One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

February 19, 2010


My aunt tells me I need to post pictures of this silk. I will try to do that this afternoon – though my camera has a way of making everything look too red and the colour is pretty subtle, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to capture it. If I can, I think the natural light in the afternoon is my best bet.

Though also, I’ve already begun cutting it up and will, I hope, have more cut by this afternoon.

So I am sewing it myself and I am sewing it without a pattern – because I have a very specific vision of what I want and I haven’t found any patterns that I could even use as a foundation. Or there were some, but I didn’t feel that their distant relation to my vision justified their expense.

Anyhow, I cut out the front panel, last night, and began pinning it to my dressform. And then I flopped into my papasan with a cup of tea and surveyed that lone panel for a long time. And then I said to Ian, “you know when you start a project that you’ve been planning for a really long time, how you’ll have gone back and forth over its theory in your head. And you say, ‘Oh I can handle that. And that part’s just plain logic.’ But then, do you ever open up the whatever you were about to fix or modify and look at the reality and try to match it to the theory and say to yourself, ‘what made me think I could do this?'”

He said, “Oh, I do that every time.”

I find that reassuring. He’s a very capable man. And it’s pretty much against his religion to ever pay a professional to do something. And I can’t count the number of times he’s refused to call a professional for some repair, insisting that it’s no big deal, and then somewhere in the process I will ask, “so how often have you done this before” to be told, “uh, this, precisely? Never.”

He totally runs into snags that he couldn’t have foreseen because he doesn’t have the experience, but then he figures it out and it gets done anyway.

I feel all intimidated because this is a wedding dress and they’re supposed to be polished, but already the hand-dying process has given it a hand-made character (which is what I wanted, but it’s easy to get caught in the trap of what it’s supposed to look like). And because in my first five minutes, I found a number of errors in my theoretical plans. But I’ve revised my plans and have renewed faith in them. And I need to remember that it’s not that I’ve never sewn without a pattern before – every belly dance costume I make is without a pattern. It’s just this pattern, precisely that I’ve never done before.

So I better get at that.

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8 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Alison

     /  2010-02-19

    1. I think you are very brave.

    2. I used to know a guy that did stuff the way Ian does. When he had to fix something but he didn’t know how, he’d meditate on it for days, carry the piece of whatever-it-was that was stumping him around with him, sit staring at it and working it out in his head – and then he’d fix it. I think you have to have an extraordinarily agile and tenacious mind to do that.

    3. Remember Naomi Wolf in (I think) Promiscuities talking about her wedding dress? How she bought it off a discount rack (or something) and it was a bit tattered or yellowed or something, but how those very qualities reflected best her relationship (or something). (Now I shall have to go find that passage so I can remember it properly.) Seems to me that is what you are doing here too.

  2. Alison

     /  2010-02-19

    OMG. I just left you a hugely long comment about a bunch of things and it vanished into the ether. I can’t re-write it. Suffice to say I think you are very brave.

  3. Hm. Somehow it got marked as spam. I have retrieved it.

    …I think it was because I’d blacklisted the word “discount” (I get a lot of pharmaceutical spam). But it’s unblacklisted now, feel free to talk about deals all you want.

  4. DISCOUNTS!!!!!!
    damn, now this is totally going to be marked as spam.

    anyway: I do not know how to use patterns and I constantly sew dresses for myself but I will say that I have screwed things up remarkably… and that it’s not a bad idea just to draw out how you think things will work… and that it’s not a bad idea to make a version of the dress you’d like in fabric that isn’t important.
    just ideas, though.
    I constantly just fucking forge ahead!!!! and support it. obvi.

  5. don’t mark my comment as spam, either!

  6. Oh, it was totally your penis talk that did that one. I’m not unblacklisting that one. (You can talk about penises, you just can’t follow the word with “enlargement”.)

    But I have made sketches. I considered making a prototype, but I felt like the weave and drape of this fabric was the biggest challenge in getting it right and I didn’t want to end up with false confidence from making it work with the wrong fabric. So I’m kind of prototyping with my real fabric by only basting everything together at this point, I’d be able to completely rework it if something went wrong.

    And just fucking forge ahead, as you say.

    Besides, if I completely fuck up, I’ll just cover my mistakes with sequins.

  7. Alison

     /  2010-02-20

    hahaha. I’m totally going to go around covering all my mistakes with sequins now. What a fabulous idea. I wonder what my profs will think when I hand in sparkly exam papers?

  8. scheherezhade

     /  2010-02-21

    Now there’s a philosophy that just keeps on giving. Dents in car fenders covered with sparkles. Badly painted walls all a glittler. Ex-boyfriends walking around gently shimmering.


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