Thursday, June 04, 2020

The Only Thing I'm Neutral on Is Wardrobe Pieces!


Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I've been a blogger for a long time. I've always wanted to keep the "aesthetic" of my platform purely about sewing and only sewing. I hardly even talk about my own family UNLESS it's sewing-related. I haven't discussed anything political since Barack Obama was elected, because that was just monumental and my ancestors' wildest dream. I had to shout about it from the rafters. The only time I've "acted up" was when a troll needed to be dealt with swiftly. I'm always going to advocate for myself. There's no taking the high road when you're being openly disrespected. You have to let them know... train people how to treat you. I've witnessed a lot of things happening in the 15 years that I've been taking up real estate on this little corner of Al Gore's internet. A lot of unrest... a lot of unfair treatment of disenfranchised folks. And I kept it strictly about sewing, even when I've noticed systemic racism and implicit/unconscious bias within our sewing community, because my sewing has always been my peace.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I use to be able to just go to my sewing studio, turn on the TV and sew until my little heart was content while blocking out everything else in the world. That's how I protect my mental health and keep my anxiety in check. It was my little protective bubble. But when people are protesting in the streets, I just can't sew away civil unrest. And when you see the brands that you've loved, spent copious amounts of your discretionary income supporting, given them free advertisement on your blog and social channels (because I can sew all day and blog it without mentioning a pattern, you know...), you would think that they'd have common decency to stand on the right side of history and support a large portion of their demographic. You simply can't be neutral and ride the middle. It's like being "a little bit pregnant". Either you are or you're not. And who wouldn't want to make it known that their brand/company is Anti-Racist, unless -- you're not. Let that sink in... 
And if you don't see the injustice, well... you need to check your heart and your head.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
In the last week, I made this two-piece linen set from Mimi G. Style. I haven't worked with line in a while. This Oatmeal Medium Weight Linen from Mood Fabrics was super stiff and crisp when it first arrived. But after I washed, dried and pressed it, it softened up. It's 100% linen, so every time you breathe on it, it wrinkles. I know that's the characteristic of linen, but I'll be glad when these pieces are broken in after they've been washed a few times.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
The top has a good amount of ease and bust darts. I was able to cut a size 14 without a FBA. 
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
However, since it is a cropped style, I did add an inch of length so it would hit the waistband of my pants.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I cut a size 16 in the pants. A few years ago, I was all about the flat-front, wide-legged trousers. Who knew what I needed in my life was a pair of pleated high-waisted, straight legged pants? For Mimi to be the designer, her pants are always drafted pretty long. I didn't even measure the inseam and just added my normal 3" of length and I ended up having to take that off at the hem.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
The pants are drafted with a beautiful fly front. Everyone does these slightly different, so I referred to her sew-along video to see how she was installing this. I used my edge foot to stitch-in-the-ditch to finish my waistband. It provides the cleanest finish possible without hand stitching.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I did make my normal 1.5" full seat adjustment to prevent the dipping at the center back.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I used my machine to sew a blind hem for a clean, professional finish.
Simplicity 9114 - Two-Piece Linen Set from Mimi G Style - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
I love these pieces and they'll be mixed and match all summer throughout my wardrobe.

25 comments:

  1. The outfit is beautiful! I love the color on you, and now I want to pull out my edgestitch foot and use it more often.

    I am saddened to hear about the silence of major sewing companies that you, and many other sewists have supported over the years.

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    1. Their lack of support is extremely troublesome. Thanks Vanessa!

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  2. Thank you for speaking out. I'm more a quilter, and haven't made garments in forever, but you do beautiful work and I always enjoy your posts. I just don't comment much, but I'm trying to change that.
    Thank you again!

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  3. Thanks Erica for speaking about this issue. I must say I am not surprised that none of these brands haven't addressed what's going on. Who every said they were decent. If we were to examine them, we would probably find out that they aren't decent. Anyway....love your work as usual. #ADOS

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  4. Thanks for speaking out Erica. Seeing different companies reactions this past week is making me rethink where I spend my money. I default to JoAnns too often because there is one in the neighborhood and everything is so cheap. But I'm always happier with the quality of the fabric I buy online. Something needs to change and these business need to get on the right side of history. -Sandy

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    1. They're telling us that they don’t care and taking for granted that we’ll always shop there. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my own privilege allows me to have options. I can go the rest of my life without ever shopping at Jo-Ann’s again. Hancock Fabrics went out of business and guess what? The world kept turning and I kept sewing.

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  5. Hear hear.

    Feels uncomfortably flippant to follow that up with a comment on your outfit, but... it is lovely.

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  6. It's bizarre how all of these sewing related business's are business as usual. I follow a lot of Black sewists and there are a lot of Black women out there sewing and posting on IG and obviously spending lots of $$ on their sewing and they'd certainly miss your money but they can't take a moment to acknowledge what's going on right now. It does seem frivolous to comment on your lovely outfit and fitting that it was designed by Mimi G. Good post.

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    1. Thank you Nancy! You've always been here and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

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  7. I'm glad you're speaking out. I've often not know how to address racism. Being white, I'm now looking differently at myself. I'm looking hard at how white privilege was built into my core. Erica, I have to admit that it's been shocking to learn how many of my assumptions about my life have been challenged. And I expect the discovery will continue. Hopefully, more of our companies and institutions will look hard at themselves as well. Let us know how we might help address those inequities. We want to help, but are often clueless. Again, thank you.

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  8. Thank you Erica, for these words. this has been so overwhelming I'm just about piecing together what I want to say both on social and IRL. I'm disappointed that this reflects my real life. The silence is deafening.

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  9. Thoughtfully written, Erica. And, as usual, beautiful garments!

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  10. Hello Erica . Thank you for this post .I am in Australia and the ructions that have been happening in the US are happening here too. I am glad that it is happening , I am glad that people are expressing their disgust at racism , I am glad that we are all made to feel so uncomfortable and to look into our hearts . Its high time . I have learned things about being black that had never occurred to me before and I have also become more sensitive to the hurt that many of my fellow humans have been enduring as a matter of course and forever.
    i absolutely get the solace you feel in sewing . I feel the same and have always enjoyed reading your blog over many many years . I hope that you will take heart from all the support that is out there and keep doing what you love and spreading your quiet membership of the (mostly ) sisterhood of sewers .

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  11. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Erika. I've been avidly reading your sewing blog for nearly a decade now, and I've always so enjoyed seeing your makes.
    The groundswell of events that was sparked with George Floyd's murder have been reverberating where I live also, on the other side of the world - and it's been a humbling experience to only just realise how my inaction and silence has contributed towards maintaining the status quo, to become more educated and aware, and i hope - be an active anti-racism advocate going forward. Thank you.

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  12. Hi Erika. Very honored to have been a part of your audience for your art and your experience since the beginning. I feel lucky the Obama's love this country enough to keep inspiring us and leading us despite the horrible politicians in power then and now. As a white person, I feel we don't deserve them. Thank you Obamas!
    BTW, Anyone who can make pleated front, beige pants look amazing is a sewing genius! Love these! Thank you for helping me not to give up on pleated front pants by seeing how good yours look.

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  13. Hi Erica, thanks for pointing out the silence of the fabric industry. I try to go with independent shops anyway (which, where I live, tend to be White-owned but at least they're not giant corporations). I actually found your site through MeSewCrazy's post on Women of Color (2016). White people (including me) don't tend to notice that our influencers are pretty monochromatic until we think about it -and then we realize we're missing out on great fashion/sewing experts like you! Thank you for sharing both your advice and your wisdom.

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