A little update and a confession… of sorts

At long last I finally get around to log in here. I am ashamed of how long its been, again. 🙁 After my last post first we had a very busy week with about 130 people here for a camp we annually arrange at our little farm. It was a great and fun week. When everyone had left I was looking forward to sitting myself down with my laptop and catching up on things, but we had no internet. It wasn’t our fault, something was broken that our internet providers needed to change (I must also add here that there is only one internet provider in the area where I live). It wasn’t too much of a problem at first, but it took them more than THREE WEEKS too get around to do it!! I know it is very much a first world problem, “oh no we have no internet!”, but honestly it was frustrating!

So yeah, we got it back about a week ago. Finally! One reason I found it extra frustrating was that I was just about to book everything I needed to for Bath, and it was tricky to do so on just a little smartphone. But now at least I have everything booked. I’ll be there for 5 nights this time, not the whole festival. I’m looking forward to it. 🙂 And I can’t wait to meet up with the people who are going there!

You know I mentioned before that I would be making some new outfits to bring? Well, I’ve really been struggling with that. I had a very ambitious idea that I started, and I have spent a considerable amount of hours working on it only to now feel that actually, it looks pretty bad. That was a disappointing discovery. Tell you what, I’m going to confess something to you. I’ve been struggling a lot with Regency costumes the last year or more. The pictures I have in my head and my skills don’t always match, and I have a bad, bad habit of comparing myself and my work to others the whole time. To those who are so much better than me. I well know this is not something I should do, but I’ve always been that way and lately being around people with amazing costumes (particularly reenactors at some of the events I’ve been to) has made me beat myself up about my own work. And so I put lots of pressure on myself that I need to match all these, or better them if I can! And when I notice my skills aren’t always enough for that I get disappointed. Pathetic isn’t it? I’m really ashamed to be feeling that way and I don’t like admitting it. I’m a hopeless perfectionist, and it’s something I constantly have to work on overcoming.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it anymore, it’s more that instead of only doing it because I wanted to I now keep feeling that it’s a must. The sad thing is this has really affected me. I feel stressed out about things that used to only be fun. There was a moment I was considering not going to the Jane Austen festival this year just because I felt it wasn’t fun anymore. I felt like it had all gotten too serious. And this really makes me sad. This is something I love!

I was rummaging through a drawer filled with gloves, chemises and chemisetts today and at the bottom of the drawer I found a garment neatly folded, it was a so called bodiced petticoat I made years ago. It was the first item I made when I got into my Jane Austen obsession, I made it before I made my first dress so that I could have something to wear it over. I don’t use it anymore since I have my stays now that I use instead, so I didn’t even remember I had this, I hadn’t seen it for years. Somehow it was strangely emotional for me to find it. It sounds silly I know. But it was like it reminded me of something. It reminded me of the girl who made it, a 15 year old girl who had fallen in love with a new world. She was so excited as she made it, and so proud of herself when it was completed. I put it on (it did still fit me) and thought about that girl. She did this because she loved it. Because it was fun! And I want to feel that again.

The bodiced petticoat. Not a good self portrait I know 😛

My little darling Tsaritza has a special fondness for sleeping on fabric, or clothes that have been left on chairs. She never sleeps in this chair, but now because I happen to have left my velvet Spencer jacket lying there of course she must! And she knows she gets away with it because I don’t have the heart to remove her.

So now I’m abandoning that ambitious dress idea I had (for the moment at least) and I’m going to make a much more simple day dress from a nice printed cotton I found. I still want to make costumes with more detail and more advanced designs, but I need to get that “must” out of it. And right now I think doing something simpler will be good. And I’m going to do it because I want to.

Fabric to become a dress hopfully 🙂

I don’t really know why I’m writing this. I’m not asking for sympathy or anything like that. It was just something that I’ve been thinking about today. And also I guess I wanted to explain why my heart hasn’t perhaps been as much into all this lately as it used to be. But I’m hoping I can get back to that! 🙂

Anyway, that was a weird post. But I feel strangely glad to have written it.

