You may recall a little Halloween project mentioned recently, and my plans to take a Photoshop class. All wrapped in one tidy package is what you see above - the results of my labors. The dress was very easy compared to the Photoshop class!
About the dress:This pattern is easy to sew with just a couple minor exceptions: godets & working with the bias.
- The godets are set right into the field of fabric, so I sewed one side at a time, starting at the point and using a tiny stitch, very close to the edge. As I sewed away from the point, the seam allowance of the white fabric gradually widened to match the seam allowance of the gold fabric. Both fabrics cooperated nicely, because each had a tight weave.
- Sewing on the bias means pieces can slip and slide into weird shapes. Once the pieces were cut, I let them hang more than 24 hours. Careful pinning kept one side from stretching away from the other during stitching. Fusing a strip of interfacing on seam allowances stabilized the area for easy zipper insertion.
The design of the dress is a little puzzling. The underbust gathering is lower than the wearer's bust, and with the lining, it becomes bulky enough to pouf out. For that reason, I would not sew this again for her - it is not flattering, unless one Cleopatra-izes the outfit. She had me lower the neckline a good 1-2 inches and add cording along the edge of the neckline (to look like piping, but hand-sewn). The long cord ends meet in the center where they are wrapped around the body to re-shape the silhouette to a closer fit. It might be a little difficult to see in the photos; take my word for it. I am her mom, after all, and I am not posting any close-ups of what Fells Point and Federal Hill saw last weekend.
About the Photoshop class:
Blogshop is a weekend class taught by two very smart, very beautiful, very talented, very successful women. The material is well organized and delivered clearly, focused on the needs of bloggers. I got hooked on reading shelter blogs a few years ago; here is a nice list of shelter blogs. That's how I came across this class. The teachers of Blogshop are big league stars in design, photography and online beautifulness and it was truly an honor to learn from them. The final project was to create a mood board, like what The Vivienne Files does so well.
I learned so much, but the photoshop class was hard for a number of reasons. Though I did not dwell on it beforehand, I knew I was throwing myself into a different pond of fish. These are women closer to my daughter's age than my own, and they are super stylish in every aspect of their lives. We were instructed to "wear something cute for your photo!" Now that class is over, I admit the "be cute!" factor scared the hell out of me. It's hard enough to learn something new without the pressure of looking cute, too! I put on my big-girl-panties and went to class.
I knew it would be hard. I have been noticing this as I journey through the decades of my life. My memory is good enough, just barely haha that was self-deprecating humor, at age 55, to remember how I learned as a teenager.
As a teenager, I listened in the classroom, without taking notes, and aced every exam. Now, there is this meandering path from the input (where my ears hear what is said) and the output (where my hands make it happen). Keeping up can be a challenge. I hear concepts, understand concepts, but there is a time lapse before the results appear. At one point, Angela gently-but-bluntly reassured me with a fantastic pep talk. It was just what I needed. May she go on to conquer the world in all her endeavors; she is just so very kind.
This is not the first time I have noticed this slowdown of learning speed. It was hard in 2003, when a large team of us learned new business process /accounting software. The youngsters learned faster than the oldsters. Maybe it is because they grew up playing video games? I once swore I'd rather play with a rock and a stick than a video game, so you know where that puts me. Now, my knowledge of SAP is more than adequate, so I can still learn - it just happens differently now.
The main point is that now I need to make a conscious, more persistent effort to learn new things at this age.
The painful part of learning is a small price to pay for new creative avenues.
What do you say, shall I step away from the computer and head into the sewing room?
Hurricane Sandy has given me a free day off and I think we are in a safe spot to ride out the storm.
Everyone else- stay safe!