Thursday, March 2, 2017

My Success

I went down to my Studio this afternoon to set to work on one of my next projects. First on the list? Try, for the third time, to alter the sleeves on one of my tops. I like the top, but the sleeves didn't fit me well, even though I tried twice before to alter them while still holding onto the original design elements. This time, I cut off the design elements and hemmed them into short sleeves. The shirt finally fits great.

Check that one off the list.

Next, I intended to put some new pockets in my old coat. But I got sidetracked. Instead, I attempted a little pattern drafting.

photo from

Let me back up a little. Bear with me. This is my web brain taking bits and pieces from different sources and coming up with my own amalgam.

I've been voraciously watching YouTube videos lately. Besides the usual videos that flood my mind with politics and craft ideas, I've wandered into videos about minimalism & decluttering & downsizing, videos about the skill of the artisans who bring couture clothing designs to life, and videos about taking thrift store items and transforming them into more fashionable and wearable clothing. Dale and I are also Project Runway junkies and we watched the finale last week.

I watch these young people online and on TV -- younger than my own kids in many instances -- believing in themselves, jumping in, and just trying stuff. Fearless. Then they put their successes and failures online for the whole world to see. Gutsy.

The latest winner of Project Runway Junior has only been sewing for two years! Impressive!

Last year, I worked on the notion of becoming more fearless -- especially as an artist. It was mostly head knowledge, reading, watching TED talks, and ruminating about it. I wanted to marinate in the words of the wise for a while before putting the ideas into action.

This year I've decided to declutter at least one thing each day. I'll be turning 60 at the end of the year. One of my best friends is vowing to get rid of most of his belongings before his 60th birthday in September. He's inspiring me. Dale and I are beginning to talk about where we want to live in retirement. So we're looking around our home and wondering ... what do we want to live with? What no longer serves our purposes? I thought I'd ease into downsizing by releasing one thing a day.

I bought myself some new beautiful hangers and went through my closet. Anything I loved got to live on a new hanger. I've lost a bit of weight recently, so there are clothes that no longer fit. I've been doing some "inner work" so that I'm more able to release clothing that had an emotional attachment. All in all, my closet is pared down fairly well now. I don't have many shirts anymore. Sadly, my favorite t-shirt is looking tattered since it's 10 years old.

from Amazon

SO, instead of making new pockets for my old coat, I took my favorite old t-shirt and, using some of the techniques I've been watching on YouTube, I attempted to draft a pattern from the old t-shirt and sew myself a new t-shirt. I used some fabric that has been in my stash for ::mumble mumble:: years (since my 32 year old was in elementary school!) I figured if my first attempt didn't work, I wasn't out any money. Bonus, I'd be decluttering a bit of fabric.

My pattern drafting attempt is mostly a success. I'm planning to tweak it a bit tomorrow. It might turn out to be a wearable shirt, might not. That's not the point. Don't be surprised if I don't post a photo of it. I'm quite proud that after years of holding myself back due to fear of failure, I made this pattern drafting attempt.

I come from a long line of seamstresses and tailors. I love the art of dressmaking, even though I don't have an eye for creating original designs. At least not yet. I love the process of sewing, but haven't jumped into the deep end of the tailoring pool.

Today, without thinking about it too hard, I gave it a try. The attempt put me in flow and was very, very satisfying.

That is my success.

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