When I am upset I like to look at new patterns. Eventually I see something that so completely distracts me that I cheer up, even if just for a moment. Yesterday it was discovering Deer&Doe that cheered me up. I also like a little project.
Now it’s not that I’d want to start something brand new, overly complicated or anything that could lead to tears on the best of days. No I like to resort to one of my tired and tested patterns, something quick, so I get the pleasure of my accomplishment sooner rather than later, and something that to be honest, even if I am still sniffling and cursing under my breath I can’t f*ck it up too badly. Yesterday was one of those days. So I rifled through my patterns and grabbed a lovely little vintage inspired floral, made of very lightweight jersey off the shelf and began to work on my two finger salute to the world.
But its not just the sewing seeing that cheers me up. Its also what I listen to. During the cut out phase I love listening to an episode from Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café or Just a Minute – both generally make me laugh. Then when I’m sewing I might listen to one of Stuart’s musical guests on spotify if I loved the music or I turn on some of my favourites: Fleetwood Mac if I am ready to stop feeling sorry for myself, Joan Baez or Sylvia Tyson is I feel like wallowing, or Ludovico Einaudi is I just was to zone out (did I mention I don’t like to be pigeon holed?).
See music and pots of tea where how I grew up learning to sew. My memories of learning to cut out pattern markings (cut outwards, ALWAYS outwards, never inwards), sew at a reasonable speed (versus acting like the machine was a monster that was in a race to eat your fingers) and develop patience (still working on it) is punctuated by music. The first thing we would do after putting on the kettle, was choose the record. Joan Baez and Sylvia Tyson featured heavily, as did Buffy Staint Marie, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and Nana Masourki. The record collection never grew, so for years I sewed to the same music and as a result can belt of the lyrics to River Road, The Boxer, or Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee!
So I’ve been sewing my way out of an upset – making Butterick Fast&Easy B5354. It’s a loose fitting, pullover top with front pleats (or tucks – I’m not sure which you would call them). I’ve made this shirt a few times, its comfortable, easy and looks pretty cute I think. The neck pleats give it a styled shape that belies its simplicity.
Step 5: Open out front neck facing. Pin back and front together at shoulders, having raw edges even. Ok, I still with you…
Step 6: Pin front neck facing to front shoulder seams over back , having raw edges even. Umm, over back?
See I’ll confess, I’m just not very good at following instructions if I don’t understand the why. This a might explain why I’ve progressed slowly with my sewing and never jumped in for the more complicated patterns, instead focusing on improving and expanding technique. So when I get to the more tricky stuff I can figure out why they’re telling me to pin stupid fabric, stupid way, in stupid fashion that makes no sense whatsoever. Harumph.
But my sewing has progressed a wee bit since the last time I made this shirt, and I have an inkling that if I fold the facing backwards over the top back, when I sew the front and back together, it will somehow be incorporated into the shoulder seam, removing the need to hand tack it there. See its just on my periphery vision (I think through things visually), I sorta, maybe, can see what they might be trying to tell me to do, so I gave it a try.
What do you know those pattern designers knew what they were talking about! It looks great, stays in place and … woop … woop … no need to hand stich. Now feeling pretty pleased with myself.
So my little top is done and I love it. I’m also feeling pretty chuffed with myself for having figured out something new and proud that I made this little top. So here is my vintage inspired floral, lightweight jersey two figure salute to the world – you can take your negativity and shove it!
(You’ll have to excuse the photographs – my co-creative director and fashion photographer has yet to quit his day job and join Thimble&Threads on a full time basis)
What do you do when someone upsets you?
 It should be noted that I also enjoy body combat when upset, nothing like visualising your target and letting giving it ally you got!