Thursday, September 6, 2012

Feeling Inspired

Last month when I went to our girl's craft night my sewing friend was working through the intricacies of preparing a pattern. I rarely sew from a pattern. This brought up some interesting conversation. While she enjoys the methodical steps taken to cut and trace and piece together the project, I much prefer the final product and have been known to take short cuts to get there. I was a little fascinated at watching the whole process unfold.  Thus, a few days later I was inspired to pull out an old pattern and set to work. I planned to follow directions exactly, no short cuts. Pinning, and trimming, and clipping curves and all that jazz.

Hubby was out for a boy's night and I ventured out to the fabric store with the little guys. Why do I ever think this is a good idea? I always lose focus of what I am actually looking for and balk at what I end up with when I get home.

I nearly bought hunter's orange because I wasn't paying attention.

I came home, washed and pressed the fabric that night with intentions to start the next morning.

In the morning, I pressed the pattern (!), measured, cut, pinned, did everything right. I was slowing down to enjoy the process while I sipped coffee and the kids played.

evidence of my rule following!
It was at this moment here, as I layed all the pieces out, that I realized my mistake. This fabric is all wrong. This is Sound of Music CURTAIN CLOTHES FABRIC!!! I am making a dress that is going to look just like those clothes Fraulein Maria made for those kids to play in out of the curtains in her room! But, alas, it is too late. I am vested in this project. I am going to see it through, and follow the directions, and find enjoyment in the process. (And a little laughter too.)

I plugged along. I worked on it nearly eight hours the first day. We never made it out of our jammies either. I worked slowly and meticulously, realizing I had chosen the pattern I own with the most pieces for this endeavor. It took me right at a week to finish. I worked on it A LOT. I don't have a craft room so once I dragged it out I worked on it for hours at a time. 

So here is the final dress:
Those von Trapps were so sad when their father caught them in play clothes.

A good shot of the fabric so you can see how curtain-like this is.

What do you think? Could I sneak in line with these kiddos unnoticed?

Final verdict: This wasn't about the dress itself, or about the fabric, or even about becoming Leisl (she made being 16 so cool).  This was about slowing down to enjoy the process of creating something with your hands. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. I can't do it every day until I can create a dedicated work space in my house. I will still sew with abandon--probably more frequently than not. It was a fun little experiment and repaired some of the burned bridges between me and patterns!

And maybe someday I will learn not to go fabric shopping with the boys in tow!


  1. Hello! I found your blog on pinterest and have found it very interesting! Anyways, I think the dress pattern looks very flattering on you and the "peter pan" collar is extremely in right now. I would try it again with a different fabric, but I think you should shorten the length a bit. It would look better on your petite figure.

  2. Hello, I really like that pattern! Could you tell me where you found it? Thanks so much!

    1. It was an old pattern I have had for at least 5 years. I would love to tell you the name and number but for the life of me I can't figure out where I stashed it. **sigh** If only I had my own craft room. . .

  3. Love the dress & fabric! Your hilarious! And yes you could jump in line with them, but it's still super cute!!!