I have tried - really hard - to read Twyla Tharp's book on creativity. She likes it hot, I like it cold. She's all force, I'm all flow. Her parents gave her a fancy name so she would stand out, I got Helen. She dances, I sit and sew. But I kept thinking I could learn from someone so opposite me, so disciplined, so accomplished. Well, I give up Twyla. When I read your line about not reading for fun but reading "competitively" I knew it was over. Ima quit you.
So here is this dress to celebrate my departing. It's kind of dancerly (see, no hard feelings), it's billowy, it has giant ruching and - AND a drawstring hem. It's sewn with my new favorite detail: exposed serging that I then top-stitch down flat. Maybe it will help you let go of a lost cause.