I’m Not Making A Dress

Something very strange happened to me this week. I was (several weeks ago) invited to attend a wedding of a co-worker for next weekend. We’re not paticularly close, but a very good friend is performing their ceremony. The strange thing that happened was I decided this morning I wasn’t going to sew a dress to wear. Usually, I take these opportunities to whip up a frothy confection. But, this time I just said, ‘no’. Why?

I’m in the middle of a bag project that I haven’t touched in a week. Making a party dress takes away from that.

I need work clothes. Spending the next two weeks on a party dress takes time away from the sewing I actually need to get done.

I’m in a ballet recital in December and offered to make my costume in addition to some others in my dance selection.

I have to work this weekend and I had delightful company last weekend. Arielle was even offering to help me cut fabric so I could get started!

Another co-worker loaned me an adorable green strapless dress. Other than the fact that I have a little back fat in it (I’m almost 35. I can’t do much about that at this point) it’s a great dress. She’s wearing my Butterick 6410 to a black tie fundraiser this weekend (and quite frankly looks better in it than I do). A fair and equitable trade I think.

I realized that if sewing will stress me out, I don’t ‘have’ to do it. Sewing should be fun and rewarding. I realize I have a reputation among friends and co-workers for making my own clothes. There’s some pressure to that! Every day I’m asked if I made what I’m wearing. If I actually (egads!) buy something and wear it I find people are disappointed. Or, I feel sheepish saying it’s RTW. Why should I feel like that? My own pressure on myself. By deciding *not* to make  dress, I get to focus on things I want / need to do rather than pull my hair out trying to whip something together. And, once I made the decision, I felt at ease and totally relieved.


  1. Wow, you’ve said a mouthful there!!! I wholeheartedly concur. Sometimes I too can get myself in a tizzy trying to be overly ambitious in “whipping up” something at the last minute. Just because we can doesn’t mean it’s always the sensible thing to do. Sometimes it’s just wiser to forgo the stress. Very nicely said! And I agree you’ll spectacular regardless of what you wear. Have fun with all of your other sewing projects.

  2. Right on! Also, does this happen to be a David’s Bridal bridesmaid dress? It looks exactly like one I borrowed from a friend to wear in another friend’s wedding (except mine is dark raspberry). Either way, it will flatter your tiny waist– you’ll look hot!

  3. It’s a hobby. It’s not supposed to be stressful that’s for work! I don’t tell people I made it usually either. I say thank you if I get a compliment and leave it at that. Ok, sometimes I need a boost and I do tell them, but since I don’t work in an office I don’t have that kind of pressure. Work on what you want to and work clothing is more economical anyway if you figure the cost per wear.

  4. You blog entry reminds of a a story Nancy Zieman, of Sewing With Nancy, told. She was the guest speaker at a sewing conference and when she was asked what the pattern was for her blouse she was wearing she told them that she had bought the blouse. The crowd gasped! Nancy Zieman in RTW! Her response was that even Julia Child ate out in a resturant once in awhile!

  5. Good for you, Cidell! I think your priorities are totally in order.

    If you want to take care of that backfat, you might look into a bodyshaper (Spanx, maybe)? That should take care of it.

    Gorgeous dress, btw. It’ll look fantastic on you!

  6. Good for you! Sewing because you have to is never as fun as sewing because you want to. Besides, the dress is lovely and you will look amazing in it! Do not feel guilty; enjoy working on what you want to work on when you feel like it.

  7. Ahh backfat, I know that all too well unfortunately. Your “new” dress is lovely and you will look gorgeous in it. I too feel pressure at work now that it’s more widely known that I sew. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your perspective), I don’t have too many pieces yet, so there would be no way I could wear what I make every day. Especially with how slowly I sew. *sigh* I’m glad you feel comfortable with your sewing priorities. It’s all about keeping it fun and fresh. The words “have to” and “should” need to be removed from our vocabulary! 😉

  8. It’s just a hobby. If it is your job, you wouldn’t have enough hours in the day to make everything you wear either. So you have a job, hobbies and priorities too. Now, who’s to say that’s not right?

  9. Go with the flow. Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure. There is a time and place for everything.

  10. The green dress will look stunning on you! What accessories will you choose? I have no idea what colour shoes I would wear with this. I agree with what the others have said about not stressing about not sewing. You can’t do everything. As for backfat, the solution involves weights and sweating …

  11. I agree. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t posted in a while. Oh, I’ve been sewing, but it had become moot to try to post everyday. Maybe I’ll do once a week. But I’d rather be sewing.

  12. Good for you. Just because you can sew doesn’t mean you have to! Besides, you’re a busy women and there are better, more useful things to sew than a one-use dress.

  13. Makes sense. The ballet recital in December sounds like fun — the preparation in learning the dance routines, the wonderful physical activity to music and sewing the dance costumes. Enjoy!

  14. You know your limits-good! If you got bogged down you would lose your love of the craft. I wear a lot of ready to wear, right along with my own custom made stuff.

  15. The first time I saw back fat coming out of my bra I thought “Nooooo, that’s Mom’s back.”

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