(sparked by the incomparable G.D.M.)
Without makers, we are naked.
Everything you wear is made. Everything on your body was conceived in a holy union between Art and Creator. Every style that catches your eye is someone’s baby.
Someone went to sleep at night with an idea, and as she drifted off, she thought: how am I going to make it work? Start with the body and consider its needs… And she closed her eyes, and what she saw was an image of an ideal. So she turned it over in her head-hands, cinching this, strapping that. She thought, I’m borrowing from history, but I don’t want it to be a costume. Just a nod to the past. So there’s this hint here, that hint there, maybe cross genders in one outfit…
And she drifted into good dreams.
. . .
Right now, I’m not employable in the traditional sense. Don’t challenge me on that. This isn’t a debate.
What I can do is create.
Quite a lot of my creation is with words, and if I could get a paid blogging gig, I’d love that. Of course, as I’m not willing to peddle anyone’s particular philosophy but my own, I doubt the gig exists. So I blog here. I also write poetry and fiction, very little of which you see because it’s poor form to publish your work ahead of whoever might publish it in the future. I have a short story I might send out under a name that will never connect said story with its author, because while I think it’s publishable-standard, I also think it’s not something with which I would like to be associated in the long run. I don’t want to have to live up to that story or live that story down.
I am happy with a needle in my hand. No, not an IV needle. I’ve remade my own garments, because I’m right there to try it on and tweak. It’s easier to work with a client who is willing to be a human mannequin just long enough to chalk and pin the garment for alteration, but I’ll do minor work with good instructions attached, provided the rest of my life hasn’t got in the way. Since nothing is ever perfect off the rack, I will buy things I can alter if need be. This drives my mother up a tree; she thinks if I’ve paid for it, I ought not to have to work on it. She also has no idea what the stuff I buy would cost if I actually paid someone to custom-draft it. Cost of materials alone must account for scrap (no, you can’t just buy as much thread as you’ll need, you have to take the whole spool, and fabric still comes in fixed widths of yardage). Cost of labor for quality goods is much higher than your average T-shirt reflects, I’ll put it thus.
Other jobs pay, yes. Other jobs are jobs. None of this amounts to a Proper Job. It’s the only work I can do right now and I need to value it as work, not just as play. Proper Job or not, it’s effort put toward a product and if someone else thinks the product has value, I have just contributed to the economy. Astounding notion, hm?
. . .
I fell asleep thinking of Henry VIII’s court the other night, and how to translate the lines and cut of the era into something modern. The Little Black Kirtle: Rigid bodice, no need for a bra, just straps. It shoves the tits into place by itself. Skirt takes its shape from an attached bumroll and naturally stiff fabric. Cut it off at the knee. Make a matching coat, same length with enormous velvet-edged sleeves; button it over the bodice, let it fall open over the skirt. Doublet-and-jerkin day dresses, gathered or gored, never pleated. Maybe a fitted shirt with a slightly poofy sleeve, no collar, begins about three fingers below the hollow of the neck. Overcoats with fur or deep fleece lining and good drape. Wool. Shoulders? Hmm. Some women would enjoy shoulder emphasis, some not. Better offer a couple of options…