Sewing & Writing: My Passions that Collide
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
2w ago
When I started this blog all those years ago, I thought I would muse about my opinions on all manner of subjects related to women and style—especially women of “a certain age.” Fast forward six or so years, and I have found myself writing more and more about style as it relates to sewing. I’ve even taught myself how to tailor a blazer and make a Chanel-inspired Little French Jacket. About three years ago, as we were in the thick of the COVID pandemic, I started writing a novel that featured sewing and women’s transformation at its heart. I’d been writing for decades—mostly nonfiction with brie ..read more
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Vintage Sewing Patterns―Revisiting the 1960s
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
6M ago
I don’t know about you, but I miss seeing Midge Maisel in all her 1960s fashion glory in The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel. I enjoyed this series, not least because of the extraordinary costumes. I’m only slightly obsessed with the 1960s (*bats eyes*), and this show gives us the 1960s in spades. When I was writing my book Kat’s Kosmic Blues (the sequel-prequel to The Year I Made 12 Dresses), I immersed myself in the 1960s, and one of the most fabulous books I now own is Madly Marvellous, all about the costumes in, you guessed it, The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel. I’m so obsessed that one of the character ..read more
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Sewing Through 2023: Taking Stock
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
7M ago
Another year is coming to a close, and as I write this, it is the eve of New Year’s Eve 2023. And isn’t it the time of year when most people begin to assess the twelve months that have just elapsed before looking ahead to the next twelve? We’re like that as human beings—taking stock of the past before moving ahead. So, I’ve been scrolling through Instagram over the past week, taking in all the “best nine of 2023” sewing projects completed by some terrific sewists I follow. So, of course, I thought I’d do the same. The problem I discovered, however, is that I don’t have nine “best-of” projects ..read more
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Fall Fashion Trends and Fall Fashion Sewing—And Never the Twain Shall Meet (evidently!)
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
9M ago
I love the fall. It is, without a doubt, my favourite season, although after mentioning the crisp weather and the fall colours, I’m hard-pressed to tell you anything else I love about it. It is the harbinger of winter—which, in this neck of the woods, can be pretty unpredictable and nastily cold. The fall colours last only for a month or two (then there’s late November). And the most annoying thing of all: I never know what to wear! This fashion issue is problematic here in Toronto because the fall mornings can be cool to cold, while the afternoons are often sunny and warmish. And then there ..read more
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What the heck is “pattern hacking” anyway? Let’s talk pattern redesign
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
1y ago
How often do you make a new garment following every single line of the pattern and every single direction about how to sew it together? If you’ve been sewing for more than a nanosecond, I’m willing to bet that it is rare for you to do this. And how often do you look at a commercial pattern and say to yourself, “I generally like it, but I’m not so enamoured about the…fill in the blanks.” It could be the sleeve length, the yoke at the back that seems unnecessary, the amount of design ease. Take your pick. So often, these days, a commercial pattern is only the beginning. Does this mean you’re “ha ..read more
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A Breton Shirt: The Classic and Beyond
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
1y ago
There is something so classic about those striped shirts that debuted in France on their sailors in 1858. And I love them so much that this isn’t the first time they’ve appeared on my blog. I wrote about my fondness for stripes while singing the praises of the boat neck and again (briefly) when I wrote about my fall wardrobe planning in 2021. We all know that fashion trends come and go, but by now, we should realize that “style” is forever. So said Yves St. Laurent in 1975: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” He was not the first to express this sentiment. Years earlier, Coco Chanel said almost ..read more
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Overcoming Sewing Snobbery or How I Learned to Love my Serger (and new coverstitch machine)!
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
1y ago
I think there is a declining breed among sewers/sewists in this twenty-first century. This is that rarefied group of sewists/sewers who eschew anything that smacks of fast-fashion-ready-to-wear techniques. For years, every time someone said a certain tool or technique would make the garments I sewed myself resemble ready-to-wear, all I could picture was crumbling sweatshops in third-world countries where workers toiled in outrageous conditions so that first-world consumers could have their choice of millions of pieces of clothing of questionable quality. No, I said. That’s not for me. And it a ..read more
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What I Sewed in 2022―And What I Learned
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
1y ago
There was a time when I never looked back on a year of sewing and style matters. These days, I find it very illuminating to see how my style has evolved, what I choose to sew, what I choose to buy off the rack and what I’ve learned―about sewing and myself. And the end of a calendar year always seems like the right place to reflect―beginnings and endings and all that. So, what did 2022 offer me? I looked back at the patterns I chose to work on this past year. I always tend to stick with the big commercial brands since they usually have the most interesting design details and well-fitted pieces ..read more
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Another Shirt-Making Adventure: And New Burrito Application!
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
1y ago
It might have been last summer when my husband came along with me on a fabric-shopping foray to Queen Street West in Toronto when he found the fabric. I was otherwise occupied in the shop while he rummaged through the myriad shirt fabrics and discovered a cotton denim-y fabric that we both thought would make him a fabulous shirt. I finally dug out one of the bespoke shirt patterns I created for him a year or two ago and got back to work on the shirt. I like the precision required for making a really good shirt, but I have difficulty finding fabric I love. So many shirtings―the kind made speci ..read more
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Maybe I Should Have Paid Attention to the Pattern Reviews: Sewing Vogue 1663
The G. G. Files
by ggherself
1y ago
Can we talk about sewing pattern reviews? Do you use them? Love them? Hate them? Or not even know they exist? As for me, I usually forget they exist. I am a member of the online pattern review site, cleverly called―you guessed it―Patternreview.com. I have posted exactly one review. This is odd coming from a woman who has a lot of opinions. Yet, I seem unable to make more of a contribution to this site, which, in my view, is doing all of us sewists a great service. All you have to do is plug your pattern brand and number into their search engine, and you’ll see a list of reviews of that exact p ..read more
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