One of my ex-colleagues commisioned me to make her a fascinator for a birthday party at the races. First up, I want to share the hat with you, before I get a bit deeper into its story.
The outfit was a black dress with white polka-dots, worn with pink shoes with bows. We discussed a few options and settled on a pillbox base with a bow.
I love felt. I thought of using felt at the start, but I had doubts. If I use felt, I have to stick to the shapes I have available to block on. If I use felt it will be stuck as an autumn/winter hat rather than being more versatile. The bow would look better in fabric...
I went with my doubts. I drew up the pattern for the pillbox shape I wanted, constructed a foundation from buckram and wire, and set about covering it with the fabric I had purchased. Begin disaster. The fabric wouldn't do what I wanted, it didn't sit right, it didn't look nice enough, and then my brain started to sabotage my work when I sewed some fabric together for the bow and didn't leave any gap to turn it through. (Not that this has to be a sign to give up, but on top of my other frustrations, I couldn't handle it.) There may have been tears.
So I looked at my felts. I had black. I had pink. I was set to go. In one day I created this hat from start to finish. I blocked. I shaped. I enjoyed the process, including the little quibbles I always have with the materials and design along the way. I sat back and looked at my work and was happy.
I seem to face this issue again and again without really ever learning it. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow, and do what you are good at. Of course, you still have to challenge yourself, but picking the right time to do so is critical. On a commision with a deadline, maybe not so much the right time.
Also apparently I love covering pillboxes with lines. This one makes three, joining the 1940s custom pillbox and the "Pink Dragonfly" sinamay makeover hat.
Do you have this kind of creative self-sabotage and doubt too? More importantly, do you have a 'go-to' material or method that can usually rescue you from these downs?