So, I love to sew. My daughter is wearing a Mary Poppins costume I made for her when she played Mary Poppins this past summer.
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about 11. During middle school, I made almost all of my clothes. I used an old treadle machine which had been converted to electric. All it could do was so straight, no reverse, no zigzag, nothing extra.
When I had children I sewed for them. Dresses, usually matching which I’m sure they hated, but I loved seeing them wearing my creations. I made halloween costumes. Drapes, pillows, valances, balloon shades anything for my home I wanted.
Then when my girls no longer wanted me to sew for them, I made costumes for my neighbors’ children. And now I have come full circle and I’m sewing for myself and my girls again.
Why sew when you can go buy something already made and sometimes even cheaper? Sewing is a creative outlet. I makes my mind work hard. I love seeing what I created. But most importantly, it connects me to generations of women before me who sewed, by hand, by machine, clothing for their families.
Okay I admit that I never attempted the gargantuan novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. The idea of reading about Napolean’s invasion of Russia and the lives of people affected never appealed to me. I am however a sucker for a big, beautiful costume drama. So I watched all six hours of Lifetime’s presentation of BBC’s production.
It was a complicated story with many characters. It required my full attention to follow the storyline. This is one time I wish I had been able to watch the last scene before I watched the entire story. Why? Because while War and Peace does tell the story of lives affected by living during times of War and Peace, I realized (maybe slower than others) that it’s a metaphor for what we experience internally in our own lives.
We all have time that war is raging internally and we must pretend we are at peace. Or we all know at least one person who is able to experience internal peace regardless of what is happening in her/his life. Andrei and Pierre both are drawn towards Natasha because she is one of those people. And it isn’t until Andrei and Pierre have suffered life altering situations that they realize the importance of just finding joy and love in each day. Without those experiences they would never had understood the secret to a joyous life. The question is would they give up that knowledge to avoid the pain they experienced? I’ve had to ask myself that question. Is the peace and joy I experience now worth the pain of my divorce? It’s been a journey for me just like it has been for Andrei and Pierre but I agree with Pierre. What follows is a quote from the movie. Pierre is contemplating his life and was his experience as a prisoner of war worth the lessons he learned. He decides if being a prisoner of war was the only way to reach the peace and joy he experiences now, than he would do it all again. He would suffer in order reach this peace in his heart.
“When our lives are knocked off course we imagine everything in them is lost. It is only the start of something new and good. As long as there is life there is happiness. There a great deal, a great deal to come.”
I’ve always heard they we have a twin somewhere in the world. No one has ever said I look like someone they know or someone famous but my daughters are told they look like two actresses. And they must because there is never any variation. It is always the same two actresses.
You can even find photos online of stars that look eerily similar to another star. Then there are the stories of families that swear a new child is a dead relative’s reincarnation. If your doppelgänger is someone bad does that mean you might share the same characteristics? The same evil soul? It would be interesting to find out how many traits look-a-likes actually share. So what do you think of the doppelgänger in the photo I posted? Eerily alike don’t you think? She even has a huge wart. My photo is posted after this photo. Do I have a doppelgänger?
As I have said in my earlier posts, I’ve become a recluse. I have begun to worry if I am developing agoraphobia (the fear of public places). It’s so easy to stay in my apartment and the more I do it, the easier it becomes. I have made the first step towards to shutting the door or should I say opening the door to prevent that from happening.
I have signed up for three weeks of sewing classes at Stitch Labs in Austin. I have been sewing for more than 40 years, but didn’t want to take a class that would be so frustrating I would end up feeling like a failure. So I selected a beginner II class. We will make a pillow with piping and a zipper the first week. The following two weeks we will make a book style bag. I hope to brush up my skills and then possibly take a more advance class.
One of my most cherished memories are the dresses I made for my daughters and all the Halloweens I made costumes for them and then later on for my neighbors’ children. The photos bring back such happy memories. With this class, I hope to take the first step towards making happy memories again.
There is an Australian TV show that I absolutely love. It is Miss Phyrne Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Her costumes are incredible and worthy to be worn even today. I am half a world away so I could not go to the exhibition but through the miracle of the internet, it was brought to me through a blog. Miss Fisher’s Costume Exhibition Here is a sneak peek of what you will see.
Of course Miss Fisher isn’t the only one that gets to wear fabulous costumes. The characters of Downton Abbey get to wear equally fabulous clothing. I was lucky enough to go to this exhibition but if you didn’t get a chance to see it, you can go to Costumes of Downton Abbey to see some photos. Costumes really do help the actors to get into character. I can’t imagine the Dowager having quite the same air of superiority without the right costumes.
This is the blog/website for the costume designer for Starz’s series Outlander. Use this link to see photos and blog posts about her design process. The costumes truly feel authentic. Terry Dresbach which takes the storytelling process to a higher level.
And if you are brave enough to try your own hand at making costumes or just want to know more about fashion through the centuries check out this blog. The American Duchess and have fun dreaming.