Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Kelsey and Her New P&E Skirt Sittin' in a Tree..."

Sweater: LOFT
Belt: Target
Tights: Hue (Macy's)
Boots: Fitzwell (
Necklace: Marc Jacobs (gift from Mama CP!)
Head Band: Target

I ordered this Pearl & Elspeth skirt after seeing this one on Lilli over at Frocks and Frou Frou. The moment I received my skirt in the mail, I swooned. If woman and skirt could wed, I would be Mrs. Australian Bird Skirt.  My experience corresponding with Annie was so wonderful that I decided I wanted to do a post on her and P&E. 

Each of Annie's items is one-of-a-kind and tailored to you and your tastes. She asked me to describe for her some of my likes and dislikes, and what sorts of details I tend to favor on items of clothing. I'm fairly certain that I provided her with a series of unhelpful, and thoroughly vague answers that essentially amounted to, "I like everything, everywhere, for all of history." Believe me when I say that Annie really does have an uncanny knack for picking out fabrics that are ideally suited to her customers. I don't recall ever telling her about my long-standing love of polka dots, so I was delighted -- and shocked! -- when I received the skirt and saw that she had sewn a piece of polka-dot fabric around the top of the skirt that ties into an adorable little bow in the back. I think she must have magical powers... 

At any rate, I've been trying really hard to buy more handmade items, and I would encourage all of you to do the same. Sure, sometimes handmade items are more expensive. However, I would rather have one beautiful skirt tailor-made to my exact measurements, specifications, and tastes than 10 so-so pieces of clothing. I think it's important to reward creativity, and to support people like Annie who create unique and beautiful pieces that simply can't be purchased in a chain store. Annie is the first person I have purchased a handmade item of clothing from, and I will most certainly be a return customer! If you have a minute, head over to Pearl and Elspeth and show her some love. I've attached a few photos of my favorite P&E creations at the end of this post for your viewing pleasure! 

In addition to being a wonderful seamstress with a terrific eye for detail, Annie also happens to be a wonderfully friendly person. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for all of us over here at CP!

Tell us a bit about you and/or P&E's philosophy.
I believe in using every resource as many times as possible, so all of Pearl & Elspeth's clothes are made from reclaimed and/or recycled materials. Also, vintage is beautiful and unique. I am also passionate about making individual clothes for individual tastes and needs, and I especially love catering for women who find it difficult to get unique, beautiful clothes that fit them well.

How did you first get into sewing?
I have been sewing forever! My mum taught me to sew when I was very young, and I have always loved it because I'm forever coveting clothes that are 'a bit out of the ordinary' -- i.e. impossible to find in shops. The only option, I find, is to make them yourself. Or, if you can't sew, get P&E to make them for you.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I seem to have a very uncanny knack for picking out fabrics that are perfectly suited to the lady I'm sewing for. Because each piece I sew is one-of-a-kind, it means I can really just sew according to what the fabric suggests -- the size, the colours, and even the style.

What is your favorite thing about what you do?
Meeting people and sewing clothes that they love to wear!

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