Have you ever had one of those projects that you had such high hopes but just never seemed to get quite right? When making it sort of feels like wading through molasses? It completely weighs you down and kills your creative energy? You find it was impossible to make decisions on how to move forward with it? And you couldn’t allow yourself to move on to another project until you just got it done and out of the way??
Two summers ago I picked up this adorable ice cream cone printed polyester fabric from Fabricland on a whim, attracted to the print while waiting for more essential fabric to be cut. It was the perfect summer fabric that sat at the top of my stash staring at me until I decided what it was going to be. I loved the print so much, but felt intimidated by its slippery nature and couldn’t fully visualize what I wanted it to be.
I eventually settled on the idea of a cool summer blouse and the Airelle pattern seems to be a good match for what I was going for. Fear of that fabric though kept me procrastinating a whole year before I forced myself to just dive in. Me Made May was also a huge player in the motivation – I wanted something new to wear and the sun had started to shine. It was time to accept the challenge.
To say the fabric is slippery is an understatement. It slides, warps, and pulls at the slightest tug and it was an ordeal to cut it evenly (spoiler: I didn’t). I think I need fabric weights and maybe a larger surface to use my rotary cutter for any future attempts?
I added my usual 3 cm to the waist length, and rounded off the hem, adding a little additional length to the back piece. I also eliminated the darts. If you ask me I will claim that I wanted a flowy silhouette but in reality it’s because it seemed like a nightmare to attempt them in such a fussy fabric. I’m glad I left them off.
My first iteration was very different than it is today. I had added in (then removed) piping at the yoke, and decided it looked good sleeveless. Then I wore it (for MMMay Day 22), and I found that the shoulders didn’t sit properly without the sleeves, so I unpicked my bias finishing and added them. I had opted out of the collar (I was unsure how well it would hold up in this fabric) but the pattern without it left the neckline a strange shape. So I lowered and refaced that too.
As the project went on I questioned myself more and more at every step. Self-doubt really wore me down. I still didn’t know what would be best outcome for the top. I made these adjustments along the way but as I went I just felt more and more defeated by the project. I didn’t want to work on it anymore. I didn’t want to work on ANYTHING anymore.
I powered through and made all changes that were necessary to get this blouse to at least an 8/10. And I am proud of myself for that. Though, once it was done I neatly folded it up and left it on my sewing desk until the photo shoot, instead of my closet, where most makes immediately land.
Wearing the top this week to get the photos helped change my perspective a little bit. I have lots to be thankful for. It fits well, looks fun and still embodies the spirit of the summer. To me, it STILL feels like something is off and I don’t know if that will ever go away, but I made something cute and wearable. More importantly, I conquered my first polyester satin project and I can wear it outdoors! In public!
My favourite aspect is the back of the top; the shape of the extended back hem and the contrast yoke just feels really cool and breezy. I hope to capture that in future projects. I want to include some multi-fabric and colour blocked garments in my wardrobe.
At the end of the day I really am just glad the project is done and I can start new and hopefully more fulfilling things. I have a pretty crazy Anna dress near completion and some other fun dresses on the to do list. The sew must go on!
How do you deal with your sew-jo killers? What motivates you to get yourself back in the game after a disappointing performance? Also, tips for working with fussy fabrics also appreciated.