Friday, 1 April 2016

A Painting Shirt


This week I have been sewing an Archer popover shirt.

Fairly early on, I realised that I had cut the placket facing inside out.  I still don’t know how that happened, since the pattern was absolutely clear that the interfacing should be cut “glue side up”.  That being so, there was only one way this could possibly be sewn...?

So I ploughed on, with an ever-growing sense of dread as I realised that the only way I could make a pointy end piece appear on the right side of the garment was to turn the placket inside out and have the interfacing on display.  Um… no.


So then I tried to trim it down, and tuck the end towards the inside of the garment, out of sight… and made myself a bulky square-ended lump of a thing at the centre front of my “lovely” new shirt.

Really, Roo?

A week of evenings was devoted to this endeavour.  Good knitting time was wasted.  My spinning wheel was gathering dust.  Books lay unread. 

And the thought that popped into my head was “Oh well… at least I used up that fabric and got it out of my stash!”

Really, Roo?!

The point of sewing is not to use up the stash, it is to make garments I want to wear!  This shirt was to have been something I really wanted to wear – a light blue chambray cotton that could be worn with so much that I already own.  It was pretty much a substitute for a shirt I saw in the Hush catalogue but felt unable to buy because…?  Ethical qualms?  Frugality?  Residual guilt about buying “stuff”?
Sigh.



Hush shirt-of-dreams
With the advent of spring, I am once again on a decluttering kick.  You might assume there is nothing much left in my house to declutter, but believe me I have a very long way to go, to refresh this living space and cleanse my soul.
I have booked a special refuse collection to dispose of old / worn out / excess furniture that lacks the necessary fire safety certificates to allow it to be reused.  The unwanted books are boxed up ready for the charity shop.  Once the study is clear of mouldy furniture / broken Video Cassette Recorders / photographs of lions, I can rip up the filthy old moth-ridden carpet and paint the walls.  I already have paint to freshen up the hallway. 
In my bedroom, the remaining few carpet tiles (after the flood) are on their final warning, pending the purchase of a soft and pretty rug, for my toes alone.  The empty chest of drawers (which has no handles on the drawers and smells of mildew) is off to the tip.  The simple cube shelves are moving in to store my yarn and pattern stash.

Can I say it?  It‘s really exciting! J

Which brings me back to the offending shirt project… I plan to finish it, if only to practice my skills.  So that next time I will know better.  When I posted that picture on Instagram, people were very diplomatic and some said they would never have noticed.  You are very kind.  But I strongly suspect that I have spent the past week sewing myself a painting overall.

Oh well!

39 comments:

  1. Well the photo here looks great. May we see the whole thing? I've been sewing a Granville shirt for daughter 2 and its taken so looong. I find shirts quite fiddly and can only sew in short bursts, having somehow acquired chronic fatigue, or ME, about a year ago. Anyway...sewing! Yay! Jen

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    1. I haven't finished it yet... but I plan to and I will show it then :)

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  2. You could see a label or piece of ribbon over the end of the placket - a design feature! I've just added a design feature over the extra sleeve seam on my granddaughter's dress as I hadn't enough fabric to cut the second sleeve in one piece.

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    1. Good idea! I will see how it looks once the buttons are on.

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  3. Grrrrrr, how annoying about your shirt! I know 'onlookers' would never notice but it would bug you eh?! Am sooooo pleased that you're feeling excited about the farmhouse revamp. It all sounds fantastic! x

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    1. Exactly - nothing worse than the wrong sort of "home-made looking"!

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  4. i honestly wouldn't have noticed. if it makes you feel better, i made a dress for my daughter and realised after overlocking the sleeves in, i had cut one of them with the print upside down. i decided not to unpick (no one's got time for unpicking a 4 thread overlock) and didn't mention it to her. she is wearing it for the third time today and no one has yet noticed.

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    1. If anyone comments, she could do a handstand to prove she could go either way up...?

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  5. The shirt is beautiful but I get it completely. Can you not cut a new interfacing and rework it? Assuming you sewed it in rather than using the iron. The moldy furniture should go to the dump immediately. As should the carpet and carpet tiles. A couple of nice new area rugs would be very pleasant As would a new chair or 2 to refresh the place. do they have antique shops in the area? Sometimes you can find a real treasure there. A Shaker or Mission style replacement for the broken dresser - in solid wood not pressed wood of course -might go well with your space. Enjoying your posts on reclaiming space and hoping your Decluttering bug comes my way:)

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    1. I already trimmed back the seams :(
      Sadly there is not much Shaker or Mission style in these parts. I am aiming to have as little furniture as possible :)

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  6. A painting shirt is fine - sounds like you have plenty of painting to do, so at least it will be useful! Sad circumstances aside, there's a lot to be said for living alone. I'd love to have a pretty rug (and cushions, yes, cushions ...) not much chance of them here. Why do men hate cushions?

