Tag Archives: 2021

August 2, 2021

Good Day all my good people. I hope July was pleasant and ya’ll had a chance to get out and enjoy the weather…. 

Todays update is about my wardrobe…

1 year ago (last August 2020) I made the decision I was not going to purchase any new or used clothing for a whole year (that is 365 days or 12 months or 52 weeks). If I wanted new clothes I had to make them (undergarments and socks excluded). I succeeded in this endeavor for the most part. Last Summer, it was friggin hot… and I have like a humungous garden and I was in it ALL the time. I had one pair of shorts I could wear – so I bought another pair. I did not purchase any other clothes until we were getting close to going to Georgia. My jeans that I have been wearing for many years (another story coming – see below) well, they look like the ones you spend hundreds of dollars on to get the “worn” look. Well, I obtained that look without the hundreds of dollars. I also purchased a few tank tops to wear under my other shirts. 

So what clothes did I make? I made two dresses, one I have worn (its green and it’s a wrap dress), the other not yet – its white with beautiful flowers and very flowy (its made out of Rayon Challis). I made a 6-panel slate grey skirt (its beautiful – pattern I made too – fits me awesome). I made a button down shirt – its light blue with stripes. I made a custom couture (yes that is what I said – couture) black and while plaid skirt – living on a farm and not going far (you know CoVID and all…) rather difficult to wear – but I am starting to be out in the world again… I made a silk slip with beautiful lace accents around the top and the straps. I made a beautiful dress to wear for Christmas – but it needs some alterations – this is what happens when you do not make a muslin, toile, or rough draft to work out all the not going to fit construction issues. So it has been basted for the alterations – but it takes a second person to zip up the back – next time I am going to put the zipper somewhere else – being a dressmaker – this I can do. I also made a pair of skirt overalls/bibs/dungarees… 

My Jean Jacket and Sweater – I made last spring – early. I made this beautiful skirt – with butterflies … it is in stretch denim – and the way I am built – without suspenders I don’t think it will stay up for long – suspenders might actually be cool…. Hmmm…. I made a button down early last spring also… I wear it EVERYWHERE!

I made a rose colored kind of like a shift dress – but, the fabric (it is a jersey type knit) is too heavy and not very flattering for a shape like mine. 

I currently have a denim skirt on my table that is calling my name to be sewn – patch type pockets and front button up. I have the mock up of a Classic French Jacket for myself needing to be adjusted and tried again. The most important lesson for dressmakers – make a muslin, toile, mock up – this will save endless hours and a LOT of money!

I almost forgot – I did make a tailored blazer with the most beautiful light green linen and silk lining… I was hoping to have it completed for my trip to Georgia –  even worked on it while we travelled… but alas, it is on my mannequin awaiting the final top stitching. 

So… why such a crazy thing – only make my own. There are a handful of reasons, let me count them for you:

  1. I get to choose the fabric! Even denim from Denmark (that is what I said)
  2. I get to pick the colors, notions, etc… 
  3. I make a mock up once, and I can use the same pattern over and over in different fabrics and colors and etc…. 
  4. The garment is made to fit me, yes, me and only me and no one else but me! 
  5. It saves me money in the long run
  6. It keeps me from purchasing something because well, who doesn’t need like a gazillion something or other (insert what it is that you spend all your money on – garments).
  7. It allows me to be a little more cohesive in my wardrobe. 

I have been slowly removing clothes that do not fit and probably never will again from my 2 (yes I said 2) closets. Who doesn’t have two closets full of clothes (ok, well if they were all in the same room – might be one walk in full)? Anyway, … So I have been looking more at being cohesive – a capsule type wardrobe if you will… And adding more dresses and skirts – I want to be more feminine and treated like a lady… Doesn’t mean 100% skirts/dresses… but at least 2 or 3 times a week. 

To help me see what I do wear and what I do not (even though I can look at my closet and tell you pretty much) – I have decided to sketch every single day of August what I wear. For example, yesterday, I wore two different pair of jeans, (I had to go to town) put a sweater on later in the day and in the middle somewhere I think I might even have had shorts on. Farm life! 

