Thursday, March 8, 2018

Lean In To The Experience

This week started out rather interesting with my youngest son having emergency surgery to remove his appendix. Since he lives out of town, I made a day trip to Kamloops to hug him and "count his fingers and toes" like a mother does, no matter how old your children are. And I shopped, picking up a few things for my trip that I couldn't buy here... which was a nice bonus. Now I won't need to shop along the way. With the exchange rate, I'm attempting to take as much as possible with me.

A key component of the workshop is working on a dress form. Only the Millicent closest to my current size will be coming with me. I cross over sizes in both patterns and dressforms with one better for my upper body measurements and one better for my lower body measurements. Both Millicents just got a new cover sewn from a silky grey knit. The previous cover was black which didn't work well for sewing black garments and it didn't cover the neck leaving the manufacturer's blue covering to interfere with my garments. I like this better.

Along with working on a dressform, we will be re-purposing garments. I've packed two XXL men's shirts, two skirts, and a pair of pants, all purchased at the thrift store, AND...

... an assortment of notions, embellishments, and fabric scraps that go with. I've deliberately kept the colour palette tight limiting it to light to darker grey tones. Since taking this picture, I've eliminated some of the items because I know from past experience that limitations will make it easier for me to work through the assignments. Too many options can be just as difficult to deal with as not enough and I have come to really enjoy the freedom of boundaries.

Diane suggested that we come with not only the garments to be re-purposed but with some fabric made from fabric as a starting point. This is something she has demonstrated in previous workshops but not something I've been able to fully embrace in the way that I was interpreting it... which seemed silly... since my background in quilting and textile art is all about piecing fabric from fabric... SO...

... when I thought it, I realized that part of my struggle was that while I really like the samples she shows, they are not consistent with how I dress and the way I put things together. The more I take workshops, the more I realize that I'm not there to do X, Y, and Z exactly like the instructor. I am there for the inspiration and to then take that inspiration and adapt it to a way that works for me. Which I did.

I have a lot of a black/grey striped fabric so I decided to piece it together starting with scraps from a previous project. Instead of attempting to create one big piece of fabric, I'll create elements like the curved pouch-looking piece as well as some flat yardage type ones. These can be added together if needed as the project develops on the dressform.

I signed up for this workshop in November and decided at that time that I was going to fully lean in to the experience which for me included the outfit project, creating one complete garment for each day, as well as the prep work of packing and making fabric from fabric, as well as creating an inspirational journal. As when I make a collage, I limited myself to twelve each inspirational photos of dresses, jewelry, outfits, pants, skirts, cardigans, and tops and only included photos of items I would actually wear which made me really think about what was included.

On the cover, I put a cartoon that my daughter sent me a few years ago -  she always wears black but she has a colorful mind - as well as a quote cut from a magazine - Letting go obviously has several meanings. Letting go of the past; letting go of grief. But surely the most resistant is letting go of fixed ideas, keeping our minds open to a future we can't see. I have learned to be less rigid about what I think I want from a workshop and more open to how the experience unfolds.

Along with a limiting colour palette, I've also been limiting space to one small suitcase plus the dressform plus the box for the extension table and a folding table, cutting mat, extension cords, and tracing paper. The basket is bead making supplies for the four days I'm spending at my friend's in Eugene. All that's left to pack are paper templates of my crotch, armhole, sleeve cap, and neckline curves, one or two T & T patterns and some colour in the form of buttons, piping, and thread. OH... and the sewing machine and serger.

The workshop doesn't start until the 18th, I'm leaving on Monday and taking a different route than I've traveled before. I'm looking forward to that. I've loaded some pictures into a draft posting to finish for next week. I'm not sure what will happen the week after but hopefully I'll be able to fill you in on how things are going at the workshop and post some pictures from the trip - LOL - outfits even.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - hospitals and healthcare


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. This morning I'm packing the outfits into a separate suitcase from my clothes for the rest of the holiday. Good thing I'm driving - LOL.

  2. Yes, to the freedom of boundaries! It's nice not to worry / think about what is outside the boundaries (although somehow that seems contradictory, considering the name of the workshop), and enjoy exploring / playing with what is within those boundaries.

    I agree with your switch in thinking. I too now use things I see as springboards, rather than being a slave to the original. More fun, more original, although sometimes - way more work! It's all good though...


    1. It may sound contradictory but it works. YES YES. At this point, I don't mind "more work" if it comes with more authenticity and fun.

  3. Have fun. I look forward to your workshop posts especially showing your outfits. Karen

    1. Thanks. I have packed my camera. now to get a picture.

  4. Have a great time, I look forward to seeing what you wear and make

    1. Thank you. LOL - sometimes I don't make anything but I definitely will be wearing things.

  5. You are SO together!!! What an inspiration that is for me!
    Hope you have a GREAT time. Will look forward to pictures and reports!
    Would love to have a closer look at your inspiration journal.

    1. I'm glad you're inspired. I find it really motivating to lean into a workshop like this and I definitely plan to have a great time. Do you mean literally that you'd like a closer look as in I should post some pictures?

    2. Yes. I'd like to see how you arrange the "inspiration" on the pages, and what that inspiration is.


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