Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Never Ending Pin Dance

A few days ago, I was sitting at my usual table in Starbucks journalling when one of the women who comes in regularly stopped and said you know we're all jealous. I laughed and said yes, it certainly does look pretty doesn't it? and then gave her the story-in-a-sentence of how I came to be in this space. She offered a sympathetic I'm sorry and we went on to discuss art and fashion. One short sentence is enough. I have no desire to be any more overwhelmed by my situation than necessary. I prefer to dwell on the silver lining.

In our last coaching session, Diane asked me where I felt all the assignments we are working on together are taking me. I see them as prep work. They will eventually have another purpose that will make itself known when the time is right BUT... right now... their purpose is the silver lining of my current situation. It is the time to explore who I am personally and creatively, how I can live joyfully, how I can enjoy life more fully, and how I can use my skills and abilities to benefit both myself and others. That's a hugely wonderful gift. Unlike in years past, I'm not writing a book, developing a workshop, putting together a pattern, instructing a class, travelling to teach, creating an exhibit collection, or any other "career" oriented tasks. Instead, I'm in the midst of an opportunity to learn about myself on multiple levels and this is good.

And... I love the conversation that sharing what I'm learning generates. The feedback on my greyish-pink versus paisley versus turned-inside-out tops was fun. This topic of who we are and how we dress and how to express ourselves through fashion is never ending. It's one of those "many black notes" subjects as I call them where every bit of learning simply leads to another level and you're unlikely to exhaust the subject. When you have the opportunity to share a passion with others who love that same passion and whose eyes don't glaze over and roll back, how doubly delightful. In the comments, Neufy mentioned Dressing Your Truth and of course I just had to explore that lead. FASCINATING..

There are videos so I could knit while I listened. I'm working on a bright pink scarf to go with the fabric I'm using for the out of print McCall's 6515 pants. So far, it's a great pattern that's coming together easily. I worked on the pants yesterday morning after I...

... accidentally cut off the extra 2" on my top. Oops... shhhh... don't tell Diane. Here's what happened...

First, I spent quite a few hours pinning up the top in different formations. Quite a few. Like four or five. I'd put rows of pins in and then take them out and try new rows of pins and then adjust them and adjust them again only to take them out again. It was a never ending pin dance. I'd like aspects like the front and back above and really dislike...

... other aspects like the sides especially when the asymmetrical angle was completely lost. I decided instead to create one larger tuck to mimic the hemline and maintain the simplicity of the design.

The "fat" tuck turned the corner relatively well. There was a little bit of gathering underneath but nothing that showed ugly on the surface only the resulting top was very sticky-outy at that side. It lost it's gracefulness. I wore it around the studio for an hour and found that I kept trying to smooth out the hip so...

... I decided to remove one inch at the hemline and then make two smaller tucks above that. Not wanting to lose the hemline shape, I started by fusing another 1" strip of interfacing above the hem. And then I cut below it, folded it up, pressed it in place and went oh... oops... I just took two inches off which left me with no inches to tuck up. SIGH... and I was enjoying the assignment so I will...

... do what makes me happy and try again. Next time, I plan to work on the tucks before sewing the garment pieces together. It's a different assignment but the point here is for me to be creative and tucks - made no matter when - sound like a lot of fun PLUS... I can then take the tucks up into the bodice AND... incorporate vertical not just horizontal tucks. This is all good - the oops becoming ah ha.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - I can try try again

If things don't work out the way you want, hold your head up high and be proud. And try again. And again. And again. 
- Sarah Dessen


  1. Interesting. I'm not sure I see what bothered you so much about the sides— can you explain? I see some unevenness form the pinning but I think that becomes some of the interest in the garment. I don't think anyone would notice those when its being worn.

    1. LOL - it was definitely me being picky. It didn't lay flat against the body and made me really self-conscious of that point on the garment. I wanted a graceful line that highlighted the asymmetry in a parallel way and fell smoothly. This one felt too heavy, not graceful or artistic, just thick.

  2. Clunky, that is what I call situations like that. If it feels clunky off it goes and tweaks are required. I think that asymmetry only works if it flows without impediment. That frequently requires an alternation in the area where the clunk occurs. ( I am having fun with the whole clunky analogy!) I also think it is difficult to create horizontal tucks in a fabric like this with an obvious vertical rib. You are adventurous, no doubt about that! I saw a similar designer piece, much like this where a bias cut piece of organza was inserted 9not hemmed, just bias cut) between the shirt and the added on tucked hem. Very nice.

    1. Clunky is a good word for it. Thanks. I agree, that the flow has to be there - or perhaps the better word is the line since flow has a softer overtone and I feel the same about asymmetry in a firmer fabric.

  3. I love the loopiness of the scarf. It complements the happiness of the color - and of course, it goes so well with the fabric. Can't wait to see the whole outfit!

    1. I've been knitting like crazy today and it's getting close to finished. Because I wanted drape to the fabric, I went up in size from the recommended needle - from a 4mm to a 5.5mm 0 and that's what's creating the loopiness along with the garter stitch pattern. To make the scarf, you start with two stitches and knit in the front and back of the first and last stitch of every row. It makes a long shallow triangle. Easy and effective.


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