Monday, February 24, 2014

This Is Not A Coffee Table Blog

It's been one of those weekends - the one step forward and two steps back kind. Learning curves are not always what they're cracked up to be especially when the curve you learning along is a curve you've already been through only you're back for another visit. Why do we think that this time things will be different?. Hmmm... if you continue to do what you've always done...





I hate raglan sleeves on me. Although I've heard them promoted for women with narrow shoulders, IMHO they contribute to the whole tent like, widening all the way down, factor of my triangle figure type BUT... what about a raglan with a cowl? What about exploring new frontiers? What about being adventurous? This could possibly work. Who knows. And so I tried Vogue 8831 in...





... the ribbed knit at right. The pattern comes with cup sizing and that part was quick and easy but the raglan pulled on my shoulders and bagged under the arms. It begged for an exploration of raglan sleeves and how they could best fit my form, if I liked raglans, only I don't, and once was adventurous enough, so instead I copied the neckline to my T&T pattern and cut it out again, this time from a smooth black knit.

Surprisingly, there was no black knit in stash - or none that I was willing to risk - and the only one at Fabricland that I liked had a lot of stretch and drape. I remember thinking this would be perfect for panties and THAT should have sent a few red flags up the pole and rung some warning bells. The t-shirt ended up baggy and unflattering. It could have been taken in only that was more work than I wanted to invest in the look of that fabric. Instead, I'll do exactly that - cut it up to make panties - which is ironic because at the same time...





... I cut up a bunch of panties to make a t-shirt. They were 100% cotton and clung to my outerwear making me feel like I'd put on twenty pounds. For the past year, I've been pushing them aside in the drawer so obviously the answer is no thanks. They're barely worn and yet giving lingerie to the thrift store is just yucky so I cut off the waist elastic and the leg bands and put the pieces with my painting supplies. The fabric will be great for practicing both surface design and piecing fabric from fabric.





This tendency to use and reuse things is not "average" behavior. I know this. Even though there are not many people who will knit and re-knit the same yarn or sew and re-sew the same fabric several times, I can't help myself. It's become Myrna behavior - learned - definitely not an attitude I grew up with - and I'm thankful for this ability to see potential in strange places. It's good, even if a little dangerous. Take for example...





... my visit to Fabricland on Saturday... and then again on Sunday. The 60" stretch, silk dupioni had been reduced and reduced and reduced and was finally moved to the bargain center and marked down to $5.00 a meter. I already had black at home from an earlier sale and on Saturday, I bought pink and on Sunday, I went back for the grey. I'd loved the grey on Saturday but it had this "mother of the bride" overtone that wasn't working and I couldn't think of what to sew from it until I realized it would be perfect for Marcy's Vogue 8934 coat. The plan is to incorporate all three colors so I'm taking the swatches with me to Sew Expo to look for buttons. It takes 3 meters. A silk, spring jacket for $15.00 is quite a bargain. YES YES - inexpensive potential.

Have you noticed that when you click on the Bloglovin link, that it shows you other blogs that are similar to yours or to the one you're looking at? That inspirational potential gets me every time. What wonderful blog might I find? And so, I click often to discover which blog my blog is like today that I didn't already know about. And I'm intrigued by the readership of some of those blogs. It doesn't take long to realize that mine is significantly lower. Now before you think I'm upset about that, I'm not. It's a fact and it is what it is because...

... this is not a coffee table blog. There's no fabulous photography or carefully posed images and as much as I think that might be nice, it's not likely to happen. This is not a glossy, pretty blog made for turning pages. It's more of a textbook blog that goes deep into a theory and explores it from all sorts of angles. It poses hypothesis and then follows them up to find truth. It's a blog where the pictures might be "outdated" but the information is valuable... or at least I hope. The textbook audience is typically smaller than the coffee table audience and - again - that's okay. It's my field of interest and I am beyond grateful to have come to terms with that reality and to each person who shares this journey with me. It allows me to write and sew and share and those are three things I love to do together.

Your new identity might be one you could never image for yourself. But if we're walking with the Lord, we have to be prepared to step into the spotlight... - You Have It In You by Sheryl Brady.

When I read the sentence above this weekend, I thought or not. Sometimes, God is asking us not to step into the spotlight of the larger audience but to be content with the much smaller group gathered around the candlelight off stage. I'm rare in that I enjoy public speaking, especially on my favourite topic, but more than being front and center at a big conference, I love a class of energized students who interact, share, grow, develop, and connect or a coffee date with a few other women huddled around our latest show & tell or a one-to-one with another sewist where we can banter back and forth discussing what about this and have you tried that. On Saturday morning, I spent an hour talking pants with another blogger. It was FUN FUN FUN.

