I was just in a conversation with friends, mourning the demise of the blogging community which was so vibrant and active in the late nineties and early two thousands. Hypocritically, of course, as I do not update my own blog. Whilst I do love looking at all the pretty photos on Instagram, I miss the discussions and mini essays that were the glory of the fiber blogging world. I miss seeing the in-depth exploration of a topic or a technique, and also just the better insight into what was going on in my friends' studios.
So. It has been a busy year. Today I am going to discuss my biggest accomplishment.
I finished the cotton cloth, and made a shirt from it:
I chose, after much coaching and encouragement from weaving friends, to look on this as serendipity and embrace the different patterns to put them together into one shirt.
This was my first time making a garment. I sat on the cloth, paralyzed by indecision and intimidated by the process of dealing with sizing up the pattern. I needed to add several inches to the width of the garment. Luckilly I had a friend staying with me while he taught locally and he walked me through the process and helped me make a muslin to check the fit of the adjusted pattern piece. Once that was done I spent the better part of a day laying out the pattern pieces on the cloth and trying to decide what the most attractive arrangement of the various cloth patterns would be. In the end I am very pleased and I feel that the shirt is better for having the mix of patterns than for being all in tattersall like I had initially planned. My mistake turned into serendipity.
Sewing the shirt together went quickly and I, as you can tell, and super pleased with the result. It had been my goal since I was eight or nine to make a shirt from scratch--all the way from spinning the yarn through weaving through sewing it. It was a lot of work, all together I spent more than 150 hours on it, but it was completely worth it and I am already planning a series of handspun, handwoven shirts and other garments to make.
The biggest thing about this shirt is that it would not have been made without the encouragement, the cheerleading, the teaching, the hand holding, the explanations, the suggestions and the consolation of my friends in the fiber community. In the end, not only do I have a garment that I love to wear because of my own accomplishment, it also feels like I am wrapping myself in the whole group of friends and teachers that have been so instrumental in my fiber journey.