I Used Up All The Virgins

Ok, well, let’s just start at the top. Bear with me, because I am exhausted.

I bought a couple of patterns a couple of weeks ago. One was the Scout Tee from Grainline Stuido, and I used it to make my first blouse. The fabric I used was, obviously, touched by the hand of God. I know this because without any input from me, the fabric arranged itself perfectly under the pattern pieces. The Virgin Mary and her attendant cherubs, roses, stars and, yes, cacti are all perfectly centered, perfectly arranged, just… perfect. The blouse even fits me rather perfectly, despite my having made it a size too small. Likewise, the sleeves came out with nary a pucker, and the tiny little 1/4″ hems and seam bindings look great inside and out. And did I mention this was my very first blouse?McCallsMP205

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “I must have some inherent talent for sewing that I never knew about before because I wasn’t willing to read instructions. I’ll bet I’m special that way. So, so special.”

So, when I moved on to my next blouse (which I did the very next day) I decided to incorporate my last scraps plus one last, magical, fat quarter of the Scout Tee fabric. And, I mean, you look at this McCall’s top (which is actually, weirdly, pattern #M7325, and not MP205 like it says on the package) and isn’t the first thing you think “You need to place some virgins akimbo on that there bodice”?


  1. “That top is huge. I think I should make a size Small.”
  2. There was very little of the virgins left.
  3. The virgins are, admittedly, somewhat larger than the boobies they will set upon.
  4. I spent 12 hours working on pattern placement before I could bring myself to cut that last little fat quarter up so I could use said virgins.
  5. I then spent the next hour making heavy use of the slow speed on my Janome so that I wouldn’t have a stitch out of place on said virgins.
  6. I then went crazy and decided to add a stand up collar where none had previously existed. This exercise took approximately 4 hours of preparation, much of which time was spent reading about how to make a mandarin collar, deciding which mandarin collar making instructions I dared to ignore, deciding to ignore all of the instructions, and then inventing a standup collar that I sewed on the slowest speed possible so that I wouldn’t regret it later.

last_of_the_virgins_in_progress2The near-end result was freaking gorgeous, questionable virgin akimbo-ness notwithstanding. The pattern on the collar, which I hadn’t bothered trying to match to anything LINED UP WITH THE BACK BODICE EXACTLY WHERE I WOULD HAVE LINED IT UP IF I HAD TRIED TO LINE IT UP. It was the magic.


But then I gathered up the  sleeves and basted them on and realized I had created a monstrosity that was too small for me, and yet so enormous that it looked like it was going to take flight at any moment, and I had to remove them immediately before I went blind or went insane or simply lost all hope in this world.  I don’t know if it was because the fabric was bright blue, or because it was just slightly too much on the side of mid as opposed to light weight, but it just didn’t work.

Believe it or not, I see potential here.
Believe it or not, I see potential here.

All of this happened yesterday and this morning, and now it’s 6pm, and as the day went on I discovered mistake after mistake after mistake in my patterns and fabric selections in general, and the day’s events have left me so discouraged that for a tiny moment I thought about offering to sell all of my fabric, sewing notions, and sewing machines just so that I could run away from my disappointment.

But then I remembered that I have this blog, and that I belong to a Facebook “Stashbusting” group, and that 14 or 15 different people visited my blog today (more yesterday and the day before). And I thought maybe you guys could offer me some advice?

If so, please read my next post to see what mistakes I’m talking about, and what sewing options I’m looking at. I really could use your input as I decide what to do next. Update: Inspiration struck a little after midnight as I matched patterns to fabrics, and now I feel better. But it’s gonna totally change what I thought I was going to write about tomorrow. Thank goodness. I still totally need as much input and inspiration from you as you’re willing to share, but I don’t feel as discouraged as I did when I wrote this post.

And by the way: ♥thank you♥ for reading my blog. Just knowing other sewistas are reading this somehow makes me feel a little better.


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