Sunday 9 May 2021


 Lately I've been watching Bernadette Banner videos. She creates and recreates historical clothing and produces videos of the process. I had no previous interest in this subject, but lately have found her videos strangely compelling and addictive. Perhaps part of it is her persona: she is reminiscent of  Rapunzel hidden in her tower and endlessly crafting ...and many of us have become a tad Rapunzel-like the past year and a half.

My sewing skills however are limited to making basic repairs and alterations, so I wasn't inspired to try any of her techniques. However, a recent video about lace insertion changed that.

I watched this and thought: That's something I could potentially do. And I had the right material to experiment on: Last summer I bought the girls matching dresses for our 10th anniversary photo shoot. 

AJ really likes her dress but it was starting to get small. So I decided to take it apart and do lace insertion at the waist and side seams to make it a couple of sizes bigger, and possibly also add a lace hem.

I was still teaching in school at the time, although all the students outside our program were at home (yes Covid-19 has upended our lives again).  One of my colleagues has a lot of sewing skills, so I shared my ideas with her and she helped me with the planning and design parts of the project (luckily as I would have approached it far more randomly). I did most of the sewing.  We used a few donated scraps we found around the school sewing room. It was tons of fun.

I didn't take a "before" photo, but this is the identical dress in a smaller size (Dani's)

Finished product

AJ loved it.....she couldn't stop dancing.
(We later took in the sides a bit more as they were originally quite loose.)

I enjoyed this project and it underscored the importance of having something creative and joyful to focus my attention on. I can immediately observe the differences in my mood and attitude depending where I am putting my attention.

I also have more ideas for creation through alteration of garments....though I am working at home now and not sure when I will next be able to put the ideas into practice. Although I did just mend a broken doll, so still have some little projects on the go.

Wishing everyone happiness and outside-the-box thoughts!