2011-08-09

Design Life

iusedtosew

Yesterday I was searching through my archives (thousands of pictures of myself... sickening really) for a particular family picture and I came across this shot. It's one of the bridesmaids dresses I made last year. It's funny that I can look at it now and think 'that's pretty freaking cute'. Ok, maybe it's not funny, maybe it's conceited or maybe it's just interesting. Last year I remember just being so frustrated with the dress that by the time it was done, I didn't think there was anything cute about it. I spent hours hand sewing (and cutting) those flowers... I got about 1/3 of the way and I decided I didn't like the size of the flowers, took them all out and did it all over again.
That's why last October I took a year long leave from sewing. It had gotten to the point where sewing wasn't fun anymore because I was losing sleep and stressing myself out over every detail. And even if it looked good (even great), I would still think of ways that it could have been better. It didn't help that last year was crazy busy; I was working fulltime, I made 2 wedding dresses and 6 bridesmaids dresses, we bought a house and put our old house on the market...twice (the first time it all fell apart), I was in night school and I was trying to be a decent wife, daughter, friend and cat mother. I remember feeling like I was going to shatter into pieces. Something had to give and that something was sewing.
Matt loves the sewing sabbatical and has put forward a recommendation to extend it indefinitely. The non-sewing Jentine is... much nicer.
It was kind of nice to see this picture again and to have some joy in my handiwork. Even if it takes me a year to enjoy what I've made... I'm confident when I landscape, when I get dressed, when I write a post about nothing but when I make a dress, I turn into a pile of insecurities. But a year after that fact, I can confidently say this dress is cute... and that its cousin is pretty sweet too. Seeing these pictures almost makes me want to go through the whole creative process of designing dresses again... but not quite yet. I'm rather enjoying this break. Matt is probably enjoying it even more.

25 comments :

Leah said...

I have been going through the same thing since finishing school (Fashion Design as well) and feel the same insecurities with my work. Why is that? I hope that time and practice will overcome that and I can be proud of my work some day. I know you'll probably get the urge sew again when the time is right, enjoy this time off spoiling hubby with 'nice Jentine'.

xo L.

Marie @ Lemondrop Vintage said...

It's a lovely dress! I know you will enjoy your talent again.
Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
Vintage ROAD TRIP giveaway

Jessica Gitler said...

this is a darling dress, you did a amazing job! sometimes all it takes is to walk away and forget about something to gain a new love for it!
jess
www.jesscauseblog.blogspot.com

Jesse @ Happy Go Lucky Vegan said...

I was just married and would have felt so special if my bridesmaids wore such a dress! I go through the same love/hate relationship with cooking - I find when I cook something simpler, I get back into enjoying the more decadent meals. Maybe you can apply the same theory towards sewing? :)

Liz said...

That dress is really lovely!! Is there a way that you can sew for fun? It sounds like its something you really enjoy, but stress out when you do too much of it. (I get the same way about some things)

A wonderful dress!

Jodi said...

youre amazing!! of course you are, you are canadian :) lol

Please may I? said...

beautiful dress, how talented are you!

X x

Amy said...

That dress is stunning! It's always good to a have a break from creating..you'll be so much more refreshed when you return to it :D

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Hopefully, nice Jentine remembers talented Jentine and can someday bring the two together...your work here is excellent....but husbands need the less stressful best of us for awhile!!

Jen Plus M said...

That dress is stunning. And I completely understand being so critical of your work that it sucks all the enjoyment out of it. This seems like a step in the right direction that you can look at the dress and see how beautiful it is and not a feeling of frustration! I hope one day you can find the fun in sewing/designing but if not I'm sure that are loads of other creative outlets in which you will be just as talented :)

www.jenplusm.blogspot.com

Luísa Lión said...

wow!! This dress is amazing! i cnt bleieve you made this! What do you do? Did you learn designing? Love your black hat down there too! very ncie blog!!

♥♥Style-Roulette♥♥

xoxo,
Luísa

Kimmielovesparis said...

The dress is SUPER CUTE. I love the flowers! I can picture the work that must have been involved + the stress to have to do it over (because you weren't happy with it). I can understand your need for a break.

You're very creative...and funny - got a chuckle out of the Non-sewing Jentine.

Love your posts and enjoy your blog.

Cheers

Unknown said...

Your dress is AMAZING. As a long-time sewist myself, I can appreciate all the hours and work that went into it. But jeez....wedding dresses? bridesmaids dresses? No wonder you stressed out! Sometime, when Matt isn't around, get the machine out again, and make something casual and just for YOU! Your perfectionism can be just as beautifully displayed in a well-made/designed day dress. Love your blog and your sense of humour (see? I added a "u" there, for your Canadian self!)

allie said...

That dress looks absolutely amazing. You are clearly talented and I hope one day it becomes enjoyable for you, but if it doesn't I don't think it's anything to beat yourself up over. Hobbies are supposed to be fun after all.

Admittedly the selfish side of me hopes when I'm eventually planning my own wedding, you'll have started again because I'd hire you for bridesmaids dresses in a heartbeat! Regardless, though, do what makes you happy!

Megan said...

This was really touching to me, personally. I completely agree with your thought process here. When I'm being creative and I get "in the zone" I tend to ignore the rest of my life and become so focused on things being perfect. It really becomes obsessive and in turn destructive. I have often had to walk away from projects when I've realized I've become too involved to the point it's not healthy (I've stayed up tearing up scrapbook pages b/c they weren't perfect... or un-beading entire necklaces. Uh, can we say weirdo!). I think that dress is lovely, and sometimes it does take time and a long step back to look at things from a fresh perspective.

Remember, you are your worst critic. I have only just "met" you and I think you are lovely and talented... so that's that!

:)

guildedsecret. said...

wow i really appreciate your candor in this post. sometimes when we read others' blogs we assume that they have this "perfect" life - that everyone can cook, sew, dress, style others, lives in an amazing city and has a perfect boyfriend/husband who takes all of their blog photos...

its great that you've taken a hiatus from sewing - even though you have a brilliant talent for it. glad to see it's not driving you mad!

with love,
guildedsecret

Katie W... said...

This dress and its cousin are amazing! I think you are a wonderufl designer/seamstress, but I'm not encouraging the loss of sleep or meanness. I can understand how it would take a toll but I'm glad you can see the cuteness a year later. Your handiwork is beautiful!

Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) said...

Wow, you made that??? That is AMAZING!!!!

Lisa - Archives Vintage said...

im incredibly jealous. im trying to teach myself to sew at the moment. its so challenging! you've got an amazing skill, enjoy some time off but dont let it go!

Sweet Laundry said...

Oh wow, you made this dress?! You need to be on Project Runway, this is incredible!!

Catherine said...

YOU SEW TOO?? Man sOme people get all the talent! My sabatical consists of swimming in the ocean for hours followed with tropical libations to rehydrate;)

fashionfabricator said...

You made that?! That's amazing!

Holly S said...

I understand how difficult it is to not pick apart something you created but I really wish you could find a way to not stress about your dresses. They are seriously stunning! Each and every one of them [that you have posted for us to see :)] It would be a real shame if you quit sewing because you are just so talented.

Courtney said...

I love that you can look back at your work and call it great. But the creative process can be miserable. I think you are mature for taking the break you need because some people can't say no when they need to. Great work!

Courtney
I Can Be Many Things

Haute Muslimah said...

What a pretty dress! You hand cut those flowers? Wow.
I can understand needing to take a break from it all, but I do hope you go back to it one day. I'd love to see more of what you've done!