I have a friend, pregnant with her second child, who has very few corporate maternity outfits and several more months in which she still needs to dress in corporate attire. Unfortunately, as much as we Canberrans like to think that Canberra is a 'real' city and has all the shopping opportunities of places like Sydney or Melbourne, the sad fact is that we just don't have the population to support such niche markets as corporate maternity wear.
So, being the seamstress that I am, and my friend being my dear childhood friend who I love very much, I offered to make her some dresses. Me, who hasn't made anything for another adult since I finished my fleece and hoodie phase two years ago.
I found a maternity dress pattern (KwikSew 3486) on sale a few weeks ago ($9.50 down to $4.75!), and went fabric shopping with glee - those two are the fun parts - but the construction of the dress itself...
If you're reading this blog, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. With new patterns come new levels of tedium: tracing the pattern out, cutting the pattern pieces out, tracing it out (again) onto the toile fabric, cutting it out (again!), and then figuring out the quirks of that pattern... only to have to trace it out yet again (onto the fashion fabric) and cut it out one last time before you can get to the relaxing, fun part of actually sewing the garment together and getting that satisfaction of seeing it all come together smoothly and knowing that when you wear it, people will ooh and ahh and be oh-so-surprised that you made it yourself.
Except in this case, you don't get that very last bit. You don't get to wear it at all - it's not even your size. It's for your dear friend, who, even pregnant, is smaller than you (curse her and her tiny frame!) so even if you planned on re-using the pattern for yourself, you're still going to have to go through all that new-pattern tedium to get to a garment you can actually wear yourself.
[Side note: don't judge me - a maternity dress is basically just a normal empire-waisted dress with a little more fabric at the front. Nothing wrong with that on a non-pregnant woman... oh stop it, I already said don't judge me!]
After buying the pattern, I made two more dresses (based loosely off V4868) before I even traced the pattern out onto my Swedish tracing paper. To cut it out, trace it onto the toile and cut it out again, I had to distract myself by binge-watching the entire Harry Potter series. This is a really simple pattern, with only ten pattern pieces. It took me five movies to finish the cutting and tracing.
Somehow, I managed to trace and cut out all fourteen pattern pieces of a second dress (Muse Patterns' Melissa dress, a button-up for myself - it's technically sixteen pieces, but I didn't do the sleeves) during movie number six. I traced and cut out the toile during movie number seven. And then I just watched movie number eight with a box of tissues and some hot chocolate, because come on, have you seen the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
Tonight, since I'd run out of Harry Potter movies, I finally stopped procrastinating and started sewing my toile for my friend's dress. I have the pieces of my Melissa toile sitting on my shelf, a silent promise that once I'm done, I can sew it up and enjoy my reward for persevering through the selfless sewing.
Anyway, the point of all that is this: isn't it funny how when you get a new pattern for yourself, you can whip through all the boring bits and get to the fun stuff within what feels like only a few hours (and you don't even care that it's 2am by the time you're done) but when you're sewing for someone else, all you can do is procrastinate? Don't get me wrong, I don't resent offering to make the dress, and it's still enjoyable... but not as enjoyable as the one I'll make for myself later on.
Please tell me I'm not the only selfish sewist here! What part/s do you always put off with sewing projects? How do you make yourself push through it?