the leopard, she cannot change her spots

needs sleeves, hems, and pockets
needs sleeves, hems, and pockets

Last year around this time I was all fired up about the new Claire Shaeffer V8804, another one of her Chanel-type jackets, complete with the quilted lining and many fussy construction details that I wanted to learn. I was also fired up to emulate the great Ann Rowley, and purposefully gather all my materials and make all my design decisions before starting on the jacket, thread tracing and copying all the other fine techniques Ann uses all the time. This is contrary to my usual way of working in which I kind of make it up as I go along.

I do give myself a pat on the back for having tried to do things another way, but it just didn’t work for me.

For one thing, I had trouble assembling all materials and trim, because I had specific things in mind that I just could not find. (This is a big reason that I don’t like shopping. I can never find what I want.) I spent weeks just trying to source things, with my mojo fading before I even threaded up the machine. Then the compromises began, and that killed off my remaining motivation. I’ll fess up to the compromises when I show the finished jacket.

I usually don’t have UFOs because I am strict with myself about finishing project A before moving on to project B. Finishing is the most tedious process, and it is much more fun to start something new. So I have to make myself finish. In this case, I was so frustrated that I cut myself some slack and put it all in a box where it sat reproaching me all through the spring and summer.

Now that cooler weather is only a couple of months off, I decided to do whatever it takes to get this thing finished. The trim has been applied and the sleeves are all ready to insert. I have chain to apply to the hem. A couple more sessions and it should be done.

And then I’ll go back to my usual comfortable way of working. Not that I’ll never attempt a labor-intensive project again, but I will have to gain some perspective on this one first.

embrace your spots and relax



Short Rant

I am a little tired of people that move down here (Dallas) from other parts of the country and then whine because they miss the seasons.

Firstly, when you go places, it’s not supposed to be the same as the place you left. When you move or travel, you find new things, unique to that part of the world, to enjoy. I’ve lived in the northeast, and enjoy a glorious golden autumn as much as anyone. But we don’t have that here. Fall in this part of the country is not characterized by reds and oranges. Fall here takes its color from the other end of the spectrum. It’s when violet clouds of asters bloom, at least in older neighborhoods full of the plants that everyone’s grandmama grew. Fall is when the blue-violet morning glories finally explode in profusion. It’s the season of the brightest, most intense blue sky. If you can’t appreciate those things, then yankee, go home.

Secondly, we do too have seasons. There’s gin season and bourbon season. Yesterday I drank a last toast to the summer of 2010.

–end of rant, back to sewing–