Friday, July 20, 2018

Literary Sewing Circle: Inspiration

Today's post is all about some quick inspiration for your makes from our Literary Sewing Circle pick, The New Moon's Arms. Have you finished it yet? Got part-way in? What do you think?

I'm taking a little bit of a different approach from our last inspiration post full of possible patterns drawn from the novel's themes. Today's focus is on some of the descriptions of clothing in the story. Hopkinson uses people's appearance and fashion choices to say something about them - their style reflects their personality. Here a few examples, with some ready-to-wear designs to inspire you to think about which style you could incorporate into your own wardrobe. Can you tell who you are most like, stylistically?


Thank heaven I'd put on some decent clothes to come to the hospital: good pants, the fitted cream blouse with the cap sleeves, a bit of lipstick (Calamity)

Frankie Blouse from Unique Vintage

The woman looked a little younger than me. Probably dougla, with that flowing black hair and those full African lips. Speaky-spokey too. Come from money. And wasn't that a Chanel suit? In this heat? (Caroline Sookdeo-Grant)

Chanel Spring 2016

He was wearing perfectly faded jeans, a stylin' pair of leather sandals polished to a fare-thee-well, and an impeccably ironed navy blue cotton shirt that made his dark skin gleam. It just wasn't right for a man to be so well turned out.  (Orso)

Navy Oxford from The Gap

She was wearing a cotton skirt in beige, A-line, with a tasteful lace trim at its hem. A matching t-shirt. A crocheted cotton shawl, cream colour, as were the espadrilles on her feet. (Evelyn)

Amur skirt from Moda Operandi
Castaner wedges from Moda Operandi

Her dress was shapeless as usual, but this time it was a stylish shapeless, in a nubbly indigo silk that brought out her colouring. Even her sandals were pretty. (Ifeoma)

Bobeau Dress from Nordstrom

Caslon Dress from Nordstrom


  1. Still waiting for my copy of the book, after the first one went astray on the way from the US! Apparently this book does not exist in the UK, how odd. Fortunately, I'm pretty fast at sewing, and have several vague ideas waiting to crystallise...

    1. I'm glad you are persevering - I think it's a great book and will be worth it when you finally get your hands on it! Glad that you are starting to get some ideas just from the conversations, and we do have a longer summer sewing period to finish our projects this time around :)

  2. Wow! What an interesting comment you make Melanie. I have never ,purposefully, picked out the statements about what characters are wearing, and yet you are so right. (Obviously) it is those descriptions that not only put an image of the person in our mind, but it does add so much to character development and reflect their personality.
    On another level, I think when reading out loud to grandchildren, I will also make a point of talking about the clothes of the characters, and get my early readers to think about the description and how they perceive it reflects personality – on a simple scale of course.

    1. The presentation of characters via wardrobe is always so interesting to me! Some authors are more deliberate about it, of course. If you haven't checked out the blog "Clothes In Books" yet, you should -- just fascinating!

    2. I wonder, how would an author describe my wardrobe to build a picture of my character in real life? Or more to the point, how would I like an author to describe my wardrobe. Maybe that is what I should be considering when I plan to sew.

      Have you considered this yourself?

    3. I haven't! What an interesting thought to ponder. How would I be described as a fictional character in terms of my wardrobe...hmmmm! Lots of dresses, always pockets - maybe a bit girly and practical all in one ;)

  3. You have found some amazing inspiration images, Melanie. I can practically see the characters IRL after seeing this post. I've just completed my make inspired by the book...can't wait to take pictures and share.

    1. Wow, already done your project! Can't wait to see it. Mine is still in the flat fabric stage ;)


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!