Tuesday, March 31, 2015

This Thing Of Beauty

Some projects are far more fun to create than others. They tend to show up unannounced; occasionally you have an inkling. These are the projects with an element of mystery and unknowing like the one I started Sunday using a 22" x 75" remnant of linen. The piece was given to me several years ago and has been waiting for the perfect moment. It's a heavier weight, opaque linen, perfect for a sleeveless top with no camisole needed.

22" is not wide enough nor long enough to cut out the full front or the full back of a blouse. I loved that. Not having enough fabric is one of my favourite starting points. I love the constraints it provides and knowing that I will be finding ways to make it work all the way through.

I chose to work with the pattern pieces from the black and white sleeveless top I made earlier this month. The original pattern was New Look 6273 only what I have now is so far from the original as to be completely original. To the changes I'd already made, I added 1" in length, a 1" full bust adjustment, and 3" in back hip width and reshaped the armholes.

In the first image, I'd folded the fabric and pinned the center front piece on fold but I didn't cut it out. I wanted to make sure I'd have enough fabric for that portion of the front and that I wouldn't accidentally use the fabric for something else. Because the fabric wasn't long enough, I knew I'd be adding a yoke.

For the back, I folded the fabric from the other end to get two pieces right sides together and folded back the top of the pattern to eliminate that section. Again, there was not enough fabric for a full piece and so the back will also have a yoke.

Rather than sew a seam down center back, I extended the edge an additional 1" to create a button band. The line is drawn with pencil. It's easy to see and washes out however...BEFORE...

... I cut out the piece, I cut off the selvage. It has a lovely frayed edge, a fine line of black thread and about a half inch of tight weaving that I cut another inch further away from. The length is rolled up and in the box with the rest of the selvages I've cut off. They're wonderful design elements.

I carefully planned my cutting path to leave as big of scraps as possible since I'd need them to piece the front and back yokes. It's just easier that way.

Linen is a wonderful fabric to work with. It presses crisply and molds easily. When I'd pressed back the button bands and top stitched them in place, I just had to stop, pat the work, and admire this thing of beauty. It's so important to celebrate our work.

Yesterday was my coaching session with Diane and we celebrated progress. I know that way back when I was a beginner seamstress, I never would have even started this project because there wasn't enough fabric. Things have changed. All through the project, the path of my learning could be tracked by when I would have quit because at that "age" that was the point at which I didn't know what to do to save the piece. At this "age" I made it to the end even though...

... just before calling Diane, I'd discovered a "mistake" and either the back armhole was too high or the front armhole was too low. It didn't bother me. It was simply another challenge to work through because although cutting the back shorter would have been a lot easier than adding to the front, both were doable with the skills and abilities I've developed. I've finished the top and will post the rest over the next few days. It turned out fabulous. YES YES - I'm very thankful to have this creative outlet in my life.

What are you celebrating?

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - not enough as a starting point

Giving ourselves a license to play with a problem allows us to try different approaches. Sometimes this means removing a constraint or two. But sometimes it means doing just the opposite: I've found that an equally liberating form of play is to add constraints. Constraints can be a powerful stimulate to the creative process. 
- Roger von Oech


  1. Yay that it come out fabulously....can not wait to see what you did!

    1. I guess that is a bit of a teaser. Sorry. I wanted to encourage play and possibility. I'll show the finished top tomorrow and talk about more details the next day.

  2. I just love your creativity!

    I am developing in this aspect...not being deterred and instead finding a way to "make it work". It feels good :) Can't wait to see the top!

    1. YES YES - I'm so glad for you. It does feel good and - if you're anything like me - you'll get to craving it. So much fun.


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