Friday, 9 December 2016

SEWN: THE SHRINKING VIOLET

Sometimes I need to shrink my world.


Retreat for a while.


Focus on the things in front of me.


About a month ago I started to wobble. I felt overwhelmed and unable to face the world. It wasn't very pretty and there was a part of me that thought I was going a little mad.

No doubt this year has been tricky and there have been numerous challenges to maintaining a cheery facade. I'm exhausted by the effort of the facade.

So I shrunk my world. Withdrew myself from the Instagram behemoth for a start. A platform that can make you feel part of a community, but can also start to have an unhealthy influence upon your own perceptions of your validity.

How many likes did I get? How many comments?

I did not like how I felt or behaved in that world anymore. I did not like how my emotions were responding. Being part of the big bad social media world was hurting my heart. So I'm not there and I'm not sure when I'll be back again. And that's ok.


This dress was made a few weeks back when I was at my worst. I, unusually, didn't share any of its creation on IG. And it felt good to just focus on this small thing in front of me. To immerse myself in the joy of making for my own sake. And it was a joy.

This is vintage Simplicity 7454 made up beautifully by Rachel and Christy last summer.

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I immediately loved the style even though it was a bit different from my normal short sack dress (long sack dress? LOL!). Christy was kind enough to send me her pattern to borrow. Complication? No instructions.

I actually revelled in figuring out how I would make it up. It let my mind truly immerse itself in the moment, to find it's own order and watch that puzzle slot together.

The fabric is a moderately heavy cotton from IKEA in a design by Inga Leo named Tigeröga.


It's probably designed for home furnishings as it appears as curtaining in the IKEA catalogue. But we know I have a thing for heavy, full-bodied fabrics so it's kinda my happy place.

I departed from the design features of the pattern on a few occasions. I did away with the centre back slit opening and the prescribed self-tie finish. Both Christy and Rachel had noted they had found no need for a slit to allow getting the dress on and off and I found the same.

I have no idea how the fantastic, side seam patch pockets are supposed to be inserted, but I kinda just went with it and I mean seriously, how cool are they?


A little camouflaged in this fabric, but really they're just there for me and my hands and pleasure anyway.

The back straps appear to be fixed by buttons (internal/hidden?) based on the paper pattern pieces, but I simply finagled their positioning between the facing and the bodice after trying it on with the bra it would be worn with and then sewing them in with the bodice/facing seam.



This is a straight size S (8-10) with a slightly deeper side seam taken from the top to about 10cm down. This is the midi length with a 1/2 inch hem to maintain as much length as possible.

And I love it. I love the length. It makes me feel vaguely more sophisticated and put together and it means I'm unlikely to flash my knickers at unsuspecting passersby when crouching/bending to deal with my little one.

It's swishy and cool and when not being blown wildly in the wind (ala these photos) has a lovely shape that nips in at the bust and waist and then flares to the hem.


And I'm aware these photos are less than perfection and that's ok too. I just wanted to share my dress.


I'm off to watch said little one graduate from her first year at big school. Where on earth has the time gone??

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