Thursday, March 5, 2015

On Being Me Creatively

Nancy K's comment yesterday really made me think. It both echoed what I believe and pointed in interesting directions. She wrote: With clothing, I feel that flattering pieces are foremost if you want to feel good in your clothing. You can be creative, but if you want to like how you look, fit and flattering shapes come first. Can you be comfortable and creative in your wardrobe? With moderation and a lot of editing and self critique.

Some people are able to carry off a lot of drama that might make the rest of us cringe. While I may - LOL - be a drama queen, I'm not a drama dresser. I'm most comfortable in lower contrast garments that fit and flatter and have fun details.

I've mentioned before about each artist's viewing distance - the optimum distance from which their work is best viewed. Mine is up close. From way over there, the little bits and pieces that make up the whole cannot be viewed and yet - when you come closer - they - I hope - provide fun and personality.

One of my favourite pieces where I felt I was especially successful in being me creatively is this version of Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8876 that I made in 2013. Looking at it now, there are some things I'd like to change like adding more ease to the back especially and that's okay. I've gone from hiding under way too much ease to sausage-ing myself in not nearly enough and I think I'm beginning to find my place. When I sew this again, I'll upsize it just a bit. I'd like to sew another dress and also use this pattern to make a coat much like Steph's.


The fabrics were both remnants. One is a seersucker black cotton and the other a black/grey/purple cotton plaid. The contrast is minimal. It's more about the visual texture of the surface and the surprise of color, especially the purple.


I zigzagged over the edges of the collar and top-stitched all the seams with thread in the same purple that's in the plaid and used the selvage to finish the bottom hem...


.... and plaid binding for the sleeve hem. You can't see these details until you're up close to the garment.

The back yoke, center front, one layer of the collar, and the piping in the seam lines are all from the plaid fabric. This is enough to co-ordinate and keep movement throughout the garment without overwhelming the viewer. The line of purple buttons up center front creates a column that leads to my eyes.

It was fun to sew this dress, to put together the fabrics, to stitch the details, pat the developing piece, and celebrate its finish. It's me... creatively. I want to sew more like this. Nancy's comment reminded me to focus on what I've worked out through effort, editing, and self-critique.

Confession - I re-read yesterday's posting and realized that no wonder "my" pleat looked just like Marcy's... it is Marcy's! I couldn't remember taking the picture with a white background and when I started digging deeper, the one on the left is Marcy's picture/pleat and the one on the right is my picture/pleat. Sigh... you can see just from these two illustrations that my fabric is much firmer and has less drape. Part of why the pants - Vogue 9035 - didn't work first time around and why I'm going to try, try again.

Yesterday, I started washing the fabrics I bought at Sew Expo. They're yummy. I took pictures to show you tomorrow.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the benefits of effort, editing, and self-critique

You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. 
- Mandy Hale


  1. It's amazing to me how we can all chose to learn so much about ourselves if we want to. I do love this dress of yours on you. And in my teenaged way, it makes me want to pull out the pattern and try it on me, except that it isn't where I am style-wise at all (today anyway). It must be great if it's tickling my creative self though. Can't wait to see your new fabrics!!

    1. Learning - so true. That's the key. I'm dumbfounded when I read a review were someone writes something along the lines of the sleeve were too long. There is no way on God's green earth that a pattern designer could get the sleeve length for every person who might want to buy that pattern. We need to know our own sleeve length and how to adjust the pattern to that length. And on it goes.

  2. One of the things you can do with your more "artsy" fabrics that might speak too loudly on your body is to put them into the linings of your clothes. You know they are there and can make you smile but they don't compete with your own beauty! Like wearing sexily thong underwear.

    1. LOL - the so not a thong me loves fun linings. One of my favourites is bright pink with white polka dots inside a pencil skirt. Too fun.

    2. Me either, and if there was any chance that it could make me smile and not cause pain I would! LOL

      My point is that not all creativity needs to be seen.

      Love those little details on the dress. Someone who sews will see them but most people in the world will not. So and create for your best you....not the world

    3. LOL - giggles on the inside are good. I agree. I love fun linings in purses as well. You open it up and it's like it says hello.

  3. Glad my comment was helpful. The subtlety in combining fabrics works well in your dress. Nothing is vying for attention at your expense. You are wearing the dress and not the other way around.

    1. Thank you. What a lovely compliment and exactly what I was aiming for - and want to achieve more often.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.