Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An Essay for SFL 105

this is an essay i wrote about the first dress i made for the blog. i thought i'd share it with the world.

Learning Activity 3- Sew a Dress without a Pattern… deep breath…

In my creative projects class, I made my own individualized slopers for my body type. Slopers are what seamstresses use to make patterns, and they are usually a basic size that are not individualized. Big dress companies use these slopers, which is why when a dress or jacket is bought, it never fits perfectly. So, now that I have my own individualized slopers (which took me a total of 35 hours to make), I wanted to just jump right in and try them. Sewing can be a scary task because so much money goes into a project, like the fabric for a dress, a sewing machine, etc., not to mention the time it takes to make a well-fitting dress. It is sometimes hard to separate one’s fears with trying new things in general, and I feel like I have had these fears my whole life. Trying new things and actually completing them is hard for me to do, so I knew I needed to just close my eyes, breathe, and cut.

The fabric cost me about $45, which I bought online, and the notions (thread, zippers, etc) cost another $10. $55 total is not much when the dress being made would cost about $200 in a store (including alterations), especially since it is specifically made for my body. Thankfully my wonderful husband gives me a unlimited (within reason) budget for fabric because he knows how much sewing means to me and how much it is strengthening my confidence in my ability to complete tasks. I can’t explain the anxiety and worry of cutting out a pattern with the fabric that seems so flat and life-like lying on the floor. You think to yourself: how is this two-dimensional object going to wrap around my body, fitting perfectly, and still make me look skinny? It’s like cutting down a tree and trying to imagine it as a house. Faith is required in every project. Not all of them work out—over half of my projects are stuffed in my “failure” suitcase in a closet. Miraculously, my dress came out and makes me look pretty skinny.

With price aside, it took me two weeks to finish the dress with having to go to school. The dress also inspired me to start my own blog of my chronicles in sewing. I have now challenged myself to make a dress without a pattern every two weeks, hoping none of them end up in that unfinished, failure pile. I just have to jump in these projects if I ever want to see results in my sewing capabilities. Even though I will never know the results of all my efforts until the last stitch is sewn, every single project I have ever made I have learned something new. I’ve learned that the progression toward perfection never stops. I actually want to keep trying.

Once we are baptized, get married, have a family, and continue to live our covenants, our progression toward perfection is continuous. We may never know the results of our efforts until the last day, minute, hour, but every little lesson we have learned or blessing we have witnessed will make all the heartache and trouble worth it. Heavenly Father is always challenging us. It may seem like we will never finish or succeed, but we just have to close our eyes, have faith, and cut.

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