Monthly Musing ~ You're never too old to re-learn

Helen Cloke monthly musing vintage

For this monthly musing I'm allowing the same poetic licence I took for the colour inspiration theme and declare that it covers both August and September!  Note to self for next year - #BRAugust is enough of a theme on its own and I need to organise a break from regularly scheduled programming!

My colour inspiration for this month(s) was 'Vintage.'  Did you know that the commonly accepted definition for Vintage is an item that is over 20 years old? That doesn't seem all that long ago to me!  It was only a little under 20 years ago that we were all in a panic about the Millennium and the looming doom of Y2K.

Now that I know this definition, I'm left wondering if it makes me 'Vintage' almost twice over?!  I'm a bit concerned about that!

They say with age comes wisdom but in these past two months I have managed to prove there is an exception to every rule and that you are never too old nor too wise to re-learn some lessons (otherwise known as 'make mistakes.') 

When Emerald Erin released her Black Beauty bra pattern, I was eager to get making.  Seeing the line drawings I immediately had a vision on how I wanted my version to look and knew it was going to work really well with the month's colour themed kit.

I started.  And here, right at the beginning, I made some rather silly mistakes that were nothing to do with the pattern (which is beautifully drafted and presented) but more to do with me not exercising my knowledge and experience.

two black beauty bras

My poor reject bra pilfered for supplies alongside the fabulously fitting second bra.

So, I shall confess them all here so that they may remain for prosperity (or until some Y2K type bug wipes out the internet) in hope that I don't have to re-re-learn them:

1. I took my measurements and compared them to the pattern chart.  My measurements placed me in between sizes and I looked at the larger size and thought 'I'm not THAT size!'  

So mistake one...Sizes are irrelevant and vary between designers and what sizing system they use (there are even variations within systems.). Don't assume you aren't the size you measure to just because it's not what you usually wear or a size you haven't made in the past.  Trust the designer!

2. Being in between sizes, I decided to go for the smaller size.

Mistake two...if anything I should have chosen what I thought was the too big size as slightly bigger is always easier to adjust than slightly smaller.  If the bra was slightly too big then there may have been ways that I could have taken out some excess here and there.  Too small and there is no room to manoeuvre.

3. Choosing the smaller size I cut out my pieces and sewed up the bra without pausing to see what size underwire it took.

Mistake three...I should have cross referenced my chosen size and it's corresponding underwire to what underwire I know fits me.  If you know what underwire size you take then this is handy information when choosing what bra size to make.  The Orange 36 underwire is perfect for me.  If I had taken a moment to check then I would have seen that the smaller bra size I had chosen took a size 34 underwire and that the larger rejected size took...you guessed it...a 36!

The culmination of these three hastily made, poor decisions was a bra that was too small and there was nothing I could do but put my lovely fabric and meticulous sewing in to the reject bin.

It's not all complete disappointment though.  I think re-learning lessons every once in a while is a good exercise in ego containment.  It's not harmful to have reminders every now and then to take more care and apply more thought even when you may feel like you *know* it all.

I also got to check that my Black Beauty was able to live up to my original vision and that my small style modifications were going to work.

So I (humbly) started again, cutting out the larger size and this time around it fit perfectly and my vision was realised.  I think I shall appreciate this bra for a long time and the lessons that it taught me!

black beauty bra

My second, more mindful make of the Black Beauty bra.

Have you had a sewing project that has taught you a lesson you thought you already knew?



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