|Mattias practicing clown tricks|
When I was a child, my mom made a clown costume that was subsequently worn by all three of us siblings. Or at least, it was worn by me and one brother. She sent me these photos when I told her my plan:
|Yours truly, circa 1980.|
|With my brother as clown, 1983 or so?|
My mom, endlessly supportive of whatever whim is crossing my mind, said, "Sure! Sew a clown costume! That's a great idea! The clown costume was SO EASY to make!"
First, I thought I wanted to make the pattern myself. I do love making patterns. It's like small-scale architectural drawing to me. I made the pattern for the baby cloak, so I thought I'd just whip up a clown costume pattern. Except, pattern making is not quite like architectural drawings. My first rendition of the clown costume became a big failure when I sat down at the sewing machine.
I broke down and bought a pattern (pretty much with the same resignation that I broke down and bought a new builder-built house). My time was too short. Sometimes, I told myself, you just have to cut your losses and improve the wheel instead of reinventing it.
The pattern agreed with my mother. This was an EASY project. Two hours! It claimed.
Of course, I had to improve it.
Days and days and days later, we finally have something resembling a clown costume:
It's not done yet. Turns out, the boys don't care at all about how cute it looks. Or about the fabulously integrated neck ruffle. Or the circle and dot patterns (eventually) reiterated with strategically shaped patches. Or the experimentation with simultaneous contrasts in the color palette. They want function: a never-ending handkerchief in the pocket. Built-in squeaky noises. A secret water compartment and hose to spray unsuspecting people. AND the boys think they'd rather not be clowns for Halloween, thankyouverymuch.
All the work. My goodness. I'd have to sell it for a small fortune just to pay myself minimum wage for all the hours that went into it. It might be faster the second time around, but I can't really gauge whether I want to make one again or not. Sort of I do. Just to prove I can be faster and better and smarter about the whole thing. Then again, I think the entire household might fall apart if I spend any more evenings curled up with my sewing machine, making clown costumes that nobody wants to wear or buy anytime soon. That's the problem with not having a business plan, right? I'm just sort of randomly making stuff for the love or the experience. Which is fun, but not business savvy. I'm just not sure being business savvy is going to fill my creative desire, you know?