Monday, March 21, 2016

Rightfully Sewn





On Saturday March 12th, I attended the Rightfully Sewn 2016 Scholarship Winners Celebration Event. This was the kick-off event for Kansas City Fashion Week. This event featured five young Kansas City designers and was held at Anaphora, an upscale boutique. 


More about the great coat I got at Anaphora at the end!


 I mainly went to hear  Kansas City's Kaufman Foundations's  FastTrac fashion design scholars and see samples of their work. I also knew that the organization Rightfully Sewn was picked as the charity partner for this Spring's fashion week and would be represented. Did I do my homework on what exactly Rightfully Sewn was? Well no, I went to the event not knowing anything. 


Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer introducing the scholarship recipients

Almost the minute I walked in, I was greeted by a beautiful young woman (maybe I looked lost?) who introduced herself as Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer, the founder of Rightfully Sewn, and she gave me a brief introduction as to the mission of her organization. I was impressed and immediately found a quiet corner and looked Rightfully Sewn up on my phone. Here is their mission in their own words:

"Rightfully Sewn will provide seamstress training for at-risk women so they can thrive in a specialized workforce that will reestablish Kansas City as an epicenter of garment manufacturing, while at the same time, propel Kansas City fashion designers to market so they can supply the burgeoning demand for affordable, high-quality, American-produced garments."


Needless to say, after reading that, I jumped over to their Indiegogo account and contributed. I feel we need to take care of our own and fashion belongs back in Kansas City. We have a strong local food movement and need the same in fashion and I know Kansas City is not alone in this. I am pretty sure this  movement is taking hold throughout other cities worldwide.

Focusing on Dolyn Bags by Ami Beck


Kansas City designers, Heidi Herrman, Amina Wyrick Hood  and Whitney Manney 


Rightfully Sewn Links

Rightfully Sewn website

Rightfully Sewn Indiegogo account 

Scholarship Recipients Links

Ami Beck/Dolyn Bags

Heidi Hermann

Whitney Manney

Sarah Nelsen

Kate Nichols

  

In the beginning, I mentioned that Anaphora hosted this event. They also contributed 10% of the sales that night to Rightfully Sewn. What better reason than to shop, right? On my way out, I noticed a coat that should have already been in my closet. The problem was not if I had anything to wear with it but how could I choose what to wear with it!


My new coat is by BB Dakota.  Just the week before I had been daydreaming about windowpane checks and there they were. This coat can be worn with everything and I am planning to.  


And here I am again, but with some extra cast members. Our two Elders, Bennet the Lab (12 yrs) and Barney (14 years) decided they wanted to be in the picture and who am I to say no?

Here are a few things I put with my new coat this time around. My pants are 100% linen that I made using Vogue Pattern #2948 which is a Today's Fit pattern by Sandra Betzina. I am carrying The Spiral Bag by Tom Thomas Designs. For some color, I added a Discharged Shibori pleated silk scarf that I did a while back. 

This coat might pop up again because what I can wear with it is almost endless.


Summing Up
 
Today's post is about fashion, style and creating it in the United States. I'm interested in seeing these good Kansas City designers thrive. Another aspect of this venture is to train Kansas City's women at risk to learn skills that may help them create better and independent lives.

In its heyday, the Kansas City garment industry boasted 75 factories and employed between 4,000 to 7,000 workers. It was  second only to the area's meatpacking industry. 

So why am I interested in all of this you ask? Here are a few reasons. 

I have mentioned in previous posts that I have been sewing since the age of ten. That makes 55 years with the needle.

In high school, my dream was to be a fashion designer. After graduation, I walked into the dress factory of Nelly Don (at 31st and Gilliam) and convinced them to let me work there for about two months. 

If you are not familiar with Nelly Don, Seamwork Magazine has a wonderful article about her and her dress company HERE. The company did close during the late seventies but was probably one of the last garment companies to survive in KC.
 
In August, I took most of my money, spent it on material and made my freshman college wardrobe. I say most, because I spent some on shoes, boots, one bag, two hats and this cool bright, bright yellow, very short trench coat.

I don't know if this is really a reason to be interested in keeping fashion design in KC, but it does show you how into my fashion I was at age 18. 

During my thirty five years of art education, I tried to bring fiber and sewing into my art programs often. I knew this was something being lost and I sought to stimulate interest. I realize this was more of an artistic side of things, such as needle felting and tapestries. But sewing is sewing. 

I love fiber. Anyone who knows me also knows I have a menagerie of animals who quite happily make fiber: Alpacas, sheep (Shetland and one Merino), an Angora bunny, and one very old Angora goat.

That's it for this time around. Until we meet again, take care.






Today, I am linking up with Patti's Visible Monday HERE, Cherie's  Shoe and Tell HERE, Catherine's I will Wear What I like HERE, Color and Grace's Link Up-Party HERE,Elegantly Dress and Stylish Linkup Party HERE and Shopping My Closet's Style Me Wednesday HERE, Sydney's Fashion Hunter's Fresh Fashion Forum HERE and Fashion Should Be Fun's Friday Linkup HERE