“As long as you remember what you love and why you love it, it will never be far from your heart”

~ Jose Garces

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16 Responses to A little update and a confession… of sorts

  1. Sarah W says:

    Jag vet *precis* hur det känns 🙂 Man ska absolut inte göra något för någon annans skull, utan bara för att man själv får ut något av det – men det glömmer man bort ibland.

  2. Quinn says:

    I’m hoping that your desire to have fun and enjoy yourself will win out! I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous time in Bath (I wish I could go!) and hopefully that will refresh you.

    Best,
    Quinn

  3. Priscilla .W says:

    Hello Aurora,

    Thank you so much for your lovely AND honest post. I love the picture of you in the mirror. I hope you are able to hold onto that joy, excitement, love, pride, and fun that you had as a teenager. Don’t worry about what other people think. I admire your skills and all your pretty dresses!!

    All the best to you,

  4. Thilda says:

    It is irrelevant what other people do or say. The most important thing is that you can enjoy your work. Oh my.. regarding your dresses they are so beautiful, they are beautiful why everyone can see all the happiness, the frustration, sleepless nights, tears whatever. You can be very, very proud of you and your work. 🙂 Go on and big hugs from me.

  5. Aurora says:

    Thank you ladies! You really are the best and I appreciate all your lovely words! It does mean a lot.

    Sarah det är skönt att veta att det inte bara är jag som känner såhär ibland. Så sant det du säger!

    Thilda I can’t wait to see you in Bath! Big hugs to you too

  6. Mrs. April says:

    Hello,

    I’m new to your site. Just discovered it a few months ago!
    Can I tell you a little secret? All of us from time to time feel exactly as you do: “The pictures I have in my head and my skills don’t always match, and I have a bad, bad habit of comparing myself and my work to others the whole time.”

    Yes, I know the feeling and I am certain there are hundreds of young ladies who feel the same way too. Often the leap from imagination to reality is wider than we think, and there is always a bittersweet feeling that arises when we can’t make what we want a reality.

    Can I tell you another secret? I was once a perfectionist myself and still at the age of 53 suffer from these tendencies. So you see my dear girl, your feelings are quite common among many people. It is very tempting to compare our skills to other people and find ourselves lacking. This is why you shouldn’t worry too much about what people think.

    Aurora, I think you are perfect just the way are! It isn’t your skills that make you a wonderful person. It’s your heart and your spirit and your mind. I absolutely LOVED the picture of you in the bodice you made at age fifteen. What a symbolic gesture of you “putting on” the pride of the young girl you once were.

    I hope you have a splendid time at the festival and I’m sure you will look beautiful no matter what you wear. Don’t let other people’s clothes hinder your own happiness and accomplishments. Stand tall and be proud of your own talents. And above all, don’t forget to have fun!!

    All the best to you my dear,

    April

  7. Viktoria says:

    Wow, loved this post, so genuine and honest and PERSONAL on such a deep way! <3

  8. Ginger says:

    I want to stand up and applaud. You have made so many healthy decisions! Starting from actually recognizing what the problem was, to figuring out that it’s taken away your joy, to starting again with what makes you happy – you’re doing it right. I, too, am a raging perfectionist, but sewing costumes has enabled me to begin letting go of the perfect on occasion. Joy is far more important than perfection. 🙂

    ~ Ginger

  9. Aurora says:

    Mrs April can I just say thank you so much for your wonderful comment! It really touched me reading your words and it was so encouraging, I’m so grateful that you took the time to write that to me! Thank you!

    Viktoria, Ginger, thank you so much! It is so encouraging to hear that I am not the only one who feels this way sometimes.

    Wonderful people like all of you are the greatest thing about this blog, I am so happy to have “met” you all on here and you make my life all the brighter. So thank you!

  10. Jennifer Devine says:

    Hi Aurora,

    I, too, think most of us get caught up in perfectionism sometimes. I am glad you are shaking it off and moving on with a fun project. There will always be people with fewer skills than we have and those with more advanced ones. I admire your ingenuity and good taste, as well as your sewing skills. You are an inspiration to me.

