Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Resistance & Reality

Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. - Steven Pressfield, The War of Art





One of the ways that I pretest t-shirt patterns is by sewing pajama tops. The one is from Katherine Tilton's Butterick 5925. The dots are fun and I wouldn't mind a "real" top with them but this fabric didn't have quite enough stretch so it's somewhat tight in the bicep and I was a bit more careful choosing fabric this time.





The flair comes from a godet in the side seam. In the pattern, it also has a pocket which I did sew into the pajama top but left out of this version. Next time.





The fabric is a narrow black and grey stripe. I told my husband it might make me look like an aging jail bird! It's silky and has a fair amount of drape and looks better on me than the dress form. One of my dress forms is slightly too big and one is slightly too small and I'm reluctant to redial them because I have no idea where my weight is going at the moment. Right now, the small one works better for my upper body and the larger one works better for my lower body so the perfect scenario would be to take the top of one and add it to the bottom of the other and get a better representation of my actual figure. This is the top on the wrong dress form.





The final neckline uses the selvage of the fabric. I sewed the strip on, turned it to the inside, and used a twin needle to stitch it place allowing the edge of the fabric to curve over the seam. It's very simple although...








... deciding on it wasn't. I explored different neckline options and tried this and that without too much success. I kept thinking things like too fluffy or too much contrast or too frou-frou for me which had me thinking about resistance... and reality.

Was I resisting change or was I truly tuning in to my preferred style?

The thing is, I know my style. While I want to shake it up, I'm not trying to eliminate my preference for simple, architectural shapes with clean lines. Nor do I want to stop adding colorful accessories and in particular statement necklaces. High contrast and frou-frou necklines are the statement; no necklace necessary. I am good at what I'm good at because I enjoy those things. If I want to continue enjoying them with new energy, that means creating with a version of reality that pushes the edges but doesn't burst the cage.





I'm currently knitting the blue vest above left. It's a basic rectangular shape with slits for the armholes and optional sleeves that turn it into the red coat. That rectangle is a blank canvas that could be filled in a myriad of ways both with knitting and with knit or woven fabrics. As soon as I saw the diagram, my mind was off and running with ideas for vests and at the same time still stuttering around the jewelry. It may be that making textile jewelry is not the thing for me. I'm not quite ready to say that yet but if I do, it certainly won't be from lack of trying only right now, I'm going back to sewing clothes for a while. Not only do I need some, but those ideas are tickling really Really REALLY loud. YES YES and fabric and yarn are definitely my thing.





The sweater unraveled into yarn has been knit into a triangle scarf. This scarf seems to be my fall back pattern because it's so easy for knitting in public, or while talking to a friend, or while watching TV. Right now, I'm also working on a larger scarf from black cotton that I hope to wear with some of my architectural clothes. I badly - BADLY - need some pants but that's not what's next. First I'm working on another version of the t-shirt and then it'll be the prototype of my daughter's purse.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - freedom

12 comments:

  1. I'm feeling the tension between stuff I NEED to sew (I need to create a TNT for fitted pants, and my wardrobe is screaming for a black and a grey Magic Pencil Skirt), and stuff I WANT to sew (compare a bunch of the different tunic patterns I have; loose linen pants for summer, which means futzing with yet another pants pattern). And so I just spin my wheels and don't make any progress on anything.

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    1. Starting is often the hardest step. Doing nothing equals nothing however so doing something - whichever part of something - is about the only way to get to your goal. From my perspective, developing TNT patterns is a priority because they can be taken forward in so many ways. The learning from the fitted pants also applies to the loose linen ones because ease is not about hip depth, crotch depth, and crotch curve and that's what you really need to know. HAVE FUN!

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  2. I am ploughing my way through a red and blue capsule and am loving everything about it. Or at least I was until I was sidelined with the head cold of the century this week. So I have been in bed knitting and dozing and watching Netflix for the last few days. Back to the studio today though. Yay!

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    1. A break - if we can call a terrible cold a break - and back at it. At least you've had lots of prep and dream time. Hope you're continuing to feel better.

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  3. I have met Resistance and its powers are vast. Grrrrrrr PS I love that t-shirt and I love the fabric you picked. Also love the neckline texture you decided upon!!!

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    1. Oh yes... very vast. Thanks for the compliments. It's a fun piece. I'm working on the second variation now.

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  4. I like plain neckbands myself, or at least subtle. Works better with my necklaces as well. I also have a short neck and I don't need to build up any height there! I like the neckband treatment you chose. It's a little different but not overdone.

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    1. I tend toward subtle. It's one of the things I think about often when I'm trying to shake things up - how to be me and a little more edgy. I think that's a lifelong debate.

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  5. Ah yes Resistance! So I have spent the winter just making those TNT patterns. The pants took over the jacket and are very close but of course will vary with each new piece of fabric! Please share the source of your knitting pattern. It looks quite straight forward and I need such a pattern for relief from those I must pay attention to - the new short rows, and knit the sleeve all in one with fake seams. I love them but find them quite challenging - especially the instructions!
    Sue

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    1. TNT patterns are well worth the work. Congrats.

      The pattern is easy. Start with one stitch and add one stitch at every end of every row. You can either knit every row or my favourite is to use a seed stitch. Continue until you're happy with the size and cast off loosely. That's it.

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  6. My version of that Katherine Tilton pattern in a yummy organic bamboo knit inadvertently ended up as pajamas in spite of my best intentions. I like yours better!

    Winter is the perfect time to get lots of sewing and knitting done without distractions. As long as you have good lighting, that is.

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    1. Why did your version become pajamas? I have another t-shirt that is a bit on the large side and I've been contemplating how to fold and tuck it into something interesting. I agree. I love the winter months for working in the studio.

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