Today I did some maintenance on a skirt that I found in the fabric for the African Women's Sewing Enterprise. It is old, and handmade, and I just couldn't bear to cut it up - it still had much life and a story in it! It was a tube skirt, with no zipper - so I had to put it on over my head to wear it! Plus it was too big and was nearly falling off by the end of the day. But the lovely old vintage floral is just the right colours for my Fairtrade t-shirt! This skirt just needed some love and maintenance.
But now, the skirt has a lovely vintage metal zipper on the side, and has been taken in. Plus I unpicked and re-stitched the waistband as it was fraying. Wow. Now this skirts fits like a glove! And the zipper really was so easy to put in. I used to avoid zippers and buttons, because they seemed complex and fickle to work with, but now through faithful persistence and practice it is just so much easier to do. I am so happy to have a new skirt, made just for me, and all it cost me was my time and effort! Makes me even less inclined to go out shopping for clothing when I know the best clothes are the ones I can make for myself.
I find that I would often much rather modify something for myself, than make it from scratch with brand new fabric. I think there is a bit of that sense of the 'blank canvas', or the uncut fabric, being daunting. I find when something has already begun, it is much easier to visualise what it can become and to work on.
But I also think there is a perfectionist tendency in me that I wrestle with. At times I work up to a project or a idea by working on side projects. For example I have some incredibly amazing vintage fabric I want to use for a skirt, but I'm not ready yet to cut it up. But with practice on modifying other skirts and as I identify exactly which skirt pattern I like the most, then I will give it a go. It's not all bad to want things to be 'just right' but it can be limiting and also can stop me really appreciating what I've done - especially if my eye for detail sees all the imperfections! But, I love that I know about how I tick, and I work hard to harness my skills and to put them to good work.