I could really be talking about anything when I posit that question: How many [insert handmade items I am obsessed with here] is enough? How many hand-made socks? How many ankle-length hand-made socks? How many shawls? How many cowls? But today, the question I am asking is: How many Dress No. 1’s is enough? And the answer is: hell if I know.
When Sonya Philip from 100 Acts of Sewing began making these pieces, it was as an artist and she was making a social and political statement. Embracing making, rejecting mass-market fashion. She turned this wearable installation into an amazing business, and sells the patterns for these perfect, simple pieces. A few years ago, Lorajean taught me how to make my first Dress No. 1, and I have fallen so hard and so deep down the me-made rabbit hole, I’m not sure I’ll ever get out. Nor do I want to.
But, as I look in my closet every morning, I find myself wondering if I’m nearing my limit. Am I? Is that even possible? I have twenty-one Dress No. 1’s, with three more cut out and ready to sew. Three Dress No. 3’s. Four Shirt No. 1’s, with one more cut out and ready to sew. I’ve had to rearrange my closet a bit in order to comfortably fit all of my uniforms. But I find myself continuing to dream about more.
Someone I follow on Instagram recently completed her own challenge of 100. She made 100 dresses, inspired mostly or maybe all by the Dress No. 1, with cat-centric fabric. She called her challenge 100 Cats of Sewing, and it’s absolutely amazeballs. I’m wondering if I should set goal for myself, but then I think, why? The act of making these dresses gives me so much joy. The act of wearing these dresses gives me so much joy. The act of matching fabric to bias tape gives me so much joy. I might as well keep on keeping on, and just enjoy the ride. I can always kick Stefan out of the closet if I need more space, right? [insert evil laugh here]…