Sunday, January 24, 2016

OH, IF I HAD WORDS............

Do me a BIG FAVOR and click the link above, then turn up the volume and sit back and enjoy farmer Hogget sing to Babe, If I Had Words. Wait, don't turn it off until the end and turn up your sound.

Trust me I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't important.

Did you see him jump in the air and throw his arms up high?  Did you see him toe tapping and jumping around?  Ok, imagine that you have been sitting in my studio all afternoon.  I mean ALL AFTERNOON, watching me struggle to remember how to sew pockets into a seam.

First of all, I know how to sew.  I made all my maternity clothes, I sewed clothing for my children
but the last time I actually made an outfit for anybody was when my now 33-year-old daughter was five and went to her first day of kindergarten.

But, although I made french seams, pj's and smocked dresses I never put a pocket in a seam.
One would think that if you make quilts that you can sew. I create art quilts. It's been 28 years since I worked at the CRAFT of clothing construction.  It is not like getting back up on the bike after a big spill, or the horse for that matter. It requires a switch to go on in the brain. 

I was and still am determined to make a dress for Riley. I found a pattern in my pattern file for a simple A-line sundress. It had multiple sizes so I thought I was good to go. When you flip that switch in your brain to do a skill that you learned years and years ago, you also switch on voices of the people that taught you, corrected you, advised you in your craft.
I could hear my home ec teacher telling me to measure, measure, measure. "Get the measurements first and check them against the pattern measurements." 

Of course I didn't listen, I laid the pattern out on the beautiful batik fabric I had, pinned and cut away. I was in the zone. I held up the front piece and thought, geez that looks big.  I held it lower as if Riley were standing next to me and boy did it look big. My frustration vocabulary is pretty limited so I used one of my choice words a number of times.

Thankfully, we did not get the blizzard that hit the East coast on Friday. Our temps were in the 20s so I marched back to the house with my notebook and tape measure and got Riley's measurements and marched back to the studio.

Well, almost an inch had to be cut off of the sides and an adjustment and trim was needed for the underarms. I cut and trimmed.  I reread the pattern directions for inserting a hidden pocket in the seams.
I examined the pictures, it made no sense. I marched back to the house and got my laptop and marched back to the studio.

After two cups of tea later and no Internet service out in the studio, I again marched back to the house to watch some Youtube shows on sewing pockets.
And, do you think I could retain the information long enough to get from my desk back out to the studio?
It is really sad how short my short term memory is.

I know, you are probably chanting it along with me, she marched back to the house to print out directions. And, by the way, I am marching because the path is ice and snow and if I'm not careful I'm going to land on my butt one of these trips.

So, somewhere maybe from all the trips back and forth my head cleared, or my brain checked in and I thought, "Here's a thought, let's make a sample dress from muslin and work out any kinks on that."
Oh, Mrs. Broadmere would be so proud of me. That is if she hasn't already turned over and over in her grave with frustration at my past two hours."

Like "playing" in art, when you don't have an investment, in the end result from you allow yourself to make mistakes without having to throw a hissy fit.

The mock up dress with pockets sewn into the side seams went beautifully. Except for the part where I stared at blotches of red on the unbleached muslin and wondered when I had gotten red magic marker on it.  Then it occurred to me that I had stuck my finger with a pin without paying attention and it had bled off and on over the mock up. 

Are you ready to jump up and do the Farmer Hogget dance with me?  While the thrill of perfect pockets in the seam was still with me, I put them in the beautiful batik sundress. I finished, looked around the studio and let out a YELP!  I did my own version of Hogget's dance around the tables, whooohoooing.

His song was If I had Words..... well, I have words, lots of them and dagnabit I'm proud that I stuck with it and learned how to do it. Let's just say that the enthusiasm and excitement was nowhere near mine when I showed them to Riley and John. 

That's ok, I know and I danced and I whooped. 

:)Bea, who really did dance like farmer Hogget in the Studio, this 24th day of January.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:24 PM

    I laughed, I cried, I did!