10.27.2015

Girl's Flouncy Dress :: Burda #144

Last week was kids clothes week and I wanted to attempt to participate this time, although I'll be honest- an hour every day is largely out of reach for me.  So my goal during the week was to carve out time during one of Hazel's naps to sew.  Just one.


And I did.  It was my second attempt at a raglan top with a ruffled neckline from Ottobre.  And I'm still not exactly sure what went wrong.  Maybe it was my fabric.  (I think it was my fabric.)  Both times I made the top, the neckline got completely and irreparably stretched out.  Of course, this happened after I just recently blogged about how easy it is to work with knits!


It got me thinking a lot about creativity, failure and risk.


The first time I sewed a pair of pants for Indigo, a few people made jokes about them, in a lighthearted way.  The pants were lopsided.  They looked silly.  The first time I took my camera out of auto and took an indoor photo, it looked yellow.  A couple of people cringed and encouraged me to put it back on auto.  And when I was first learning how to bake and frost a homemade cake, I frosted the cake while it was still warm and the frosting dripped, dripped, dripped off my cake.  I have the pictures to prove it.  The yellow, out-of-focus pictures, I might add! ;)


Have you guys seen that quote by Ira Glass that's been making its way around the Internet?  If not, here it is.

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners.  I wish someone told me.  All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste.  But there is this gap.  For the first couple of years you make stuff, it's just not that good.  It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not.  But your taste, the thing that got you into the game is still killer.  And your taste is why your work disappoints you.  A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.  Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this.  We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have.  We all go through this.  And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it's normal and the most important thing you can do is a lot of work.... It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.  And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met.  It's gonna take awhile.  Its normal to take awhile.  You've just gotta fight your way through that."


Now I'm not saying I have great taste, but I am saying I have totally experienced what he is describing here.  There have been (are) times when my work disappoints me.  There have been (are) times when I look back at things that I've made and cringe.  When I first started sewing, I sewed things together backwards, regularly.  I ripped my seams all the time.  I made lopsided pants!


I think that's just part of it.  Or at least it was part of it for me.  But when you make the same mistake over and over again you start to internalize what went wrong and those lessons become a part of you.  Now I don't have to think twice about sewing things right sides together or feeling for the bumpy side of the interfacing to be sure it's facing the fabric so as to not gunk up my iron.  At the risk of sounding cheesy, in a sense there are no real failures, only lessons that teach us how to do things better next time.


I also think it takes a bit of courage to try something new.  It's easy to stick to things that we naturally excel at, things that are safe.  It's harder to take that step out of our comfort zone, whether it's sewing with knits, trying that unfamiliar pattern, or finally sewing for oneself.  (I'm nudging myself on that last one!)


This pattern was an easy one.  Thankfully.  I needed easy after not one, but two fails.  

It's Burda #144 : Girls' Flouncy Dress and it's a quick sew.  I was able to sew it up in an hour or two over the weekend.  As far as Burda patterns go, this one is pretty basic and straightforward.  I left off the back slit at the neckline, keeping things even more simple.


I cannot remember where I got this knit.  It feels like a Kaufman jersey but I can't be certain of that.  Tia loves this dress and says that she feels like an angel in it.


We got loads of rain this weekend and even some flooding.  The moment I heard there was rain in the forecast, I knew I wanted to head outside for what I hoped would be a cool photo series.  Tia is always game for these sort of propositions.  You should have seen us!  The wind was blowing so hard I could barely hold my umbrella.  I was trying to balance it under my knee and Tia and I were laughing so much at the ridiculousness of it.  My visions of capturing the raindrops in some magical way did not pan out not at all.  I guess you could say it was another failure.  But I did get this sweet photo of Tia.  It was worth it.  She makes everything worth it!


Also, she has been having the best time with her new rain boots.  This was her expression when she put them on for the first time.


Man, I love this kid!


25 comments:

  1. Oh my, I totally agree with that quote! My first sewing attempts were a disaster :-) But I'm glad I never gave up, and I'm glad you didn't either. Love the colour of this fabric, it's a wonderful dress! And Tia, well... I can't keep my eyes off all the prettiness that girl shows. She's an angel indeed!

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    1. And hey, look at you! Now you are making patterns! That is really amazing! <3 I'm glad you didn't give up, too!

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  2. Tia is so gorgeous. I really enjoyed looking at those old posts from your blog. Your work on this space (from the sewing to the photos to the writing) has evolved so much, it's great seeing where it started. It is inspiring to me, as well, because I still take yellow photos. A lot.

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  3. you are amazing Rahcel! and that dress is amazing and that last photo is amazing!!:):):)
    oh yes: this quote: truth!! as a multiple crafts learner, I can totally relate to that! It is good to read it though, to know that it is ok to fail:)
    I love everything about that dress: but the colors are probably my favorite part of it!

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  4. As usual with your blog posts, I don't know where to start with my comments . . . with the photos and how breathtaking they are? with the sewing and how gorgeous that dress is? with the truth of your Ira Glass statement and how I appreciate your "real-ness" in reacting to it? It's all such a beautiful Rachel package, and I love coming to your blog to be blessed by your thoughts, talent and the smiles of your beautiful kids:)

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Lucinda! I really appreciate that! <3

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  5. also, did I miss that Ishi dress somewhere along the way?! Stunning! I just bought the same fabric in the blue color way . . . i adore it! What a perfect choice to show off the stripes!

