Welcome To The Flora Modiste, A Creative Sewing Blog: WTF Is A Modiste?
If you're reading this, I'm thinking you're the type of girl that wants to learn how to sew your own clothes. And you're interested in what The Flora Modiste can teach you, right? (So much girl, really. To start, I can teach you how to sew using construction detail sewing tutorials, DIY projects, and custom sewing patterns & DIY kits.)
But first... WTF is a modiste? (HINT: It has something to do with knowing how to sew your own clothes.)
I can pretty much guarantee that you've never heard the term "modiste" before.. Am I right? Unless you have some sort of crazy in depth knowledge of the history of fashion..
Before I started my research on how to start a blog, what I wanted my blog to be about, and what I would name that blog, I had never heard the term "modiste" before either... And that's with studying fashion design at FIDM and taking an in depth history of fashion course.
During all of my research on how to name your blog and your brand, I consistently read that your name needs to be easy to pronounce. To be a word that people are familiar with. Blah, blah, blah. I had to listen to the dictionary pronunciation of "modiste" about 10 times before I got it right.
So, bad idea to choose it for my name? Maybe. But once I figured out what "modiste" meant, I was hooked. I fell in love, and it's the only name I wanted to use to represent myself and the work I will be doing and promoting with this blog.
So, what does it mean? "Modiste" is an old French term for a maker of women's fashion.
It is so simple, and it's at the heart of what The Flora Modiste is all about. Being your own maker, knowing how to sew your own clothes.
Now let's say it together:
"Moh" (Like I'm going to "mow" the lawn)
"Dee" (As in Sweet Dee from It's Always Sunny)
"St" (Like you're about to say "street")
Above all, I think there is something so genuinely elegant about naming yourself a maker. Of being proud and able to create something unique with your own two hands, of having that ability to sew your own clothes.
That feeling of making, of creating--It will stay with you much longer than the momentary satisfaction of buying something off of a shelf ever will. But of course, my mindset didn't start out this way. (Does anyone's?)
While I was at FIDM (and even after graduating, for years) my dream was to become the traditional fashion designer. To pump out collections season after season. Because that's what the fashion industry does.
As my time at FIDM started to come to a close, my (now) husband and I started to consider what our next move was. We didn't really want to (and couldn't afford to) stay in San Francisco, so our next logical options were LA or New York. (Is moving to New York from California on a whim like that actually logical? Still not sure on that.)
Since I had lived close to LA almost my entire life, we decided to make the leap and move to New York. No jobs, no apartment--Nothing. Just us and our pup Teri. #psycho
We had sold the majority of our possessions, and whatever we kept we shipped to Penn Station on a train. However, I did have an interview for an internship lined up--Which I ended up getting. And that internship turned in to a job that I worked at for two years. A job that completely changed my life, in more ways than one.
In short, living and working in New York was one of the best (& worst) experiences of my life. I learned so much in those two years, it's hard to believe that we weren't there for longer. There is a saying though.. After two years of living in New York, you know if you want to stay or if you want to leave, and we desperately wanted to leave.
However, making that choice to leave New York and my job was still one of the hardest decisions of my life. But I had realized that I didn't want my job to consume my life.. Which is what living in New York and running a fashion label of my own would do. I didn't want to live away from my entire family.
Oh, and I didn't want to live in shit weather for half the year.
It took a while to recover from New York, and to realize that I still wanted to have my own business in the fashion industry. Just not an apparel line. This was literally a revolutionary thought for me, and seemed incomprehensible for years.
Because if you don't have a fashion label, WTF else would you do in the fashion industry? So I went back to what I truly love about the industry: Pattern drafting and sewing.
Not the never ending, exhausting tasks of what it is to run a fashion line in New York. I hated that part of the industry. But what I did take from my time in New York is how special and important it is to be part of a community that shares your values, as well as the importance of sustainability in the fashion industry.
I loved the sense of community that I had with these women on a daily basis, and the feeling that we were there to help build one another up. (Especially on the worst days.) And I loved that I learned how to be a more responsible human by working at a company that promoted cruelty free fashion.. A company that promoted working with ethical & sustainable companies, that promoted less apparel waste by offering free repairs for all clothing, and made every single article of clothing special by giving it a story.
The Flora Modiste is a place where we will create fashion using our own two hands, a place where you will learn how to sew your own clothes.
A space to help you develop deeper, more special connections to the pieces you wear every day to express yourself. Certainly pretty worthy of a modern day modiste, am I right?