1955 Dior-esque accidental Disney princess gown

1955 Dior-esque accidental Disney princess gown

I had so much fun making this dress, and it was remarkably comfortable to wear. The foundational corselette was made in breathable cotton bobbinet. It was hooked tightly at the back but not drawn any tighter than that (as a corset would be), so it felt like I was in my pyjamas compared to any Gala gown I’ve made in the past. Being strapless, my shoulders did not feel restricted, which is so often a pain point for me, and I genuinely felt like an ultra-femmey 1950s Enchantment Under The Sea dance princess. I could have worn this dress for days! So if you’re considering this style, I highly recommend having a go. I wouldn’t mind making another myself!

All the love and support you need is already here

All the love and support you need is already here

Tell me if this resonates.

You’re an artist – it’s in the fabric of your being. You have big ideas, beautiful ideas, and you love to get out those delicious materials and get “in the zone” whenever life allows, so you can make a little bit of the beauty of your inner world REAL in this world.

But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes your head is just in the wrong place. You get scared/anxious/blah/down, and the beauty stays inside you.

I don’t know about you, but for me it’s painful to keep it all inside.

So how do you create more “uptime”, get that creativity out of your heart and into the world, and minimise the challenging times?

Why is the bust so small? Dior and the H-Line

Why is the bust so small? Dior and the H-Line

You might make a lovely dress or corset from a reproduction pattern, and that’s great, but what if you could go deeper? What if you could look over the shoulder of the premiere at Dior’s atelier in 1955? What did they do differently from us, and why?

Like a curious five-year-old, try to ask “why?” just one more time than the next person. For example… why is the bust of this Dior evening gown so small?

Follow along as the Internet hive mind figures it out from primary sources… with surprising results.

“Hey, you should come to Paris with us tomorrow!”

“Hey, you should come to Paris with us tomorrow!”

In September last year, two friends came over for a geeky museum study day at Barrow-upon-Soar in Leicestershire, UK. Lowana and Karolina missed their train back to London… and in a delicious plot twist, 24 hours later I was alighting from a Eurostar train inside the cavernous Gare du Nord in Paris.

And the result was my current fabulous dress project…

Stop being so hard on yourself

I know I’m not the first person to say this to you. Friends or family members can continually tell you to be kinder to yourself, but here’s the thing… we rarely listen, you and I. We’re so busy trying to be “good enough” (whatever that means) that we just keep pushing, criticising ourselves, trying, trying, trying. You have to, right? That’s how you get the dress finished. That’s how you make your dream business a reality – or make whatever else it is you are creating in your life real and solid. You have to work. HARD. As hard as you can stand. No, harder than that… And it’s not that we don’t get it – we do. We know we should go easier on ourselves in theory, but if you’re anything like me, it’s a sort of “yeah, sure, I’ll do that tomorrow”, half-assed agreement. We don’t really absorb the advice, much less act on it. Or at least I didn’t… until I had a very strange experience this week. For the first time, I quite literally saw myself as others see me, and I GOT it. I really understood thoroughly, for the first time, that I really DO need to lay off on the self-criticism. Let me take five minutes and share this experience with you in person… maybe you’ll even try it yourself so you can see...

This is what you can say to your inner critic

You know how you always think of what you SHOULD have said two days, two weeks, or two years later? 😀 Well, after almost thirty years wrestling with those unconscious haters in my head (yes, we all have them), I think I may have finally figured out what to say to them. Do you think this will work for you?     Artist referenced in this video: the magical Joni Steinmann, Rainbow Curve Corsetry See her fairytale journey back to herself through her Foundations Revealed Competition entries >>> 2016 – “Gilded Wrought Iron” 2017 – “Dragonfly Dreams” 2018 – “Mantis v Alien” Joni’s latest work, “Weald”, May 2018...

How to overcome self doubt

Sometimes it’s challenging to believe in yourself. How do you “put yourself out there” when you’re terrified? How do you make yourself believe that what you’re doing is “good enough”, when all you can see in your latest project are the parts that you didn’t do so well? We are all our own worst critics… and actually, that fact is the key to freeing your creativity from self-doubt.     Website referenced in this video: Modern Corsetry Renaissance at the Underpinnings...

Why the failed projects that you hate are your best friends

You know the projects I mean. The ones that are embarrassing. The ones that make you wince because you wasted so much time and money. The ones that were doomed from the start. Do you realise that they were actually the best thing that could have happened to you?...

Do you have cutting anxiety?

Do you put off a project because of what reader Rosemary calls “cutting anxiety”? What do you do when you’re excited about the project, but you just can’t bring yourself to cut that fabric? What is cutting anxiety really about, and how can you fix it? Let’s look at both the deeper issue and a simple hack to help take the edge off the fear when you’re looking at that gorgeous expanse of perfect...

When did you last make something for yourself?

There comes a point in the life of every seamstress when you find yourself continually making things for other people – friends, family, clients – and somehow, projects for yourself fall by the wayside. You may even tell yourself that sewing for yourself is selfish, or just not worthwhile. How do you tackle that brain weasel and make it back down long enough to get the joy out of your sewing that you got into it for? Here are a couple of...