Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Tunnel

I feel like I'm in the middle of a far in that I can't see behind me and it makes no sense to go back...but not close enough to the end of the tunnel to see the light at the end of it to continue to move forward.

That's how this dress is affecting me mentally.  It also doesn't help my confidence to read about pleating boards and pleating feet.  I wonder why didn't I think of these notions during all of my planning and my confidence is further shaken.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to make this dress...and I feel like I've totally bitten off more than I can chew.  Since I have a limited amount of time, I like to actually complete a garment during my weekends.  These creative weekends give me the fuel to face my regular workdays, a.k.a. my job, which gives me the opportunity to live a certain lifestyle but my weekends allow me to breathe.  Y'know what I mean?

This is the reason why I don't attempt these complicated and heavily involved projects often.  They eat at my soul, hog up my time, time I don't really have to spend on them, and I end up not enjoying the journey.   Believe me if I had unlimited time (i.e. retirement, long layoff, win the lottery, etc.) I could really experiment with my sewing artistry but trying to cram it into weekends, just frustrates me.  I know that I've shown glimpses of the levels that I could take my sewing to, but time truly constrains my ability to do so.  However, I do have a need to create so usually I try to work it into the time that I have...which is why my frustration is so great right now.

I don't know if this dress will work.  I don't know if I've made the right choices.  I just don't know.  So I'm going to wait until this evening and see how far I get...see if I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.  If I can, I will try to finish the dress.  If I can't, then I'm moving on to some other garments I have on my list. Hopefully at least one piece will emerge wearable from my sewing machine this weekend...

...I can always hope, right?


  1. Hang in there... At the end, it will be fine. How about 2 weekends for more complicated projects? Would you feel less pressure? I am cheering here for you that this will end up being something that you will love to wear.

  2. If it really is going to frustrate you, why not try pleating just part of it? Just the bodice, perhaps? The pleating really suits that fabric and you're doing very well with it, but I can see where you're feeling like you're never going to get past this part of it.

    I'm constantly interrupted, so it's hard to focus on something that needs a lot of attention to detail, and complicated projects that require a lot of time frustrate me as well.

  3. You have a wardrobe bursting at the seams with fabulous why don't you consider changing your focus from completing a garment over the weekend to over the month? You could tackle these harder projects without feeling like you must finish it in such a short time? Please don't take this as critism (it isn't), just a different point of reference :)

  4. Great post - and I know exactly how you feel about tackling something complex when you only have a certaim amount of time. I do the same thing. I know you will figure out the best route to take.

  5. I know exactly how you feel. If a garment is too frustrating, sometimes I won't wear it, even after it is finished.

    Your focus appears to be that you want your time away from work to be about personal pleasure, which in your case is sewing. If it isn't giving you pleasure, find another route to your goal.

    Instead of pleats, use a diagonal print to create a similar effect. Instead of neatly aligned pleats, make it a more abstract pattern of pleats.

    I would have taken your same approach to the pleats. Cut the fabric into big squares, pleat the squares; then, cut my pattern piece from the pleated fabric. If aligning the pleats is the problem, try making a template.

    The for what it's worth department...I have been inspired by the techniques you have used to add details and style to a basic pattern.

  6. I think you can totally make this dress and it will look fab, but give yourself a break. It's tedious work. Maybe tomorrow you can do something TNT and fast which will make you feel like you've accomplished *something* and also let you recharge your pleating mojo. I like what Vicki said above and will add that maybe it's time to enjoy the journey of some of these more complex projects instead of trying to win the foot race in just a weekend. This dress can be something you work on in spurts until eventually it is finished and around it you can start/finish the instant gratification projects.

  7. I agree with Debbie and Vicki. To do the more involved fashions will simply take more time. Having a go to dress that you can whip out while working on your more intense projects will keep your drive going. Remember, you are not running a race and its OK to take two weekends or even two months to finish a garment.

    I know you will finish this dress. It may be a matter of coming back to it but I know it will happen. You are ready for these more involved designs so just stick to it and do those TNTs as well. We are all here for you. What you have done on your pleating looks just perfect, by the way.

  8. I sometimes have 2 things on the go when I am on a time consuming project (which hasn't been for a while now I think about it). Sometimes I am in the mood for creativity and patience and sometimes I just want to make something right now.

  9. I was interested to read Bunny's comment. She is such an inspiration to me- she invests so much time in each project, and the results are spectacular. I used to limit myself to dresses I could make in a day. If I didn't finish it before I had to pack away my stuff and cook dinner, I lost interest and I had to force myself to (grudgingly) finish it. I've found that making myself slow down (inspired by Bunny!) has been very rewarding. I already have lots of clothes, so I remind myself to focus on enjoying the process rather than the finished product.

  10. This is going to be a very special dress when you finish it so worth taking a few extra weekends to make. Taking breaks to do other things in between will help I'm sure. Some times when you stop thinking about something you get a brainwave out of the blue.
    Not sure what the actual problem is you are having but I was just reading Gerties blog and she is showing how to drape a dress on a dressform using black tape to mark it out. While I was reading it I wondered if it might help plan out a dress like yours. Maybe making up the dress body without the front panel. Pinning it to the form over some muslin and then drawing the lines of the pleats as you want them onto the muslin. Then laying the marked muslin onto the pleated fabric. Probably too simplistic to actually work. What your doing is way beyond my talents - or patience but I really hope you succeed.

  11. I agree with everyone else. It's a lot to expect to finish a complex dress in one weekend. And I like Allison's suggestion of working on two items at once. Definitly a good method. I really admire your tenacity and your willingness to go outside your comfort zone of late. Also, I feel you on the job front. I should be so thankful for my job and all it's many benefits, but all I can think of is that I am so done with that part of my life and want to move on.

  12. This is how it always is when you push yourself beyond your comfort zone. You are doing a great job and are very inspiring! Take a break, then come back to pleating with fresh eyes.

  13. Hi Caroline,

    Hang in there and accept that it is taking the time it is taking. Admiring your tenacity and thanking you for sharing your 'trials and tribulations', which can encourage your appreciative readers, like me.

    from 'persevering'


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