About the time all my overtime started at work, I had the bright idea I would start sewing again and make something for my granddaughter's first birthday in September. It seemed like a good idea at the time and her birthday was still three months off so it didn't feel like pressure. Now her birthday is just two weeks away and I'm a long way from finished with her birthday gift. What was I thinking?!
The pattern is Simplicity 5310. Don't let the company name fool you ...there is nothing 'simple' about this project! I've got about 10 years of experience crafts and sewing. Mostly I've done handwork ...crewel work, embroidery, crocheting, even tried tatting for a while. I learned how to make clothing from patterns when I was in high school. Our mother was an excellent seamstress and she taught all three of us girls how to sew from a pattern. I made my own pinch-pleat lined draperies when I was a newlywed in my 20's. I know how to use a sewing machine. I didn't think it mattered that all of my experience was 25 or 30 years ago. I figured, 'it's like riding a bike, right?' Umm ...maybe not.
This is the pattern. Cute, huh? Looks simple enough, right? By step 3 on the pattern, I knew I was in trouble.
It's the nose that's giving me fits. The pattern piece is only about 3 inches wide and 2 inches tall. How could such a small swatch of fabric be so uncooperative! I struggled with it twice, two separate days for about an hour. The confidence and enthusiasm I'd been feeling for the project was eroding at an alarming rate. But this morning I decided to see if I could find some reviews for the pattern ...maybe some pointers from other people who had made this pattern. I found this website, http://sewing.patternreview.com, and joined with a free membership. There were eight reviews posted for this pattern. A free membership only entitles me to read reviews less than six months old, so I could only read five of them. Three of them were exactly as I would have posted if I were to review this pattern ...'NOT simple!' 'Diagrams do not match up with the pattern pieces!' 'Terrible instructions!' 'Worst pattern I've ever worked with!' The ladies that left these reviews claimed to have 20-30 years of experience. One lady said she was a professional seamstress with 35 years of experience and she still had to start over with this pattern two or three times. Whew ...that made me feel better. Maybe it wasn't just me. Misery loves company and looming defeat craves it!
Two of the reviews were very positive and said they would definitely make this pattern again. But even those writers admitted to making 'minor adjustments' to the pattern and the assembly process. Granted, there were three reviews that I couldn't access with my free membership. But judging from the five reviews I could access, I'm definitely not in the minority in having difficulty with this pattern.
Now I figure I can look at this two ways. My granddaughter's birthday is just two weeks from tomorrow. I have this weekend and next weekend to pass or fail in my attempt to make this for her. Based on those negative reviews, I could convince myself I would be justified in scrapping the whole idea of making her something and just go out and buy her a gift. But instead I've decided that I'm going to take heart from the fact that at least two people claim they were successful in making this project. I will have to dig up a little more determination but I'm going to give it a whirl. I guarantee there will be adjustments to the process and possibly to the end product. If I'm happy with the result, I'll do a follow-up post and show you how it turned out. If I'm not happy with the result, there may be a follow-up post, but no pictures. At that point, I will be out of time and will have to go buy my granddaughter a gift. But at least I will know I gave it my best shot.
Yeoldfurt is off on a mission of his own today. He left for the gun range about thirty minutes ago to test out his latest batch of reloads. I'm sure he'll be doing a post to report the results. He looked five or ten years younger when he waved as he drove off this morning. He had the same kind of 'happy' you'd see on a kid's face if you announced, 'we're going to Disneyworld!' Yup, doing something you love definitely has a rejuvenating effect.