One thing I did get to experience though was a chance to get to JoAnn’s WITHOUT my son in tow. The store opens and hour and a half before I have to pick him up from preschool, so it is the perfect opportunity to go get the few things I need without a toddler trying to pick every notion off the wall, or screaming in protest during a fabric cut. And lord knows, I love nothing more than having little old ladies giving me “that look” when Ben is acting up. Don’t get me wrong, I find his high pitched scream as annoying—maybe more—than the next person, and if I had a magic wand, I would tell my child to please be quiet, and he would sit contentedly in the cart, daydreaming about butterflies and unicorns while I had yards and yards of calico cut to my convenience. But I choose NOT to dose him with Benadryl or beat him, so they will have to look on with their tsking glances and “when I was a mom” phraseology. Besides, it gives them something to gossip about with the other hags while sipping “Constant Comment” at the quilting circle.
I also took a moment this week to embroider a t-shirt for my son for St Patrick’s day. Seeing as he is in fact Irish (I am not) AND has a crafty mother, it seemed only appropriate that he have a fancy-schmancy shirt with awesome green embroidery on it to celebrate the 10% of Irish blood he may possess. (and yes, to show off my skills to his teacher and aides. I’ll admit—I’m a praise whore.There. I’ve said it. Look—A business like mine works word of mouth. If I get a couple of really chatty ladies to admire my work,AND my son looks cool in the process, well, that’s my advertising for the month…)The design I chose was pretty fly—a plaid shamrock (yes, that picture there--awesome right?). It was indeed sweet, but took FOREVER to stitch out. So while I was overseeing that, I took the opportunity to measure Gladys. That’s the name of my first dressform. I bought her when I was making my wedding dress. At that point in my sewing career I knew I needed to step it up. So I bought her online, making sure she could adjust to my measurements and brought her into my sewing room. And while she may not be top of the line, she has been one of the most important additions to my sewing arsenal.Without her, my wedding dress might have looked quite different. I used her to apply lace (a first for me) to the bodice, to test various trims at the waist, and to bustle it. I also believe my mother used her to help with the hem.I haven’t used her in a while because my measurements and hers haven’t matched up. She is more…graduated... in the bust, and…well…I’m not. When I adjust her bust measurement, her back and ribcage measurement are much larger than mine. Most of us don’t graduate up to our busts—we have a ribcage that graduates up a tad, and then BOOBS. Ok, I guess an A cup will graduate a bit, but I don’t concern myself with their figure. Sizist, I know, but they get the option of going out in public WITHOUT a bra, wearing spaghetti straps without looking ridiculous, and the lions share of fancy-schmancy bras that push and pull and look awesome. Those of us in the…well…let’s just say heavily endowed arena do not get those options, and subsequently are not served well by this dress form (at least for fitted garments). So I’ve only really used her as a “holder” for items I’m making, since fitting doesn’t always work anymore.
But as I move forward in my pattern-making project, I’ve decided to bring her back into my arsenal. Sure, I’ve got a smaller, more high-end dressform now, that would prolly be easier to use, but it is a smaller and I just can’t bring myself to practice on a size 3. I bought the smaller one when I had to make a dress for a slimmer friend, (and got a fantastic deal on it with a 50% off coupon at JoAnns—seriously, pay attention to those coupons!) but haven’t used her since. I haven’t even named the smaller one. She’s below my radar. But Gladys has always been there, holding my aprons, or (sorry guys) to hang the bowling shirts I make to set the hem. And since I am committed to making clothes for the “real woman” it makes sense to use her as my fitting model when I am not fitting myself.
So I brought out the tape measure and jotted down her torso and hip measurements. I’ll only be able to use her for bodice, skirt and sleeveless dress applications since she has no arms, but she should be easier to fit than a fidgety friend for now. Better to learn to fit one symmetrical form before I move on to sloped shoulders or misaligned hips.
On another note—the root canal is not yet finished. Turns out there will be a third installment.Yay.
Lessons learned this week:
- Children in school will bring home germs. Period
- Again—fabric shopping without my progeny is efficient and wonderful
- Schools are the perfect for free advertising, and my son is a beautiful model
- Boobs present a fitting problem/learning experience
- Old friends are best.