Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Keeping Creativity Fresh

My friend and fellow YA Aurora nominee, Sherry Peters, has an excellent column this month in Coach's Corner at SPECULATIVE CHIC.

In "Dream by Day" she's advocating to allow ourselves off the purpose-driven leash once in a while. We can keep our creative selves fresh by letting go of the need to be productive with every activity, every hour, and just have fun with some of them. 

One of her examples was sewing purely for fun. It's clear from the description that she and I share an equivalent absence of skill in this arena.
True Confession #1:  I have to ask other people to thread my needle for hand sewing.
After turning in the manuscript for Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge a couple of weeks ago, I filled in the brain-drained days before When Words Collide by attempting to sew one of those pretty, drape-y vests all the chic older women seem to be wearing these days. 

My pattern-reading comprehension is on a par with my needle-threading, but I managed, with help from my trusty assistant and my long-suffering partner, to cut something approximating the pieces required. Google provided a few tips I'd never learned, even back in my younger days of Theatrical Costuming classes. 

The fabric's colour and flow was a joy to play with. The result... well, as long as nobody looks too close and I never show the inner side of those little pleated panels to anybody, I can have a lot of fun wearing it.

True Confession #2: This is the inner side of those panels. Very messy.

This is the outside of that panel. My faux-pas in pinning the pleats was revealed AFTER I'd blithely sewed in two pleats too close together, thus leaving a highly visible gap. 

Thanks to my pack-rat tendencies, there were scraps of purple ribbon around to fudge a fix, because this lovely georgette is VERY unforgiving about having errant stitches picked out.

True Confession #3: While trying to tidy up the inner side of those pleats, I snipped a hole right through to the front.

More ribbon (and some clear nail polish) to the rescue!

Here's the finished product, which I wore, and felt great in, at When Words Collide last weekend. Someone, somewhere, may have a photo of me standing up, so you can see how long and float-y the sides are.

Thanks, Sherry, for validating my decision to keep poking away at this sewing project even though it often felt like 'wasting time' during the run-up to When Words Collide.

I wonder what form my creative play-time will take before When Words Collide 2017?


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