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Behind the Scenes: A Pattern Emerges After an Epic Battle

Posted by Betsy on

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Spring is here and so with it comes a new pattern. Let me forewarn you: this is not a tale for those who’s hopes are pinned on the first draft of a pattern executed to perfection. Alas, this ain’t so in my world of fitting fixation. In fact this story get’s a bit gruesome. Nothing comes easy- not even (especially) a style that consists of one single piece. Patterns are my thing as I obsess over shapes and how they work together. I know them inside and out and how to bend them to my will. But some patterns are mischievous- they start out as a basic project but present me with a battle.
The new style was intended to be one piece that sews together lickety split! – and it will be. Throughout my fitting process I gently nudged the pattern, making only slight alterations but never 100% satisfied with the results.  After the 5th muslin (wowza!) and trying it on again late on a Thursday night my surliness from the week was in full force and my frustration was high.  I was ready to scrap the pattern and start anew complete with redesign. I grabbed the pattern, tossed it in the garbage, hit the lights, and called it a night. I couldn’t sleep. I tossed around my alternate idea but it just didn’t feel right and wouldn’t meet my original expectations. The next day it was still on my mind. I planned the new styling and was ready to go with it, but still wasn’t sold, especially since I realized I took the easy way out by scrapping it. At this point I was just pissed at myself and how easily I let the pattern win.
I got home dropped everything on the floor, rolled up my sleeves, and dashed to the computer. It was time to do things the old fashioned way–and I reprinted the pattern (thank god for digital!). It was just me and the pattern face to face. There was no time to pull out my drafting table. I tossed the pattern to the floor of my workroom and sat on top of it, the way a MMA fighter mounts her opponent to grapple her into submission, pummeling away until defeat is eminent- which is how my pattern went after some major chopping, harsh marker lines and masking tape ugliness. Eventually it tapped out after arm bar-esque equivalent changes.
The next and final fit went smashingly and I now report full satisfaction with the end result.
You may be wondering why I tell my tale. I like to use it as a lesson and reminder for all of ‘yall’s out there who have those piles of UFO’s. Let’s keep those projects to a minimum- either it is doomed for the trash or for your closet. Nothing in between.  If you are like me then you are on to the next project before you even finish the previous one, but sometimes it is worthwhile to slow down, get it done, and see it through to the end. The most vexing and troublesome projects usually become the ones that you learn the most from and about yourself.
As for the pattern- more on that later *wink*

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