Patti was away this past week so it was just Lorraine and I and I showed her my grandson's leather coat in progress minus the front zipper, lining, and collar. Even unfinished, it was REALLY cute especially with all the top stitched seams BUT - and you knew a but was coming up - on the back of one sleeve Lorraine found a hole - which she pointed out - something she says she'll never do again - and I hope she's lying because of course I wanted to know, especially as this is a special gift.
The first time I top stitched from the hem up the side seam and down the underarm seam to the sleeve hem, the fabric got stuck around the foot. I must have chipped a piece out of the faux leather while trying to get it out of the machine. I tried colouring the visible backing with a felt pen but a hole in leather is a hole in leather. I'm disappointed but not devastated. I have more fabric and it will take about two hours to redo... and I want to... but I really wish I didn't have to. My daughter and I talked about using a different - non leather fabric - and I'll look at options first before starting over.
On Friday, I mentioned that I am starting on a series of t-shirts. At that time, I was working with a dark grey fabric and a smaller size of my T & T pattern. When I finished the t-shirt, the body was too tight and the sleeve was too loose which was very strange since I'd cut it with zero ease so I'm guessing it was a combination of the fabric factor and the method but either way, I prefer the method I normally use for making adjustments and I'm thrilled to have come to that conclusion because it's both comforting and fabulous to not always be re-inventing the wheel and to settle into what works.
One thing that works for me is princess seams. I decided that the main ingredient I want to work with in the t-shirt series is a curvy line up center front and the question of how to put that line back together. Instead of imposing other ingredients that would basically be irrelevant, I've decided to choose whichever pattern works for the garment I'm dreaming up. Of all the t-shirt patterns I've sewn, New Look 6735, Vogue 8691 without the ruffle, and Vogue 8323 (above) are my favourites and have been sewn repetitively. It's most likely I'll choose from these. The first has curved side seams, easing through the bust line, and a shaped center back seam and the last two have princess seams. They all have shape, which I need for my curvy body.
Based on the results with the grey t-shirt, it seems I didn't go down a full size and I'm somewhere in that middle ground - the size between sizes. It took a lot of work but I managed to get a version of V8323 cut from some scraps of a blue and black paisley and sewed a new muslin to test a change in sizes. It looks better on Millicent than me so I'm going to get out the t-shirts that are too loose, some pins and a measuring tape, and figure out how I'd adjust them to fit and then use my already drafted and perfected patterns which sounds like bliss to me. All good.
I don't have a lot of upper body weight and my shoulders are the slimmest part of my body and yet my upper bust measurement seems to have firmly settled into a larger size in the past year or so. Is this a part of aging? Do we get broader? I have no idea but I'm curious and I know some of you might know and isn't it wonderful to have a group of people you can ask that question to without sounding like a total idiot ? ? ? YES YES!
In-between show and tell, Lorraine and I had a fabulous chat about art and life and women our age, which is a better phrase IMHO than women of a certain age although it's basically the same thing. It seems that good phrases are constantly going bad and we end up working to take away the negative spins that get attached and yet phrases like this one exist because of their element of truth.
Women my age are dealing with different pressures and dreams than younger women and older women are. That's why it's wonderful to have friends older than yourself who can offer their experience, wisdom, and support and it's wonderful to have friends your own age who are right there with you in the experience you're going through and it's wonderful to have younger friends to offer the wisdom of all you've worked through. I strongly believe in women supporting women.
I've alluded a few times to being quite stressed lately. There's stuff swirling and things to be decided and directions to be chosen and it's not something I particularly want to talk about in public other than to say that what I really want is not to come across as a wet blanket and to let you know that I'm not going to be nearly as productive as I normally am and I'm okay with that. I've decided to putter and meander and do whatever I want to do whether that's sewing or cleaning a closet or going for a walk or painting a door or taking a drive or... whatever. I'm letting you know what to expect to eliminate any pressure to perform. I am working on the t-shirt series but God only knows - literally - when they'll emerge and how many will emerge. I'm not going to push myself to make one a day or even one a week because...
... on a scale of one to ten with ten being highly energized, I would rate myself somewhere around a half and that's not normal for me. I've lost count of the number of times I've been called the energizer bunny in the past but not recently. Talking to my friends, I know that these periods of not recognizing yourself are normal however, that's only somewhat comforting when you're a half who is used to being closer to a ten - LOL - so my plan is to do more playing and more meandering. Tomorrow Patti is coming over for the day and we're going to play with jewelry ideas and see what happens. No pressure. Just fun.
A mind too active is no mind at all. - Theodore Roethke
I've started re-reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. In the outside margins, there are quotes... which I love.. and always read... and even though this is the third time I'm reading this book, it is only the first time that that particular quote has registered. If you're a thinker like I am, you recognize the truth of those words. Thinkers can out think a situation to the point that nothing is happening or to the point that we're putting unreasonable expectations on the experience that are near to impossible to accomplish. There is great value in being realistic, moving incrementally, and ignoring any tall buildings that might require leaping to take the slow meandering path along the rippling brook in the summer sunshine.
The half in me that needs to re-gather energy has decided to take the slow path. There are no route markers so I have no idea how long that slow path may be. There is no description of the trail so I have no idea what I'll be seeing along the way. I haven't invited anyone to walk with me and yet I'm confident friends will show up and be welcome. It seems that this is a walk women my age need to take, to re-evaluate, to prioritize, to make choices, to emerge fully energized. I'm looking forward to the end of the trail and to the journey. If you have any words of advice to add from your own journey, I would appreciate hearing them.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - that explanations can bring clarity