This story is about the end of my clothes making/sewing career. It began in 2001 at Sea World Orlando, where I made costumes for over a decade. My favorite creation was the pink-tailed Mermaid costume (see below). When I moved to NYC in 2012, I knew I wanted to return to my first love: Fashion. My plan was to work in ethical/sustainable fashion making patterns and samples, while creating my own line.
Fortunately, I was able to do the first half of that: developing a designer’s collection in Brooklyn, and then working at the prestigious Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator. There were many designs and textiles to get excited about and I learned a lot through these experiences. I also took on a lot of freelance work, because I couldn’t seem to sustain myself in sustainable fashion jobs. I had many wonderful clients, including a singer/songwriter from Texas who would bring me piles of vintage clothing to tailor down to her petite body. And there is an elegant designer from Detroit (a dear friend) who contracted me to create her pieces for a Detroit art event. Not only did the collection turn out beautifully, I was treated to the event in Detroit and had a blast! This was easily my most successful project. Here’s a pic of one piece, I’ll post more later.
While I have loved working with creative people and enjoyed honing my stitching skills, I realized I would be buried alive under sewing work in order to pay the bills. This would leave me no time or energy to work on my own designs and ideas, and I found that to be true over and over. This week I finished my last project for a client: some cushions covered in a lovely, traditional Chinese wax-resist indigo-dyed cotton that kept my fingers blue. (I dream of piecing all the fragments of the various creations I’ve made for clients into a strange quilt. Yes, I’ve been hoarding fabric scraps. We’ll revisit this another day.)
For now, I’m happy to close this door, so I can open another. One that will provide plenty of fodder for my clothestories…