Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MMM-L 17, 18, 19

First off, I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for stopping by or for leaving a comment here! It's been fun exploring new blogs and entering into dialogue with new friends and old. I definitely appreciate it, and feel lucky to be part of a funny, inspiring, and talented community of crafters!

Funny note: I was doing the Big Reveal the other day ... you know, the one where you tell a real-life friend that, Hi, I Blog, and I blog about Crafting Stuff. And after she got over her surprise that I did not, in fact, while away my grad school procrastination hours on Facebook but rather on crafting blogs, she said, "That's so interesting that you use the word 'craft' as a verb. I didn't know such a word existed."

And I realized that I use that as a verb because we use it as a verb! Now we just need to spread this verbiage to the rest of the world.

Day 17.

Dress #3: Simplicity 3835, Take One ... with handmade scarf, to boot. My most handmade day of the month! Used more AMH voile [did I mention I went a little nuts?]. I ordered this pattern before I realized how much ease Simplicity puts in their patterns, so I decided to be really clever and try to grade it down a size myself. Whether I was successful or not remains to be seen, because at the same time I also took out 3/4" at the waist in a petite waist adjustment, and not satisfied yet I also took out 1/2" at the high chest because all my clothes need adjusting there. And then there was my stupidity as well: you know how the front piece should be cut on the fold? Yeah, well do not trust me to remember that. I think I need to write big, fat messages to myself on my pattern pieces:


Yes. You get the idea.

Which is why I can't tell if the back fits so funny because 1) I did not need that upper chest adjustment, 2) I did not need that waist adjustment, 3) the darts are off because I had to use a smaller back seam allowance to compensate for putting in a seam allowance in the front to stitch together my front dress pieces and therefore the darts are not where they should be, 4) I need to grade the hips out to a larger size, 5) I need to make a sway back adjustment. Too many moving pieces! It makes my head hurt.

That's OK. I'm going to try it again but at shirt length, and this time 1) NOT cut the front in 2 pieces but rather in 1 as it is supposed to be, 2) take out the upper chest adjustment, 3) probably take out the petite waist adjustment. And maybe I should grade the hips to a larger size as well. Anything to avoid a sway back adjustment! That's just too much to wrap my brain around right now.

But! Luckily I rarely care how well clothing fits in the back because I never stare at my backside in the mirror! [This is when I think to give myself a one-over before I leave the house which, I'm embarrassed to admit, happens less often than it doesn't] And it is so lightweight that I think it will be perfect for summer weather, whenever that happens. Except, is it just me or does this dress look like somebody's tropical vacation gone wrong? I always want to love Anna Maria Horner's collections when they come out. Whimsical! Delicate! Stunning colors. But there's inevitably something about them - color combination, scale, repeat pattern - that turns me off because I can't see it actually living in my life, just sitting pretty on the computer screen, if that makes sense. And I should've listened to my gut on this print, I think, but, well, I guess it's only by trying that we learn these things, no?

Day 18.

Hopped in the car with a friend Monday for the briefest trip to New York ever. It went from mid 70's on Monday to mid 50's and disgusting rain on Tuesday, hence The Oddest Traveling Getup Ever [although I've been known to put together some pretty odd traveling getups]. Handmade/refashioned shirtdress, Tar-jay cardigan, thrifted jeans jacket, boots of awesomeness, the 'just in case' umbrella from mom that has become my 'go to umbrella' instead.

Day 19.

Ugh. The cold, rainy weather followed us back up to Boston. I'm so disheartened that it has become a Me-Made-PJ's day.

On a positive note, I stepped into Strand bookstore in New York on Tuesday and stumbled upon this beautifully illustrated children's book. Not quite Harry Potter, not quite Roald Dahl, but charming nonetheless. I just tunneled right through it. I love a good book. And when I'm in the right mood, I adore a good children's book. I've stalled a bit in The Artist's Way but one thing she talks about is paying attention to where your creative artist draws inspiration and what she is drawn towards, and yesterday I definitely noticed an unbelievably strong affinity for beautifully illustrated books. I spent forever in the graphic design section, which is a place in the bookstore I have never once set foot. Strand has some gorgeous books and a well-edited selection, and all I wanted to do was sit down with a pair of scissors and a large stack of books and go to town making collages.

A couple years ago I was into mixed media art before I gave that up because it required scavenging way more materials than my 12' by 14' room in SF could accommodate, but I feel the urge creeping up again and am wondering if I should honor that. Ever since I committed myself to writing more seriously I've noticed that I'm drawn to creative ventures where I can go on autopilot, things like knitting or even embroidery, and, I'm thinking, collage. For some reason sewing takes a lot more focus and attention, and I've noticed that when I sew, I don't write. But sometimes after you work hard on a piece you need a bit of a break -- still engaged, creatively, but on something a little less demanding, just so you can rejuvenate before you go on to the next thing. Enter knitting. And maybe collage? I'm reminded of The Alchemist where they talk about the importance of listening to your heart. At the time I read it I thought, "OK, I'm listening, but I can't figure out what its trying to tell me!" Still working on that, but maybe getting closer to comprehension.


Tasia said...

I know the feeling about prints on garments - sometimes it's cute in a swatch but doesn't fully work as a garment! I try to look at pictures of finished garments I like, and choose similar prints so I know how the finished skirt/dress/coat will look.
Too bad you didn't have sunshine for your trip! It's been raining on and off here too :(

Zonnah said...

I love day 18, you look comfortable :)

Ali said...

Another wonderful post, Jessica! I ditto so many of your comments.

But yes, I think you should honor that! I did the Artist's Way a few years ago, I always hold onto the idea that you need to fill the well before you draw from it. So, fill the well with whatever you desire! I think lately sewing has been a way to fill the well so I can draw from it in my writing life (the feeling of creating something, of the logical steps—and missteps!—and feeling of accomplishment). The irony of course is that it's so time consuming, but I think that level of presence and focus required is what's attractive to me, though at another point in my life it won't be.

Whew! Long comment. But do mixed media! And knitting! And sewing! And writing! We'll be your audience. I think I'm going to start my morning pages again once I settle back into the Bay Area.