Along with the knitting, I had several errands planned for yesterday and a coffee date in the evening. It seemed wise to do the errands first only I never got to the knitting. Not one stitch. How is it that the item top of the list can so frequently be the thing that we don't ever get to. For many women, that item is often self care.
Self care is a soapbox topic for me. When some women find out how much I sew, or see my studio, I invariably hear some version of you're so lucky, I could never do that or have that or spend as much time on things for myself because I'm so busy being super Mom or Wife or Worker or religious. I'm not sure if it's a comment intended to make me feel worse or them feel better. Either way, it doesn't work for me.
How can we teach our children (at any age) the importance of finding and developing their own interests and of not simply existing in a life of busy and work and doing for others if we don't role model that ourselves? How can we believe that God created us with unique and individual skills and abilities that we are meant to explore if we never explore them? One of is a life of energy and learning; the other is a life of frustration and depression... at least it is for me when I don't get to create.
We are - IMHO - better for pursuing our interests in a balanced and healthy way. Learning how to say no is important to having space to say yes. It's interesting to me that this theme of saying no, of being less busy, and of pursuing personal interests is showing up more frequently in the books I'm reading. Is there a change happening? I hope so. It is possible to be loving, caring parent/person by role modeling self care.
Oh dear... I detoured. Told you it was a soap box issue. Yesterday's errands - while not knitting - were mostly about me. Food at Costco. Books at Chapters. The public library to request an OOP book on jewelry design. A trim of the trim of my hair to shorten the front sides just a little bit more. We may be approaching perfect but who knows. My hair and I are having moments right now - LOL. And then... a visit to a gallery, conversation with two artists, and a refashioning project. Except for no knitting, it was a near perfect day.
Every year Costco brings in a bunch of t-shirts. They were called Segments before and now they're called Kirkland Signature but I can tell by the feel that they've simply switched to owning the brand. The fabric is 100% cotton, thick, soft, and lasts forever. There are variations on the theme with crew or scoop or V-necks and long or short or 3/4 sleeves and longer or shorter hemlines. This year's variation is a V-neck and a longer hemline which is perfect and a cap sleeve which is not. I compared the shape of the armhole and the angle of the shoulder seam to my T & T t-shirt pattern and it's a good match. The Costco t-shirt has more stretch than my T & T so it's narrower but not a lot narrower.
The Costco t-shirts retail for $8.99 which is ridiculously inexpensive and could bring up a whole conversation based on Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion except that I'll wear these for years and then I'll cut them up and make them into something else like the bleached t-shirt I showed earlier this week SO... since the sleeve is so unflattering on me... and the price is so reasonable... I bought one in my size and one in the largest size and then I took out the sleeves on my size and cut new ones from the larger t-shirt using my T & T pattern.
When comparing, remember that the black sleeve has no seam allowance showing at the underarm and only 1/4" around the cap while the turquoise sleeve has 5/8" all around. There's slightly more bicep width in my T & T because it's designed for less ease. There's also more cap height which is a frequent failing of both RTW and some patterns.
There have been several different letters to the big four pattern companies posted over the last couple weeks at Sham's, Robin's, and Barbara's blogs. It was interesting to read what was an issue for each of these women and to compare their thoughts. It's quickly obvious that the pattern companies can not possibly hope to please all of the people all of the time and why fitting and pattern adjustment are a necessary part of sewing. I'm always intrigued by where people are willing to develop skills and where they are not. I can cook and bake and it's good and only okay. My garden is pretty but I'm in it more to decorate the front of the house than because I love gardening. I don't. I'd rather invest my time in sewing, knitting, and other creative endeavors. Each interest has a set of skills that need to be learned and perfected. It's a fact. Very few - if anyone - is going to cut on the lines and get a perfectly fitted garment.
Several years ago, I attended a workshop where the instructor compared a classic blouse pattern from seven of the top pattern companies. They were virtually identical with only small points of difference. The Vogue pattern had the most design and fitting elements. New Look had the least. All the companies were starting with the same block and the same measurements. The variations on some things - say shoulder width - were a part of the fit and ease intended.
I'm not rushing to their defense because I too would like to see more consistency but I do think it's important to learn your own measurements, the adjustments you need consistently, and how to make those adjustments. Even a little bit of information about pattern drafting will help to make pattern adjusting make sense. That I'll need to adjust is why I love my fitting shell and why I think it's worth the work to create. I can compare it to any pattern, adjust the pattern to my measurements and preferred ease, and it'll fit. I may not like the design or the fabric I chose but it'll fit. This is good.
Edited June 1st to add: these thoughts are a general opinion and were not aimed at Shams, Robin, or Barbara who are all fabulous sewists - just in case anyone thought I was being critical of them specifically rather than speaking generally... which is what I'd intended. I'm a huge fan of their work and have learned a lot from their blogs.
The re-dyed fabrics had mixed results. The yardage went a wonderful denim blue which I quite like. The scarf is still its original lime green which tells me that the fabric is either highly treated with something like formaldehyde or it is not in actuality 100% cotton made in China as the label claims. I have some blue iDye Poly so I may try that next and see what happens but I'm a bit worried that this is not the scarf to take to the workshop if it's going to have issues taking dye and paint. We'll see. The yardage is about to become a skirt.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - the skill needed to swap sleeves