Meet Constance


Orson Welles said, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." That idea is the theme 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. Who was I kidding? Not buying fabric is so difficult, but 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. 

Rather than simply sewing up this exact dress every time, I want to let the print of 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 variations.

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. So meet Constance. There is such elegance and utility in her simplicity. She is steadfast, a simple dress with a full dirndl skirt and a sleeveless bodice. The perfect canvas on which to try new ideas, and teach different sewing techinques and pattern hacks. While I will be using Constance 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 paperdotted pattern paper, or whatever you prefer), because we are going to be doing a lot of pattern hacking.