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 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.
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.