Poor Judy must have been over the rainbow when she put this outfit together and it didn't help that she weighed about 85 lbs at the time. But there's a certain bold chic to it that I admire, regardless.
One of the things I enjoy most about sewing is the freedom it gives me to try most anything no matter how (potentially) foolish: the wildest fabrics and the wackiest period patterns. I've never felt so connected to my own creativity as I do making my own clothes. I can really let my hair down. In the worst case, what? It hangs in the closet (or I look like Judy).
For much of my life I've battled between authentic self-expression and the fear-based desire to lead a conventional, risk-averse life. Getting older has made it easier to free myself, but it has been a long struggle, with some breakthroughs and many setbacks. I can easily focus on "wasted years" and "if onlys."
The support I've found in the sewing world has been tremendous -- and wholly unexpected. I stumbled upon Pattern Review entirely by chance, and I didn't get involved until I entered the Beginner contest last summer. A few months later I entered the Little Black Dress contest, won by none other than evil Elaine, the Selfish Seamstress. Seeing her patio shots of impeccably-styled day and evening looks, I knew instantly I had to participate. Enter cousin Cathy. Luckily Cathy is up for anything, especially on modeling shoots. She's like a size 8 Divine.
Yesterday I got two books in the mail I'd ordered on Amazon: "Make Your Own Dress Patterns" by Adele Margoles, and "How to Make Sewing Patterns" by Donald McCunn. Both are classics. My goal is to start to draft things myself rather than pore over every vintage A-line pattern for sale on Etsy. It feels like the natural next step.
I love this path I'm on. As a sewer, I no longer envy those "happy little bluebirds" flying over the rainbow. At last, I feel like I'm one of them.