Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Re-fashion #3: Once upon a dress

Something about the sunshine, and the possibility of wearing tights on a ten-degree day made me want to spend an hour with the self-timer mode on my camera. Thirty takes, I'm not kidding, and this was the best one.

The occasion was the long-awaited completion of that skirt you see. As the title of this post suggests, it used to be a dress. It was a thrift store score a few years ago, just the latest in the procession of long-forgotten thrift finds that are getting dragged out and re-fashioned here these days. This one even involved inserting elastic, and a zipper (!).

The re-fashioning I've been doing is part of a plan. Well, part of two plans, actually. The first is to clear some stuff out of my studio. I have so many little bits stuffed into corners, projects waiting to be made, etc etc. I'm sure some of you can relate to this plan.

My other plan involves sewing clothing. I've never sewn anything intended to be worn, short of a shoulder bag. Oh, sure, I've done quilts and little pouches, birdies and wee houses and even stuffed elephants, but I've always been afraid to cross over and start sewing clothes. Deep down, I have this fear: I'll see something, the Perfect Dress or Perfect Skirt, something I want to sew. I will fall in love. I will go out, I will buy a few yards of the Most Gorgeous Fabric, I will come home. I will bravely cut into it. And after being as careful and attentive as possible, after following the directions to the letter, the darn thing won't fit right. In the end, after all the effort, the skirt will pucker in an unfortunate place. It will sag. It will be downright unflattering, and so, disheartened, I will stow it in the back of my closet, never to be worn, the fabric too beautiful to part with.

This is my fear. So, in an effort to confront my fear, I've begun dabbling with some of my thrift score finds. If I mess up a dress I laid down a buck fifty for, it's not such a big deal. In the meantime, I might learn some stuff, like about pleats, or tucks, or how to do elastic. Bit by bit, I'm hoping to gain the skills which will enable me to salvage my unflattering sewing project of the future.

So far, so good.


ChristyACB said...

While I can't see the details of the skirt in the picture, I do like the fabric very well and it looks cute from here.

And that picture is great. If you hadn't said it wasn't what you were aiming for, I'd have thought it was purposely composed!

So that creativity thing also seems to work for you in the camera area too. :)

Kami said...

Well, I, for one, love that picture. It's the artsy kind I often shoot for, but fall short of. Anyway, I can also relate to your fear of sewing an item to wear. I, once upon a long time ago, tried hard to learn to sew, taking lessons from an older friend of mine who is an expert seamstress. I made a bunch of skirts and cute little sundresses, but was dissapointed in almost all of them. I gave up. The most I attempt these days is a pillow. I can't even get straight seams on a curtain, I've tried a few (dozen) times.

Italian Sweetheart said...

you are amazing! that's all there is to it, you can craft and cook! a woman after my own heart! beautiful skirt and lovely picture! :)

Kristina said...

Christy-- I'm pretty sure I did enough "takes" of that photo that one of them was bound to come out well, just by chance.

Kami-- curtains are tough. Take a look at mine sometime, you'll see how uneven they are!

Rose-- thanks for making me smile!

Kat said...

I misread the sizing on the pattern- so these roomy pajamas I sewed barely fit on me. After all that work, I feel like I should frame them so i could enjoy them in some small way.
Good luck.

Kristina said...

Framed pajamas would definitely add some character to a room, wouldn't they?

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