I’m past due for another installment of my Sewing as Therapy journey (see also here and here).Things have been relatively quiet as I’ve done some more work on myself, identifying parts that need healing, and new growth that I’m entirely comfortable with. It has been long enough since my last check-in that I’ve made progress on all sorts of fronts – both personal and sewing. Until now, nothing hit me quite as hard as receiving this invitation from an admin at Fabric Anthropology (aff link) on August 10th:
“Basically melody would send you fabric and you’d just make something totally badass by October. Is this something you would like to participate in?”
I gleefully received a pile of the solid-ish coordinate, birds, and thorns prints in a mix of stretch woven, cotton lycra, bamboo lycra, and chiffon. And when I first saw them together I had two very different ideas for themes that ultimately took me in the same direction for inspiration. The tamer theme is “Fight or Flight”; the more feral side of me kept edging towards “Catch Flights Not Feelings”.
For both options, I knew the birds (Flight) needed to become a loose interpretation of a hiking set – that’s part 2 of 2 with details coming next. The thorns (Fight/ Feelings) became a representation of what being single has meant for me these last few years. And even given the inspiration images, this is far more about intimacy and awareness than basic sex.
I walk the line between prizing my solitude and wanting to share my time and space with a partner that is additive rather than subtractive to my happiness. That’s a tough line to walk without hurting myself and people I value as I sort the pluses and minuses of a relationship. It’s particularly challenging because I don’t think relationships should be transactional – I give what I can give, I accept what is given; if I need more I ask, if I’m asked for more I try. I don’t keep a balance sheet to ensure we’re all 50/50 or even 100/100. Asking for what I need is a challenge for me, and that’s usually what tips the balance and forces me to consider the appropriate reaction. Fight for what I need? Learn to live without? Walk (or fly) away? Every relationship so far has produced a different response, a different equation for me.
I made a coordinated three-piece lingerie set to represent this constant internal dialogue.
REMINDER: This is a body-positive zone. Period. This means me, you, every body.
For the robe, my inspiration picture has a pretty specific look and I wanted to match it closely without directly copying. First, I shortened the length by about 6″, adjusted the sleeve shape to narrow at the elbow and bell at the wrist, then drafted the back panel cut-out. I hand-stitched the various lace elements together and anchored them the to sides of the back piece using narrow elastic.
I hemmed the opening with picot-trim elastic after considering then discarding the idea of a narrow rolled hem for the sake of stability. Overall, it’s the coverage I was looking for, except I might lower the rise on my next pair of cheekies by an inch or so. Because of the way the back is constructed, I also eliminated the neck bands and back channel for the tie, and instead hemmed the front edges and sewed the ties into the side seams.
I am proud of simultaneously managing to execute my vision, work through meaningful self-analysis, and come to a resolution on a relationship that felt too unbalanced. Chris took a ton of amazing pictures, and I don’t want to leave a single one out, so here they are.