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    1. Oh yes cushions! I hope to make some - maybe with cross-stitched covers?

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  7. I can imagine the disappointment when what you dreamed of sewing up does not match up to the reality at the end of the sewing needle! You know, there's always another chance for that dream shirt.

    Decluttering is good. A major one that you are doing seems to be something that needs to be done and will be very "freeing". After my girlfriend lost her husband to cancer, she went through something similar and was very uplifting for her spirits.

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    1. Yes, another day another attempt!
      And I do indeed feel scarily "free".

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  8. I know what you mean about knowing that the garment is "wrong" but you'll look so stylish doing your painting!

    We're clearing out in advance of moving continent, I love the fresh and clean look of the spaces with less furniture. Good luck with your sprucing up of the house, doing things just for yourself must be rather nice.

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    1. Thanks Mindo - I am trying to act as if I am moving soon - if in doubt, throw it out!

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  9. I'm with you in the whole 'that's used up a bit of stash' thing. No logic to it, is there? As for the shirt, I'd wear it with pride, and if anyone passes comment, I'd say "Yes, a bit rough isn't - I won't be ordering from Hush again!'
    And it won't be a lie. Gill x

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    1. Hahaha that's a brilliant line! :)

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  10. Have you thought of using some contrasting or complimentary fabric to re-do the offensive placket? Get some dark polka dot chambrey maybe?
    I want and need to de-clutter....Always, always, when I come back from Poland and Berlin (go often to spend time with relations and friends) I start by ...throwing stuff out. Being away always helps me see our house as sooo cluttered when we get back...but we'd have to move for me to do a declutter on such a magnificent scale as yours!

    ...or mice - one winter, after being away, I had to dispose of so much stuff as it was mouse-damaged, I spent most part of a day...burning stuff....

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    1. Mice, moths... all good reasons to declutter!

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  11. It's frustrating when something you want to work out really well doesn't. Hope your next sewing project works out better.

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    1. Thank you - it is a learning experience!

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  12. We've all been there. I sewed a lovely skirt once and accidentally caught the underside under the overlocker when finishing a seam. The whole thing had to be thrown away!

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    1. Noooo! I hope to salvage a wearable garment out of this, once I finish it.

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  13. Think of how elegant and chic you'll look if anyone drops by while you are painting!

    LindaC

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  14. I too would love to see the finished object. You may find that after a week in the Magic Closet it isn't nearly as bad as you think!

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  15. Simple Solution: Buy the Shirt-of-your-Dreams & use the hand made one for painting. End of problem. Sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air, quit beating yourself up & move on.
    As I write this I'm thinking about the last time I replaced a zip fly in my best friend's favorite jeans. I've always had trouble with zippers. This one went in like a dream & looked fabulous. When he went to put on his favorite jeans, he discovered that I'd sewn the zipper right through to the back of the jeans as well. No wonder it was so perfect. I gave them to his mother to fix.

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    1. At least he wasn't wearing the jeans at the time! You are right - sometimes it is easier just to buy the thing!

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  16. It still looks very neatly done to me! Much cleaner than the inside of the last placket I put in. I'd probably just sew a little triangle on contrast fabric at the bottom of the placket and try to convince everyone this was part of my design all along. You could match your contrast to your buttons, perhaps. Anyway, I hope you find a way to make it work!

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    1. Thanks Alice! Triangles are so last century don't you think?! ;)

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  17. Well, a painting overall always comes in handy. Honest!

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  18. A painting overall is a very useful thing!

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  19. Dear Roo, For some reason it took me a while to get to your new space. When I did I was in awe of your positivity, and then 3 weeks ago my husband died and now I find myself totally astounded by your energy. I know there are no rules for how each of us should feel but I marvel that 2 months in you seem so full of energy. I wanted to let you know that I haven't abandoned you and will get back to commenting again, and in the meantime to thank you for your inspiration.

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    1. Sarah, I am so very very sorry to hear your news. You have commented so often with words of empathy and encouragement but I did not get the impression that you were expecting this. Take care of yourself my dear. Hugs.

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    2. Thanks so much Roo. You're right I wasn't expecting it. He had become increasingly frail over the last few years and had fallen several times, but he'd always bounced. This time he slightly knocked his temple, and 36 hours later I came home to find his speech was slightly odd and he was a little confused. Over the course of the evening I thought he might have had a stroke and called an ambulance. Technically I gather it wasn't a stroke, but the brain injury progressed over the next 3 days and by then he also had pneumonia (he'd struggled to shift that 15 years ago), so I asked he be switched to palliative care. He desperately wanted to slip away at home, but he was only in the hospital for 4 days, and only unconscious for the last. The staff were totally marvellous and the end was very peaceful. I'm conscious that we're lucky he didn't have to endure the lengthy illness that FL suffered. But it certainly takes some getting used to. The inspiration you provide helps.

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