Aster Sewists Beware: Gratitude Ahead

I’ve had trouble writing posts lately. I realized today I’m feeling entirely deflated by the political climate, both here in Ontario and abroad. Once upon a time I naively thought that political processes in my part of the world could, for the most part, be conducted with reason and civility, with evidence at the heart of decision-making. How quickly that changed. Anyway, I’m not here to discuss politics, but I’m having a hard time writing about sewing. (Maybe it’s because I’ve diverted so much of my writing time to writing letters to various Ministers and Members of Provincial Parliament.) I thought maybe just focusing on some of the many things I have to be grateful for — along with pics and a few comments about my Aster top from Colette — might help me get started. So here goes.

I’m grateful I know how to sew! Sewing is a superpower. I amaze myself as well as others with this superpower! It’s a great creative outlet, and creativity is a way to feel empowered in a world that can sometimes seem like its purpose is to make us feel helpless and defeated.

colette_Aster6_cropped

I’m grateful for the sewing community! In a sea of troll-infested internet waters, the sewing community is a tropical paradise island. The fabric I used for this blouse was a purchase I made at Mood in Los Angeles when I met my very good sewing friend Helena for the first time in person. How wonderful it is to forge friendships with people near and far over this shared passion of ours.

Frivolous at Last - Colette Aster top

Speaking of online friendships, please send our Clothes Making Mavens contributor Barbara Emodi some good vibes — her daughter was recently diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder. I’m grateful to know Barbara and to read about her positivity and belief in the strength of her family in the face of adversity.

colette_Aster4

On an upcoming podcast episode, Barbara gives me some tips on making a bias tape-faced neckline lie flat. I had some problems with this neckline laying flat, and had to take a couple of tucks in at the shoulder seam to get it to behave. Now that I look back at the pattern photos, I can see that this was even a bit of a problem on one of their sample garments! I found the neckline to be almost too wide. However, I did read an online review from someone who had sewn a larger size than I did who found the neckline smaller than it looked in the pattern photos. So maybe Colette didn’t do a great job of scaling the neckline to be proportional to individual sizes. Aster sewists beware.

I ended up with some unfinished bit of bias tape on the inside of the neckline, because the instructions tell you to sew it on, leaving 1/2 an inch extra at each end. These ends are *supposed* to be tucked into the button band facings afterwards. But since the pattern does not come with a marking to indicate where exactly to fold over the button facings, I took a guess and made them too narrow. So I couldn’t catch my bias ends underneath. Aster sewists beware.

Colette_Aster_CU

I’m writing this on the last official weekend of the summer, which has graced Toronto with lots of heat and sun to enjoy. And I’ve spent the weekend in the company of good friends who fill my spiritual tank with joy and pump up the mercury on my well-being meter. I’m full of gratitude for this!

Frivolous at Last - Colette Aster top

I taught my first few classes of the new academic year in the last couple of weeks, and I’m so happy to have a job that I *adore*, mentoring young storytellers in the art and craft of producing media. Livin’ the dream, people, livin’ the dream! Loads of gratitude over here.

colette_Aster6

A last comment about the Aster: the sleeves are very narrow. I had to let out the seam allowance for some breathing space, even on my puny little pipe-cleaner arms. Aster sewists beware.

Frivolous at Last - Colette Aster top

You know what else I’m grateful for? Grey and pink colour schemes. Perfectly matching buttons, discovered after scrounging around in an incomprehensibly-stuffed button store. Little dots that look pixel-like, which resolve into a cool, stylized floral print. Yipee!

Frivolous at Last - Colette Aster top

And I’m also grateful that you stopped by to read what I have to say and have a look at my new make. I’m grateful you’re there. Thanks!

— Lori

 

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29 thoughts on “Aster Sewists Beware: Gratitude Ahead

  1. I think I have this pattern tucked away in a box somewhere… there was something about the way that top button closure always looked that stopped me every time I considered making it. Reading your blog I doubt I will EVER make it ๐Ÿ˜‰ even though yours of course is lovely.

    My heart is with you Ontarians these days but as my brother (who lives in KW) says, “Progressives always underestimate the power of the right.” And it’s true. So many progressives I know were saying before the election, “There is no way Ontario will vote in Doug Ford!” And I would say, “Yeah that’s what the Democrats said about Trump before the election.” But while progressive Ontarians were feeling sanctimonious, high and mighty and intellectually robust compared with their ninkompoop neighbours to the south, they were missing the writing on the wall right in front of them.

    We’ll see a rerun of this in next year’s federal election. At the very least Sheerer will score a minority gov’t then a majority just like Harper. It’s inevitable because even now progressives are hugely underestimating the power of all that campaign money (12.5 mil & counting now that they’ve successfully scored another umpteen millions from Arabia – double what the liberals have and almost 10 times what the NDP has never mind the Greens!!) the conservatives already have in their coffers to fight the good fight ๐Ÿ™‚ So Ontario, and soon Alberta will have a jump on the rest of us as the whole country swings back to right once again because that’s what this country has done for as long as I’ve been breathing in it which is going on 64 years ๐Ÿ™‚ Why do people vote for parties that will form a gov’t that has no interest in their welfare? That’s a mystery I will never understand.

