I have lived long enough on this earth to know that when I get the feeling that I am not of sound mind or body, I need to stop trying to sew. I have learned that there are days to design, there are days to sew and there are days to just say no. Adhering to this principle leads to a lot less frustration, tearing of hair, gnashing of teeth and spitting of curse words. This shirt is an object lesson to this principle.
I have been sick since the beginning of November. The kind of sick that one has where they really don’t feel good but they don’t feel bad enough to lie in bed or be hospitalized. Nevertheless, I know I was off my game, and on some days out of my head. I burnt baked goods that I have baked every Christmas for my adult life. I put groceries in the wrong cabinets, couldn’t remember people’s names and totally forgot that I ever owned a particular vehicle. None of this is like me at all.
Yet, during this “off time”, I was off on Christmas vacation and that has always meant prime sewing time. Every day I went to the sewing room and tried to pick something up. And every day I screwed it up so badly that I was too embarrassed to show anyone. This shirt somehow survived that horrible time.
I have been looking for a simple basic bodice that will fit my extreme bust comfortably for quite some time with no luck. (See previous blogposts.) I stumbled upon this B2104 Tailored shirt pattern from Fashion Patterns by Coni. I traced off a straight 4X in hopes to make a muslin. I struggle with making muslins. I always want to jump right to some fabric. My mother shared a box of flannel with me. The box had been purchased at a yard sale for a couple dollars and contained a wealth of thick cushy cotton flannel in yummy colors. I instantly grabbed this blue and black piece and tried to cut out the shirt pieces.
I hesitate to write a review of this pattern owing to my recent lack of any semblance of a mind but let’s just say both the pattern and my skills have issues. The problems with the pattern amount mostly to no more than some typos and some nearly accurate numbers and measurements. The pattern called for over 5 yards of flannel and I was able to lay it out in 3. I still am not sure how that happened but since, as you can see, the shirt does have all its parts, I’m not going to question it.
I did such a great job on this shirt.<sarcastic laugh> Notice the near-perfectly matched plaids on the front bodice pieces and the pocket placement. I made the most beautiful front plackets, then added and pressed the most elegant stand collar. I was in love with the shirt. So much so, that I bought a belt to match it and planned the leggings and boots to match.
Then I tried the shirt on.
There were the most oddly shaped humps above where my bust should be. Round protrusions coming out of the armholes just even with where my cleavage started. What the crap?
Then I discovered it. I had sewn the right sleeve in the left front bodice and the left sleeve in the right front bodice. My sleeve plackets and cuffs were really nice but now they lapped the wrong way. I wish I could say I was horrified. I wanted to bang my head against the wall,.
I let it lie for a couple days and then I realized. Successful sewing is nothing but perseverance through adversity. It forces anyone that thinks their work is perfect to come to the realization that maybe it is not the gift to the world they thought it was. Sometimes bad things happen during construction and sometimes, as bad as we hate to admit it, we need to learn the patience to go back, rip out the wrong seams and re-sew them the correct way.
And yes, one learns that if you are a little off your game or if your sewing mo-jo has left the building—Stop, just stop!