A Winging Muslin

Today my behemmoth of a book arrived in the post: The Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing. It nearly didn’t arrive – the brown paper packaging (tied up with string?) had been seriously torn. But the book itself is mercifully intact. And what a book it is. Hardcover. 400 pages. The weight of a brick and the size of a paving slab. If this isn’t a sewing bible, I don’t know what is. There isn’t a chapter dedicated to, ‘How to make a jacket when you’re absolutely terrified’ but I think that with the comprehensive chapters on hems, linings, sleeve finishes, collar finishes …  I shall feel as though my hand is being firmly held throughout the process. (Actually, could you let go please, I’m trying to sew.)

The knitted wrap is coming along. Wrap or … scarf? In typical bodge fashion, I’ve used a much finer wool than the pattern requires and it will need some quite serious blocking to achieve the width it’s meant to be. And I’m beginning to wonder if I have enough balls of wool to complete the 70-inch recommended length. Hmmm. Is this another case of Things Karen Got Wrong? It’s a nicely meditative pattern but I fear boredom is hovering somewhere around the edges of this knitting experience.

At the weekend I went to a writers retreat near Spitalfields market. I took this photo (right) as I walked back through the market homeward bound. Isn’t it inspiring? All those colours. All that chiffon. If you live in London and want fashion inspiration, I recommend visiting the Spitalfields area. The market and nearby Brick Lane have a glut of vintage shops and stalls – and the people! Oh my goodness, it’s fantastic for fashion watching as all types of creative souls wander past.

This is all well and good, but it isn’t getting the pattern cut for my McCalls 5815 jacket, is it? Oh dear. I have a confession to make. That’s another Thing Karen Got Wrong. I ordered the wrong size. I can’t bear the hassle of sending it back, waiting for another so… I’m going to wing it. (I know, I know, I can hear your cries from here!) Calm down. I am going to wing it in an ordered, careful, meticulous way. I’m going to make a muslin. A Winging Muslin. Come on, that’s got to be an improvement on my usual antics.

Next – a trip to Walthamstow market for the muslin fabric. And then to cut out the pattern. And then to cross my fingers and pray.

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