A prelude to my wadder review at Patternreview. Here's the story:
At one time (seems like yesterday but is a long time ago!), I was a college sophomore sitting in approximately the 5th row back of a small lecture hall in my Business Management class. There were about 100-150 students in that class with Dr. R as the prof. My major was Business Education but at the time my major was still in the College of Business as opposed to the College of Education. My core courses were virtually the same as any other Business major. Most of the students in that class were Business Management majors with maybe two or three Bus. Ed. majors, me being one of them. Dr. R was a former Bus. Ed. major himself.
The time came around for the first test. I studied, took the test, and Dr. R gave the class a lecture about the test as he was returning it. I guess he examined by hand the test results of the top 10% of the class or something like that. So he's talking about the tests and he tells one tale of how a student changed/erased 7 answers, all that were correct, to the wrong answer! Guess who that was. He looked right at me and said, "Always go with your first choice! Your gut instinct is usually correct." Gulp. Okay.
Second test rolls around. He's handing them back but does his usual pre-handback speech. And then he announces, "The student with the top score on the test isn't even a Business Management major, she's Business Ed!" He looked over at me beaming with pride. Gulp! Big smile. I was proud--a moment that I remember like yesterday. (BTW, it was also a good feeling when all these guys are looking at me aghast that I wasn't a dumb blonde either, especially the guy next to me that was *supposed* to be really smart.)
I always remember that day and the lesson learned from it. It's about trusting your gut instinct. Your first thought is generally the correct one. So why don't I always apply that concept to patterns??? Is it because they're so cheap on the $1 pattern sales? Is it because I don't want to miss a good bargain? Who knows. But here's a case in point. It's Simplicity 4183 , a Patty Read design. What the heck was I thinking when I bought this pattern???
I'll tell you what I thought. The first thing that popped into my head was it could look kind of dowdy on me. Next thought, "But maybe I could make it into something cute." Now where in the world would I get the idea to make something from those two thoughts--dowdy and cute? It doesn't work. But in one of my dim-bulb moments, I bought the pattern with thoughts of (GASP!) making something from it for Patternreview Weekend 2006. In retrospect, thank goodness I was so busy working on Halloween costumes and couldn't make it. It would have been a terribly disappointing endeavor. The fabric I bought for it eventually made it's way into a fave jacket of mine from McCall's 5007, a Jackie Kennedy type of garment.
So recently I pulled out that pattern (first mistake) because I had grand images in my mind of making a cute, slouchy minidress. A copycat one from a mini I saw in Lucky. In my stash was some suede-y, chamois feeling knit fabric that was purchased eons ago. I know it was inexpensive too. But I thought it would make for a cute minidress. That was my second mistake. Not only was the fabric not the right type and not recommended by the pattern, it was a royal pain-in-the-a$$ to sew. It is rare that I come across a material that is so uncooperative that all I want to do is throw it away, but this was it. My machine hated it and skipped stitches like crazy. Tried every needle in my stash in various sizes--universal, jersey/ballpoint, stretch, microtex--and nothing worked. I had to use a triple stretch stitch and stitch each seam twice. (Wouldn't you know, I just got my Sew News yesterday and it mentioned trying Needle Lube...)
I got to the point where it was almost done except for the sleeve/dress hems and buttons so I tried it on (fairly excited at that point despite the stitching woes). Even put on my black tights and ankle boots I was planning on wearing with it. Took a look in my full-length mirror and was quite unprepared (although I did think while making it there might be a possibility that it could look dumpy) for the disapointment. It looked like a big, blue potato sack! No shape and visually adds 15 lbs to my frame. It was anything but fun, flirty, and cute. DH sees it and asks, "What is that?!?!" My teen girls see it and give me "the look". Even the boys just stare. Okay. It's definite. I have made a wadder.
So now I get wadder thoughts. In Ladies' Home Journal magazine, there is a regular column called, "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" That's my favorite part of the magazine. So now I'm asking myself a similar question with a sewing focus--"Can This Wadder Be Saved?" I put it on my dress form. Yeah, it looks dumpy on the Phat Chick too. DD#1 says, "Maybe you should cut off the bottom." I decide that's the right thing to do. Cut, cut, cut. Bottom is off. Then I look. Stop. Look again. Yeah, it's definitely better without the skirt part. But those shoulders! They drop down so much, the fabric just isn't crisp enough for the style, and then I think of the stitching woes. No, this wadder isn't worth being saved. Here's what's left of the ugly wadder:
And there it stays on my dressform to remind me that I should always go with my gut instinct. Trust thyself. Such simple words really that you'd think they'd be easy to follow. Maybe I should buy a plaque that says that at our local fair this summer and hang it in my sewing studio. Think of it as wadder prevention.
Moving on. Focus on the next project. Letting go of wadder thoughts.