Friday, May 9, 2014

The Things That Overlap

When we are fixated on getting better, we miss what it is we already are - and this is dangerous because we - as we are - are the origin of our art. "We" are what makes our art original. If we are always striving to be something more and something different, we dilute the power of what it is we actually are. Doing that, we dilute our art.

If we stop trying to improve ourselves and start trying to delight ourselves, we get further as artists. If we lean into what we love instead of soldiering on toward what we "should" our pace quickens, our energy rises, our optimism sets in. What we love is nutritious for us. -
Julia Cameron, Walking In This World

Something I've learned through experience and taught to my students is that we learn to do the work by doing the work. All the theory the world has to offer will not accomplish the actual task. To sew a zipper in, we need to sew a zipper in and the more zippers we sew in, the more accomplished we'll be at sewing in zippers. It takes doing.

The things that overlap in my life - my work, the upcoming workshop, my studies - seem to be pointed in the same direction that - as Lao-Tzu said - When you are content to simply be yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you. And you will respect yourself.

I've been thinking about what to sew to wear to the Design Outside The Lines workshop and what to pack to work on while there keeping in mind what I've learned from the past two retreats and both the importance of dressing as myself and of creating my own work.

The first workshop I attended was like coming home. I felt like I'd found my tribe and for the first time I was in a room full of women who thought like I thought and created like I created and were moving in similar directions. There was so much stimulation from the other workshop attendees and from Marcy and Diane that my brain was buzzing and I came home super energized wanting to take my work in this and this and that and that and this and that direction. Overload. What part of all of this was truly me?

At the second workshop, I struggled. In retrospect, it seems to have been a combination of the mess of the rest of my life and of failed expectations. I hadn't progressed in my sewing of creative everyday wear as much as I had wanted to in the previous year and fear was rearing its ugly head - perhaps I wasn't creative at all, perhaps I was only fooling myself, perhaps I was doomed for failure. Silly talk but our brains can be good at that.

A huge ah ha for me in the past year was the realization that I dislike clutter in my clothing as much as my environment. I can only handle so much stimulation which makes me more attracted to architectural garments, texture, and tone-on-tone monochromatic color schemes BUT... what fabulous information that is, enough to guide without imprisoning.

I've learned that the purses and little girl coats that I love to sew are wonderful places to experiment outside my comfort zone while the clothing I sew for myself can be more of what I'm most attracted too while continuing to push the edges. AND....

... every once in a while I can step right out there on the wild side and choose a fabric like the red floral or this abstract that is showing more and more details the longer I look at it. WHAT is the theme? Does anyone have a clue? It's not jumping out at me but there are more faces and more shoes and words that I can't quite read. Too fun.

Butterick 5986 has only two pieces with either a bound armhole or sleeves. It calls for 2.2 meters. I bought two meters so I may not be able to squeak it out but if I can, it does seem like an interesting pattern for keeping most of the fabric intact.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - coffee with a friend this morning and a good conversation


  1. hello , Very profound stuff and some of it I will passon to my son who is going some angst at the moment . I love that fabric . If you cant get that dress out you could always splice some bl;ack into the sleeves . I do that often as it helps minimize width.

    1. I'm glad you found the posting helpful. Thanks for the tip for the sleeves.


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