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Triumph of the Mundane

Slow blogging at its finest

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Is It a Fabric Yip?

Back in the day, yip was the term for a mental hang-up experienced by sports pros and amateurs. Accomplished golfers who suddenly couldn’t swing or their swing suddenly went wonky being the main use. The term was also used for other sports; I recall seeing footage of a catcher who couldn’t release the ball on a throw back to the mound.

While not a perfect use of the word, I call the experience of being unable to bring myself to cut a piece of fabric a yip. It is especially acute when I haven’t sewn anything for awhile or I’m about to cut a special piece of fabric.

charley-harper-fabric

I yipped last week. I decided to make a top from a piece of Charley Harper fabric,and the dilemma was twofold. There was just barely enough fabric and the fabric is a cotton knit. I love wearing knits but sewing them is another matter entirely; I’ve never been completely satisfied with the outcome.

In this case, I created a pattern from a dress-turned-tunic I liked but hardly wore. The dress fabric was lovely but rather thin for the cut. Previously I had cut the dress to tunic length thinking the shorter, lighter result would work better for the fabric but it still just drooped. The Charley Harper fabric has a bit more heft, and thus began the new project.

And then began the fretting. The pattern pieces sat on the fabric for a day or so when I finally took a deep breath, rechecked everything six times and started cutting. Then I pretty much forced myself to finish the project in two days, concerned I’d stall out and the thing would sit there half finished.

charley-harper-tunic-sleeve

And there’s a charming little cheat: The original sleeves have a lovely zipper detail that I doubted I could repeat. Since I was short on new fabric, I simply used the original sleeves and added a matching trim detail to the pockets. Nothing like a well-executed hack!

charley-harper-tunic

Well, I did finish it, and it’s lovely. And since coincidentally the new tunic is red (the project has been sitting around for half a year), well, that’s just a bonus for my Ben Ming Nian.

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Bag Ladies

purse-1

A couple of years ago I got the idea to thank my friends for being my friends by giving them something personal — beyond the cheer, kindness, and thoughtfulness (and occasional baked goods) that I make sure to bring to those relationships.

Because I like making things, bags came to mind. For each woman, I look for a fabric that reflects her personality. Forgive the immodesty, but on the whole I have pretty good taste and a rare gift-choosing ability, so trusting my judgement puts me on solid ground.

This is my latest bag. It went to a woman I met through work. She’s artsy. I’d like to be artsy. Although we have a lot in common, our friendship didn’t really solidify until we weren’t working together. The pattern is Glenda from Swoon. (The credit is included only if someone feels inclined to find out more; I have no personal link with the company.)  I do love the interwebs to find new and different things.

purse-2

Of course for this level of effort, passing friends and acquaintances won’t be receiving bags any time soon. But I still have a dozen good women on the top-line list. That will keep me busy this year.

Smarty Pants Fridays: A Little ‘Splainin’

Jeans

If you have to explain. . . I’ll explain anyway. Triumph of the mundane is the tiny bit of joy/humor felt when little things in life go well. Like figuring out a tailoring trick to make jeans fit.

The accumulation of these exceedingly minor triumphs adds up meaningfully, making the effort worthwhile. The Bhutanese get it, I’m trying to learn it.

Kludge Fail

cushion 1

The zipper on one of the sofa cushion’s slipcovers finally, really gave out this time. After each of the last few washings the zipper has failed but reversibly so. To eek out one last use, I decided to stitch the cover closed. Inelegant but effective.

A miserable task at best, it was made worse by the shrunken slipcover. Trying to hold it closed and stitch was almost impossible.

cushion 2

The fabric is a thick, tightly woven twill, so pushing the needle through was an effort for every stitch. Unsurprisingly, this drew blood. The two splotches in the center of this image are from the third bloodletting.

Then, when I walked away for a moment, one of the cats chewed through the dangling thread.

I bow to the will of the universe.

Skirts, Round 2

two skirts

Two skirts that I loved to wear.
Neither, however, fit very well so they weren’t often worn;
I bought them because I love the fabrics.
Probably just enough fabric in each for a tote bag.
Let the repurposing adventure begin!

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