Getting started. Never finished.

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I really should be more active with this, eh? 


Most of the time, I select fabric just because it catches my eye. Sometimes, there’s a purpose.

Next month is XOXO, and for me it marks a year of sewing in earnest. I decided to make an XOXO dress to celebrate. I gleefully ran around the fabric store to pull the bits together. And then when I started on it at home…


Woozy.


Confusey.


And what was I thinking?

It was the first time in a while that I truly doubted my eye. Not only was I so sure in the fabric shop of how this would work, I had each component cut for exactly the length needed. I started in on the dress, wondering if I had imagined myself into a hot, dizzy mess.

Here’s the result: 


And the kicker: PDX pockets.


Trust your vision.


I suspect not. 


My next cat will be named Tim Gunn.


I love the little extra design bonuses. Reminds me of messages scratched into the dead space on records.


I’ve nearly completed this dress: 

It’s nearly floor length. I couldn’t do anything but throw heaps of that floral fabric into it. I put an extra panel in the skirt back to make it even fuller.


The print reminds me of blouses my American grandmother wore. 

What’s keeping me from finishing? I am convinced that somewhere out there is the perfect floral lace trim that needs to peek out from the bottom, and I haven’t found that trim yet. So this gorgeous print sits and waits for its turn to go to the ball. 


Today I pieced out a dress combining these two fabrics:


It was when I took a photo of my partial stash that I noticed how well these work together!

I also started the next stage of this shawl, a Doodler by Stephen West:


This photo is the completion of phase one; a cable begins across the top in stage 2. I got the row-before-cabling set up.

And I went to an Intro to Synths class at S1 Synth Library, which also gives me access to using that library for the next month.


All of these new things at the very beginning stages, and Inothing completed. Now wonder I feel unsettled. This should be better in a couple of days when I can make more tangible progress. 


These are the fabrics that are lingering by my dining table, where I iron and cut my projects. Sewing happens on a much smaller table in my office.


The plum one on top was one of four fabrics I bought in Denverwhile attending the Public Library Association conference. None of them have been used yet.

The seashells print was purchased from a shop of Mississippi Ave in PDX that I think has since vanished. 

The ringspun plaid – subtle, it’s a coffee brown with a inky, could-be-black, could be navy – was from the big fabric store in town, as was the dark denim on the bottom and the graphic map print above the denim. Not pictured: a denim lighter both in shade and weight. I bought five yards of both denims to experiment with, and I’ve made a single-cut dress from the dark denim.

Sandwiched between the map print and the ringspun: a Liberty lawn that reminds me of Gaughin. I cringe slightly at the term “luscious” when it’s applied to textiles. It is appropriate for this print.

So now: what do I do with these, and what’s first? And…. I am stuck. Stacking these for this photo did reveal the delightful, surprising way those plum and seashell fabrics talk to each other, though. 


Tomorrow the domain registration on this humble-by-neglect site renews. And I again take the vow that I will do something, anything, with it.


Today I wore this dress:  

 
The fabric was one that made me squeal upon finding it at the textile shop where I’ve become a regular. With an upcoming library conference, I was determined to finish it in time to wear among my professional colleagues. I chose a red piping to give it just a little color and to pay homage to the Olivettis in the design.

I was able to pack this and eight other dresses I made in my case for Denver. Far more than I needed, but enough to account for whim and occasion. 

Today was the last full day of conference sessions. I’ve received compliments on each of the dresses I’ve worn, with some realizing my delighted replies of thanks meant that I had sewn them.

This evening, I walked alone to a street lined with upscale bistros and boutiques. Wanting to wait out a line at one restaurant, I wandered into a shoe store known for eclectic design. I was curious about a couple of styles I had seen online and was surprised to find them less charming  and more cartoony in person. What I was greeted with, however, surprised me more.

“I love your typewriters! Were you lucky enough to find that dress, or did you have to make it?”  

It only occurred to me only recently that I should blog the sewing project I gave myself this past fall: make a dress per month. A simple challenge to build a skill and see where I could take it. I’ve overshot that goal, made a few other non-dress things as well, and have found that it has shifted my feelings about consuming and about presentation and a host of other issues that the one-day blog will give me space to discuss. Lucky to find? Lucky to make.


Snapping together quite quickly in my mind today: Quick reviews of the many perfume samples I’ve accumulated over the past few years, with a sensory impression of what they’d pair with in clothing and in music. It’s on Instagram as ScentThisBand, and will post to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr as well. Hoping to post near-daily. Eventually, I’d like to take the project in both directions: what scent goes with this band’s work?