Today in my series of interviews with sewing bloggers on their connection between sewing & style, I’m delighted to feature Miriam of Mad Mim. I’ve been a long time reader of Miriam’s blog and am often inspired by her casual yet pretty style and the many ways that she embellishes plain fabrics. I had the delight of meeting Miriam in person at Sewing Summit where I discovered she is sweet and chatty and friendly and I’m delighted to share her thoughts on the connection between her ability to sew and her personal style.
Hello all! I’m Miriam from madmim.com, and when Erin asked me to participate in this series I was jazzed because boy oh boy, do I love this discussion! I love talking about anything that has to do with identifying personal style and definitely a little self-analysis thrown in there, so I’m excited to jump in the conversation.
Describe your style.
I would describe my personal style as bohemian classic. I love earthy colors, texture, softened angles, and tone on tone graphic prints.
Describe what you sew.
I sew most of my wardrobe (tops, skirts, dresses, haven’t tackled jeans for myself yet – soon!), and love to work with knits. I also love hand printing, and incorporate a lot of that into my sewing. I sew probably 60% of my kid’s wardrobe as well (tees, jeans, dresses, skirts, dress shirts, trousers, etc).
What inspires or influences your style?
A few years ago I felt like I had a mini style-crisis where I wondered what is MY style? And why?! And do I know?! I felt like I was a leaf in the wind, appreciating all kinds of trends and never really knowing where I fit in. At some point I stumbled upon Dressing Your Truth – a personal style/personality analysis program, and although I didn’t do the full program (still would love to!), and don’t love the clothing they suggest, I did glean a ton of information about who I am, my personality, and why I love what I love. So many things finally made sense to me, and for me, making that connection between my personality and my personal style was huge. It was a powerful self-actualizing experience, and I never was more sure or confident in my own skin. And it spread to every area of my life, which was surprising. I suddenly knew how I wanted to decorate my house, what kind of space I needed around me, and what kind of things I wanted to be working towards. My style is inspired by the expected places – certain people/blogs , pinterest, certain retailers, but is very much an extension of my personality. I can now easily edit/disregard/embrace the trends around me i.e. I love this, I hate that, this is fantastic but not for me, this is absolutely perfect for me, etc.
How does your passion for sewing influence your style?
I think I love sewing so much because I do understand my style, and it is so FREAKING fun to make something that is totally me. It’s so fun to completely love what you make, and only make what you completely love. And very naturally, my sewing skills have increased as I have had so much practice making what I want to wear! I also believe that the creative process itself of designing and sewing clothing you love and that represents who you are, is a much more powerful statement (experience even) than just wearing alone. It’s THIS IS ME!!! on speed, if you know what I mean.
Does your style require that you are able to sew?
I definitely began sewing as an adult because I couldn’t afford to buy the clothing I liked. I went from single to starving-student-parent in a matter of months, and while my husband and I weren’t destitute, we definitely didn’t have money for clothes. I had already dusted off my sewing skills a bit for my baby girl, and it was a natural transition to start making things for myself. And now 8 years later not much has changed! While we’re neither starving nor students anymore, we still don’t have the cash flow to satisfy my taste, and truthfully, it really isn’t only about that anymore. I sew because I love having a unique, individually curated wardrobe that is perfectly ‘me’.
Does your passion for sewing influence/enable/hinder the style of those around you?
Along those lines, my ability to sew 100% enables my family’s personal style. I’m able to create clothes my kids love (even design themselves)! My husband benefits the least, poor man, but even he gets all the clever tee’s his heart desires!
I look at every day as a chance to play dress-up. How do you play dress-up?
This is a great question. As a mom of three kids, I feel like my big chance to dress up is my weekly trip to the grocery store, no joke. I don’t really dress up often, but I have noticed that as I have refined my own personal style and sewn plenty of things I love, my daily momiform is more put together and more ‘me’ than I think it would be otherwise. Just don’t judge my awesome outfits as I walk my daughter to the bus stop every morning, there are no rules before 8:30 am. One more thing to add though, is that my blog gives me a little chance to dress up, and I think that’s partly why I love to sew! I love to share my sewing victories with my bloggy sewing friends, and although I LOATHE taking outfit photos, I love dressing up and sharing with all of you.