Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Let Me Introduce Myself...

My name is Lindsey, and I like to sew.  Also, I am probably the biggest clothes horse I know. That being said, I'd like to tell you a little bit about what I do and how I've come to where I am. 

I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2002, shortly after graduating from high school.  Fresh out of the midwest (South Dakota, to be exact), I was faced with an unfamiliar city and a thirst to find the one thing in life that I was truly passionate about.  Juggling college classes, a full-time job, and getting to know a new part of the country, I still managed to make time to create.  

Making things has always been a huge part of my life.  I was a girl scout for years and years and years (My mom was the troop leader, so I didn't have much of a choice), and despite despising going door to door toting overpriced cookies, I loved the arts and crafts.  We made so many things during our troop meetings, from refrigerator pickles to dehydrated apples carved and decorated to look like old women's faces.  It seemed silly to me at the time, but now I am grateful for that experience.  

When I moved out west, I decided I would take up sewing.  I bought a sewing machine, some basic patterns, fabric, and set out to learn how to sew.  The gratification I received from completing a garment was addicting, and sewing soon became my new favorite hobby.  I started using found fabrics like sheets, curtains, and other clothing because the prints were unlike anything I could find in a fabric store.  Plus, they were cheaper.  

My friends told me that I should try to sell my stuff at stores around town.  The thought had never even crossed my mind.  Even though my sewing skills were still lacking, I decided to take the plunge and take some of my pieces to boutiques.  Much to my surprise, they were receptive, and I began to create one of a kind pieces under the name Lucy in the Sky Designs.  When I look back at the first pieces I made, they were ill-fitting, and not put together well, but it was a start. 

As my skills improved, so did my aesthetics.  I was still using mostly found and vintage materials, but I was using more wearable fabrics, such as jersey.  Most of the great vintage prints I had were on stiff cotton or unbreathable polyester, which didn't allow me the versatility I was looking for.  With my changing tastes, I decided to also change the name of my clothing line.  I called it 'love, ginger'.  It's kind of a shortened version of saying 'this garment was made for you.  love, ginger'.  

Here are some photos of those earlier pieces:

These pieces were all one of a kind, and made from recycled materials. Once again, it was a good start.

I decided to take a break from apparel for a little while and test the waters with some accessories. A friend who was about to move out of the country gave me her collection of vintage church lady hats, and I became obsessed. Their delicate construction and attention to detail gave me a new goal to work towards with my own projects.  I've always appreciated a well-constructed piece of vintage clothing.  In this age of mass-produced clothing, it's a lot harder to find properly finished seams or little details that make a garment stand out.

Glue gun in hand, I set out to create vintage inspired hats of my own.  It wasn't easy to find the chenille-coated wire, so I made my own using pipe cleaners and heavy-duty wire.  I also sewed strips of wire in between two pieces of felt to make the hats more sculptural.  Here are some photos of the results.  These hats are currently available for sale:

This year I decided to change focus once again.  I wanted to move away from one of a kind pieces and start doing size runs of specific styles each season.  Simple color schemes and thoughtfully placed details will be the foundation.  The name has changed to Reif (this is the last time, I promise) and I'm planning on releasing my first collection in early July '08.

Thanks for sticking with this rather long first blog entry.  I'll be posting photos and other info regarding my progress every few days.  Feel free to drop me a line or pass on any advice or resources you would like to share.  

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