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Limitation Breeds Creativity

Limitation Breeds Creativity

Orson Welles said, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." That idea is the basis for this project.

At the beginning of this year, I made a pact with myself not to buy any more fabric until I made something with EVERY fabric in my stash first. That pact was promptly broken when I saw a beautiful striped cotton while shopping for buttons. Not buying fabric is really difficult, but I since that little slip up, I have stayed true to my word.

So here I am, stuck with these fifteen fabrics that have accumulated over the years, and a bit overwhelmed by the task I've given myself. Then it hit me, I'll just make the same dang dress for all of them. The fabrics are so different from one another that the resulting dresses will be quite unique, anyway. 

Then I thought I'd take that idea a bit further. Rather than simply cutting all these out and sewing up this exact dress, I want to let each fabric dictate the final design. The shape of the dress (the limitation) will remain unchanged throughout this project, but everything within that shape (the creativity brought out by it) is fair game: I'm talking buttons, yokes, pin tucks, piping, embroidery, stripes going in different directions, plaids cut on the bias, and other such crazy things. 

The ultimate goal with this project is to document the process, and to teach something new with each fabric and dress that I take on. This could be as simple as applying some hand stitched embellishments, or as difficult as hacking the pattern itself.

While I will be using this dress to teach these techniques, many of them are universal and can be applied to sewing patterns you might already have. If you want to join in and try some of these things with me, I suggest getting yourself a clear plastic ruler, a clear french curve, some scotch tape, and some paper (kraft paper, dotted pattern paper, or whatever you prefer), because we are going to be doing a lot of pattern hacking. 




Less is More