01 July 2011

Learning All The Time

One of the wisest things I've ever read about teaching--especially teaching law--is that it is very good for a professor to take lessons in something difficult in one's spare time--a new language, piano, auto mechanics, etc. The idea is never to lose touch with what it is like to be utterly bewildered and unable to master a new skill despite great efforts to do so. I think sewing might fit the bill for me. Today's example: I have now made Simplicity 2580 three times, each time using the same traced version of the pattern, each time without major mistakes. The only real difference among these three versions is the fabric:

Opus 1: a hearty cotton jersey:IMG 0039
Does she have her hoodie on back to front?

Opus 2: a much thinner, limper cotton-poly jersey:IMG 0065
Look! That was supposed to be a cowl neck! Who knew?

Opus 3: silk jersey from yesterday:IMG 0171
This one's only decent because I tucked it into my bra--otherwise it sags below my underwear.

So, just as when my students ask me a question about law and I answer with a question, the answer to "will this fit?" is "what are you making it out of?"



  1. Like you I have found that different knit fabrics can behave very differently. However I do think that, despite the differences in the drape, all three of your tops look lovely.

  2. I agree, they are all just lovely... I hope there is something you can do to make the silk one permanently 'decent' because it's too nice to give up on.

  3. As Tim Gunn says, "Make it work". :-) You could use a brooch to manage the extra fabric in top #1. I like all three! I have to sympathise with you as I am starting on the OPML contest on PR and my first dress using a technical knit is...interesting. Fun post to read this morning.

  4. Oh, yes, each one does have a mind of its own but each one is lovely in its own way. Sort of like students, ha ha. A few years ago I posted my PR review of a simple bias nightie in three different fabircs, and like your tops, three different results just from the fabric drape and weight. Now I understand why I can buy some designer leftovers from particular fabric stores. The designer just didn't like how the fabric was going to work for the garment in mind. Luckily I hve many more pattern options at my house:-)

  5. They DO look very different to each other, but they all look good on you too! Cowl necks are a bit of a mystery though - their behaviour is quite unpredictable...

    That's an interesting idea about keeping on learning to appreciate your students' perspective. I think keeping on learning also keeps you sharp - keeps your brain from just using the same old neural pathways and getting in a rut!