Mrs. Parks’ Sew-Along: Mrs. Bennett’s Week 2.2 – Procrastination Station

Hello Regency Sewists!

Have you ever wondered why we use the word “sewist” instead of “sewer”? Well. . . really, just look at that word “sewer”. . . it can be mistaken for something entirely unpleasant. So we say “sewist”.



procrastinate_kittyI’m a little behind on the Sew-Along there is NO DOUBT. There are all kinds of reasons for it. I mean, life happens, right? But if I’m honest with you (and I shall be), all of those reasons are really just a bit of procrastination on my part. I often get busy with other things (which are important, too), but then use the “I’m too tired/need to relax” excuse to put off my sewing.

As I’ve gained a few decades of adulthood under my belt, I’ve discovered that my particular brand of procrastination stems from insecurity and a deep fear that I will be unsuccessful in the project set before me. This also happens to me when I should be preparing for a play I’m directing or when I avoid writing projects. I don’t know where it comes from, but I know it to be the truth.

However, since I know this about myself now, I can at least remind myself that once I get started in a creative endeavor, I will feel stimulated and energized. And I might actually be quite successful if I take it one small step at a time.


Tonight, I was very tempted to stay in front of the television with my Negra Modelo and chill. I would have told myself that I could make up the time this weekend.

But do you know what actually made me get off my duff and open up the pattern? The fact that my dear Mr. Bennett had a task HE was procrastinating on. He has a gig this weekend (one of his one-man shows on Friday night), and I knew he was putting off going over the script to re-memorize it.


Use the Buddy System!

But he was as happy as I was to sit in front of the tv with HIS Negra Modelo and hold my hand. So after watching one hour of tv (“Home Fires”), I said that I REALLY needed to go over that pattern, hoping it would inspire him to take the time for the script. And then he said, “Yes, I should look over my show.”

So, since I needed to nudge him to work on his project, I nudged myself. It can be very helpful to have a spouse who is also creative and needs to carve out time for projects!



IMG_7976My goal tonight was just to start small and get into the swing. So I only wanted to read through the pattern book and just cut out the actual pattern pieces. And finish my Negra Modelo.

In the pattern book, I circled the numbers of the pieces I needed for the version of the pattern I was doing. I then read all of the instructions and tried to get the basic gist of how the shapes and pieces were going to go together. Then I found them and cut them out.

Well, that was easy. But I still had a little procrastination left in me. So I did a little celebrity twittering.


Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winning. . .




I then finished prepping the pieces. I kept looking at the skirt pieces thinking, “That’s a LOT of skirt!  But I double checked and yes, there is the center seam where the two sides will sew together to make the full back of the skirt.

And look at all of that pleating! One of my goals is to be a bit more exact than I usually am with the pleating on this dress, so I make a note to mark the pleating spacing on my mock up.



Then I have to stop to figure out that whole “16C Top Left Overlay” thing. “What is that FOR? What’s its PURPOSE?” So I went back and read the instruction section on that and just did what it said. And I think I get it now: It’s so that those sizes have a guide on where to put those pleats to hide the slash lines. The slash lines are the opening in the sides of the skirt where the skirt will open up a bit and the bib front will drop down.  This pic gives a decent drawing of the purpose of the slash lines. In fact, the whole blog post is a good overview on putting together a bib front Regency dress.

So, yeah. . . totally tape on 16C in that corner!


The Infamous Piece 16C



IMG_7978At this point, I stopped for a few minutes for a mental break. I went to my Pinterest to look at a pic of the gown I find inspiring for my own dress. It’s made from the same Laughing Moon pattern.  When I did this, I reconsidered my earlier decision to go with ¾ length sleeves and committed to the shorter, non-puffed sleeves. This procrastination had decent results, but I won’t let it go to my head.



At this point, my clock said 9:35 p.m., so I did one thing I used to do when I sewed more often. Just when I think I want to say, “Well, that’s enough for right now,” I decide to set a timer for 20 minutes and commit to continuing for just a little longer.

In this case, I decided to take 20 minutes, set my pattern pieces on my mock up fabric and cut out those pieces.  I got everything cut out except the skirt pieces, saving the work of cutting on the floor for a little later.


I got them done with 5 minutes to spare, but there didn’t seem to be enough pieces. So I went back to my list of pieces I needed to cut out and double checked that I had them all. Turns out, I skipped piece #12. So I found it, cut it out in mock-up fabric, and put it with the rest.



Normally, I have a paper bag out for trash, threads, and offcuts of fabric, but I didn’t grab one when I started. So I wound up with a pile on the floor.

Because I work in a small space that needs to be functional for breakfast (and for my own mental well-being), I went ahead and retrieved a Trader Joe’s bag, swept the pile inside it, and now it is placed under the Project Home Table, where all of the cut out pattern pieces will patiently wait until Thursday or Friday to be put together.




Now that I’ve (hopefully) gotten over my procrastination hump, I’ll be more willing to dive in later in the week. I’ve read the instructions, handled the pattern pieces and cut out the mock up pieces, so I have a decent idea how they should go together.


And that’s what I’ll tackle next time on Sew-Along with Mrs Parks!


Hope to see you at the Rout! Do you have your tickets?


Mrs. Bennett


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