Well, the trip to Europe is done, and I am home. Thanks to international travel and jet lag, I snagged myself a nasty cold on the day of my return and have spent the past three days in bed or on the couch. I thought when I got back I would focus on finishing the black dress I wanted to wear to the Top 20 Under 40 Gala, but after I tried it on again, I realized it was looking very Becky-Home-Ecky so I’ve put it in the naughty corner. Also, I need a dress I can wear with flats because after two weeks of walking on cobblestones, my knees are wrecked, and high heels just won’t do.

So now I’m taking a pause from sewing while I consider my next endeavours. Doing the Patternreview.com Wardrobe Contest made me think about my sewing projects in a coordinated, purposeful way for the first time ever, and I’m pleased with the outcome. While I was in Barcelona, I spent a fair amount of time poking into little designer boutiques in the El Born district, where you can easily get lost and/or drop hundreds of Euros on adorable locally-designed garments, if only you are a size 12 or smaller. This made it a tad frustrating for me, because even the most adorable outfits were ruled out based not on price but on sizing… They just don’t make clothes for the tall, athletic and slightly rounded Canadian girl.

One thing that did dawn upon me though, after seeing some stuff in boutiques that frankly I wouldn’t consider fit for public viewing: there’s not that much separating me from people who design and sell clothes for a living. In skill, that is. I can totally rock the garment construction. The question is, can I put together a design concept and take it from idea to a collection?

The other big part of my European trip, from a sewing-design perspective, is my experience in Paris. I’ve already written about my amazing Chanel adventure, but what I haven’t mentioned is our visit to the Musee D’Orsay in the morning, and how it inspired me to sketch things I don’t know that I’d ever make for myself. It’s made me wonder whether sewing only for myself is limiting my exploration of my creative abilities. There’s of course something empowering about interpreting fashion design concepts for a slightly plus-size woman, but I’m starting to see how it can be liberating for designers to think about how clothing could work on a person with minimal curves. If you didn’t have to factor in worries about over-emphasizing your hips or bust, what would those clothes look like? Also, there are colours I wouldn’t want to wear personally but am inspired to use in garments – grey and yellow, for example, which look terrible on me but on someone with different colouring could be stunning.

So, all of these thoughts are bouncing around my head at the moment as I recover from being ill and survive what promises to be a brutally over-committed next seven days. By next weekend I’ll probably be exhausted and hopefully pining for my sewing loft. Until then… Netflix and chill!

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