Before my cousin - Karen - arrived, we discussed different activities we could do together and I'd suggested several around knitting only that isn't where she's at right now. She also doesn't sew regularly so I was surprised on Wednesday when she suggested test sewing the pattern. Surprised and thrilled. I really want this pattern to be beginner friendly and having it tested twice - by her and by my friend Francine - is perfect. Both are beginners.
Apparently, the instructions are very thorough. Karen is the type to read them through from beginning to end before starting and she said about halfway through reading she started to wonder what she'd gotten herself into and if she could possibly do this. She did, fabulously. She also said that as she began to work through the steps, it all came together so well that her panic subsided and she was having fun. YES YES!
Above left, she's block fusing the interfacing/fleece to the fabrics before cutting out the individual pieces and above right, she's just finished putting the interior pocket together.
I'm almost seventeen months older so we're close in age although we grew up a long distance apart and didn't spend much time together. We still live quite far apart but reconnected in adulthood and the older we get, the more alike we are which is very fun to explore especially for me as I have limited contact with extended family.
Karen has excellent attention to detail which I really appreciated as she went through the pattern step by step. Not only did she proof and edit, she confirmed where further illustrations are needed. I was able to experience how a beginner responded to what I thought I said and, THANKFULLY, there were very few changes. I wrote how-to for years but it's been a long time since my last pattern. It's nice to know I haven't lost the ability.
This is at the end of the following section where the interior pocket has been sewn to the lining and the lining is completely formed. The next section, the exterior bag, is almost identical so this is a point of comfort in the process.
We started about mid morning, took a break for lunch, worked through the afternoon, went out for dinner, and finished early evening. The lining fabric was one I used for a pair of pants several years ago so I tried to find the pants to give to her only I think I cut them up BUT... I did find another pair using the same Burda pattern used for the floral cigarette pants and they fit her fabulously with the alterations I use for my own shape which shows how identical our figures are as well. Maybe - VBG - I'll get a request for a copy of the pattern since they are such a simple sew. How fun would that be!
You can see that we wear a similar "uniform" of a black top with a brighter lower garment although her jewelry is far more understated that my typical statement necklace. LOL - I sent her home with a Myrna piece.
The exterior fabric is denim left over from some jeans I made several weeks ago. Since it's dark, it doesn't show up too well against her black shirt but you get an idea of the finished size. It has a snap closure and four buttons as embellishment. The handles are webbing. It was designed to be easy for beginners and a blank canvas for textile artists.
The first test sew was successful. Today, I am making the suggested changes to the pattern, working on search engine optimization for my website, and looking into hiring an illustrator for the images I can't draw myself... yet. I want to get the first three patterns and two workshops done by mid September so rather than frustrate myself with what I can't draw, it seems better to hire someone for the more three dimensional images and then, when the pace slows down, I'll figure out how to do that too because...
... there have been many situations where I let my inability to do something hold me back and then when I learned how, I wondered why I waited so long. I used to hire someone to do my buttonholes and insert zippers and I avoided features like welt pockets because I didn't know how to make them. Instead of stitching in the ditch with quilting, I always stitched 1/4" away because I was afraid of not hitting the ditch perfectly. Now, I can do all of those techniques with ease. It took starting and practicing until I'd done it enough times that the work flowed easily. I'm not ready to learn how to draw with paper and pencil but I do believe I'm ready to learn how to draw electronically. YES YES!
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - a cousin-friend, a visit from family