This awareness of not stepping into the spotlight is part of that process I referred to on Friday, the process of not only coming to terms with who we are but of actively celebrating and embracing that way of being as our home and our whole. I have a particular way of being that is shared by a smaller percentage of the population. We - that small percentage - actually enjoy delving deep into theories, and this is good, especially if we also love sharing the learning and it expands to help others. One of the fabulous things about being a woman my age is - I think - coming to a greater and greater acceptance of who we are which in turn allows us to become all that we are meant to be on the scale and in the direction we are meant to follow. It was an ah ha. Love those.





I think one of the reasons I'm struggling to make progress with surface design is because it's about practice and while practice is important, it is also repetition and repetition is not my strong suit, most likely because repetition is not about answering a puzzle in the way that fit or technique are. The challenge is there but it's vastly different. Another interesting awareness.

And... LOL... apparently, I'm challenged to actually sew a black t-shirt before I leave for Sew Expo on Wednesday. Not that I need one absolutely although my minimal wardrobe has gotten more minimal with my size adjustment but I do have enough clothing to last the weekend. However, I want to make one. Maybe the third time will be the lucky one so I dug deeper into the stash and found some very expensive, black one-by-one knit that I'd subconsciously passed over due to holding precious. This is not good. There's no point in holding precious when you could be wearing that t-shirt. Besides, once you make the first cut, it's no longer precious. And I'm working on Vogue 8886, which I've successfully sewn before as a dress. We'll see what happens.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - or not

30 comments:

  1. I enjoy your blog--it's to the point. You have many appreciative readers including me. I like Vogue 8831. Finding a raglan sleeve princess seam and cowl collar in one style is awesome for me. So sorry it didn't work for you, but thanks for posting it. I like that Vogue 8886 dress you made in purple. I'll be watching to see your next one.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I really enjoy writing it. Glad you've figured out a raglan that works for you. When I have more time/inclination I might come back to this. I've done my sample seams on the knit I cut out and yummy. I hope the t-shirt turns out as well as the dress because I wear it a lot.

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  2. I'm glad you don't have a coffee table blog! I admit, sometimes I don't want to think and just want to seen pretty results. But when it comes to sewing, I want to see the process behind the projects, good and bad. I left garment sewing for a long time, due to failures. The only alteration I was ever taught were making sleeves and legs longer, and that was "just add a couple inches". Nothing about the proper lengthening of garments, crotch curves, arm/shoulder changes, bust adjustments...I thought I was the problem. And that doesn't even touch on bad patterns and nasty fabric that can stomp on anyone's ideas. It's only been through people such as yourself sharing your thinking, planning and behind the scenes work, and not hiding it when things don't turn out, that give me hope.

    In short, pretty results, no process blogs are nice when I'm in the "I don't want to think!" mood, but they start to get boring after a while.

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    1. LOL - I'm glad you're glad. I get what you're saying. I buy a magazine now and then too.

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  3. Well Myrna, more things we have in common. I am constantly taking apart something I made that didn't work and making something else with it. There is one sweater that I took apart 3 times! I can't see getting rid of fabric or yarn that I like, that I'm sure could be made into something else, usually with good results. Glad to know I am not the only one who does this....

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    1. YEAH - we can talk about that when we get together. I'd love to see some of your evolutionary projects. Have you kept pictures? I haven't planned my itinerary yet but I'll start putting that together after SewExpo and then - hopefully - we can set a date for meeting.

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    2. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I do not take photos of much of anything, I guess I just don't think about it. It is usually a spur of the moment decision, so I just act on it. Keep me posted as your plans get firmed up......

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  4. Myrna - I also wonder how many of your regular readers are like me... unless I post a comment you wouldn't know that I was a regular every morning reader of your blog, 'tis part of my morning routine, but I have never been able to figure out how to follow something in a blog reader so I must click on the blog links in my own blog to see if any of my favorite creative online inspirations have written anything new...

    Also, I too am someone who takes my worn or wadder clothing apart to turn into something else, or to re-use as part of a new garment. I am not really into the "coffee table" sort of blog at all, but then, my personal book library here at Acorn Cottage is also skewed pretty strongly to the non-fiction and DIY sections.

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    1. It's lovely to know that you're a regular morning reader. And comments are certainly welcome. It's so great to have a conversation. To follow, just click on the bloglovin link at right and then follow their instructions and/or what you're doing works too. I have a word file I work from. Very old school.

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  5. Myrna, I hope that you can see that I follow you in Bloglovin. Yours is the blog I save for last... like the cherry on top! Thank you.

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    1. I'm the cherry. Oh how fun. Thanks.

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  6. I agree with you about raglan sleeves and the pear shaped body. I find that only with careful preparation and planning, I can wear a raglan sleeve. Even with that, I've still had raglan garments I've refused to wear because the end result was unflattering IMO.

