The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

A Solution to the Problem Shirt and a Warning from Trivium

One of the things I love about sewing is that it gives me ample opportunities to solve problems.  In my past life as a teacher and teacher supervisor, solving problems was my favorite part of the job because it allowed me to make connections and be creative. 

Last weekend I didn't have much time to sew so I decided to make another top based on the Simplicity 2580 pattern.  I've already made a dress and another top from this pattern, and I was pleased with the results both times:

I decided that I wanted a basic white version of the top. Sunday afternoon I quickly cut and sewed the top only to find when I threw it on that there were tiny HOLES in the fabric, about 4 inches above the hem.  I bought this fabric on clearance from the Vogue Fabrics booth at the Sewing Expo I attended last March in Schaumburg.  I vaguely remembered (after the fact) seeing these holes when I took a closer look at the fabric when I got home, but when I went to cut out the fabric I completely forgot about them because I was trying to avoid a rust-colored smudge in the middle of the fabric (not my most successful clearance purchase). 

So now the small amount of sewing time I had last weekend had been squandered on a failed project.  Before I got too humpfy I decided to see if there was a way to solve the problem.  The holes were too high up to fix by cutting off the lower part of the shirt and adding a hem band.  Then I thought about cutting off the entire bottom half of the top (at the bodice seam).  I've been wanting to sew a color block something so this seemed like a good fit, but I couldn't find any solid jersey in my stash that felt right.  So I turned to my closet to see if something would work. 

And now I have a top I like made up of my failed project, an Anthropologie shirt that never really worked on me, and a strip of fabric left over from an alteration I made to a client's jersey skirt: 


I'm happy with this save but I was left feeling vaguely dissatisfied.  I think I have a bigger problem to solve.  I've been reading The Phantom Tollboth to Cora and this passage really struck me:

     "But why do only unimportant things?" asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them.
     "Think of all the trouble it saves," the man explained, and his face looked as if he'd be grinning an evil grin - if he could grin at all.  "If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you'll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult.  You just won't have the time.  For there's always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing, and if it weren't for that dreadful magic staff, you'd never know how much time you were wasting."

The man speaking in this passage is the Terrible Trivium, "demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit."

And I realized (probably again) that I've avoided taking on harder personal projects during my weekend sewing time because I'll need several weekends to finish them.  I've opted for unimportant, easy projects instead of important (in terms of skills development), harder ones.  And so even being successful with a problematic small project just doesn't thrill me because the whole project is not that challenging.

So here's my solution.  This week I will cut out and start work on one of the Burdastyle dresses I've had my eye on (so that I can finish it in time for the August 5 Summer Sewing Challenge deadline).  And then I'm going to start Gertie's Bombshell Dress online sewing class I purchased from, in which I'll learn to "customize the included BurdaStyle pattern, make a muslin, and construct a highly tailored garment with boning, bust padding, underlining and hand-picked zipper."

Oh. Boy. 

2 comments on "A Solution to the Problem Shirt and a Warning from Trivium"
  1. I like to spread out my bigger projects among some smaller, seemingly insignificant ones. And it's those smaller ones that I usually get the most wear out of! I think variety is good. I get bored doing the same things over and over. Love your top!

  2. Too good so you got a lovely color blocked top from scraps and failed projects!! i will again say that I love the second top somehow the red and black prints on the jersey material are looking great..