    I just had to say my heart is with you and my loved ones now struggling to survive this round with the right which is (so it would seem) worse than ever imagined. Sewing does hold such magic for us especially in times when we feel as though we have too little control over much else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lori,
    Thank you for another great post! I am grateful that we, sewing people, can share not only our passion for sewing, but our passion for our country/countries and all the things that matter. It’s great to realize that people you never met but respect and admire from afar feel the same as I about both a sewing pattern and the political situation.
    The top looks great on you! Congratulations on your patience and perseverance to make everything that could have gone wrong work for you at the end. You must be a great teacher!
    Enjoy the last days of summer. Ottawa is equally hot and very humid so I can see how a top like this one could be a very useful make right now.
    Warm regards,
    Inna

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lori, I love your Aster, and I’m especially interested having just purchased one of the last printed patterns!
    Do you think your problems had anything to do with sizing? (FYI: I’ve never made a Colette pattern.) I often have neck gaping problems, even with the chest fitting properly. (What is with that?) Is this generally a problem for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Melody. I don’t *generally* have a problem with necklines gaping, but I am small around the shoulders so sometimes I have to take arm scye (arm hole) seams in or shorten between the shoulder and bust. However, if you look at the fit of this blouse, you’ll see that the arm scyes are already quite a ways in from my actual shoulder point, which means it is on the small side in this area, but the neckline is still overly wide. So I’m thinking this is just a not-so-well drafted pattern. However, it’s not *terrible*, and I was able to fix the neckline with some after-the-fact tucks at the shoulder seams which are pretty much invisible, so I don’t want to discourage you from trying the pattern. Just make sure you leave about 2 inches of extra bias tape at each end and you should be good. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m wondering if you need to go with a size that fits you around the shoulders and do a full bust adjustment to get patterns to fit you better, based on what you’re describing? Just a thought.

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  4. First things first, your top is lovely. It has simple lines but is feminine. I feel your pain in the political arena. I live in Michigan and am still slightly shocked and totally devastated at the embarrassment we have for a president. I just have to shake my head (continually). I can only hope things don’t get any worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel you, Leigh. I also feel that we can’t just shake our heads, that we really need to be active about turning the ship around. Seriously, politicians who believe they are all-powerful, who undermine the judicial system, who make up laws and legislation based on nothing but petty whims, and who then tell people what the press is writing about them is all fake…well, it just makes me realize that people shouldn’t wonder how dictatorships get started. We need to treat democracy like the precious thing that it is and fight for it. (But I totally understand the need to sometimes just ignore it all…it can get to be too much.)

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    2. And I am overwhelmingly grateful to hear those feeling expressed from a Michigander. I spent some magical childhood years there, but Iโ€™ve been worried about the state for a while. I hate to hear about the changes and rumblings from Canada as well. It is good to know that a changing political face is not who all of us are.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m grateful for you! It’s a challenging time to be a teacher right now, and I think we all just feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop! Glad we have sewing to keep our mind optimistic in other ways!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Too much right wing crap happening all over the world. It’s deeply depressing and alarming…at least as teachers we have the chance to open some young minds, nudge others, challenge the worst. Oh my, but that’s liberal brainwashing of course. Whatever.
    We shall prevail!
    Pretty top, but Colette Schmolette, Tilly Schmilly. Just use Vogue and StyleArc ffs. lolling all over the shop xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And life is too short to waste time on poorly drafted patterns. I’d include Jalie and Itch to Stitch on your short list of well-drafted patterns, too. And a bunch of others but then it’s not so much a short list anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello, Lori! I’d like to know more about your political trouble. I am catalan, so I totally understand what you mean, but I feel ignorant about your problems in Canada. I only know you have a handsome president, quite progressive and democratic… but I might be totally wrong… I’d like to learn more. I don’t know if this is the place for that though…
    Glad to hear you have friends and a fantastic job. Lucky, lucky girl!
    Your blouse is lovely and you look great in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been following a bit about what’s happening in Spain, but we don’t get a lot of detail in our news about that here. Sound like the Catalonians may have a lot in common with Quebecers here in Canada.
      Where to start with your question about what’s going on here? I’ll try to keep it short and hopefully clear. We recently elected a conservative government in the province of Ontario. The Premier, Doug Ford — a populist politician who didn’t have an actual platform when he ran in the election, other than to ‘save money’ and to make beer cheaper — used to be a city councillor in Toronto, and made a few enemies among the other city councillors while he was there. The Province has power over individual city councils and one of the first pieces of legislation Doug Ford’s party tried to pass was to cut the number of city councillors in Toronto in half. However, he did this with only a couple of months to go until a city council election, so this of course threw everything into chaos with people already having registered to run in the election, and raised funds for their campaigns, etc. A Provincial court ruled that the plan infringed on our rights, based on our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Doug Ford then decided to use what’s called the “notwithstanding clause” — which has never been used in this province before and is meant as a loophole in the case of extreme emergencies, when it would be necessary to override some rights in order to maintain, say, safety, security, or something equally important — to go against the court ruling and get the legislation through. So there’s two huge issues here: Doug Ford is carrying out a petty, personal vendetta against Toronto city council. No other city councils in the entire province are being asked to reduce their size for the sake of “efficiency”, as Doug Ford insists this is all bout. The move reduces Torontonians’ access to democracy by doubling the number of people that each councillor would represent. But beyond that, the much bigger issue is his utter disregard for both the judiciary and democracy. No matter whether you feel Toronto city council should be cut in half or not becomes totally beside the point, when you have a premier who is willing to override our rights as laid out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms just to get his own petty way on a frivolous issue. He could just appeal the court ruling, and wait until the next city election to cut the council. But no, he is such a man-baby that he’s willing to do anything to get his way, democracy and rights and courts be damned. I find the situation terrifying.
      That wasn’t really short at all, but hopefully gives you some idea. Thanks for letting me vent a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Aha!! Thank you for your briefing… now you let me wondering what caused Ontarians to vote conservative… Priece of beer?! Usually, when people vote the right is because they are unhappy about their lot…?

