Many months back when I had the blessing of some JoAnn Fabric’s gift card cash, I purchased a couple new patterns and fabrics. The first project became my Vogue dress that I posted about here- Selfish Saturday Morning Sewing


The second birthday gift project has taken a little longer to reach the finish line.

When I purchased the materials for this second project the transition from the warm summer months to cooler Fall temperatures had me thinking about the winter clothes boxes that would soon need to be dug out of the attic for the bi-annual closet change-over. Living in a small house with minimal closet space means that out of season clothing must be packed away to make room for current season items. Within those winter boxes were the same long sleeved shirts that were showing their age after having been worn for several years. It seemed like the perfect time to add a new long sleeved shirt to my closet, not to mention the gift money burning a hole in my pocket,

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and an exciting new McCall’s  pattern to try out.

McCall’s 7018

After doing some pattern measuring and comparison to my favorite well-worn shirts, I made some adjustments to the pattern with the biggest change being 5 inches taken out of the length of the shirt front and back.

Once the pattern tissue changes were made, the cutting and sewing went very quickly. This shirt is designed to be made from a knit fabric which eliminates a lot of the precision required in steps like setting in the sleeve.

However, with the shirt construction completed two roadblocks emerged. The first was remedied quickly. It seemed, after holding the constructed shirt in my hands, that removing 5 inches from my shirt length was a little over zealous. Without being hemmed the finished length would be acceptable, but my shirt needed a hem and I have no interest in returning to the crop-top fashion of 1990s. To resolve this problem, I added a band of fabric to the hem line and then finished the sleeves hems in the same manner.


The second obstacle to declaring this a finished garment was choosing buttons. Buttons become a focal point on a shirt and take it from frumpy to fabulous with a careful selection. My first thought was to use snaps. But with limited color choices and the uncertainty of having an on-line snap order be the color match I was looking for, the decision of using snaps(after two weeks of searching) was scrapped and the buttons shopping kicked into high gear.

Again my vision for this blouse included matching the button color to the fabric, and again, progress was brought to a halt. You know the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Yah, that was me. Over and over I stopped at my local JoAnn Fabrics, holding up my fabric swatch with a button hole slit, trying all the dark red/burgundy buttons. And, over and over I walked away unsatisfied by the visual effect of each choice. So, I expanded my color choices to black and then finally to metal buttons, settling on silver.





And so, it is finished. I have worn it once so far…it is comfortable to wear…has long sleeves…a color I like…has buttons…BUT…it just doesn’t look like my original vision. I can’t decide if my lukewarm attitude is a result of the finished creation being different from my vision or if I just have a hard time being excited about everyday, ordinary clothes. The finished shirt doesn’t have a WOW factor. Silly, I know. Maybe when it comes out of storage in the Fall I will say, “WOW! A new, comfortable shirt, sure glad I finished that project!”

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The start of a new year brings with it the idea of making lists. As we open that new calendar with 365 unmarked boxes we are bombarded with endless ideas of how to best fill those wide-open empty boxes ripe with potential. And so, the writing of (or, for those more with the modern times, Alexa or Siri type) new lists begins for a fresh new year.

A little research of list making on-line turns up a multitude of list possibilities. You have the ordinary kinds:

  • Shopping List
  • To Do List
  • Honey Do List
  • Chore List
  • Bucket List

In addition, I found some more specific list prompts:

  • Wedding Guest List
  • Vacation Destination List
  • You Tube Video Idea List
  • Making Lists List

But, then I found list ideas that just…, well you decide:

  • 50 thoughts that can motivate you to do anything

Hmm…?…but can they motivate me to make yet another list?

  • Ways your are Energized List

OK,…”making a list” probably won’t be a bullet point on my Energized List.

  • 50 greatest shower thoughts of all time 

Shower thoughts??? 50???? What do I do with that list??? Will that list be used to incriminate me someday???

My relationship with list making has always been a Love/Hate kind of journey. The logical left brain part of my thinking embraces the act of writing down the tornado of thoughts swirling in my head, making them visible, getting them out of my head and listed in a neat orderly fashion ready for the conquering.

Unfortunately, the moment the ideas are neatly arranged, ready for completing, and successfully checking off all the list’s boxes(holding my breath in anticipation…), my right brain looks at that list masterpiece, celebrates the completion of a beautifully written list, and proceeds to set off on a random new path that is not on any perfectly penciled list.

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Recently I listened to the author Marilyn McEntyre speak about her new book, Make A List.

“What if the practice of list-making could help us discover who we truly are and even point us to our deepest joys, hopes, and desires?” 

Cover art

Make a List, author Marilyn McEntyre

Mrs. McEntyre spoke peacefully and passionately about her new book on this idea of lists changing the way we view ourselves. As I continue in this “second half” of my time on this planet, I find the question of who I am and what is my purpose more and more important. Finding ways to discover “joys, hopes and desires,” sounds like a great tool to put on my

•Books to Read List

2018 lies wide open in front of us, our calendar boxes are 300+ blank canvases waiting for inspiration, waiting for purpose, waiting for living to be had! Plans, hopes, wishes, all lining up to be lived, and possibly listed.

Sharpen up your pencils, (or wake up Alexa!), lace up your sneakers! Lists or not, another spin around the sun is underway. Let’s make it great! Happy New Year!

•Wish People Happy New Year 

•Write a new blog post 

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