Black & Vintage Zine Vol. 1 | Summer 2017

Black & Vintage:
At the Intersection of Fashion & Black History
Vol. 1 | Summer 2017

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BUY | Black & Vintage Digital Edition

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LISTEN | Bonus Black & Vintage Vol. 1 Audio on Soundcloud

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on the SHELF: The Vogue Sewing Book

This was my grandma’s book. On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing BookIt’s seen better days.
In her defense, she had seven children and a husband with near legendary book destroying super powers.

It’s possible she absconded with it from NYPL….
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing BookPerhaps she got it at library book sale. (#HopefulLibrarian)

Grandma left this super cute sketch between its pages.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

I think….we have very similar handwriting (so close that I actually signed a couple of her credit cards).
I’m still not entirely sure I didn’t draw this.

It’s an acceptable mystery.

Onto book show-and-tell with:on the SHELF @ Sown Brooklyn
This first edition of The Vogue Sewing Book was published in 1970.
At the Butterick Plant.
If I ever have a my own business, my ultimate goal is to take it all the way to plant level.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

It tells you right here in the preface…

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Bookthat it was made for you, the woman who sews.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

The book considers you a creative rock star.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

Clocking in at over 400 pages, you’d be hard pressed to identify one thing missing from this tome.

Imagine how indispensable it was to the YouTube-less sewers of the past??

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

Broken down into books within the book, we have

Vogue Sewing BookThere’s coverage on that pressing pattern matching issue.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

Lopsided figure fitting.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

There’s even a fashion vocabulary.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

It is indeed your complete sewing handbook.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

I love looking at the silhouettes and smiling about how many of them are back in vogue.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

And taking comfort in the fact that the quest for the perfect sewing room is not a new fad.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

The revised and updated edition of this book has it’s own brand of charm.

Vogue Sewing Book, Revised and UpdatedElegant illustrations, detailed instruction and information, all in a more convenient size and paperback format.

But nothing can top this old beat up beauty.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

This bit of my gran. In book form.

Right on the SHELF.

Colcha Folklorico

My garment sewing mojo has taken a little hiatus. Instead, I’ve been reading and day dreaming about a host of other creative endeavors to get stuck into.

Like quilting.

I am not a quilter, but I will be making my own version of this art quilt.

It’s Frida. So, obviously, I love it.

I stumbled across it at the perfect time: while focused on projects/additions to bring color to my bland home.

I’ve ordered the fabrics.

I can’t wait to see them in person!

Image from @alexanderhenryfabrics on Instagram

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit

NETTIE-Closet Case Patterns

Alternative title: Nettie – A Love Story

This gorgeousness is my super awesome, babetastic, brilliant mate Heather Lou‘s newest labor of indie sewing pattern LOVE!!

Which she named after yours truly!

She has a post full of the sweetest things ever said about me (that my hubby and kids didn’t say, anyway) and I only have the tenderest of feelings about her. This part of her post resonates the most with me:

“I am so grateful to be a part of this inspiring, generous and creative community. Me? Wings. You? Wind.”

I’m continually amazed by how much my sewing friends mean to me. I will always choose their company over others because we can talk about anything PLUS sewing!! That’s indispensable! The gave and take, the honest discourse about serious issues and the laughs (OH, the laughs) are more than I ever expected to get out of blogging.

I’m still gobsmacked, honored and blushing that Heather was in any way inspired by me!!

Get ready for a whole HEAP of Netties!!

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!
Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!

Closet Case Patterns: The Nettie Bodysuit!!These babies (shown in the order sewn) each deserve their own post!! I learned something new on each one and I can’t wait to make even more! There are so many combos included in the pattern.

bodysuit-technical drawings

And you can knock up one with the odd yard of knit in your stash.

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I have SO many mods in mind (Bombshell+Nettie mash-up, cropped, a low back version, and on and on!) that I foresee a LOT of Nettie in my summer!

Stay tuned for the goods on the different fabrics I used, the (kick ASS) fit, tips and more loving on Heather!

PLUS a GIVEAWAY!!

PUNK: Chaos to Couture – A Handmaker’s Factory Review

“Tears, safety pins, rips all over the gaff, third rate tramp thing, that was purely really, lack of money. The arse of your pants falls out, you just use safety pins”
-Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols

This quote sums up the origins of the punk era, taken from one at its center, Johnny Rotten. I copied it from one of the walls in the Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibit currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, here in New York City. It was located towards the end of the rather large collection. Copying it was difficult because the area it was located in was dark, crowded and full of flashing light thrown off of the massive video display on a nearby wall. I felt compelled to copy it because it allowed me to identify the feeling of “something’s just off…” that I was afflicted with while taking everything in.

Let me explain myself. Directly beneath this Johnny Rotten quote reads:

“More than any other aspect of the punk ethos of do-it-yourself, the practice of destroy or deconstruction has had the greatest and most enduring impact on fashion.”

It continues on for a bit. Espousing all of the ways that punk style, method, material and attitude has influenced many of the designer featured in the exhibit. What the composer of this spiel apparently misses, which I saw clearly with reading these things one after the other, is the huge irony of the entire exhibit. Mr. Rotten’s quote tells you directly, punks wore their clothes that way because they had no choice! This style/lifestyle grew organically. It grew out of necessity. And it became cool (and political) because those who rocked the style were so awesome, so talented, so in your face their lack of money and torn, pinned clothing only made them better, more interesting, more desirable. So, a ritzy museum like the MET, which calls one of the toniest neighborhoods in NYC home, offering an exhibit on the fashion of the poor, downtrodden and disenfranchised is really quite amazing.

Title Wall Gallery/Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

When you walk into the chamber that punk claimed you are met with a massive, jarring video display that is Right. In. Your. Face. It’s followed with a reproduction of the filthy bathroom at CBGB and continues with the actual clothes made/worn/sold by punks and punk Godmother Vivienne Westwood and her god-children the Sex Pistols. The moody dark atmosphere of it all the sets bar at a height that the remainder of the exhibit fails to meet.

Facsimile of CBGB bathroom, New York, 1975/Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

430 King’s Road Period Room/Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

D.I.Y.: Hardware/Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The above chamber does feature some vintage punk couture. However, from here on, many of the items featured are “punk inspired” designer clothes. Designer clothes that cost into the thousands of dollars. That is not punk. A neatly trimmed grocery store shopping bag paired with silk shantung pants does not make quite the same statement as safety pinning the ripped crotch of your pants together because you can’t afford to buy new ones. In my humble opinion. Strategically slashed designer jeans are not DIY. The do-it-yourself label cannot be applied to mass produced goods. Can it? Attaching two lengths of elastic to some black netting, and charging a fortune for it, is not a continuation of the punk era.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some absolutely stunning things in this collection. Particularly some additions by Alexander McQueen and this set of dresses made with hand painted fabric.

D.I.Y.: Graffiti & Agitprop/Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

But, unless Dolce and Gabanna painted and then wore these gowns themselves, can they really be DIY?

After you take in all of the color and slash and ironically contrary text spread around the place, you’re dumped out into a gift shop. A gift shop. Could they have ended on a less punk note? There is not one piece of free memorabilia for this collection. Well, if there was I surely did not see it. What you are given is the opportunity to spend $46 on a book about it. Or to buy a postcard with Sid Vicious scowling on it. Or a studded platform shoe key chain….

This photo, where I’m reflected in a sign pointing me toward the exhibit, is all I have to remember the experience by.

To visit Punk: Chaos to Couture online, click here.

This review originally appeared on Handmaker’s Factory.
Thanks to Nichola for making the arrangement for me!