Monday, August 19, 2013

Not Invisible But Definitely Wearable

As I was sizing pictures for today's post, I realized that I was one date too late to wish my brother a happy birthday. I used to be SO much better with not forgetting special occasions. I remembered just about everything. Not now. While there are some things I'm happy to have forgotten, there are others I never imagined I'd forget. Does that make me write things down? Nope.

Years ago, I was asked if I'd teach a woman to sew. She had an amazing studio and a large stash and remembered that she loved to sew only she'd had a stroke and had forgotten how to do the actual steps. I was young. In my early twenties. I had no idea how to handle a situation like that nor any teaching experience and could only imagine endless frustration for both of us so I said no. I've often thought about that request and wished I'd said yes. Who knows. One day I may need someone to re-teach me.

When we're young, we can't imagine what might come our way. When we're older, we realize how blessed we are by both the things that have come and the things that haven't come our way. Many of my best learning curves happened as the result of a negative experience. Not that I welcome negative experiences now but at least I'm aware of that perspective. One particularly difficult time changed how I sew. It made me way WAY less concerned with the final product and perfection and far FAR more interested in the process and creation.

One thing I've realized is that the pattern is simply a starting point, a recipe that you can alter to your own "taste". In the picture above, the white pattern underneath is my T & T t-shirt pattern and the line drawing above is the shoulder and armhole of the Vogue 1297 dress. Fit is really important to me and I don't want to keep reinventing the wheel. When I have a shape that fits well, I want to keep using that shape.

To trace the T & T lines to the Vogue pattern, I aligned center back and slide the patterns until the shoulder points touched and then I traced the lines from the T & T onto the Vogue pattern and used them. The Vogue pattern is sleeveless and the T & T has sleeves which explains why the armhole is higher on one than the other. I wanted to add sleeves. If I wanted sleeveless, I'd have raised the armhole an inch.

As you know from Friday, I eventually replaced the sleeves but I didn't know that was going to happen at the time. All I knew is that I had a limited amount of fabric and virtually no scraps left and that one of the sleeves was incomplete. Years ago, that would have been devastating and I'd have abandoned the entire project for the lack of a few inches. Since then, I've learned how to piece together what I want.

With some piecing, you can create an invisible pattern match across the seam. I didn't have a big enough piece of an appropriate scrap to do that and since this pieced section would be at the back underarm, I did my best.

I pinned a scrap in place and then flipped it open to make sure that when it was stitched there would be sufficient fabric to cut out the remainder of the sleeve and then....

... I stitched and pressed the seam, re-pinned the sleeve pattern, and cut out the rest of the sleeve.

And it worked. Not invisible but definitely wearable. A younger me wouldn't have been willing to wear this. She'd have felt that everyone could see her "mistake" and that her garment was less than "perfect". The now me finds it fascinating to find solutions to issues and would probably point out the "learning curve" as an opportunity to teach. I made it work. I think that's worth a celebration. And then, when I could make it work better, I sewed in another sleeve and I think that's worth a celebration too.

My daughter and grandson are visiting for the week. Here the guys are teaching Daimon how to not co-operate in pictures and here...

... he's showing us how he can touch his toes. LOL - I'm not sure I can do that anymore.

And I love this picture because I'm pretty sure I know exactly what my husband is thinking. With his health, he never expected to see forty, or fifty, or grand-parenthood and he's fascinated with this little guy and that he's here to be a part of it. YEAH.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - the things I've happily forgotten


  1. Beautiful family Myrna! And that little grandson is growing leaps and bounds.

    Pretty fabric too! :)

    1. He is growing so quickly. Getting much more interactive. LOL - much prettier than the fabric.

  2. OMG - that baby is SO adorable!

  3. One benefit of age is gratitude for past experiences. Another is grandchildren - so delightful to see yours.

  4. It seems that the little guy has charmed everyone! What a sweetheart.

    1. Thanks. Yes he is and much happier than the last time he was here. That's nice too.

  5. I love the last photo, Myrna. Says so much.

  6. Thank you so much for your wonderful post, i seem to be getting my head around the ideas of pattern fit and modifications 😊 What a real cutie your grandson is!

    1. You're welcome. I'm glad. The more you realize that the pattern is simply the starting point, the greater the adventures you can have. So fun.

      LOL - can't argue with that. He is definitely a cutie.


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