Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Skirting the Issue

I have not sent out a single card.  I hope to get at least a few out, but a few minutes ago I decided that it would be a good idea to drop by Tuesday Morning, Dollar Tree, or somewhere and purchase cards.  I am reining myself in before I start trying to make Christmas cards.  I am shutting that idea down right now.

When Pluto Boy and I were engaged, 25 years ago, I was deciding about a wedding dress right at Christmastime, so I ran my plans past Mama over the Christmas break.   We tried her dress, a white satin-and-lace that  had warmed to a champagne color over the 26 years since their wedding.  She had made it herself, ballet length, with a satin underdress and a full lace overdress, and a fairly simple style.  It went right to the floor on me, and the style suited, too.  Unfortunately, the lace dress did not do so well in cleaning.  So my next idea was a romantic notion of making my own dress, just like she did.

Mama spoke to me, and told me that she understood that I wanted to make my own dress; that it would be a nice idea, but (and here she spoke more emphatically), she said, "Don't make your own dress!"  She encouraged me to not take on that burden, while working fulltime, while living in a different state from the wedding.   It was good advice!  I think she foresaw me arriving 6 days before the wedding with a half-made dress (that is EXACTLY what would have happened!).  I took her advice, went to a couple of shops, landing at Laura Ashley to buy the perfect dress for me - the kind I would have made - all cotton, no lace, three-quarter-length sleeves.

All that is introduction, so you know the type of seamstress I am - and am not. This is actually a Christmastime post, after all.

(A quick note on the type of blogger I am and am not.  This post would be much more fun if I were to grab out wedding pictures and scan in Mama's dress and my dress, but it's just not happening tonight. But here is a picture from an earlier post.)

Years and years ago, I made a reversible tree skirt.

It took yards and yards of fabric.  I sewed and sewed.

And then, I ironed on little pieces of fabric to make poinsettias.

I ironed and ironed.  I ironed on 18 little pieces per gore.  10 gores.  (Actually there are 12, but only 10 have poinsettias.  I rebelled against ironing on the last 36 pieces. That's the kind of crafter I am, and am not.)

 I learned (in case I had any doubts) that I am just not into doing much attaching of little pieces of fabric over the top of other little pieces of fabric.  I like to sew, but my patience for applique or applique-type things is limited.  So now when I see something I like, like this argyle ornament, I really think about whether I want to do it.  (The answer is no - I'm going to just enjoy seeing it on my screen.)   It occurred to me at the time that this skirt would look beautiful if I sewed down the pieces I had painstakingly ironed on, but I have never looked back.  I'm glad I did it, but IF I were to ever make another treeskirt, I would simply pick 2 VERY BIG pieces of beautiful Christmas cloth and not add any embellishment, like this one.


Life At Camellia Cottage said...

Oh boy! I can so totally relate! I've learned long ago when to start, and when not to start big projects. And they rarely get finished anyway. That's why I like making cards one at a time. They don't take very long to make, and they are done!

Love the tree skirt, though! Becky

Anonymous said...

I like this post. I think you are wise to "reign yourself in". I find myself doing that too this year. In the past, I have made homemade Christmas cards, made bags of edible goodies for friends and neighbors, made homemade ornaments, etc. But it ends up becoming more of a chore than a blessing, and that's not how I want to feel during this season. I'm trying so hard to let go of some of my expectations of what a "perfect" Christmas should be and be real about what's important. I know that having a stress-free Mommy who is available for spontaneous hugs and cuddles, board games, and Christmas shows is much more desirable to my kids than the alternative.

I read a quote that I enjoy that I am reminded of when I read your post. It is from Goethe, and I love it but can't put my finger on it right now. I'll continue to look for it and post it when I find it.

Anonymous said...

The quote from Goethe that I was referring to is, "The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least". I think it's a good motto.

K-Sue said...

That is a good quote, SG!

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