Building Up My Summer Dress Stash
I’m on a real sewing kick right now. I’m starting new projects the instant I finish the one before. I’m falling asleep thinking sewing and waking up thinking sewing (and wishing it were Microbiology, but that will come). Loki keeps me company, drifting off right behind my machine. He doesn’t even mind when he inevitable gets covered in fabric:
Here, I’m working on McCalls M5314, which is a wrap dress with a fifties-ish cut to the skirt and a big collar. The fabric was a $1.25 thrift store rescue. The pattern is pretty easy, though I did run across my traditional issue with commercial patterns: they’re not cut for a bust as large as mine, particularly paired with a waist as comparably small as mine (and I’m carrying a few winter pounds right now). I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging, because I’m not; my issues with fit both of patterns and of commercially-made clothes are one of the driving forces behind my sewing.
Said issues certainly reared their heads in this dress. Of course, when I first noticed the fit issues, I shrugged it off and finished the dress. I thus damned myself to spend twice the time it took me sewing the dress together in the first place selectively tearing out seams, taking bits in, and sewing them all back together- and while it’s wearable now, I’m still not sure I’m done tweaking it.
It’s not perfect, and I know it. Years ago, I would have called it good enough the first time around. It’s lovely to see how I’ve grown.
A month or so ago I was watching Anthony Bourdain. He was in Japan talking to a knife maker, and he asked the man “Is a perfect blade possible?” The knife maker replied, and I’m paraphrasing the translator here, “I work every day to learn what perfect is.”
I used to be an instant gratification crafter, but over the years I’ve been turning more and more towards a love of process, of method, of skill and it’s come to the point where I find myself hunting my own perfection. You’d think it would be a draining pursuit, an impossible goal and a constant reminder of failure, but for me it’s not; instead, it’s a profession of love for the craft and a joyful reminder that I still have more to learn. And the learning? That is what I’m here for. I’m not in this to make a living. I’m not in this to make a statement. I make, not of necessity, but of love. And who wants to cut corners on love? As long as I keep studying…
…and most of all, keep doing…
…maybe some day I’ll know what perfect is.
(And that goes for the Microbiology too.)