Category: Fashon

Handmade: Megan Swansen

From off-menu eateries to underground java joints, too many of the best things fly off the radar. Usually discovered through word of mouth, hidden gems go beyond the iconic and provide us with quirky, unexpected and different. Philadelphia is known for many local designers, Norman Porter and Priscilla Costa are just two, but for those who like a relaxed, minimalist approach to dressing, you will want to sit up and take notice of Megan Swansen. A less-hyped designer, she has churned out small collections since launching in 2011 that dovetail neutral colors and simple silhouettes with laid-back glamour. Another testament of what a hidden treasure she is – as I was taking photos towards the end of our interview, she pulled out her uncle’s notebook that was passed down to her, and inside were pattern making assignment from the 1950s! Her Uncle Frank attended a satellite fashion school, so he mailed his homework to be corrected. Maybe, just maybe the reason why Megan remains under the radar is because those who know about her want to keep her their own little secret. Sorry, guys, but the word is out. I started sewing when I was in high school. I didn’t quite know what I was doing; it was more of an experimental stage. I mostly took garments apart to see how they were made. I made my prom dress out of recycled upholstery fabric that I draped and tacked until I had the silhouette I wanted to wear (I was looking a lot at Schiaparelli at the time). I don’t remember what my first machine was – whatever was tucked away in our basement at the time. I attended Moore College of Art and Design and a earned degree in fashion design. I’ve worked for several corporate companies in various capacities,…

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tags: Fashon Comments: 2

Weekend: The Sewing Party Recap

Last Saturday was a big day for me. It was the launch of my online bra making class. One of the many workshops during The Sewing Party, it not only furthered skills but foraged new friendships. Sarah from Greys Fabric hit up my class as did other women. I have been receiving emails from other attendees throughout the week expressing thanks and excitement to make their first bra. Success? I think so! This was not my first experience teaching, but it was my first experience teaching this subject. By the end of this month, I will announce the dates and open registration for my in-person bra making class here in Philly. For those who attended my workshop at The Sewing Party, I’d love to hear your constructive criticism. What did you like? What didn’t you like? The video was short, but I supplemented with a takeaway that provided more information. Because viewers won’t have access to the video forever, it was important to me that you had something to reference forever. So in the comments below or via email, let me know what you thought! Also, if anyone is interested in taking my in-person class, message me and I’ll add you to the list of people who will get first dibs on purchasing tickets.  

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tags: Fashon Comments: 3

The Way Sewing Used to Be: Scissors

While Egyptians used basic, elemental scissors, it was the Romans who used modern day shears. Similar to today’s variety, they featured a handle at one end, blades on the other and some kind of joint in between. Their simple silhouette and clean lines were a reflection of how advanced they were – like Apple computers in the B.C. era. As the Romans traveled and expanded their reach abroad, so did scissors. Right behind the soldiers were traders who developed trade routes and markets, bringing their commonplace items to the civilizations they touched. Didn’t think there was much history behind your simple, good ole scissors, right? Neither did I, and that’s why I’m becoming more and more passionate about my Instagram series, #thewaysewingusedtobe. In addition to ogling at the superb package design of sewing notions way back when, it’s also pushing me to research them. Okay, I didn’t have to go back as far back as I did in the case of scissors, but hey, I’m a total geek. I’ll admit it. This month, I got specific and purchased a slew of scissors. The first pair I bought were Thor Speed Snips Electric Scissors, which according to the instruction sheet, were “intended for the 40 million women who sew creatively.” Um, who doesn’t sew creatively? The next were a pair of Griffon pinking shears that came in a Pepto Bismol colored box. Kind of yucky, kind of pretty. I’ve seen a lot of Griffon branded scissors for sale on Ebay, so I got my pretty little hands on another. My newest set, shown above, comes with an Austrian leather case and included metal thimble and seam gauge. The case is opened and closed with a strong metal zipper that has upheld nicely over the years. Let’s not forget to mention that blue…

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tags: Fashon Comments: 10