Since becoming friends with Joe Roch, I’ve been made a lot more aware of what’s going on with tv these days.  Typically, I listen intently as he describes how amazing Mad Men or Lost are, and nod like I will watch these shows (but don’t really plan to– sorry Joe).  One of his obsessions stuck in my head though– Project Runway.

“It’s really cool because they win based on talent, and make some really interesting clothes.” he insisted.

Ever since taking Home Ec (or, the more PC: Family and Consumer Sciences) in 8th grade, I’ve been a bit obsessed with sewing.  Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers were sewers– one made pillows, one made quilts (though they had made their own clothes back in the day), and I remember having an odd moment of panic when I moved out to Rhode Island and realized that I was buying a blanket for the first time in my life rather than just grabbing one of the 50 in the closet.  My skills aren’t much– I can make a kick-ass pillow in no time, but shirts and skirts are a bit more difficult.

“Do you actually get to watch them design and sew the clothes?  Do they explain what they’re doing?” I asked.

“Sure.” he blinked, “I really don’t know how to sew, but it’s fabulous to watch.”

So I watched the damn thing, and dug it quite a bit.  Now my head is full of dreams of making my own beautiful dresses and skirts and jackets and writing a strongly-worded letter to Old Navy saying “you carried all of these crap dresses that did not look good on me, so I just made my own!”

The problem is, patterns.  A while ago, I went through a phase similar to this one, and did come out with quite a few skirts and pillows.  Once I got sick of copying skirts that I already owned, I went down to Jo-Ann Fabrics and saw what they had to offer.  The pictures on the outside look good, but what you can’t tell from the colored-pencil drawing (or at least I can’t), is what the item will actually look like once you make it.  I spent a lot of time measuring twice and cutting once only to find that once I put on my creation, it looked… odd.

Most of these items hung in my closet never to be worn except around the house when I would try to convince myself that they didn’t look too silly. I could blame myself and my lack of skill, but I never attempted to do anything that I was uncomfortable with or hadn’t done before– the problem was the patterns were straight out of 1950 and not in a fun, vintagy kind of way.

Clearly, the answer is– I need to be more of a designer than a sewer.  I need a dressmaker’s dummy, and a full arsenal of the implements that allow one to make clothes that look good and wearable– or else I go back to copying designs that I’ve already bought.

I’m going to figure this out, and I have the first disc of the first season of Project Runway waiting at home to help me.

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