Thank you all for your kind words and wishes. I am feeling a bit better, sitting up and taking nourishment and all.

However, I have been stricken with sewing paralysis. It is actually a moot paralysis (perhaps that could be a useful medical term), because I haven’t had much time to sew, and the time I have had for sewing, has been devoted to finishing up all the hand work on the things #2 daughter and I made during our marathon sewing weekend. I particularly need to finish up her stuff, since she is now employed. As far as I know, her new employer doesn’t have a sign like her former one, saying “Remember why you got your job: You Look Good” but still, a girl wants to look sharp at her first real grownup job.

However, I am determined to do the Sewing With a Plan thing, making the perfect 11-piece wardrobe over the course of the year, and so I am equally determined to make my 2-piece print dress in June and July (two pieces, two months…)

I could have cut out the pattern after work one evening, and sewn the darts another evening, done the major seams in the morning before work on a non-gym day, and done the hemming along with my marathon weekend backlog. Instead, I have dithered. I found myself uncertain of the best thing to do, and therefore found that I just could not put scissors to fabric.

With my self-imposed deadline looming, I will put it all down clearly for myself, in hopes that this will end my dithering and allow me to finish the top in June as planned.

I had intended to make the 2-piece dress from this pattern. I had also intended to find some silky print material. Instead, I ended up with quilting cotton.

I was, and am, concerned that the shell will not look good in this fabric.

Still, option 1 is to go ahead and make the top and skirt as planned. A sub-option here would be to audition the pattern in muslin first, fixing up the fitting issues that resulted in my redoing the darts three times when I made it before.


Option 2 is to make this woven T instead, on the theory that it is more suited to broadcloth and will still have much the same effect with the skirt as the shell above.

Drawbacks to this idea include the fact that, while I made this top in gauze and love it, it may really be similar enough to the shell to be just as unsuitable for the fabric — and of course there is the whole shapeless sack aspect of this top. I am not supposed to wear things like this.


Option 3 is to make the princess-seamed shell from McCalls 2818. I own this pattern, and was planning to make it — some months in the future, when I have gotten way better at dressmaking than I am right now. I had a good deal of trouble with the darts for the shell at top, and cut the wrong size entirely of the woven T, so it seems unlikely that I would succeed with princess seams and buttonholes.

I could do as the sewing bloggers do and make a muslin version first. Or just try to pay proper attention and follow the instructions.

Option 4 is to find an entirely new pattern, suited to the fabric and to my current level of sewing skill. There are several drawbacks to this option. For one thing, the patterns I already have were chosen to go together. For another, they were bought at a 99 cent sale. For a third, I have made them both once before, albeit in different fabrics from the current choice, and therefore have a practice-makes-perfect advantage. Do I now want to pay $16 for another pattern, with no assurances of its being any more suitable?

As so often happens, writing this has clarified it quite a bit. After all, if I heard someone trying to guess how a particular yarn would do with a particular knitting pattern, I would tell them to “Swatch, Bucko!”, now wouldn’t I? Making a muslin is the sewing equivalent of swatching.

So I went to the Hobby Lobby clearance table and picked up a couple of pieces of nice floral broadcloth for the same price as muslin. I will try out the two previously-made patterns, fixing all the fitting issues, and choose based on that. With luck, I will have a couple of simple summer tops into the bargain. If not, I will have some good florals for my quilt scrap collection.

Paralysis cured! With luck, my diphtheria will also soon be gone as well.