As I get older, I want to simplify and minimalize where I can. And I do NOT need half the clothes that I have… it is so hard to donate some of them… they are so beautiful and well… I quit smoking in Dec 2017 and put weight on that I do not believe will ever ever go anywhere – therefore the beautiful clothes in my closet will be donated as I make new clothes that fit me, my shape, my comfort level etc… 

Follow the link to the images for this post…. https://jenniferaadams.com/#jp-carousel-638

Fashion Era Series: Sumerian (#3)

The Sumerians are the earliest known civilization in the historic region of southern Mesopotamia.  Believed to have lived from c. 4100 – 1750 BCE. This part of the world can get very hot during the year, so some of the statues with few garments would not be out of line with the climate. 

In researching Sumerian culture, the images that are presented provide an account of the types of costume they would have worn during that period of time. It appears men wore what looks to be some type of robe maybe that they pulled over their heads – shoulder straps that connected to the back that was lower than the front. Most representations of men appear to wear a costume that is wrapped and tied about the waist. 

The Smithsonian has a statue “Rim-Sin Carrying Clay” – this is a statue of the King of that time. He appears to be rounded at the bottom half as if he were wearing what we would call a “skirt”. However, there does not appear to be a costume on his upper half. [1]

In the book Development of Sumerian Art by Wooley C Leonard[2], there are a handful of complete statues that definitively separate the male and female. The male continues to wear a costume on the lower half – in a circular shape (as such we would call it a “skirt”) and the women appear to have what appears to be a “strap” of same material as the rest of the costume – it goes around her one shoulder – it most likely connects the front and back parts of the costume.

In much the same way we study existing extant garments from before the 17th Century and thereafter, we can study the art, carvings, and symbols from a long-ago culture/society/people. Studying these items, provides much detail to their lives, and allows us to look in for ourselves. I have included several images below. These I clipped from the book that is referenced.

Leave a thought in the comments. What do you see in the images?


[1] https://www.si.edu/object/rim-sin-carrying-clay-foundation-deposit-figure:nmnhanthropology_8503940?edan_q=sumerian&destination=/search/collection-images&searchResults=1&id=nmnhanthropology_8503940

[2] https://archive.org/details/in.gov.ignca.33972/page/n77/mode/2up

Week in Review and Year of the Ox

Well, here I am again, on Friday morning writing this post. I had this whole thing sort of wrote in my head or how I wanted to write it. 

It has been a very busy week around here: from outlines for marketing plans and policy and procedure templates to PayPal accounts and setting systems for new clients. This is the part of owning a small business that I find tedious but necessary.)  

In the historic gown class I am taking we started on the sewing this week. I was working on that some yesterday, I needed a small break from the “busy” and hand stitching allows my brain to sort of slow down and relax some. (Right now as I am typing this there was a beautiful Blue Jay right outside my office window – he flew away, now there is a sparrow). There went the hawk, he was on the roof of my house. So graceful. 

So let me just admit, that I have a little attention problem today. It is Friday after all. So where was I again? Ah, yes, the busy of the week. The client’s historic recreation shirt and dress is moving along nicely. The pattern pieces have been completed and all materials and supplies have been delivered (Thank you Burnley & Trowbridge for being on the ball with your orders.) In fact, I cut out the pieces for the shirt last evening. I also began working with the dyes to get the right color for the dress. More tries today, the color had a little too much red. This is the fun part – I get to play with colors. 

I think that catches ya’ll up with happenings here…. Oh no wait, we have begun the face lift, or office destruction/construction, whatever ye shall choose to call it. This means that we (by we, I mean the cats and I) have moved out of the studio and into the large part of the basement temporarily. This is an adjustment for me, Anna and the cats take it all in stride. 

So today marks the New Year for the Chinese – they get a new animal every year (has to do with the transition of zodiac signs). So cool. This year is the year of the Ox. Their celebration can last up to 16 days, however, only the first 7 are considered public holiday. Their celebration culminates with the Lantern Festival. If you follow the link, you will find more information. I just thought it was interesting. Here in the states, our New Year’s celebration is well, one evening and culminates with the annual drop of the ball right before Midnight. Short, simple, not steeped in tradition, as we are a people of many cultures.