unique pieces, and not a lot of basic items I can wear with them. That's why my sewing goals for this year are to sew some more basic items that can be worn with my stand-out pieces.

    Of course, I am still going to be making skating costumes, and those will be as colorful, sparkly, and fantastical as possible. So perhaps they will act as a counterbalance to the more mundane sewing I plan to do?

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  40. I'm a mostly practical sewer with an occasional dip into fantasy land. I make clothes for myself and my family to wear every day and a few special occasion garments. Then every once in a while I'll make a princess dress for the pre-school in my life, or a little stuffed owl for my grandson. I made costumes for a ballet company for a year, that was such fun, but very low-pay and lots of pressure. Now is better!

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  41. My sewing is definitely practical. In the last year I've made such things as curtains for the house, two dresses which I wore to my parents' 60th anniversary party, five pairs of boxers for my son, and one pair of swim bottoms for tanning in the back yard (because this bod is so not rocking bikinis).

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  42. ~ * ♥ * ~

    I'm lucky I guess because I get to sew my fantasy sewing which IS practical! I love 1940s -50s clothing and I wear it all the time, so anything I sew from that era is fulling my dream sewing and it gets put on and worn as soon as I have finished it!

    I think it's fantastic to be able to sew my own wardrobe. :DDDD

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

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  43. Practical all the way. Fantasy is great, but if I am only going to wear it in my fantasies.........well. I have made underwear for myself, but only once, couldn't get them to fit right. But I have made probably 40 pairs of boxers for my grandsons, who love picking out the fabric. I'm pretty Midwest boring.

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  44. What a fabulous topic!

    I love Renaissance looks, but would feel silly wearing one to work (excepting Halloween). This is rather ridiculous, however, considering my everyday wardrobe consists of styles that were popular over 50 years ago. So, what makes a 1940s frock “practical” sewing for me while a stunning hoop-skirted number from 1864 would be over the top? I honestly cannot answer that one. Surely some of my crinolines take up almost as much space . . .

    And I am sure many people look at my wardrobe and think it is impractical and I am living in a “fantasy” world if I think the clothes are suitable for office attire.

    As far as jumpsuits go, if you look as great as Clio in that red ruffled number, I think it certainly qualifies as practical. She better be wearing the heck out of that beauty!

    Doesn’t comfort become an issue with duct tape or paper clothing? Can you sit down in a dress made of stiff tape? Then again, some people might feel that a long-line bra qualifies as uncomfortable.

    So could it be about body shape/type? Do certain silhouettes just suit people more than others? I certainly think so. That is one of the main reasons I avoid jeans – they just do not fit properly. I suppose I could make my own, but do I really want to spend all that time and effort on something that will look funky, even with alterations?

    Hhmm, it sounds like I need to stretch myself a bit more. Perhaps I am stuck in a rut. Anyone have a spare roll of duct tape?

    And if Cathy can be a professional fashion plate, why can’t Peter? I think those leopard pants definitely qualify – that wino knows how to spot a winning pair of pants!

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  45. You pose an interesting question. It never occurred to me to sew anything but practical sewing. I have to say though that I do want to sew things that are practical but a bit on the artsy side. I am not there yet, but working on it.

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  46. Practical isn't inspiring, but inspiring isn't practical...we need to find a way to fill the gap. Everyday sewing for work or shopping usually is practical, still fun, but not in that 'stay-up-all-night-until-its-finished' sense. Every now and again you need to throw a little of the fantasy into the sewing circle to keep the flame lit and burning strong...

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  47. This is a terrific post, and I've loved reading all the responses with my coffee this morning. Most of my sewing has been outerwear. It doesn't get much more utilitarian than that. The fantasy is that I can make it any color and with any fabric that I'd like, as opposed to RTW which comes in black and....more black. Lately I've spent more time looking at costume patterns. My new years resolution is to somehow take "costumes" and morph them into clothes that I'd feel comfortable wearing either every day or to a special occasion. I'm not quite sure how it will turn out, but I'm sure I'll have fun doing it.

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  48. Men's underwear comes in different styles, but it is all underwear. Ladies wear either underwear (which you wouldn't bother to sew) or lingerie, which has loveliness as well as utility. Debbie made lingerie, not underwear.

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  49. Do you consider your raspberry leopard pants to be fantasy or practical? If they were mine I'd wear them everywhere! So I think they are super practical.

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  50. Hi Peter,

    I think you balance perfectly the both, fantasy and pratical sewing. If you think you do not have discipline, you should see the amount of UFOs I accumulate last year... I sew better under pressure of an appointment than to pleasure myself. Don't try to understand! :)

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  51. Definitely practical. Actually more like utility sewing - repairing jeans was the most common project for me this last year.

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  52. You know I sew fantasy as a living....wedding, debutante and formal wear, so when I sew for myself, it's practical stuff. But this last Christmas I did some really off-the-wall stuff for a friend's granddaughter...and I had so much fun - it went up fast and sweet. It was a ton of fun - much more than I thought.
    http://clairekennedydesign.com/media/facebook/all.jpg

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  53. Practical. I like to be able to wear what I sew and I lead a practical life. Sometimes practical is boring, so I'm thinking of ways to make things unique (both my clothes and my life).

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  54. I enjoy both practical & fantasy sewing--have learned some great things about sewing by mending a lot. I take pride in good fit & workmanship, after realizing that spending hours on fantasy clothes for parties & dates left my daytime wardrobe totally boring. So I started working harder on the clothes I wear all the time, including lingerie and bras, and learned some more. Saved a lot of money, too! Too bad we don't have milestones for sewing skills; over time, I've learned a lot and hesitate less to tackle the unknown. Interesting question, Peter, and thanks for the inspiration you show. Fun fabrics in classic styles rock!

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  55. What I would love right now is for a magic time machine to present itself, where I step in and get to spend as long as I wish sewing American Girl doll clothes. I would give them to my niece, but it's really about me. I just want to cut little skirts and blouses and dresses and pants and sew them.

    As far as my sewing, it is 99% practical. I can live vicariously through you for the fantasy sewing.

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  56. Fantasy all the way here. It's so easy and cheap to buy second hand clothes for daily wear that I don't worry about making my own too much. I mean, I do make them, but I enjoy my impractical garments a lot more. Right now I am making a Regency corset to go with my Regency ballgown and I'm having a wonderful time!

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  57. 99% fantasy, 1% practical? All though one of my "practical" projects was a lab coat for work (referred to affectionately as my "Brokeback" lab coat by co-workers). Most of my practical sewing consists of purchasing suits from Good Will and altering cuffs, sleeves, side seams etc.

    Fantasy sewing is also rewarding because its usually about attempting more complex garments, and learning/refining/improving skills.

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  58. Most of my sewing is very practical. However I spent 3 days handsewing a "princess" dress for my 6 year old granddaughter for Christmas. I hand sewed because I couldn't figure a better way of evenly distributing gathers, putting on the bodice and a zipper through it. I made a separate overskirt that she likes to use as a cape!

    In the 70's when her mama was little I did make her panties ( Munsingwear was closeby) and ones for me and even gifts. They are kind of cool to make. Then I made a Joan Russell Amy doll and she had matching panties and a t shirt out of the same fabric.

    I guess I've done mostly sewing for gifts recently and I plan to get back to making clothing for myself.

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