Friday, November 2, 2012

Are You Creative?

Last weekend was the annual meeting for the Northern Virginia American Sewing Guild Chapter.  It was held at the Lorton Arts Center, Workhouse at Lorton Arts Center a former prison and now studios for local artists.  I love a chance to see my sewing girlfriends so I made the trek and enjoyed the company, the food and the wonderful speaker, Nancy Schriber.  Nancy did a trunk show, first of her garments that have appeared in Threads magazine and then of garments that she has made and used in classes to inspire her students.  I've seen Nancy several times over the past decade and a half and always come away appreciating her gentle, encouraging manner which pushes me to think beyond my current boundaries but also gently reminds me to stay true to myself in the process.  Nancy is especially noted for her wonderful hand stitched contemporary sashiko work.  

Nancy Shriber and the jacket that made the cover of Threads magazine's 15th Anniversary issue

Spectacular silk dupioni pieced yet flattering jackets

The insides are as beautiful as the outside

An old, rare sashiko remnant at the back yoke combined with fabric that Nancy painted and mushed in a plastic bag.

Hearing Nancy speak reminded me a conversation with my sister in law while we were out in CA last month.  Are you creative?  I think that anyone who creates something new is creative.  You create a new garment when you select the fabric, the pattern, the buttons, etc.  That's creative to me.  I don't think the only creative people are on Project Runway or in art shows.  Maybe my skills are not where I would like them to be yet but if I put myself down by disparaging my efforts, then I don't feel motivated to improve and enjoy the process along the way.  I believe my sister in law is very creative since she sews beautifully and has taken up shoe painting that is fun and delightful to see.  I think that seeing ourselves as creative gives us permission to try new approaches, admit mistakes and find the lessons to learn.  Are there people far more technically advanced and more imaginative than I am?  Only a few billion on the planet!  But I am so fortunate to have time and resources to let me grow my creativity on any given day.  When my world has cranky, hostile people in it, as it does too frequently, then my creativity and my inspiring friendships take me away mentally and physically from that negativity and fear.  Yes, I am creative and I think if you are reading this post, the you are too.  Here's to a roomful of women last Saturday who celebrated that spirit in each of us.  

Oh, and in case you aren't tired of those Pamela's Patterns pencils skirts yet, here's what I wore to the meeting:
Lace Magic Pencil skirt lined in stretch silk charmeuse....and backyard before the storm


  1. I agree, there are many types and levels of creativity. Thanks for sharing pics of Nancy Shriber and her work. I'd love to see her work up close!

  2. Thank you So much, Jane, for this post and wonderful pictures about our annual meeting. I love your descriptions of Nancy's work, her creative mind, and her gentle spirit. You looked marvelous in your lace pencil skirt. And, I know it isn't this post, but -- You go Girl, in those skinny pants!

  3. You were so inspiring when you wrote about being creative. Not only are you creative in sewing, but also with your writing. Thanks for the gentle little push to each of us to be our best!


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."