Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cinderella Syndrome


I love reading Burda World of Fashion, and I especially love the formal wear. I have just realized that this is some kind of mental illness. I want a velvet and silk formal dress. I don't know why. I work at home. I do not lead a Gala Formalwear life. When I was down in the fabric/sewing cave this weekend with my daughter, we counted dark teal charmeuse, silver shantung, green velvet, iridescent green/turquoise velvet, red velvet, wine velveteen, forest velveteen... I could go on. For a person who works at home and wears nice t shirts and jeans every day I have an awful lot of velvet. Every year I read the Threads issue on how to sew a velvet dress with interest. I made a velvet and silk wrap for my sister and my daughter. I made velvet stockings for gifts. Everyone loved them. I know how to sew velvet: lots of basting. But I have not made one single velvet thing for myself. I want to. I have the fabric. I have the patterns. A fellow blogger called this "an irrational lust for impractical clothing". I think I will call it the Cinderella Syndrome. When I read her words I recognized myself. "I have that too!", I thought. I wonder if our irrational brain, the one that engages in magical thinking, is reasoning "If we have a formal dress, will we then start to lead that kind of formal dress kind of life? With Glass Slippers, Princes, champagne out of the aforementioned slippers, coaches, fairy godmothers?" This is the same kind of magical thinking that reasons that broken cookies have no calories, that the cute guy "forgot" our phone number, and that trickle down economics works, in spite of all rational evidence to the contrary.
If you saw my fabric stash, you'd think that I was anticipating leading a glamorous life that required many changes of velvet and silk outfits, with some beautiful jewel toned wool coating thrown in for practicality. I think my fabric could lead a more glamorous life than I do, if it were set free to find its soul mate.( This imaginary woman has unlimited time to sew and fancies chic DVF style wrap dresses for day, and velvet ballgowns for evening.) It's all potential down there. If I sew the dress, will the invitations pour in? There's only one way to find out.

6 comments:

Nancy K said...

This is the first time I've come across your blog and I had a good laugh, which I always appreciate. Thank you Cidell for adding this to your blog update list so that I could discover a new blog.
I love the formal wear in BWOF too. And the gorgeous suits there and in Vogue. But, like you I work at home and wear knit tops and sweaters, though I like nice pants more than jeans. I have made several suits over the last few years and I can count on one hand the times I've worn them. I ooh and ah over the gorgeous velvets and brocades over at Emmaonesock and then I pull myself back from the mouse. It's taken me awhile to learn to resist, so the gorgeous silk brocades I bought in India are still in my fabric closet along with the silk charmeuses and the gorgeous Fortuny pleated Mary McFaddon. The current SWAP over at Stitchers Guild is good practice. It's about sewing for the life you have, not your fantasy life. But it's still fun to touch, even if its only on line.

Dawn said...

That's me too! I live in Alaska and can't stop making dresses. I can only wear dresses about three months of the year. Maybe someday I'll get some invites to some glamorous shin-dig too. Of course, I would have to sew something for it. All my other stuff wouldn't be *the* one.

Lindsay T said...

Excellent post today. You reminded me of my beloved grandmother, who was my sewing inspiration. She lived in northern Maine, which is not a hotbed of glamorous events. Yet she made herself a beautiful black velvet opera cape, just because it was something she always wanted to have. Finally after years of it sitting in her closet she gave it to my mother.

(Sniff. I'm getting a little verklempt here now thinking about her.)

cidell said...

I won't say I have Cinderalla Syndrome, luckily I need one nice dress a year. But, I do have suit syndrome. I love wools and shirtings and just never, ever make them because they take more time. But, the SWAP is making me work with more of those. Also, I just loved your post. Funny and well written :) I'm a sucker for good writing.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

LOL, love this post. One thing you could consider for your one of your velvets is a jacket. I have a couple velvet jackets I use as outerwear during autumn with mundane items like jeans. I just bought Butterick 4954 which would be sensational in velvet and minus the lace frills and shortened slightly could totally be dressed down as daywear with jeans. http://www.butterick.com/item/B4954.htm??tab=list/costumes&page=all

Nancy W. said...

Yes, I really want to make a beautiful evening gown. Lets see, the last time I wore an evening gown was when I was dating my husband (we've been married almost 15 years) and it was a costume party! Hmmm, I think I, too, am suffering from CS