Hello Everyone. I know it’s been awhile since I last posted, but I’m still here! My friends sometimes call me a turtle. Not only because I tend to work slow and steady, but also because I have been known to retreat into my shell. A close friend who used to live next door to me would joke that there were periods of time when all he would see of me was my forearm pushing the door open to get my pizza delivery. Funny and true.
I have a very good reason for retreating lately. I’ve been nurturing an idea. I don’t know about you, but when I have a creative project that is newly born, it needs lots of protection and care. So I’ve just been quietly doing my thing over here.
And like many creative adventures, there’s a steep learning curve. It’s kind of tough to push yourself to the next level because it requires leaving behind your proficiency and coming to terms with the fact that there are a lot of mistakes and missteps in your future. But what else are you are going to do? If you don’t take that step, you just stay stuck.
I’ve been doing a lot of lying awake at night, designing clothes in my head. The trick is to be able to get those ideas down on paper before the self-sabotaging thoughts get in the way. It’s all fine at 2 am but by morning I start to tighten up.
The best way to get good at something is to practice, practice, practice. The more you flex the muscle the stronger it gets. So I just play a little head game and tell myself when I sit down to sketch that I only have to come up with five bad designs. It is so much easier to get started when all I have to do is make bad drawings. The pressure is off and no matter what I come up with I’ve met my goal. Regardless of the result, I feel good.
This top is a product of one of my “bad” designs. And I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I wanted to create something that had a modern Victorian feel. The seaming and the hem are reminiscent of a corset. The collar comes up higher on the neck. In some ways it’s a modest top as it covers up a lot of the body, but the close fit and the peek-a-boo at the back lend it a bit of sexiness.
Don’t even ask how many times I tweaked the muslin to get it right. My pattern making skills are a work in progress. But I’m getting there! Slow but sure. (I told you I am a turtle.) All of the ups and downs were totally worth it because I have a top that is exactly what I want it to be. The first time I wore it, I had someone ask me where they could buy one. I was so proud to tell her that I designed it and made it myself. And bless her, she said that I need to hurry up and start making more to sell. Who knows? That may be in my future.
Pattern, Designed and Drafted by Me
Fabric, Liberty Lawn, B&J Fabrics
Photography by Santiago Vanegas