You’ve heard of the Bluebird of Happiness, right? Well, this is my Sweatshirt of Impatience. It’s not the sweatshirt’s fault that I got a bit over-eager and impatient to finish it and wear it out, and everything can be fixed, but seriously, this would’ve been properly finished sooner if I hadn’t been so impatient.
I’ll save the construction details and pattern changes for the full, finished roundup, but let’s take a little time now to go through the lessons I’ve learned here.
1. If you don’t have the proper hardware for the job, don’t just “make do” with something unsuitable. The zipper I ordered ages ago for this ended up being double headed and NOT opening. I installed it anyway, so my sweatshirt had to go over my head (which was okay but not ideal). And then one of the zipper heads pulled off, over my sewn-in stops, and is impossible to get back on. No, really, we tried for a good hour – it’s not going back on in any usable way. So now I need to unpick all the stitches and basting stitches and install a proper opening zipper like I should’ve done in the first place.
2. Stop and think about the finished design before you start the construction. Midway through the construction I decided I wanted kangaroo pockets on this, and I should’ve really attached these before the bottom ribbing band to avoid topstitching. It looks okay as is, but it would’ve been a lot neater if I’d sat down and sketched exactly how I wanted to change this pattern instead of just doing it in my mind’s eye.
3. I really, really can’t stand long-running projects and get bored easily. If something stretches out over a week or two, I get really bored with it. Let’s not talk about my winter coat right now – let’s just say that my mending pile is more appealing than working on it right now…
4. If it’s too dark to take photos outside and you’re living in a building site, you just have to wait until the weekend for photoshoots. Poor James has a great camera and infinite patience for being called outside for photoshoots at inopportune times, but even he can’t work miracles with a moving boat in limited lighting when it gets dark at 5:30pm.
Apart from the zipper, I also ordered some round elastic and squeezey cord locks to use as a drawstring in the hood. Amazingly, I ordered these yesterday morning from Pennine Outdoor, and they were waiting for me in today’s post! So it’ll actually take me longer to rip out the old zipper than it would’ve been to just order the new zipper from them and wait for delivery… (Whereas the order I placed over a month ago from MyFabrics still hasn’t arrived! NOT happy.)
So the upside to all these lessons learned? Well, apart from the obvious educational benefits, I did get to road test the sweatshirt yesterday when I wore it to work. It’s very comfortable, warm, and the hood stands up really well in the rain, with plenty of room in the back for my hair while still covering my face. So when I’ve actually properly completed this, it’s going to be a favourite for a long time, I can tell!
Oh, and I mentioned living in a building site earlier – the plan was always to clear the entire front part of the boat where the 12 hotel rooms were to build our two bedrooms, two en suites, and our lounge in that space. My temporary sewing room has been in one of the (undemolished) hotel rooms for the past year and a half, but will eventually live in the guest bedroom when all is complete. We thought we’d be ripping down everything and building in walls all at once, but now it’s looking much more likely that we’ll do the work down there in two phases, meaning (and I do have a sewing-related point here!) that my temporary sewing room can stay where it is while we do phase one and I won’t have to vacate in the next few weeks like I’d thought. Good news, indeed!
And finally, I don’t do papercrafts at all, but I was so taken by this lotus flower popup card that I thought I’d give it a go myself, and I highly recommend it!