Miriam Fisher | On Being Everyday Awesome
When I read Zoe’s theme – everyday awesome – I loved it. What better thought to carry around in your heart than: there are ways as creative people to make everyday awesome. I have thought about this a lot since my original entry to the Offset Warehouse competition and these are my thoughts.
We are given this day, others were not. Some people’s days are taken from them by death, by force, by poverty, by slavery, by chance. We are given this day. This is a day to celebrate. As a mama I have well known the pyjama filled days, those days of distaste at the stretch marks that have turned my tummy into something that resembles a deflating balloon. But I also know that getting up and dressing up for the day, choosing that favourite dress, those shoes that make you feel indestructible, those earrings given to you by someone who thinks you are wonderful – those days are better days.
Sometimes by being everyday awesome and wearing something special instead of saving it for a ‘proper’ occasion, we make someone smile. Maybe the person who smiles is the little person who looks up at a ‘dressed up’ grown up and thinks, ‘one day I will still dress-up too’. I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to send a message out to the world that we are more than bill payers, notice signers, dinner makers, environmental worriers/warriors, we are still just a little bit lot, wonderfully made.
And so I was so thrilled to be chosen to make a dress from Offset Warehouse’s collection. Because I believe creativity is important and I am excited to see people helping us to do that in better ways – ethically, sustainably, leaving a gentle footprint. I am trying to make choices that reflect my respect for this great human family and for this wonderful earth we are charged to steward.
For the last 3 years I have journeyed through 10,000s of earthquakes in Christchurch, as the earth has destroyed grandma’s china, houses, sewer lines and lives it has also built communities that are knit together, it has made empty spaces that creative people have filled and it has taught us that what matters and what remains unshakeable are relationships. It has taught me that joy and love and shared laughter are my gifts to the world and I will give them with all the generosity and in every creative way I can think of. It has taught me that I can, and should, use and enjoy my special things everyday or I can save them, only to find they are destroyed anyway. The value is not in the things themselves, it is in the use and pleasure we derive from them. It has taught me to use, wear, enjoy, and share today.
I’m not waiting for a special occasion. Today is awesome. Every day is awesome. I am not the youngest, oldest, wisest, strongest, prettiest, cleverest, slimmest woman in the world and so I owe it to myself, to other women, to my children and to others to declare (often with how I dress,) to say I’m not waiting for a special occasion, a better body, a better day. I am taking hold of today and I am declaring it to be awesome.
Maybe someone whose day is very far from awesome today needs to look at you and feel the hope of a better tomorrow. Go out with some glitter in your pocket (metaphorically) and make the world awesome.
Stop saving your blanks (in scrabble) until the end of the game. Wear your favourite dress, use your favourite china, use that massage voucher you were given, paint your toenails…. Or pay it forward and let someone else enjoy it.
I leave you with one of my favourite (slightly doctored) quotes.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we’re here we might as well (don our favourite dress) dance (in public).
March to the beat of your own drum, dress with attitude, be imperfect, be everyday awesome.
Pattern used Simplicity 2884. I decided to go with the button neck halter. I think a long tie hanging down just feels too tempting to pull and I might have little fingers undoing them and exposing me! This pattern is a great halter neck choice for a bustier lady as it is boned and comes up high enough at the back to wear a well constructed strapless bra.
I was sent four metres of the scarlet hand-block organic cotton and used almost every bit of it as I needed to lay each of the 4 skirt pieces individually, because of the width of the fabric.
I laid the skirt pieces out really carefully to try and ensure the line that runs through the pattern would line up, and it did perfectly – this is a real achievement for me as I usually don’t think (or worry) about these things.
I made piping from the organic navy cotton by overlaying a short length of cord and using a zipper foot to sew it into place. I then placed it inside the seam allowance when I sewed the lining to the bodice. This is the first time I’ve made piping and I was really pleased with how well it worked.
I also used the navy for the midriff of the dress which accentuates the silhouette of the dress and gives it a bit of contrast.
The back of the bodice has boning in the seams to make sure it doesn’t let you down! Boning is easy to insert and less complicated than it sounds. The zip I used was 20c from an op-shop and the dress is lined in unbleached calico.
The fabric reminds me of holidays and saris and maxi dresses so I like the fact that the dress design is really different to that. I
think it works though and the piping in the neckline makes it look like something that is more tailored than the carefree fabric suggests itself to.
I then made a bow tie brooch.
To complete my outfit I created a clutch from scraps of the scarlet hand-block organic (stitched together to make
enough) and the navy to line. I then made a plastic envelope to slide it into, which is an idea I have seen in several places. It is all sewn with open raw edges because the plastic envelope over the top keeps the seams from too much wear. If you’d like to make one think of making a plastic envelope and a lined fabric insert. Sew the Velcro tabs on first and the rest is just as easy as you would do for the simplest of paper envelopes. To make the plastic easier to sew I lined the foot and plate of my machine in washi tape and pierced holes for the needle and thread to go through.
I also made a petticoat to go under my dress from unbleached calico, op-shop tulle and second hand elastic. I made the bow tie brooch and a purse from the extra fabric and I will take all the tiny scraps to my son’s reception class where they will use them for making their own wonderful creations. None of it will go to waste. :o)
My sincere thanks to the fabulous folks at offset warehouse for the opportunity to make this ensemble and for their enthusiasm in all our correspondence.Self-made flouncy petticoat, shoes from the goodwill op-shop, hand me down tights, also earrings made from wood from deconstructed houses (as a result of earthquakes).
I know I’ll be able to go anywhere on my bike in this wonderful dress which is great as it’s my only transport (aside from public transport) in the new life we are living in central Adelaide, Australia.
Huge thanks to lovely Zoe for picking my entry and for her continued challenge and inspiration to make good, ethical choices in my own crafting. I hope I have made something you think is beautiful. Good luck to my fellow contestants I so look forward to being inspired by your fabulous makes.
Make sure that if you love Miriam’s entry that you go vote for her! Head over to our Facebook page and choose option “D” !
Also make sure that you check out her blog , we love it!