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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Symmetry, Shymmetry

It can take a year to make a dress. Did you know that? I’m not talking about Lady Diana Spencer’s 1981 wedding gown, which had a train so long it wrapped around the earth 1.8 times. I’m talking about my own dresses.

I should clarify. It may not take hundreds of days on end. But I just finished a dress that I started in 2012.

Have you had experiences like this? Your creative juices are flowing when you start a project. You’re excited. You have momentum. You get at least half of it done and then screeeeeech. You’ve been halted by a hurdle you don’t know how to handle. So it goes in a box marked “unfinished projects.” Sadly, I do actually have a box of such things. I’m trying to get better about finishing projects but these things take time. A year or more.

Last month I pulled a half-finished dress out of this pile, determined to breathe some new life into it. Instead of going with the symmetrical design I’d begun in 2012, I swung a U-turn and went with wild, unsymmetrical instincts. (Maybe my mood had shifted in the year since I’d started this project. 2012 was an even number, and symmetry is even. Maybe 2013’s being an odd number encouraged an odd approach. Who knows?!)

I love the effect so much more than the symmetrical idea I had last year. It’s fun and playful and I love wearing things with personality. Can you tell I like purple? I finished it just in time to pose in front of my neighbor’s beautiful jacaranda tree. I’ve named my dress, by the way. It’s called “Purple Pizazz.”

What have I learned by making this dress?  

1)      Creating clothing without using a pattern can be very freeing but will probably take a long time. You end up reworking challenging areas that aren’t coming together as you’d planned.

2)      Asymmetry is quite fun!

3)      There’s no need to give up on a project just because you’ve hit a road bump or two. It’s okay to put it aside for a while until inspiration strikes.

4)      A completely different approach can be liberating. If your first tactic doesn’t pan out, consider other ways to get to your goal.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have at least five other sewing projects that have been marinating in the unfinished box for a year or so. It’s time to finish these projects! There’s a cheerful pink dress I started recently and it needs to be completed. Now that I’ve announced it to the blogosphere I will have to make good and finish it. I’ll be back soon (ish), so don’t go anywhere!

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