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The Trench Coat Dress

by Holly Dak 11 months ago in art
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A cure for loneliness

The Trench Coat Dress from my childhood sheets

*Disclaimer this story took place before COVID.

I’m in a dark lit club, corner to corner packed with people, loud music, and multiple indistinguishable conversations. Theres this energy in here that I’m enjoying, but for some reason there’s this hollow feeling in my gut.

I go outside to get some air, talk to some of my friends.

I’m elsewhere, pre-occupied and with nothing in particular.

I was in a room of people, and I was connecting but I still felt lonely. In this room filled with people, I feel lonely.

I say bye to my friends and walk home.

I feel empty.

As if I’m hungry, but not for food.

I get inside my apartment, keeping all of the lights off and directly walk into my room. I throw my trench coat onto the floor and slam into my bed.

The empty feeling is still there.

I wrap my baby blanket around my shoulders. It’s a worn patchwork blanket, thinned down and ripped all over. It comforts me. I feel comforted.

It’s incredible to think that this decrepit blanket is the thing I go to to make me feel better.

Its dark in my room, the only lights are from the street lights that are peering through my window blinds, due to the thin fabric they’re made of.

I’m face down on my stomach laying on my bed, in a daze staring up at the window. It reminds me of my childhood bedroom, which also had a bright street light that would peer through my blinds.

I wrap my blanket around me tighter.

I start to think more about my childhood bedroom. This time I’m remembering these old sheets I used to have. They were floral printed made of a soft cotton. I loved them for awhile until I decided that they were too girly for me, and move onto a solid blue bedding.

As a kid I would always need “my time”, which were hours spent creating in my room. Drawing, collaging, making clothes, cutting my dolls hair. Creating something was how I’ve always made sense of my feelings. How I’ve checked in and connected with myself and emotions.

Of course!

I flung up out of bed and turned on my light. Digging around in the back of my closet - alas there they were. My childhood floral sheets.

I’m thinking about the idea of creating a garment that provides me comfort. What would be comforting to me in this moment, and also the idea of having a garment that I can wear that gives me comfort.

I took out pattern paper, rolled it out on my floor, and began.

I was moving fast and I was focused.

Picked up my trench coat up off the floor. I traced over the seams of the coat to use as a base silhouette for my garment. My soon to be comfort garment. I wanted the piece to resemble a trench coat but to feel more like a dress, not as outerwear.

I cut out my pattern pieces, pieced them together and pinned them on the mannequin. Using the paper to drape with, folding around the stomach and cutting in at the sides.

After much experimenting, once satisfied, I remove my paper garment from my mannequin and retraced the pattern pieces onto a fresh cut piece of paper.

I’m rocking this. I’m on a roll.

I position my pattern pieces over my floral sheets - pin them accordingly and then cut.

Stitch up the coat pieces, interface, and iron. Turn it right side out, and wrap the trench coat dress around my body.

The next day I had a trench coat dress made from my childhood floral sheets and that emptiness gut feeling was no longer there.


About the author

Holly Dak

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