lace, cotton and pinpricks

I’ve been teaching myself how to sew clothes for a while now, but my attention span is so short: I’m always left wishing I had only one arm and one leg. Everything must be duplicated, which I find difficult. I can write for 12 hours straight, day after day, but writing with thread, in three dimensions, creating a second body for myself? Oh it’s lovely but tedious.

I long to be in Campion’s Bright Star, the needle ripping into white fabric, the sound of the thread strumming through. Sometimes I listen to video tutorials just to hear the machinery of creation; the slice of scissors, the bite of ripped tape, and hum of sewing machines. Each sound is decisive. I’m calmed by the industry of all those hands, like stars, or the Morai, dictating the fate of small objects.

I have my own sense of style; part Regency, part swagger, part prairie girl, part pixie, part Stevie Nicks meets the 17th century. Aprons, tucks, folds, voluminous skirts to get lost in….and shit-kicking boots. I admit I wish I could just stick the ephemera of lace and cotton to my body with pins or tape or Velcro instead of having to sew it all….or maybe even with the force of my will. I could will the layers to cling to me. Then when I get sleepy or lazy, and the willpower fades, the fabric would just fall from me.

This dress was fashioned from several thrift store finds: shirts, sheets, you name it. I love, love, love that I can buy whatever fabric or embellishment I like without fretting about size or fit. I can take what I like and leave the rest. I’m not this skinny, by the way – but my mannequin will not eat and she stands fast at a size 12.

It’s challenging being 3-dimensional, particularly around the breasts. I made myself a bodice from tissue paper, much like a bra – my god, the darts, the shaping – it almost makes me wish I had no chest. But I finally got it, I finally understood how to recreate myself whole. All this hollow space inside each garment makes room for the spirit, I suppose. And breasts and heart beats and suchlike.

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