    One of these days I am going to make a Regency dress myself just for fun. I think I will use some Indian cotton bed sheets in a subtle blue stripe that we already have in the linen closet. That way if for some reason I mess things up, I won’t have to feel too terrible about it.

    I like your new cloth and am looking forward to seeing the dress you make. Cute bodiced petticoat, there, too.

    Wishing you fun in all your adventures,
    Jennifer

  11. Mrs. April says:

    Oh, you are quite welcome Aurora! Glad my words were an inspiration to you.

  12. Lexi says:

    Oh Aurora!
    I have felt the same thing! It was funny to read this post coming from you, because for years I have sorta idolized you and your garments! I am glad that you are going to the Festival. This is my first year going-and I was hoping to meet you and introduce myself! I live in the US and can’t wait to meet you. I am going on a tour run by Sensibility patterns. I hope to see you! You are such a lovely girl-and your costumes always FLOOR me when i see them!

  13. Dorte Kreiberg says:

    Hi again Aurora, this morning when I finally had time to see if you had written something on your blog I read the short last one first and wrote a comment, and now waiting for my youngest daughter to call me I decided to read your long text, and I am amazed to read your words, I too enjoy reading your blog and am very pleased to see what you sew (you know me being a seemstress and sewing teacher at school) I think it is fantastic what you make and are able to do. I hope every thing turns out fine and remember to enjoy your 5 day trip to Bath, having been there I look forward to read what you write when you come back home, and I hope that you get to meet Lexi, isn’t it fantastic that this interest of ours ( Jane Austen) brings us together and that we get to know people from all over the world? I think so. And that age is of no interest, glad to see that someone else but me has passed 50 and share this interest in Jane Austen and the costumes and Bath and…
    Aurora good luck with you tour, and thank you to all you who commented

  14. Aurora says:

    Thank you for all your kind and wonderful words! You are all such lovely and caring people and I am blessed to know you all!

    Lexi, I would be delighted to meet you! I have been planning to meet up with Katrina who is also going on the S&S tour for the promnade, will you be there too then? It would be so lovely to meet you! 🙂

    Dorte, I agree with you, it is aamazing how Jane Austen brings us all together. I never cease to be amazed at that!
    I think I will enjoy my trip to Bath now, and I look forward to sharing photos and stories with you all when I get back!

  15. Annika says:

    This blog entry is a while back but as I just discovered your blog some days ago and since then couldn´t stop reading I just found it. For some moments I hesitated. Is there any use in commenting when there are so many lovely comments?
    But.. for some reason I just wanted to leave a little note here, too.

    If been reenacting different eras in the last few years. And every time I thought “well that´s it now, one can´t do better or be more “authentic”” I happend to come across a spectacular dress or piece of work and felt just the way you did.
    In fact one of my best friends is (at least for his time frame the early 13th century) an outstanding reenactor and at the beginning of our friendship I was completely in awe of him. I lost all courage to continue sewing myself.
    Some time afterwards I realized that skill or ability didn´t matter, it was the love and the passion for history that were important. He owed that he loved my enthusiasm and actually envied me for my knowledge of fabrics. After this discovery I found my love for historical sewing again and even managed to encourage a lot of friends of mine to start a regency group. Finding your blog hightened this passion and as I said I did almost “suck up” every single one of your past blogs in hardly any time.
    So thanks for sharing all you stuff, your wonderfull costumes and great experiences with all of us!!
    One day when my gown will be ready I guess I´ll be standing in front of you… very anxious for your opinion.
    All the best wishes and love
    Annika

  16. Aurora says:

    Annika, thank you so much for commenting and for saying this! It really means alot to me to hear that others feel the same way too, even though none of us should feel like this! I feel so encouraged to hear you and others say this, and it really strengthens my conviction that I need to work on overcomming this as much as I can.
    I was sitting in a cafe in Bath as I read your comment, and it put a big smile on my face! Thank you for that, it was much appreciated!
    Aurora

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