It’s been a long time since I’ve sewn regularly. I used to be prolific. I started sewing at 9-years-old. I taught myself how to thread my mom’s sewing machine and, with her permission, dug into her box of fabric making rudimentary shirts, skirts, and dresses—no darts or zippers or shape, just boxy pieces that my sisters and I tied on to make stay put. We wore these makeshift costumes during the musicals and plays we would perform in our family room for an invisible audience. It was awesome.
Eventually I figured out how to make waistbands and darts, and put in zippers. I made a number of my own clothes and wore them to school. Finally, around age sixteen my mom told me I should learn to use an actual sewing pattern and taught me how. There was no holding back after that! I took the advanced sewing class at school and for my final exam sewed a complicated Vogue pattern of a suit coat with functional welt pockets.
After I married, I sewed everything from curtains to duvets and decorative pillows to complicated Halloween costumes and clothes for my kids. I loved every minutes of it!
But somewhere along the way, I stopped doing what I loved and only occasionally got out my machine to make something. It’s been a few years since I’ve made anything, but I recently decided to reconnect with this slumbering part of my soul and make my daughter a dress. And wouldn’t you know it. . . as soon as I got my machines set up and threaded, my serger died, like full-on motor death. And it’s far too old to resurrect. So, I bought a new serger on Amazon, a cheaper one (that hopefully lasts awhile), but while I’m waiting to be able to use it, I thought I’d share a sewing and photography project I created a few years ago.
In this project I designed and made the wardrobe, applied the makeup to the model, painted the stationary backdrops, shot and processed the images. It was a lot of work, but also very soul-satisfying. A truly creative endeavor purely for my own enjoyment. Aren’t those the best kind?
Here are some images I took and a time-lapse video of the dress-making process.
Original Song “Wings” written and performed by Jennifer Manges
Do you sew? What have you been working on lately?