My Plaid Ain't So Bad**

**This was originally entitled “I Grind ‘Til I Own It” – taken from Beyonce’s new “Formation” single. But I decided I don’t like that title. It’s like, “Enh. Errrr. Umph. I command you to read my grim grinding blog immediately. I will show you how I grind out something, grimly.” So I used my prerogative and changed my pejorative to positive. We are not a grim grinder.

Whew. Wow. That was… an experience. My house is a wreck – red thread is everywhere, piles of plaid are, even now, gathering themselves in to some kind of protective cocoon in the corners of the kitchen, family room, hallway, and my office.

This is probably a good time for “Outta Your Mind” to suddenly start playing on iTunes. I mean – honestly? – I’ve never been able to listen to this whole song. I heard it on “So You Think You Can Dance” one time, not realizing that what I heard was a remix; the actual song is a bit more… startling. And yet, it’s so appropriate for the sewing experience I just went through. Yes. Between Lil Jon & LMFAO and Beyonce’s new Formation video, I just barely made it through this plaid peasant extravaganza. Thanks for the inspiration, folks.

Did this fabric really think it could conquer the Waco?

Let me explain. But first, let me tell you this story is going to have a happy ending.

I downloaded the Kate & Rose Róza PDF pattern a few weeks ago. It took me about 4 hours to cut it up and tape it back together, and by then I was worn out and had to put it somewhere I couldn’t see it (back of my closet) for awhile before I was ready to face it again. During that interlude it became this promising vision in my head, so when my favorite red plaid flannel shirting went on sale at Joann’s last week, I figured I had a plan and materials and I was ready to rock and roll. It took me an hour or two to trace it off on Swedish Tracing Paper, but that was worth it when I wadded up the taped-together copy paper pattern and tossed it in the recycling bin.

I laid out my fabric and began following instructions. This was the point where my brain took a left turn, my hormones jumped out the window, my eyes crossed, and I entered an alternate universe. Not because the instructions aren’t simple or clear. Just because I am me and you never know what’s going to trigger this condition with me, but I have a feeling it had something to do with the bright red plaid I was dealing with, this time.

Baby dogs also holding their heads up high over this one. Or attacking me because I finally stopped sewing for a minute.

I’m gonna spare you the rest of the sewing experience, except to point out it’s hard enough to sew a three dimensional garment from a two dimensional drawing without throwing a whole lotta brightly colored crossing lines and a red thread so uncannily exact in color match that it disappears before it even hits the fabric in the mix. And even though I’d started this whole enterprise by telling myself it didn’t matter if I matched anything up it turned out the plaid had other ideas and by the time the initial major seams were sewn together and it was time to address the neckline, it was time for bed. And that was the point at which I decided it would be a good idea to cut the front panel off and do something different, because the front panel I’d sewn was heinous and horrible and, lo, it did maketh me to wail with frustration, so it felt really good to cut it off, wad it up, and throw it away. Then I sewed one side of the new panel on, gathered the center panel, and DID go to bed.

It was very hard to get motivated to finish this top when I was faced with this.
It was very hard to get motivated to finish this top when I was faced with this.

And, I mean, when I stepped out of bed this morning every joint was stiff and painful. Every. Single. Joint. It was as if the plaid had grown arms and beat me within an inch of my life while I slept. But I didn’t let that stop me. I wanted to, especially after I started pinning the bias around the neckline and saw what looked to be a sad, disgruntled, dumpy, slouchy peasant dressed in duct tape and plaid standing dejectedly in front of me.

I had to take a few coffee breaks. I had to walk back and forth a lot, trailing thread as I went, because this fabric was totally 100% coming unravelled.

Finally, I watched “Formation” a couple more times. Look, ya’ll: I go hard, I hit it, I, also, take what’s mine, twirl ALL my halos*. I, also, am so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress. Oh yeah, baby. Also? I got hot sauce in my bag (swag). And, although I do not like collard greens (but I do like cornbread), they never take the country out me. But I digress. Although, I do also slay. (hey, though: do not ever tell me to get in formation, ’cause I WILL knock you out; just saying.) Also, I am from Texas.

In order to get this finished, I had to turn on the shower and tell myself I had to finish the sleeves and the bottom hem before the water got cold, because after yesterday’s sewing mess I definitely needed a shower.

IMG_0142-zoomI decided not to gather the sleeves because I discovered, yesterday, that I do not like to gather things AT ALL. So now I have pleated arms. And the hem? Well, evidently, just winging it by turning it under a couple of times as you’re sewing is good enough to finish when you’re dealing with plaid. It’s not like your eyes know where to focus anyway.

I somehow did not destroy the Roza. And with the number of stitches and the sheer weight of thread that went in to this thing, I’m not sure anybody ever will destroy her.

I fixed up, put on my jeans and my platform flip flops, tossed the blouse over my head, and got to taking pictures. And you know what?

Cute. Pretty cute. Wearable (just don’t look too close at anything). It has a great personality, this blouse. I think I’m going to wear it until it can no longer be worn.

Because the feel of this material, and the cheery (and cherry) color? FANTASTIC!


What’s next, you ask? Well, this pattern is going to the back of the pile. I will never sew anything in plaid flannel ever again. And I’m going to tackle my Sew Liberated Simple Skinny Jeans. And also figure out what to do about picture taking equipment.

*Cosmopolitan just informed me that the line is, “I twirl all my haters“. I like “halos” better, because, yo: I don’t got me no haters. Only halos



1 Comment

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Jennifer Areply
February 10, 2016 at 02:02 AM

Cute. Pretty cute. Wearable (just don’t look too close at anything). Haha, that pretty much sums up my self-made clothes so far. They look good, unless you actually pay attention. Nothing better than cozy red flannel though!

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