One of the things I love most about being a photographer is that it continuously challenges me to learn new things. A project that is near and dear to my heart are my new My Imagination Sessions. They have pushed me to grow creatively and expand my skill set. I am so excited for an upcoming Cinderella-themed My Imagination session with two gorgeous little girls — and of course have been having a fabulous time scouring Northwest Arkansas looking for props and costumes! But, no matter where I went, I couldn’t find a child’s purple “fairy godmother” cloak. So… I decided I had to make one.
How hard could it be, right? I mean, it’s just kind of a draped piece of fabric that you tie, right? When I asked the saleslady at Hancock Fabrics how much purple fabric I’d likely need, she suggested looking at a pattern. A pattern? My mom (who was visiting for Mother’s Day) and I peppered the saleslady with more questions. She opened the directions and pointed them out to us. “Don’t forget to make sure you put the fold on the right side when you lay out the pattern,” she said. “Wait,” I asked, “there’s a fold in the fabric?” “You two scare me,” the saleslady said. She kindly gave us the name and number of a seamstress, but I knew there wasn’t really enough time to call her — the shoot was only two days away. So, I thanked her and took the material and pattern home.
YouTube is amazing. You can learn anything – like how to read a pattern, how to lay out a pattern on your fabric, how to cut your fabric using a pattern. And then you can throw all that knowledge out the window and just wing it. The saleslady’s explanation about the fold proved invaluable — I realized that instead of cutting out two pieces for the back and then sewing them together like the directions instructed, I could fold the fabric in half and put the pattern along the fold and just NOT CUT THE FOLDED SIDE and come out with one beautiful back piece! Huzzah! When the cutting seemed to turn out well, I was encouraged. Twelve hours of hand stitching later, however, I realized that I probably needed a sewing machine for this project.
But thankfully, it all worked out! The seams and stitches aren’t perfectly straight, but you’ll never be able to tell in the photos. I figured out what bias tape is, and why I needed the double wide type. And now I have a beautiful Fairy Godmother cape that matches my beautiful Fairy Godmother dress! I’m so proud of me for making it all myself. I found it extremely satisfying, and maybe even slightly addictive. Hmmm… might be time to look for a small used sewing machine for my office…