Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Improvising

  It looked great on the hanger. Not my color, but the kind of style I'd wear... So, I committed to adding it to my wardrobe and welcomed it into my home. Soon after, I realized this (clothing) relationship was going nowhere. 

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  It all started at the outlet store: This looked to be a dressy-casual blouse that could be paired with a jacket or other accessories. A modest V-neck, full back that ran into a short collar, and tank sleeves that sort of flowed into a pleated front. Again, not my color... But for $6, I could wear that! And the shirt has now been stuffed in my drawer for about a year. So, what happened? Where did it all go wrong?

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  Before I'm accused of impulse buying, I should explain what I'm like when I'm not yarn shopping... I really, truly despise having to shop for clothes. 1) They (almost) never have my size. 2) Not everything comes in black. 3) My sense of style is offended by the options available. 4) There are other people in the store. 5) I could be spending money on more yarn instead. 6) My skin crawls at the thought of trying on clothes. 7) Glitter. ✨ 8) Colors.🌈 9) The music is lame. 💩 10) And did I mention this is not the yarn store?

  To save my sanity, I have a system of shopping on a $10 per-item limit at outlet stores. It's something other than "impulse" buying. It's more like "please get me out of here" buying. I pick up what looks good within the budget, take it home and wash it first, then I try it on. I'm pretty good at judging things, but occasionally items don't fit and get dumped on The Kid or charity. Then there's this top, which fell into a shapeless mess after the first wash. "Machine wash, lay flat to dry", and FLAT is all I'll ever get out this pillowcase-like disaster of a garment that's a bit too large.

  The pleating (or is that ruching/gathering?) that ran around the underarms washed out somehow, which left the sides hanging loose. To add to the mess, my lack of size "up top" let the cross-over front close up around my neck. It looked more like a kimono. The sleeveless design hung too far out on my shoulders, and it was not flattering to my figure. This top is a disaster

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Or... Is it? I did some digging in the yarn stash and found a suitable color to match...

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Worked up a quick "band" of 8 foundation double crochet...

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And (temporarily) joined it around the too-wide sleeve with a slip stitch to check for fit...

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I then pulled out the slip stitch and joined with a false stitch for a nice smooth join, and wove the tail through the bottom end to close...

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It looked like a mess on the table, so I tried it on before continuing. Not bad! Okay, time to repeat for the next side...

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  I still thought it looked horrible on the table. But then, it looked great on the hanger, didn't it? This is just that kind of garment that doesn't take its true shape until you put it on. The bands served their purpose to tighten up the sleeves, and it brought back some of the pleated look to the front of the shirt.

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As for what was left of the ball of scrap...

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  The Kid was hovering while I worked. I wasn't sure if she was after my shirt or the fuzzy-soft yarn, so I offered up the yarn. She commenced practicing her pom-pom making skills. Having never made them with bulky-weight yarn, she seemed inspired to work with a new material. I was impressed by her idea. The cat... Well... Lucky was about as excited as I am with clothes shopping. I promise I gave her extra treats to make up for this indignity.

Happy Crocheting!

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