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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, November 29, 2010

You would have to be a sewer to understand this

My son-in-law doesn't.

In addition to related time on the phone and visiting my father-in-law, I made my granddaughter a snow suit, got the jacket done this weekend.  Lined, insulated, zipper guard, hood, the works. 

It was a MacPhee pattern I had used a years ago for my kids and for the nieces, so I put this thing together quickly without reading the instructions.

I must say I did a beautiful job, the top-stitching was great.

So where is the picture?

The trouble was that when we put it on our girl it was so tight at the neckline and shoulders it wouldn't do up (and yes I measured).  The hood was tiny for her brainy head. It was obvious to me that I was looking at one very well-made wadder. I mean clothes from Grandma aren't supposed to make you cry because you can't move.

So off it came and I went home to regroup. Seems in my haste I forgot the hood insert piece which accounted for the tiny hood and also that I under-estimated the effect of a layer of polar fleece and two layers of needlepunch ( don't want the baby to get cold) in the shoulder fit of what I remember now was a pattern that tended to be a little tight in the shoulder.

So out it went. My poor son-in-law is shocked that I am not going to rip it apart and try to fix it - and why I am just going to learn my lessons, try the roomier Jalie pattern, and just make a new one. He doesn't get that this is actually easier on my nerves (and I have the fabric to do this) than to fiddle around and take out that top stitching and probably still not be happy with the result, which would undoubtedly still be not quite right.

One step forward, two back.

But I think another sewer would understand. 

We after all are the folks who invented the term "wearable muslin" which translates to "I was expecting a wadder but think I can wear this around the house." Every once in a while you get a throw-away and its sort of a price you pay for being in this game.

Comes with the territory, just like the nice surprises that turn out better than expected, just like I am sure the next version of the winter jacket will be.


RuthieK said...

How frustrating! The next version will be even better though :-)

Anonymous said...

How frustrating .... and so much beautiful work for a 'wearable muslin'! I wouldn't rip it apart either.

LisaB said...

I understand. Yes, I do! There is more chance of something entirely new coming out of my sewing room than a pair (or three) of RTW jeans getting hemmed. Sorry it didn't work out, but you had pleasure in sewing it anyway, right?

a little sewing on the side said...

Oh yes, I understand. It happens and it's part of the whole sewing thing. It is quite an achievement to minimize the disappointment and carry on. Good practice for dealing with feelings that come up in other endeavors, as well.

Very productive Barbara! You really got a lot done!

Beth H said...

That's all part of sewing, I agree. Thanks for sharing a not-so-great project. So often all we see are the best works of others and think only we make boo-boos.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I found myself shaking my head in agreement...would much rather make a new one than take one that doesn't work apart! I mean I HAVE enough fabric to make another ! *LOL*