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  9. I’m so with you on the political climate. I can’t vote anywhere and am left to watch in horror. I still can’t quite wrap my head around how Ontario managed to vote for Doug f-ing Ford. And I’m worried about what will happen in Quebec. Legault isn’t as bad as Ford at least but still very worrisome. It’s so frustrating! I’ve been doing what I can where I live to push for progressive legislation (took a break over the Summer though and should get back into it; it’s exhausting!)

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  10. I made this top, PDF version, with a less drapey fabric and it has not seen any wear yet. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ For me the sleeve openings are too big. I am large busted and had to choose my size around that. So it is a much “boxy-er” look than the shirt on the cover model. (I swear you’d think by now in my mid 50’s that I would know how clothing will look on a large breasted woman vs. small!)

    I did check the guts of my shirt and think possibly that the directions were corrected for the PDF version vs. the paper pattern as my bias tape is nicely tucked in. My inside review also caused me to remember why I didn’t take in the sides to make it fit better… FRENCH SEAMS!!! aughhh! Your version is lovely and your fabric is a better choice for this pattern.

    I won’t even get started on this political discussion though…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so grateful to the teachers that are continuing to teach things like consent and cyberbullying – and the actual names of body parts! I still can’t figure out who would have actually wanted the dog’s breakfast that the province is trying to foist off on schools.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Where were your comments when Obama bypassed the Legislative process and issued more Presidential Executive Orders than any U.S. president in history.? Just on his whim? Oh that ‘s right – it doesn’t fit the narrative you are pushing. To all the crybabies “worried” and “fearful”, please elaborate as to how your life has become this “living hell” you all moan about. Just what has been done to you? How are you lacking? Do you have food on the table, can you travel, are you able to vote, can you get a job? Moaners gonna be moaners – too bad, though, it really demeans your blog to see this political crying on a blog supposedly dedicated to sewing. But it is noted there are a lot of “highly educated”. (their description of themselves) women without a word to say about the havoc and mess created by the likes of Trudeau, Obama, Merkel, et. al.

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    1. Hi H. Kaya. Your comments sound more like general frustration rather than a direct response to me or anything I’ve actually written here. For example, you’re not actually holding me responsible for the actions of a US President, I assume. And no where have I stated that my life is a “living hell” or that I am “highly educated”, so if you’d like to complain about those things you might try finding a blog that actually contains those things first. I prefer it if people are going to make negative comments that it’s *actually* in response to something specific I have said or done. Lastly, as a former journalist, I can’t let misinformation stand. Obama did not issue more Executive Orders than any other president in history. The number of presidential orders issued is clearly laid out here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php
      Looks like Franklin D Roosevelt is the all-time ‘winner’ with over 3700, while Obama issued 276. There have been 15 presidents in US history who issued more executive orders than Obama. Thanks for providing an opportunity for me to learn something new about US presidential history.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. well now said
    Hereโ€™s a competing theory:
    People who go on and on and on about how nice they are, are usually jerks. Because actually good people donโ€™t need to talk about it. o

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  14. I am grateful for your blog, and that I get to read your words. I read all of your posts (but have not commented before).

    I am grateful that you choose to write then and share them. You have inspired me to self educate and take action about certain things you have been passionate about.

    I hope your feelings shift again to a more content/satisfied place again soon.

    PS Iโ€™m from Australia and for now have given up on worrying about politics in general since it doesnโ€™t feel like it makes a difference anyway. Iโ€™m sure this general apathy will change by the time the next federal election rolls around though

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rhiannon! Your comment really means a lot to me. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Sometimes for self-sanity we have to ignore all the craziness — sometimes for really long periods of time — but I hope you won’t stop doing what you can for justice in the long run.
      Best wishes.

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  15. Thank you Lori. Great review and even better commentary. You are so right. Sometimes I think that democracy is like a marriage. You canโ€™t take it for granted. It takes work. It takes compromise. It means being honest, and that means no fake news. =) Thank you for your respectful and measured response and I learned something new too about FDR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Marie. Fake news and our willingness to believe/share misinformation without checking the facts will be the death of us. So frustrating.

      Like

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