Thursday, 26 March 2015

Come on now, pull up your socks and concentrate

I'm snatching a quick blog at my desk, during a snatched lunch - at a point when managing my time starts fundamentally with managing my motivation to do anything. Breaking with the habit of posting up to 5 months behind the real world: I'm going to tell you what's actually going on.

Stockholm Tap Festival is coming up, birthdays and impending births abound, a wedding on the horizon again, curtains that still haven't been made, wishful (hopeful!) Liberty trousers patiently wait in my stash.

I've recently finished a project that could possibly be the Be All And End All of my sewing career. Time to hang up the needles? It is a beautiful jacket though. It'll show up eventually.

But my mind is on Stockholm - I could be learning about the teachers, brushing up on my paddles, shuffles, pullbacks and thirds. Instead I'm idling. At the end of last year I'd vowed I would level up for 2015, then I would sort out my wings or double pullbacks, then I would at least crack a basic polyrhythm, then I would complete the Stockholm Challenge, then I had an excellent idea for the cabaret showcase, then I wanted to make a dress for the Easter party.

With a week to go, none of this is likely to happen. B might have a new pair of shorts...hopefully...if I get on the hem pretty quickly...

Having bought the fabric and settled on a design for the Easter party, my focus and enthusiasm finds itself waning. This weekend could save the day. It's not like I need a new dress, there's one in the cupboard that'll do. But there's no fun in that.

Stay tuned, it could all change this weekend.


Saturday, 14 March 2015

Jusqu'ici tout va bien...jusqu'ici tout va bien...jusqu'ici tout va bien...

Did you hear the one about the man who jumped off the top of a block of flats?

Of course you've heard it.

The MW dress is over. Having worked on the dress for a year and a half, literally hundreds of hours, it is finally complete.

It isn't perfect. Every step of designing, fit and construction was new to me or pushed my existing knowledge to its limits.  Every stage that got ticked off I'd say "so far so good" and move on. Perhaps this wasn't the most forgiving dress for its imperfections. If one seam is slightly off in the pattern, it will show. If the fabric is damaged, it will show. If the fit is off, it will show. If the construction is sloppy, it will show. And the whole of its imperfections will appear greater than the sum of their parts. Truly.

Perhaps now that it's done it feels a bit like I've hit the pavement.

I have a philosphy that whatever you make tends to subconsiously reflect your state of mind at the time. This dress has gone from whimsical and ambitious to exhausting and disheartening. The fact it took two years to complete means that every step is the best of what I could do at the time. Not now.

I don't know what the dress was ever meant for. It was beautiful and needed to be made. It was a cocktail, birthday, wedding guest etc dress. I think I said at one point that I wanted to wear it on my 25th birthday, and again on my 50th. That obviously didn't happen.

In its final unfinished hours it found its purpose as a work dress.

Now let me explain.

I have somehow fallen into a profession where we organise and host fancy-dancy events for fancy-dancy bigwigs. Just as gents need a suit for this kind of thing, I need an Event Dress. The old one had served me well, but at the beginning of 2014 I looked at it for what it was: a stinking, overworked, RTW polyester dress from 2006. It had served its time. Moreover I felt like a fraud talking to fancy-dancy bigwigs in this dress and a faded, ill-fitting, shoddy Zara suit jacket. It was cheap. It was awkward.

So I threw it out.

And the MW dress has taken over. People sometimes wax poetic about the power of clothing. I recognise it's not a perfect dress. I recognise people probably don't consciously care what other people wear. But in a room full of fancy-dancy bigwigs, I'm bringing something to the table that's totally unique. I am proud of this dress. You don't need to know I made it. It doesn't matter to me whether you know or not. It's not perfect, but what were you expecting? You need to know that this dress is a promise: look at it now and if you decide to buckle up for the long haul, you're in for something spectacular.

So I've jumped and hit the pavement. I've gotten back up and walked away. Now it's time to dust off my (shop-bought) jeans and move on to the next project...