On sewing and improv

By golly, I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Today I started working on McCall 8107, a simple sleeveless princess-seamed dress. I decided to take lots of time doing so, applying one of the lessons I learned from improv class. I cut out pieces, drew the seamlines and snipped the notches, and made lining pieces so that I could turn it into a fully-lined dress. I find that I don’t like using neck or back facing, as they always flip up. As I worked, I tried to apy attention to how I moved and where things were located.

Working slowly–almost meditatively–changed the character of the activity. I would normally rush through transferring the markings. This time, I marked everything. This time, I did it while watching some of my favourite movies. I also took the time to pin-fit on my duct-tape dress form, which led to a few minor alterations. I normally feel frustrated when I get to assembly because things don’t quite line up. This time, I felt at ease, and I was happy with the way the dress turned out once I’d pressed the seams.

One of the things I noticed was that when I took my time to work on the dress, I started thinking of it as something I might be able to wear for a while. Perhaps that’s because I reflexively justified the time I was investing in making the outfit. Thinking of it that way made it even easier to slow down and try to get the details right.

Tomorrow, I’ll work on the lining and the zipper. I’m looking forward to the completed dress, and to using my new-found powers of slowing down and taking my time doing things not just for good, but for awesome!

  • Victor Calvert

    Interestingly enough, if you can fight the urge to rush through whatever you’re doing, it doesn’t really slow you down any, you get a better product in the end…and it’s much less stressful.

    A lot of people have trouble learning this; I suspect part of that is that formal education (at least all that I’ve run into) is of the faster-is-better variety.

  • Yes, it’s funny how that works. =)

    I’m good at working under time pressure and completing things quickly, a side effect of all those programming competitions I did in high school and university. I’m learning how to slow down, though!

  • Duct tape dress form! XD

    I actually want to make one, probably next weekend because this weekend will be quite busy. I’d love to see how your princess-seamed dress turned out. Good thing you can slow things down. Sometimes I feel too excited and impatient when it comes to sewing projects.

    By the way, I’ve got an online sewing buddy. Maybe you’d also like to check out her blog on http://the-hobby-horse.blogspot.com :) She’s really awesome and sweet.