When I was in junior high, all girls were required to take Homemaking while the boys took Shop. Homemaking consisted of a semester of cooking and another of sewing. And, while my own kids (decades later) got to make fun things in sewing, like boxer shorts or messenger bags, when they elected to take sewing, we all had to make the same thing -- an A-line skirt.
This was the age of Twiggy, the first supermodel, the first super-skinny celebrity model. This was the age of the mini-skirt. We 7th graders were making knee-length A-line skirts. We had to kneel on the floor to show that the pinned-up hem touched the floor before we could finish the skirt, which most of us then never wore. I don't remember what mine even looked like. I do remember my best friend accidentally cutting a whole in hers.
Fortunately for my sister and me, our maternal grandmother had been a seamstress and our mother felt the sewing was not only an essential skill, but could be fun. She took us shopping for patterns and fabric and helped both of us learn to sew clothing for ourselves.
I made many articles of clothing over the years, and when I had had children, it was so much fun to sew the tiny outfits for them, as well as Halloween costumes. (I wrote a little about that here.) But, becoming ever busier and going back to work full-time, sewing went by the wayside. This summer I went through all of my collected sewing stuff and gave away a lot of fabric. I wrote about that last week.
I ended up keeping more than I expected -- isn't that always the way it goes? I set a goal that I would finish a neglected shirt and make some progress on a quilt.
Yesterday I got out the shirt. I found that I had cut out all the pieces and applied underfacing (the material that gives collars and shirt fronts a little stiffness). I made progress, sewing the body of the shirt together and making and attaching the collar. However, I discovered that years away from sewing makes one forget how to do things. Also, I am making the shirt from the book No Time to Sew by Sandra Betzina, which turns out to be different than making something from a regular pattern. She expects that you know how to do a lot of sewing techniques, and she also sends you to other pages in the book to read how to do some things. Anyway, at this point I have the body together, but I can tell I have made at least one mistake.
I have made a lot of sewing mistakes over the years. A mistake, to me, is a crossroads -- do you rip it out and try again? or forge onward, maybe improvising a solution? I'm forging onward here. This is my reentry into sewing and it's okay if it's not perfect. This particular shirt is a Halloween shirt, so there's less pressure for perfection. It's learning time.
Here is a close-up of the fabric, which I love!
I'll post a photo of the finished shirt in the comments when I finish.