Wabi-Sabi Dress

From the UFO (UnFinished Object) files:

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Once upon a time, I was inspired by Julia Bobbin’s colour blocked Laurel. I decided to tackle a small stash of some exotic silk that I got from my Mother-in-Law, and I chose this lovely navy-grey piece. It was quite sedate in comparison to other pieces from said stash… It featured a beautiful scalloped pattern along one edge. After being strongly reassured by MIL that yes, you can wash it normally, I took all the pieces and threw them in the washing machine (on gentle cycle, I’m NOT crazy), an then in the dryer, on cold. All the silk came out lovely, much softer and more pliable, and the colours acquired more lustre. But my gorgeous grey piece had threads pulled out through the entire length of the yardage… I was heartbroken. I tried to cut my pattern pieces in a way that the most obvious damage was hidden by the darts, but to no avail… And what’s even more, the lovely scallops did not align on the bottom, which was too much for me… in the UFOs you go!

Fast forward 6 months or so, and I find this reasonable, mostly finished garment with a seriously funky bottom. So I cut off the bottom, and decide to make a tunic, but then I realize that I have some cotton that matches the colour almost exactly, so I add a panel to the bottom, make a weird neckline for more interest, and I have my colour blocked Laurel, just like Julia (same, but different)! My MIL recognized the fabric right away when she saw me in this dress, and was very surprised and quite pleased that I made something out of that silk! As for the damage, it’s still there.

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Enter the beautiful concept of wabi-sabi. Good people of Wikipedia will tell you more, but just to quickly paraphrase, it’s an idea that describes perfection in it’s imperfection. My dress is wabi-sabi. I am wabi-sabi. And you, have you ever felt like you’ll never be  able to pick yourself up and put yourself together after something that happened? But then you did, you got up, and now you’re mostly whole again, except that now you’re so much richer and much more interesting than before…

In life (and sewing), it is so easy to get preoccupied with striving for perfection. There is nothing wrong with perfection, but one does not have to be perfect all the time. This dress has many faults, but it is one of my favourites. Casual, comfy, versatile, but it’s a dress. Looks good belted, and loose (you know, for skinny or fat days!) The cotton part wrinkles like crazy, but hey, more wabi-sabi to me!

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Care to share your wabi-sabi creations, dear reader?

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