Mariya Lilith, Arizona, USA
My inspiration is the story of Eros and Psyche. It is a story I became familiar with in my early teens ~ about the time I met my husband, Daniel. Aphrodite, the mother of Eros, disliked Psyche for something she had no control over ~ her beauty. My mother-in-law disliked me immensely for something I had no control over ~ my color. Just like Psyche, there were many trials I had to overcome throughout our relationship. Although my husband always supported and encouraged me, like Eros, he would not openly go against his mother.
Eros and Psyche's story is the inspiration, but the real story is about my husband and me. I wanted to create an outfit that expresses how I feel about our eternal connection. I incorporated many symbols: the butterfly (the symbol of Psyche ~ Psyche means spirit) and Victorian floral language, specifically flowers that attract butterflies: Angelica (Your love is my guiding star), Phlox (Our souls are united), and Amaranth (Faith, immorality and unfading love).
I wanted to incorporate Eros with a blouse I was attempting to turn into a lightly boned top. It had a small all~over dove pattern. Bird wings are a symbol of Eros and this is a blouse my husband had given me more than twenty years ago. I had to stop working on it before I destroyed it.
This is the first time I've sewn silk (the slip) or cotton voile. I've only sewn medium weight cotton before this. It's also the first time I sewed a French seam, and it came out great! It's the first time I've done any embroidery other than cross stitch, and it's the first time I've done it on a garment. It's the first time I made fabric butterflies ~ silk organza. I underestimated the amount of time I would need for the hand embroidery.
The FR conference calls helped me a lot, mostly with encouragement and the camaraderie.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
Start sooner rather than later. Upon completion, I realized I could have done this earlier this year. I was holding out for when I had better materials. In the end I had to use what I had on hand. If I'd done that from the beginning, I'd have had something to fall back on. And of course, I'd worked out the design in more detail than one would with a mock up.
Even though what I turned in is much different than what I envisioned (I had to make it achievable) and even though it didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, I'm still glad I entered. It's a growing process. Working through this project has given me a list of skills I want to focus on; basic skills that would help me the most.