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    1. Oh and here is the Ishi dress post! :) Love this dress! And I LOVED your version!
      http://www.stitched-together.com/2015/07/the-ishi-dress.html

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  6. That rain cloud blue is perhaps my favourite colour of all, and it looks fabulous on Tia. The lighting for these photos was a real gift and to capture it so well, a real skill.
    You know, now I want to take that pattern of yours and give it a good "going over". That's where my ambition to improve comes from; sheer dog-mindedness with a hefty dose of arrogance. Thankfully I can mostly deal with failing - at least when it comes to sewing. Things that truly matter might be a different story.
    I'll absolutely cheer you on in the self sewing game!

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  7. Of COURSE you have good taste!! Duh!!

    As I am always saying to my friends who say that "they aren't crafty" or "they have a brown thumb" - sewing (or gardening) is a skill that you learn. You learn it by making a lot of mistakes. It isn't something innate that some people have and others don't. Some people do innately have more desire to do certain things. And perhaps there is a small amount of natural ability with any activity, but there is no need to pursue only activities that you have natural ability at. I feel like sewing is good for me, stretches my brain in ways that other things don't, and keeps me young and learning new things! But yeah, there are some real failures!

    On a separate topic, that is a really beautiful dress, and Tia is just the sweetest awesomest. She DOES look like an angel!

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  8. Ohhhh I love this dress so much! Beautiful beautiful, that colour suits Tia so well! And that smile... <3
    I totally agree on that quote, I will always feel like my things aren't good enough, and I never felt like it was ok not to be perfect until I discovered sewing. I think when you're pashioned about something failure doesn't stop you, even if it slows the path sometimes. I think we are compelled to always give it another try. Oh and you definitely have amazing taste, and your photos are beautiful! <3

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    1. Yes, I like what you said here, that failure doesn't stop you, even if it slows you down sometimes. {{high five!}} <3

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  9. Beautiful! Just beautiful. My favorite photo is the serious one before the angel one. Haunting!
    As far as the quote is concerned, I've thought about going back and deleting some of the first blog posts I did, but never quite get the courage to do it. Maybe I should leave them there as a testimony to how far I've come.

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    1. You know, I think many bloggers feel this way. I know I do! But let me tell you, my oldest blog posts have provided hours of entertainment for my kids! They love to read them over and over again. So those posts are going no where! :D And yeah, it's really great to be able to look back and see how far you have come, just like you said!

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  10. She's so beautiful! Love the new to me quote! It is so true. I can't wait to see what you make for yourself!

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  11. I've lately thrown away all of my first creations: they were so embarrassingly imperfect :) I've noticed my style is shifting now, both in shopping and in sewing: from using fabrics everyone has to more special fabrics and patterns. And I like it! Just like I like your style and the way it has changed over time, together with the kids and the pictures and the words accompanying them. I love reading here, everything is just so perfect! Although I would still stay if it wasn't, no pressure :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Eva! You are the sweetest! <3

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  12. Tia is the cutest girl ever!!! That dress looks perfect on her! One day I looked at some of the first things I've made and finally got the courage to throw it away. And it still happens, the other day I've made a dress and it turned out so bad that off to the trash you go!... well, that's life! That won't make me stop sewing even if it's never gona be perfect I enjoy making stuff!

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    1. Thank you, Rita! Also, I have done that, too - finally decided to get rid of some of the things I've made but no longer care for. And you're right, it is so much fun to make things, even if not everything turns out as you might have hoped.

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  13. Yes!! I'm with Lucinda and Inder all the way - you DO have great taste, and I'm the same way with people that say they "aren't crafty" or whatever. It's just a matter of practice! I had plenty of that type of project too when I started out, where my skill didn't match what was in my head. But once those things got in line, it was super exciting! And yes, it's always fun to push ourselves (make an Archer make an Archer!!).

    Gorgeous dress and photos - the clouds and your beautiful Tia in front, and the dress...it's just wonderful.

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  14. I think it's fabulous. Those boots......that GIRL !

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  15. Tia is amazing and so is that dress!! I love your sense of style, and I am inspired by your color choices. The quote is such a perfect reminder too in all of our endeavors.

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  16. I hadn't seen that quote yet and I love it. A couple years into sewing for kids and I've learned a ton and I still have oh so much more to learn. And those pictures of Tia are just magical! I followed one of your links above and was reading some of your old posts, where Tia was graduating from speech therapy and such. What a long journey you've all been on. Your way of sharing it with us all is so lovely.

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  17. That is such a great quote! It reminds of some of the first things I sewed for my son but thankfully babies can't complain! 3 years later and I finally feel like I am coming to my own and can splurge on nice fabrics a bit because I have confidence what I sew will turn out.

    Also wanted to say, I really enjoy your blog. Your knit baby nightgowns brought me here (made 3 for my baby girl and they were a favorite those first few months!) and I just love seeing what you sew up!

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    1. Oh Hannah, I am so happy to hear this! Thank you for sharing that you enjoyed the pattern! And thank you for the kind words about my blog. That really means so much to me! <3

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