Thursday, May 21, 2015

Out With the Old and in With the New

Up until recently, I (Kara) had a completely different career.  I made Irish dance solo dresses for a living and had been doing so for about 9 years.  In 2004, my oldest daughter Kaitlin started taking Irish dance lessons.  She loved it, and I loved that she was taking part in a cultural aspect of our heritage. As she began to compete, we learned more about the different costumes and what they meant.  Every Irish dance school has a "school" dress, which is kind of like the school's uniform and in the lower levels of competition, that is what is worn by the dancers.  Once a dancer reaches a certain level of competition, she is eligible to wear a "solo" dress. This dress is usually a one-of-a-kind dress, made specifically for that dancer according to her tastes and personality.  These dresses can cost from $500-$3500, depending on the maker.  Once I found out how much they cost, I decided I had better brush up on my seamstress skills so that I could make one for Kaitlin.  That was the beginning of my new career.
Designing and making the dresses was challenging and enjoyable from a creative standpoint, and I had some amazing customers along the way.  However, as Teri and I began talking about our new quilting and embroidery endeavors, I realized that I would not be able to do both.  Each dress takes about 4-6 weeks to complete, and that doesn't include design time.  So I hung up my dress form (figuratively not literally, although there were times...) and dove back into the quilting world with Teri.

My sewing world looks a bit different now even though much of the terminology used in quilting and dressmaking is the same.  I thought it would be fun to compare the two.

Old Stash

New Stash

Old Tools
New Tools

Old Albums
New Albums

Old Sketches
New Sketches

Old UFOs
New UFOs

Old Completed Projects
New Completed Projects

The terminology remains the same, but the look is quite different.  I still can't believe that it is my job to sit and stitch!  The jobs are different and the income is too, but it's worth it for the joy that I've found on this new road that Teri and I are traveling.  Thank you for taking the time to read about our journey.