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This is the first in what I hope to be an ongoing “Feel Free to Compliment Me” series on the blog, where community members share garments that they’re (rightly) proud of! Feel Free to Compliment Hope in the comments!
From community member, Hope Shields:
I am an Instructional Technology Coach in a small suburban school district outside of Memphis, TN, and like most crafty teachers, I filled my semi-quarantine style summer with lots of sewing projects. A few casual dresses and some tops…and then I saw this Nintendo fabric while window shopping online and just knew I had to have it! I have been a life-long Nintendo lover, so having a garment with my favorite characters all over it was right up my alley.
When it came in the mail, I was lost as to what it would be come, but I knew it would come to me eventually. At first, I pondered a shirt, but felt that the pattern was too busy to be a whole shirt. And then one day in the shower, (because that’s where everyone’s best thoughts happen, right?), it hit me – I needed a Nintendo dress!
I used my tried and true Sweetheart dress pattern by Patterns for Pirates – partially because I knew it would fit me, but also for the flair of the skirt. However, my initial attempt was a complete flop. I used a thin slinky black knit that didn’t give me the shape I was looking for. For a moment, I thought all was lost, but some Facebook sewing comrades helped me out by suggesting I try some scuba to give the skirt structure. One friend even went so far as to mockup the look with a blue skirt image she found online. So, I ordered some scuba, grabbed my seam ripper and got busy.
Since the scuba was much heavier than the bodice material, I added a waistband to try to give some extra support, and I think the look really works for this dress. All that was left was to finish the neck and sleeves. I ordered some fold over elastic…and then it happened, back to school!!!
Back to school is always a busy and stressful time, but COVID-19 has completely rocked our learning environment. We have both in-person and virtual students and working under the technology department has been incredibly stressful. It seems as if the more my stress increased, the more my desire to sew diminished. I was losing my sewing mojo, or as I like to call it, my sew-jo! The elastic came in quickly, and it should have been an easy task, but I was just too tired at the end of the day to even think about measuring elastic and fumbling with my sewing machine. Just the thought of re-threading my machine made me want to go take a nap!
Then, I finally caught a break by way of the long Labor Day weekend. I caught up on my sleep, spent some time with family, and then found myself a bit bored! And what does a Sewing Machine do when they get bored? Sew, baby, sew! I walked into my sewing room trying to decide what to create, when I saw the dress hanging on the closet door and I said to myself, “Today’s the day, Hope! That dress is getting finished!”
It honestly took me longer to take the pictures than it did to finish the neck and sleeves, but I’m still enjoying the satisfaction of a completed project weeks later. In hindsight, I’m glad I put it to side for a while. Sewing tired or frustrated has never worked well for me, and once well rested, I was able to finish my project with ease. And I’m happy to say, my sew-jo is back!
Hope is an instructional technology coach from Memphis, TN. She has been sewing for 2 years and is self-taught, mostly through Youtube University. You can find her on Instagram @hopealicious88