inspiration strikes

I have been a busy bee lately. Although the Vagina Monologues production took up a lot of my head-space and energy, in the background and in the in-between times, I was still thinking about and working on my sewing. My spring collection, the potential spring craft show schedule (applying, rejoicing in acceptances, mourning rejections, et cetera), and the Next New Thing.

March is traditionally my time to work on my New Thing, who knows why. Maybe because R&D in March means the New Thing is ready for the start of the show season in April. Regardless, whatever the New Thing is, it is quite likely that it has been stewing in my head or sitting in my sketchbook for quite some time. Usually I can’t say what inspires me to take something from the idea/sketch phase into the pattern drafting/sewing stage.

custom mini clutch, summer 2006

Until now! I have been wanting to make special things for brides for a while now. Over the last few years, I have worked with many brides and done many custom orders for brides and their parties. I really like doing custom orders…the whole idea of making something especially for a single individual is really exciting to me (and, one could argue, the whole point of buying handmade). However, I’ve never been particularly organized or purposeful about it. My plan to change that was to turn a section of my Etsy shop into a “bridal salon.”

I had vague ideas and visions in my head of what would be in this “bridal salon” section, but I never actually created said section or actually made anything to put into it. And then one day, I was sorting through my fabric stash, and I came upon a haphazard stack of irregular and random lengths of silk.

These were left over from previous custom orders, and from my mother’s stint as an interior decorator, when she would save the remnants of her drapery and upholstery projects for me. All of a sudden, I couldn’t think of anything else besides this silk. I put aside everything else I was working on (taxes, the spring collection, laundry, et cetera), and threw myself into this bridal salon idea. I couldn’t stop thinking of reinterpreting my current designs in silk, or thinking of new things to make with dupioni and shantung and damask. Even though I’m already two weeks behind my target intro date for my spring collection, I don’t care because I am consumed with the New Thing!

So, I guess this time around, the fabric is what inspired me to take the leap from sketches and ideas into action. My fabric stash is mostly cotton, so playing with all this silk has been really inspiring and exciting, and a little bit terrifying. If I actually go through with making all of the things that I want to make as part of this as-yet-unrealized bridal salon, I’m going to have to start a whole new fabric collection (and by “new” I mean “additional,” of course)!

custom envelope clutch, fall 2006

It feels nice to be working on something new. Feeling the creative juices flowing reminds me of why I wanted this gig to begin with. 🙂 Now I just have to figure out a way to get my hands on more silk! Incidentally, I have decided to open a separate Etsy shop for my bridal pretties. When it is fully stocked and ready, you’ll be the first to know.


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