Sewing Shackles

police2016 has been a liberating year for me.  This year I realized just how shackled I am when it comes to sewing.

There are two things that happened to me recently that changed the way in which I look at both my quilting and my garment sewing.

The fist happened while I was shopping for fabric at a local quilt shop in February.  I had a conversation with a shop employee and her tongue-in-cheek parting words to me were – “There are no quilt police.”

Wow! What?  No quilt police?  Seems like that’s something obvious but after thinking it through, I realized that I actually conduct my quilting life under the presumption that there are indeed quilt police.

So this casual remark made me stop and think – why exactly do I do things the way I do and do my beliefs limit me?

Fast forward to early June.  A friend of mine who works with Project Cosplay, invited me and another seamstress to help with a sponsored event to help people with their last minute sewing needs for Comic Con.

The first sewing project was converting a man’s lined sport jacked into a Tuxedo jacket.  Thank goodness the other seamstress took that challenge because what I saw absolutely changed my life.

She asked the person to put the jacket on.  She then took a piece of chalk and drew the tuxedo back right onto the jacket.  They went to the mirror and it was confirmed – “good”.

She then, without hesitation, cut the back of the jacket away leaving the tuxedo tail shape.

Things got a little busy at that point but later I saw her with the seam ripper taking out some of the seams of the lining.  She then laid it all flat, pinned it together, stitched it up and voila! had a beautifully lined and finished tuxedo jacket.

I have always relied on patterns for all of my garment sewing.  In fact, with the exception of my adventures in thermoplastics, I cannot think of anything I’ve made without a pattern.  And since I don’t do alterations of any kind, this type of brutal modification was even more terrifying.

The entire way home that evening I thought about what I had seen and realized just how much I limit myself in my garment sewing.  Again I was asking myself why.

Fast forward to the 4th of July when my neighbor approached me and said – “We would like to take you up on your offer to help my daughter make her Halloween costume.”

My 13-year-old neighbor is going to be a dragon this Halloween.  At the beginning of our project she presented me with a composite-style drawing done by her friend.  This was our goal.

My first impulse was to – yes, run to the computer to find a pattern.  Of course, there were no dragon patterns available in her size with exactly what she wanted so now was my chance to liberate!dog dinasaur

I did start with a pattern (while I’m throwing off my shackles, I’m not crazy).  I started with Simplicity 2853 and modified the tail component from Simplicity 1765. We fabricated dragon scales out of fabric and added some horns and spikes for maximum effect.  And, sans pattern, created some quick wings by having her lay on the floor on top of some newspaper.  I then simply drew an outline of wings under her arm.  So simple.

A summer of learning to sew something really cool that she will actually be wearing in a few days!  How great is that for a 13-year-old’s summer project?!?

For me, October has been non-stop sewing.  In my last blog post, I gave you a hint about my Halloween projects.  I can happily report that I have finished two costumes.  I have one week to relax before the great reveal.  But here’s a few more hints.

In my next post, I’ll show you the full monty!

Halloween Hints
Halloween Hints

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