It's a backward morning. I got up earlier than normal so I could get to Starbucks early to journal and then back home before the floor layers arrive. The bathroom renovation is ever so slowly coming to an end. I'll be glad when it's done. It'll be more efficient, more useful, and more attractive and all that is great but I'm done with people in my house and messes to clean up. Isn't that the way? We want it and then we don't.
Monday was Family Day, a new statutory holiday. I can't remember if this was the first year or the second but it's definitely a new holiday, not in my history or my memory. Long weekends mean more when you work outside the home or have children in school. For the on sabbatical sort like myself, they can be a surprise interruption to the regular schedule. Too funny ! ! ! Howard and I slept in, moved slow, and had a lazy day. It was good.
I worked on the cape. When I'm sewing with a plaid fabric, my first thought is as few seams as possible which is quickly followed by my realization that with a curvy figure, the better mantra is the more seams the merrier. A contradiction. And perhaps why I rarely work with plaids. Butterick 5819 seemed to be a happy mix of the right pattern with the right fabric and an exploration of a new shape. Would a short cape look good on me? What do I think of that collar? What about the pointed hemline? All something to experiment with. I'm enjoying the freedom of letting go of the garment suiting or fitting me to explore new ideas. It may or it may not. We'll see. Letting go was a good decision.
My fabric is 60" wide. With a narrower fabric, you would need a center back seam - and then again maybe not because the garment is only 31" at the longest and could be cut lengthwise - BUT... with my fabric... and especially a plaid... I decided to eliminate the seam. At first, I thought I'd actually use the paper pieces but that's not my normal style and just in case I did want to make some changes, I chose to trace them and that turned out to be a very good decision.
The pattern is simple. It has four pieces, two of which are basically a rectangle and two of which are collar pieces. It teaches a collar technique and flat felled seams and is exactly the kind of pattern we might recommend to a beginner and that would be a shame because it is not drafted correctly and there is absolutely no excuse for a four piece, basically a rectangle, pattern to be incorrect.
When I overlapped the two pieces at center back, I matched the hemlines. As you can see, the waist marking is not at the same height. This made me wonder if I'd traced two different sizes. No, I had not.
At the opposite end, the neck edge did not match. Can you just imagine a beginner cutting out these pieces and then thinking it's her fault that one is longer than the other? It makes me mad. How can we encourage others to sew if even the basic patterns have to be checked, checked, and rechecked?
I slid the paper up and retraced the neck edge. It merged with center front which seemed a little odd so I started double checking more things like was the distance from center back to the two corners the same on both halves - yes - and was the length of center front the same on both halves - yes - and was the curve of the neckline from center back to center front the same on both halves - no. I had to redraw the neckline which made me wonder...
... about the collar. The pattern is drafted for raw edges. The collar is in two pieces with the center seam meant to match the center back seam of the cape. Why? Just from an ease of sewing point of view, that creates an unnecessary seam and a point of bulk where those flat felled seams merge. I eliminated the center back seam, traced one complete collar piece, and then walked the edge of the collar along the edge of the corresponding neckline. The collar was way, way too long - almost 2" - and the notches and markings did not align. The collar is supposed to be sewn wrong sides together with the edges secured - no seam allowance. Again, the beginner would think it was her fault that the collar didn't fit the garment and she might not have enough fabric to re-cut and try again... or enough energy. Issues like this can cause a beginner to give up. It's not good.
How much effort do you make to check the pattern before you cut out and start sewing? I'm not sure if it's more experience sewing or more experiences with poorly drafted patterns but I am learning to pay attention to these details before I start. I'm glad. This is a simple pattern with serious flaws. More on the cape journey tomorrow. It does - eventually - come to a happy conclusion.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - experience and skill, the ability to see potential pitfalls