About

Hello and Welcome!
If you are reading this I can only imagine that you have clicked on the wrong page… No… You really want to know more about little old Moi?

Awwwww Shucks 🙂

In that case, welcome!  My name is Meridith Styer and I am a wife, graduate student, teacher, singer, writer, seamstress, and rhetor living just outside Washington, DC, USA.

If you are reading this blog, then in all likelihood you know me best as a seamstress (or sewist, or crazy lady with needles and thread, whichever). So that is the area where I will focus – later. But right now I want to talk about the other parts of my life that I think are interesting.

File:Sticking Out Tongue.gif

I am a graduate student at the University of Maryland – (Go Turtles… no… seriouslyGO! Your about to get hit by a *splat* – never mind) – studying rhetoric and political culture. Now, before you tune out, this actually does not mean I’m just studying political speeches.  I focus my study on aspects of women and communication and how we as women communicate in special, specific, and intriguing ways.

For instance, I wrote my MA thesis on how communication through gender neutral clothing (things like hoodies, flip-flops, and traditional t-shirts) can communicate empowering or demeaning messages about the women who wear them.  (i.e if you wear baggy jeans, hoodies, and ball caps like one of my friends, what happens when people instantly assume things about your sexuality. Or alternately, how can wearing thses clothes help to thwart the establish big-business model of “making the pref*ct w0m@n”)

Ok, so I may have just lost you… but it really is interesting… I promise (if you want to know more you can always just read the actual thesis (the fun parts start on page 33).

START READING AGAIN HERE*

 

As I said, I’m also a wife.  My wonderful husband is supportive of both my rhetoric and sewing habits – even when either one takes over the kitchen table.

 

I am a classically trained, but lasped, opera singer – my favorite piece is the “Queen of the Night” aria from Motzart’s Die Zauberflöte (Magic Flute).

I teach rhetoric classes at the University as part of my grad student position.  I have also taught middle and elementary school, and college competitive speech (called Forensics – no the CSI kind). After spending all this time teaching, I also became a advocate of education reform (go figure).

You already know about me as a writer (to many words, not enough punctuation, over abundant use of parentheses).  So that just leaves SEWING!!! (in red for those of you who skipped that last part.

I began sewing when I was 12 with lessons from four sisters who had a large studio and business making conservative clothing in their basement.  I took lessons from them for about one school year… and managed to sew one apron and one dress.

I continued learning from the owner of a small local studio when I was about 15 with lessons as a gift from my aunt (thanks aunt Jan).  It was about this time I became involved in theater and the costume coordinator (a volunteer mom) asked for help from anyone who could help sew.  I offered that I could help with some hemming and maybe adding trims or other easy things – I was given a pattern, 20 yard of fabric, and asked if I could have four dresses done by the weekend… I did.

The show required over 135 new made or thrifted costumes and I made about 35 of them (and did the thrifting for another 15) and I was hooked.

I have since tried my hand as historical costuming, men’s wear (never again), fantasy costumes, duplicating RTW, and even making my own patterns – each with varied success (and failure).

My current fascination (as of Summer 2012) is making professional wardrobe staples for the teaching, learning, advocating, traveling, exploring, urban, professional woman (aka me).

If you want to contact me you are more than welcome to leave a comment here, contact me through facebook (linked to my name above), or send brain waves into the ether and I’ll try my darndest to pick those up too.

 

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