Friday, May 10, 2013

Miss Babcock’s Mystery Pattern, a failure

 

Remember this?  This pattern is from something called Pattern Department.  I know, right?  I mean, isn’t that just so evocative?  It is style 4652.  It was mail ordered at some point in the past—there is no date on the postmark—by a Miss Babcock from Wellsville.  She sent away for it through an ad in the newspaper, and then never made the dress.  I found it in the thrift store for 95 cents. 

DSCF2271a 

Isn’t it cute?  Oh, I was hopeful.  I had in mind a lovely little thing, fitted in the bodice with well-placed darts and a full-ish skirt, and I would trim it with vintage buttons, maybe some lace at the armholes.  Imagine white gloves, a pillbox hat.  Wicker purse.  American Church Picnic, c.1958.  What happened instead is that I spent the whole day on it, something like seven hours, and the house got completely trashed, you know, as it does when one sews, when little bits of thread and pieces of ravelly fabric get cut loose from their moorings and then cling to your socks and sweater, and pins are on the floor, and I hunched feverishly over the machine--my beloved Miss Kastner, who has never led me astray—and we toiled over this thing, sussing out the bizarre vintage instructions and making our own bias facing with no help at all, just the words, “make a bias facing.”  I even installed a zipper, for crying out loud.  And then, it was just a shapeless sack.   It was so awful, every part of it was ugly.  I couldn’t even laugh.  Wearing it, I looked like a bunch of raccoons trapped in a sleeping bag.  Not one dart was in the right place.  It hung listlessly.  It looked like it was wet.  The fabric was thrifted too, probably some kind of rayon, so who cares about that, but a whole day, gone.  I peeled off the horrible dress and flung it away, cursed the wasted precious hours, and mopped the kitchen floor, sweating and furious.  That always makes me feel better, and now I do feel better. 

There will be a finished blanket, soon.  Those don’t have to fit a person.  You know?  Moving on.

17 comments:

  1. Holy smokes what a day! Bias facing and a zipper! Your vision for dress sounded lovely. The racoon part, not so good. Too bad it didn't work out.
    And whatever happened to Miss Babcock? Why didn't she make the dress? Did she put a curse on the pattern? If you give the pattern back to the thrift store will the curse continue?
    There is a story in there somewhere.
    Enjoy your blanket.

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  2. So much effort..it's heartbreaking when the results are rubbish. I understand completely, I've had days like that too!

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  3. I am impressed you gave it a go, you are right move on to beautiful, colorful, yummy yarn.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  4. oh...too bad...I totally pictured you in it when you first blogged about it


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  5. I know how bad that is. A whole day...and then it doesn't fit properly :( I hope you don't give up on sewing though... Have a fabulous day! m.

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  6. Sometimes sewing just sucks!!!!
    In physics there is a saying: for every action there is an equal or greater reaction.... so rather than mourn the lost day, dress etc..... count on something of equal or greater JOY arriving soon for YOU!
    And btw: Happy Mother's Day Dearie!!!!

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  7. Oh no...I can't believe anything you'd make would turn out badly! It must have been a real fluke of a day, but I have to admit, you did make me giggle a bit, especially the part about the whole house getting messy from stuff sticking to your socks. I hate that! ;)

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  8. Dear Kristen,

    May I ask what is going to or has already happened to the shapeless mess? I was wondering if there would be even more redemption if it was cut into little centimetre squares and donated to a children's kindergarten so that they could use it when pasting a picture collage. Now that would be sweet revenge, wouldn't it? Only problem is, that it was the shapeless pattern, and not the material that wasted your precious day.............

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  9. Methinks Miss Babcock had the same sort of day and that's why the pattern ended up at the thrift store! Do not be despondent, however! You can (and will) rise above this! Be strong. Be proud. And most of all Kristen, EAT SOME CAKE!!!!! Much love. xxx

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  10. Hang on while I just wipe my eyes, you have certainly made me laugh out loud! Sounds like the kind of failure I would have when trying to make a garment of any sort! I used to be able to do it, so why can't I do it now?
    Like you, I think I'll stick to the blankets!
    Angie x

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  11. I am laughing too - but not at you! Raccoons? small furry animal?! I have never seen one but it certainly made me laugh. That whole scenario happens to me with knitting more than sewing and that is months of my evening time gone on a big saggy, woolly thing that I wreck on the first wash. Some you win some you lose... Jo x

    http://joeveryday19.blogspot.co.uk/

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  12. I've just read this out to my man and we both laughed, I'm afraid. It's the great writing (racoons?!) not the frustration at an experiment gone wrong, obviously.

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  13. PS: perhaps this is why the mysterious Miss Babcock didn't make the pattern up - maybe a friend got there first and warned her not to waste the time?!

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  14. yes,it happens to all of us.....

    Kath

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  15. Oh how I laughed at this post, not at your misfortune of course, but it just rings so true. I start every sewing project, glad of heart, bursting with the possibility of creating a true haute couture garment. The reality? As you say a trashed house and a broken heart. It usually involves crying too - hey ho what larks!!!

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  16. Ohhh. I'm disappointed it didn't work too - and I didn't spend all that time working on it. I love the look of the pattern... Could the fabric have had any effect on it? Could something like a voil work? Did you throw the pattern out?
    Sheree

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