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    1. I've been thinking a lot about the clothes I keep lately. For the rate I sew, the end wardrobe is really small. I think that's partly because I only wear something if it's at least 95%. It has to fit and feel right and - at the moment - feel flattering. Raglan never seems to do it.

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  7. PS I had the same experience with the anon poster. I can appreciate there are legitimate privacy concerns which would cause someone to not post identifying information. But, that's not the kind of people who have commented anonymously on my blog. Overwhelmingly, it was undesirable comments posted by "anon" and therefore banned by me.

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    1. I'm pretty sure it was an automated system that was crawling the web and posting things and because they could get through the anonymous loophole, it worked. I had 1000 in two weeks and more was coming in. When it started actually showing up in the comment section, I had to shut it down. So frustrating.

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  8. Sorry...having a hard time posting a comment (personal problem with Ipad and ability to type without mistakes...
    Anyway, like Alison, I, too, look forward to reading your blog each day. I dont come here for pretty pictures, although pictures always help make your projects come to life for me! I appreciate the details and am frquently tempted to try some of the patterns you mention. Sorry for thr typos...if I try to go back and correct them, the keyboard just freezes. Sigh.

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    1. I'm sorry. Don't you hate it when the system you rely on is unreliable. I still can't blog through Internet Explorer and the other day it started doing the same thing in Google Chrome. Has me nervous.

      LOL - good thing you don't come for the pretty pictures. There aren't many. Thanks for appreciating the details. I really love to share learning and I hope my adventures help save everyone else some trouble and increases their fun load. I've learned enough now that I'm not off on nearly as many tangents and this is good.

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    2. I had the same problem using my IPad until I stumbled on the solution: just tap the keyboard symbol (making the keyboard disappear), then put your cursor back where you want it (causing the keyboard to reappear) and the lockup will be freed.

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    3. Thanks Elle! I am going try that...oh YAY! It worked! You don't know how much time I have wasted writing comments that never get posted due to frustration! Thanks!

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  9. I don't "follow" any blogs, but I sure seem to read quite a few, including yours. I'm interested I the sewing aspects and the creative way you interpret a pattern to make it your own. So I suppose I'm in the nonregistered group. LOL

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    1. Between the registered and non-registered viewers, there is now consistently around 500 readers a day. I take that as a huge compliment. I love remaking patterns in my own way. It felt like I was starting to get more flow in the creative direction but these last three t-shirts have been frustrating. I need to find the "new normal" of my size shift. Amazing how just a little bit can really throw things off.

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  10. I love this post; I love the way it rambles and yet is completely on topic, like a really great conversation over a cup of coffee. Write More. Oh wait, you do.

    The funny thing is you had me smiling because I hate raglans on me. They are terrible and yet people, from my mom in my youth to various people today keep recommending them. And I keep trying them thinking the perfect raglan might work, except there is no such thing. Anyway, I also reknit, remake, reuse etc until something is falling apart. I haven't blogged about that recently but it will come out in time. I think you are more creative in your reusing, whereas I tend to rework ad infinitum….

    Happy to be reading you again.

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    1. Happy to have you reading me again. Yes... that's me... I tend to ramble and then - hopefully - connect the dots. My friends have learned to hang in there, there is a point.

      Nice to know I'm not alone with the raglans.

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  11. I did not make a lot of clothes for myself last year but I did make the 8831(raglan sleeve shirt) and I really liked it. I am a 'pear plus' and felt very comfortable in it. It was quick to make and I had very little adjusting to do. I have lost some lbs. and it still look good.
    I love how you write with such ease. You know I can talk but I struggle with writing.
    Have a great time in Puyallup.

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    1. I might have to try that pattern again when I have time to play with the raglan idea. I can see the potential.

      With the writing, first I've been writing for almost twenty-five years which does help and I've blogged for over ten and I taught on-line for nine with about six hours of "conversation" a day so I've had lots of experience. It takes practice so the more often you write, the more helpful it will be even if the posting is shorter. You can see that I have a format, some kind of introduction, what I did that day, a conclusion that may or may not include a life lesson plus most writers - me included - write to "the reader" who is often a compilation of personalities and skill levels. I write a lot like I talk hence all the commons and hyphens.

      Thanks - I'm looking forward to Puyallup.

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  12. I love the title and the sentiment...however I believe there should be room at the table for both types of books (blogs). I think you are more well rounded if you take in all of the aspects instead of just one. But that's just my thought and why you are on my must read list...

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    1. There's definitely room for both but this one is going to be text. I could have just as easily called it giving up the gloss or something along that line. I'm putting down the "getting better at photography" aspect and concentrating on what I particularly love.

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  13. Hey, I LOVE words in a blog! If I wanted pictures I'd look at magazine sites. Your willingness to write and share your process is why I'm here. Thank you for being so generous with it!

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    1. You're welcome. Thank you for appreciating it.

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  14. Nice
    I liked it so much
    I will visit here again

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.