Sometimes, when you're challenge-driven, really great things manage to happen despite yourself.
When you're challenge-driven and you let that into your sewing room, things can quickly spiral out of control. Here's the evolution of this project from "no brainer quickie project" to "now I have to wear this no matter how bad it looks, because I spent so much time on it":
- This can make a cute maxi dress for me! (But the top yoke really eats into the length of the skirt. I'll unpick the bottom of the yoke so I can get maximum length. Half an hour and a ripped back bodice later...)
- The a v-shaped yoke at the top doesn't leave a lot of choices for sizing down the bodice. So I'll add an all-black or all-white top! (Two days later, after scouring the fabric stash for appropriate weight white or black and coming up empty-handed for weight and drape...)
- That will look dumb. I'll unpick the entire yoke and re-use that. Then I'll cut the raglan sleeves open and use one sleeve for each of the side bodices. (Three hours later....)
- This looks iffy. And now I need to cut a matching yoke for the inside. (One hour later....)
- When I pin the top and bottom together, the skirt is still a tad short, and the waistline falls too low. I'll add a 2-inch elastic waistband and sew each piece to it, separately. (A couple days of not finding 2-inch and settling for 1 1/2-inch elastic later....)
- This will be quick and easy! (Three hours of fabric clumps getting stuck and sewn under the seams later....)
- Let's throw it on the form and see what we've got. (OMG this looks so cuckoo. Those visible zigzag stitches on the elastic look so blah. The elastic is too loose. I don't know if I want to try it on. I might hate myself for how much time I spent on it, and how unremarkable it is.)
- Post my shame on Instagram and admit I am afraid to try it on. (There is some support and love. Now I have to wear it.)
This is my birthday month. I tend to get very, very thoughtful about my clothing in the month before my birthday. I have already made a couple of trips to Goodwill to pass on things that don't fit, never fit well, I don't wear often, etc. And mostly, I think a lot about whether my clothes reflect that I am aging gracefully. So a mess of babydoll dresses and junior-cut clothing went to Goodwill.
This August also marks the 6-year anniversary of my first sewing class in garment construction, so I did end up parting with quite a few items of clothing that I made with my own hands. This was harder than I thought! There were just a bunch of tops where the armholes and sleeves are not comfy. Beyond repair. They had to go, and hopefully to someone whose body fits more comfortably into those clothes.
This also signals to me a pretty significant point in my sewing, where I have some good basic construction techniques under my belt, and it's time to learn some specialized skill that goes deeper in one particular area. Master something, as it were. Not sure what that is, and in Austin I'm not sure there is anyone with the expertise, interest, and time to teach someone like me to go deep into one skill, like armholes and sleeves (my sewing guru has moved out of state). So maybe it is time for me to go into the realm of sewing expos and sewing conferences. I've seen lots of ads for online classes, but I am very much a visual and experiential learner and prefer a hands-on, in-person, instructor-led classroom.
Do you have any feedback on the online classes for specialized skills? Have you been to the big sewing conferences and taken classes there? How did they go?