This is a story about sewing. You would think that when you can make your own clothes, your life would be a lot easier. After all, you can choose the style you want and usually can find the right fabric. If the pattern isn’t quite perfect, you can alter it. While it all sounds simple, seamsters suffer from a same problems as everyone else. What to wear?
For the past six months I have known that I had an upcoming wedding at the end of April in New York. To honor the event I decided to make a dress, even though I have not worn a dress or skirt for the last twenty five years. Why now? It would be a new challenge and I would have a dress in my closet for formal occasions. So I signed up for a video class on the couture dress on the website Craftsy taught by renowned sewing teacher Susan Khalje. The pattern for the class was a basic style with many alterations already designed. (Of course I would have made my version with sleeves.) With vintage orange silk sari material already in my stash, I thought I was set to go.
But I didn’t start. Perhaps it was the fabric? If you only have one dress, should it be orange georgette? So I ordered more sari fabric from ebay, this time a subtle blue and purple stripe. Still nothing.
Maybe silk was too formal? I inherited a beautiful African indigo wax print cotton fabric from a friend who was cleaning out her closets. Maybe this would be a better choice—cotton is less formal than silk and easier to work with. I could wear the dress to summer dinner parties and outdoor events. So I bought yet another pattern, simpler than the first. (Needless to say, my version would have been a lot longer.) No luck.
And now, three pieces of fabric, two patterns, and one as yet unviewed online class later, I have to admit that I am not going to make a dress. I don’t wear dresses. I am rarely invited outdoor summer parties. Jackets are my true love—I love to make and wear them. Perhaps I will find time to make one out of the stunning sari fabric sent to me by TJ of The Perfect Nose. If not, I will wear the Chanel-esque Claire Shaeffer jacket I struggled over for many months.
So the moral of this story is—if the imaginary dress doesn’t fit, don’t make it.