While the fireworks are going off and the burgers and vegetables are grilling this weekend, are you searching for a little time to sew up a lovely linen pillow or a cool cotton skirt? Make this the week to celebrate your sewing independence. Here at Stitch, we're firm believers in sewing well, but unhooking yourself from blind devotion to the pattern (yes, even our patterns!). That means you can add, subtract, mix ideas together, break the rules, and do what works for you.
We love to keep up with the Stitch Creations group over at Flickr.com to see how our readers are doing exactly that. Not surprisingly, the adorable Oliver + S Ruffled Halter top for little girls (shown at left), from the current Stitch Spring 2010 issue, has been very popular! And while the pattern is simple, it's fabric that makes the difference, and that's the easiest way to go beyond the pattern. Instead of looking for something that looks like the picture, go in a different direction entirely. For example, with this cute top, you could make each ruffle a different color, and get a whole new effect.
Alisa Burke is Interweave's newest sewing and mixed-media artist/author; we're working with her on an exciting book. An independent spirit runs through everything Alisa does, in the most inspiring way! She's got a terrific, easy, free tutorial for a red, white, and blue Stars and Strips Wreath (shown above right) on her blog, so go visit and get to know her.
As we celebrate independence, don't forget to support independent pattern companies and independent fabric stores. We love all fabric stores, and diversity makes for a healthy sewing industry, so we hope to see them all thrive, large and small. Small businesses contribute so much to the amazing and wonderful growth of the modern sewing community, and we raise our lemonade to the intrepid entrepreneurs who go into business for themselves, just as we appreciate larger companies too.
But most of all, celebrate all the ways that sewing makes you independent. With a little experience and confidence in your skills, you can make anything you want, and get exactly what you envision. You don't have to pay attention to anyone else's idea of what looks good on you, or what size you should be, or what colors you can put together. It's all up to you! Helping you do this is what Stitch is here for, and our own intrepid team is working hard on the next issue as we speak. But as we wrap up for the holiday weekend, we wish you a happy and safe Independence Day.
Images: Left, Oliver + S ruffled halter top from Stitch Spring 2010; right, Stars and Stripes Wreath by Alisa Burke (photo copyright Alisa Burke, all rights reserved; used with permission).