… more accurately I’m understanding designers and others in the “rag trade” who have moments that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.
I started working on my Summer 6 PAC before I even finished my Spring 6PAC and that was way back in February. It started when 2 fabrics I wouldn’t normally combine happened to end up together in the stash after a quick restack/reorg. At first I hung the 2 fabrics on seperate hangers and into my closet with the ironing. As the days went by, and I continued to work on my Spring 6PAC, I kept “finding” fabrics in my stash that would work well with the 2 summer fabrics; and I kept hanging those in my closet along side the first 2 fabrics.
As an aside here, a 6PAC is a 6 Piece Collection of garments that are coordinated and form a core wardrobe for the season they are named after. The goal is sewing 6 core garments each quarter/season of the year to end up in a year’s time with a core wardrobe that will take you through all of your life’s activities. It is feasible to expect that if you keep up the core sewing every year, your closet will be stuffed with core wearables. These are basic, color coordinated, core pieces we are talking about. You should still expect to add eye-catching garments or non-core colors or shapes. For example a red skirt would not be a core garment either color or shape for me. But red is popular this year. After I complete my 6 PAC of core clothing, I can still make or buy that red skirt. If that’s what I want to wear. But the concept is sewing/adding 6 core pieces that you will wear, appropriate for the season, and color coordinated through-out the year; building season after season and year after year so that you are always beautifully and appropriately clothed. If your interest is piqued by this concept, I encourage you to read the full discussion at this Stitcher’s Guild Thread
My ideal Summer 6PAC would include a long-sleeved but light-weight blouse/wrap/cover, 3 tops (tank, sleeveless and cap/short sleeve), 1 pair of pants with long legs (could be jeans or trousers) but again light-weight and a pair of shorts. I need light-weight, but full-body covering for summer. I need protection from the sun. I get 2nd degree sunburns if I’m not careful and I mean large, watery blisters every place that can burn. At the same time, most offices are set for artic tempertures quite similar to the experience of digging ice cream out of the freezer sections. People work in those temperatures all day long. Fortuntely, I’m not retired. Most of my day is spent is warmth, but I do occasionally still visit an office and the grocery store. When have you not heard someone mention an “unseasonable cold”? Happens every summer. So to me that means, I also need those long sleeves and long legged pants to keep me warm. But I expect triple-diget temperatures for at least 2 weeks every summer. The rest of summer will be between 80 and 99 degrees. Which is still warm enough to want to remove some clothing. So I do need shorts and cooling tops.
But back to my moment. I had continued adding fabrics until there were 8-10 fabrics hanging together, waiting to be chosen. Louise Cuttings new pattern My Hearts A Flutter:
Inspired my first Summer 6 PAC Garments. I was making the shell out of a cotton crepe and the overblouse out of a beautiful sheer. However, the sheer was eaten by my serger. This serger is only 2 years old and has never previously eaten anything. Why now when there isn’t enough fabric to recover? Why? I don’t know but it did have me panicing. The shell was already embroidered to coordinate with the overblouse and the first fabrics selected. One of those fabrics is already made into Trudy Jansen Jeans pattern 906. I needed the sheer blouse. It was to be my lightweight wrap. It was supposed to tie the whole grouping together. I needed to recover from this loss. Buying more of the sheer fabric didn’t seem to be a solution. I don’t exactly remember where I purchased it, but I think it was a Hancock’s sale about a year ago. I did consider purchasing a coordinating piece by going to the Textiles Store in Mitchell. That store has never disappointed me. I might have to pay a few $$$, but if I want something specific, this is where I can find it. Before the trip though, I started cleaning up the sewing and stash rooms. Yes I completed the shell and had time on my hands so cleaning up seemed to be the solution. The stash shelves were once again in disarray and, since I had time on my hands, I start refolding the worst of the shelves. And I start pulling fabrics out thinking, “this might work”. Eventually I had about 45 different fabrics that “might work” to replace the sheer and another 12 that would work in a different colorway/collection.
I have 2 of 6 garments complete. The long pants are done. The sleeveless top is done. I need 4 more not 45. That’s when I began having my moment. I went from panic to hysteric. How was I to choose? First I decide I need fabric for shorts. I’d prefer not to cut a 3 yard piece of fabric for shorts. So I sort through the pant-worthy fabrics and find the only piece that is a mere 1.5 yards and perfect for shorts. The other 6 pieces get refolded and put back on the shelves. Then I start searching for the other 2 tops. One fabric was definitely in. I mean it was the other fabric which started this collection it had to be in. Then I compared carefully to see which of my other fabrics coordinated best. Whoa and another 20 fabrics back on the shelf. I’m down to 3 fabrics for the 2 needed blouses. I may just go ahead and make all 3 fabrics, but at this point I start trying to determine which of the remaining fabrics would be best for the overblouse. I de-select a few, but can’t eliminate all.
I’ve spent about 3 hours comparing fabrics thinking “better now, better before; better or worse; better now better….” You get it, the optometrist method. Last night I arranged the fabrics, including the scraps from the frist 2 garments, on my cutting table. The pants are at the bottom with possible tops placed on the upper third of the pant fabrics and then the possible blouse/wraps wrapped around it all. Although I’ve winnowed out lots of fabrics, I was now exhausted and unable to make final decisions. Unable to go forward or backwards or, or, or
I was having a moment.