When is enough, ENOUGH?

Yeah, it’s been a long time since my last blog post! Unfortunately, life got away from me, like it tends to do at times, and there wasn’t much I could do about it but try to keep things going as best as I could and wait for things to settle down a bit.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been sewing, I have! I just haven’t been documenting it. I made a lovely Colette Macaron dress in this amazing navy cotton anchor print with a slight stretch to it, and then as soon as I tried it on, realised that I should have made a muslin. I seem to have a very long upper body (when I’m sat down, I’m the same height as my 5 foot 11 friend. I’m actually about 5 foot 6. I think my legs are freakishly short), and the waistband of the macaron sat squarely under my bust, which then meant that when it flares out to where your hips would be, it was over my actual waist. Basically, I loved it but it looked like a sack of potatoes on me. So I gave it to my friend Suzi, and the moment she put it on, I knew it was better off with her. But I was pretty disappointed to say the least. L Hopefully I’ll have enough left over of the anchor fabric to make myself a skirt or something….

I also made a t-shirt with my BRAND NEW SERGER. That’s right, I bought a serger with some birthday money. I love it, but I am scared of it. Mr Cuckoo finds my squeaks of trepidation when using it hilarious. Also, when reading a pattern, there’s never a place where it says ‘this is a good point to use your serger’ and so I’m just trying to work out when to use the serger and when it isn’t really appropriate, or when my sewing machine would give a better finish.

I’ve also been struggling with a self imposed rule, which has been causing me massive amounts of grief. Does anyone else ever have this problem? You feel all righteous and say things to yourself like: ‘I’m going to try as hard as I can not to buy any clothes that are NEW for the rest of this year.’ And then find that because you’re such an ‘all or nothing’ person that you then CANNOT buy anything new, even though to try to thrift something or make something will only make things very very difficult and stressful for yourself. This has been happening to me so much recently. Last month I had a hen weekend to go to, and I had to have a ‘flapper style’ dress for one of the evenings. I thought ‘easy! I’ll make one’. I researched all the styles, I bought fabric, I bought notions, I bought fringing. I adapted a pattern, and drafted sections. I dreamed big.
I then realised about two days before I had to go that I had big problems, and ended up in a stressy heap in the middle of the dining room with fabric and notions ALL OVER. Mr Cuckoo felt it necessary to step in and try to calm me down , proffering an emergency gin and tonic (always works!) He then asked me why I was doing this to myself, when I’d only said I’d try not to buy anything new, and that it was a self imposed rule anyway. No one else would be bothered if I bought myself a dress, so why was I letting myself get so stressed out and upset about it? He told me (as he often has to) to cut myself a little slack. The next day, I went out and bought myself a cheap black shift style dress, and in about half an hour at home, I’d basted on a sequin applique and some fringing, and had a lovely ‘flapper style’ dress, that I could amend later as I saw fit. I feel confident and relaxed in my outfit, which would NOT have happened if I’d have persisted with my original self-made idea.

So, you’d think I would learn from this, but once AGAIN, I’m in the same boat. It’s the wedding this weekend, and I’d decided to make the Colette Truffle to wear. It’s an easy pattern after all! So what do I do? I make it as DIFFICULT for myself as possible. I couldn’t choose the make it in a nice stable dupioni or something, could I? OH NO, (I say with my head in my hands) that would be TOO easy. No. Instead, on the stupidest of stupid whims, I decide to make it in a slippery thin poly satiny material. BUT THAT IS NOT ALL. That wouldn’t really do justice to the amazing ruffle on the front. So, I decide that that should really be in a nice stiff organza! But, it would look strange to have the ruffle in another material! SO! I will just underline the organza with the satin and then make the dress like that, with the extra organza in the ruffle unlined so that it has a nice transparent effect. Yes. That’s right. I will underline a stiff organza, with a super slippery and thin satin. So, do I then decide it might be a good idea to at least spray starch the satin to give it the same stiffness as the organza before I cut it out and baste the pieces together??? NO I DON’T!

Now, days before the wedding, I have a dress that has puckers and wrinkles all over it from where the slippery satin is pressed in between the stiff organza and my skin. 1 o’clock this morning found me draped over the ironing board, spray starch in hand, to see whether it was too late to try to get the wrinkles out by stiffening the crap out of the satin stuff. I got the feeling that it was helping a bit, but it’s pretty difficult to iron precise sections of the bodice of a dress when you’ve already lined it. I think Mr Cuckoo is about ready to strangle me. He thinks I’m fussing about nothing, and no one will be able to tell. And he’s quite possibly right. Not to mention, I don’t think that anyone will be really paying attention to what I’m wearing! After all, they’ll be rather preoccupied with the bride’s outfit surely! But, after spending so much time on an item of clothing, I can’t just wear it when I’m not happy with it. So, once again Mr Cuckoo suggested just wearing something else! Something that won’t make me feel self conscious. And once again I see the wisdom of his words.

Sewing is supposed to be a hobby! It’s supposed to be fun for crying out loud. But when I give myself these targets and rules, I turn into a massive stresshead, putting so much pressure on myself to do the ‘right’ thing and have everything be perfect. And the truth is, at the moment there are many other things in my life, totally out of my control, that are causing me stress, so do I really need to add more on top of all that because I said I’d make a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding?? When I put it to myself like that, I feel very silly. But, I’m not quite ready to give up on the dress yet. I think, in a last ditch attempt, I’m going to undo the side seams tonight so make things slightly more accessable, and the starch the crap out of the bodice satin. At this point, I don’t really think there’s much more I can do in time for the wedding. But I can’t help but wonder, when is time to call it a day? When is enough really enough? Should I be trying to do more? Is there something else I can do make it wearable, or should I chill out, and think that there’s always going to be another wedding/occasion to wear the dress to, when I’ve managed to fix the problems?


One thought on “When is enough, ENOUGH?

  1. Oh my gah, this is too funny. I can't tell you how many times I've decided I HAVE to make a dress for something, then dissolved into tears or thrown a tantrum when things didn't go perfectly (and they never do at the last minute like that)! My husband has talked me off the ledge time after time! I'm ALWAYS trying to dial it back a bit and remember that this is a HOBBY. That we do for FUN. You're preaching to the choir, girl!


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