Dressmaking psychotherapy required…

Can’t we be friends, Ms Sewing Pattern? I really need a top for a graduation next week.

I had an epiphany this week about dress making skills versus quilting skills.

Since the 70s I’ve had severe psychological issues with fashion and clothing design.  My mother is still waiting for me to cough up the dough for her to have therapy about my arguments with nylon socks with the thickest of seams across the toes that annoyed the hell of out of me.  To this day, I still get excited about putting on my seamless socks.

Posh dinner and event invites send me into a funk due to the clothing requirements. I can never find clothing in my colours and body shape requirements.  I’m hoping one day the industry will listen to Trinny and Susannah and make clothing according to their body shape studies in every colour year in, year out.

On special occasions I entertain thoughts of making my own clothing.  Although I find the right style, my measurements are a little more and less than the pattern.  So then I start to panic about the item not being the right fit. What if I stuff it up? What is it about sewing a dozen seams with seven pieces of fabric that I can’t handle? I have been quilting for 22 years and my quilts can have thousands of pieces.  I’ve won state level awards for goodness sakes. I can machine quilt with the best of them but why can’t I get through a day of dressmaking?  I started making a few pieces of clothing when I was seven for crying out loud!

Yesterday I traced and cut out the pattern then started to cut the fabric. When you haven’t made clothing in a while, you forget the little things like the pattern layout on the fabric and NOT TO CUT OFF THE TABBY THINGYS!!!  Notches, they’re called notches, woman!  Why am I feeling illiterate at this point?  Why do I need a 5/8th” seam and then trim off some?  My presser foot just isn’t that wide.  Must use seam guides on my foot.  Why can’t I  have a ¼” seam?  Must remember to read all the instructions…

I had Alias in the DVD player and I’m sure I was under more pressure than Jennifer Garner.  After all, I had real blood on my finger from a pin prick whereas Jennifer had to rely on the makeup department for her blood loss and losing my reading glasses for a couple of minutes must be more painful than fake mace in the eyes.  There’s a reason I don’t pin often, I like to keep my blood inside my vessels.

The pattern said it could be made within two hours, yeah right, and then I had visions of the delightful Eleanor Burns’ catch phrase, “Quilt in a day” pop into my head.  So by the end of the day, I’d completed step one and two and had spent half an hour pinning the wrong side of the neck band to the wrong side of the shirt front.  Insert scream here.  Did the second pinning fit better?  Well, yeah, but that’s not the point, people!

So let’s get to my epiphany…I can sew reasonably straight, sew pieces an ¼” in size, I practice my quilting and don’t give up.  If I am fearful of screwing up, I remind myself it’s fabric and I can unpick and redo and most importantly I accept the challenge, solve the problems and enjoy the process.  For some reason I just don’t do this with dressmaking.  So I decided I’m going to conquer this fear, sew patterns until I find the magic formula and enjoy it.

Of course I reserve the right to have fear rear its ugly head tomorrow morning and change my mind…If there was a choice between dressmaking or getting the wisdom teeth removed, well, at least with the teeth, you get a general anaesthetic and lose three kilos over the next couple of weeks.

I have an awful feeling the only medication available for this affliction is practice and a garment making computer program.  If you can recommend a good computer program, please let me know.

Happy dressmaking, first aid applying and quilting,


P.S. Has anyone got some chocolate on hand?

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