Vestiges of Energy

Being ill makes everything hard. Showering, going somewhere, standing upright, and certainly being creative. But craft projects take forethought, planning, and adaptation for everyone. In a world of a million distractions, they are plain difficult to get around to.

But if you are on the lookout, you’ll pick up tips and tricks that can help facilitate your creativity, such as scheduling a time of day or finding a tools that suits your needs. An adjustable lap desk has been a huge win for me. Oh, how my grey matter does love oxygen. 

Crafting takes a little more effort. Body relaxation meditations make me feel a skosh better (as well as digest), so if I’m to do any crafting, I plan to do it right after meditation. I frequently set a ‘sitting up’ timer while I’m stitching, sketching, or painting so I don’t go for too long and destroy what little good feelings I have. After fifteen to twenty minutes of work, I take a break, and if I’m lucky, I get another go at it, but oftentimes not. And I’m learning to be okay with that. 

Any progress is still progress, and believe it or not, you do get things done if you are regular about it. Any time and energy I spend creating something fun or beautiful is well spent, for myself and hopefully for others. So here’s an encouragement to you all: squeeze in time to create, even if you’re a busy mom with hoodlums running amok or a full-time student or employee. We all have the ability to make time for what is most important to us, and I hope you can make time for something that feeds your soul.

This past week I took on the challenge of making a vest. I love vests. I love the vintage look, the way I feel in them, and TMI, but I love not wearing bras. I know, I know, ‘Did we really need to know that?’ you ask. But for all you people out there who either are working from home or have congested lymph sites like me, it’s nice to have an alternative to your typical, constricting undergarments. 

Without further ado, we brave the intimidating realm of sewing!

I drew this pattern by tracing a vest I already owned, adding seam allowances, and adjusting the shape to my liking.

I then pinned and cut 2 of the front panel and 1 of the back in both my awesome corduroy and linen lining material.

Here I pinned the lining pieces together and tried it on to check the fit, after which I eyeballed and pinned where I wanted to add darts. 

I made sure they were fairly symmetrical and sewed them up. I then laid the matching corduroy front piece on top of the lining to make the dart on the outer layer in the same spot.

Once all darts were sewn, I matched each piece, lining and outer, right sides facing. I then sewed around each piece individually except where circled in the picture below. Those are where the parts will be joined later.

Here, I turned them right sides out, pinned the pieces together, and tried it on to check the fit. To join the parts, I folded in one rough edge a half-inch and tucked the other rough edge into the pocket, as shown. Finally, I ran a seam right over the top, closing the sandwich. I did this for both side seams and to join the straps. 

Almost there! 

I ran a seam a quarter of an inch from the outside edge to keep the layers from billowing and gave the portion around the neck a fancy stitch that I discovered on my mom’s machine. Last came the buttonholes and dragon buttons! Smaug, thou art demeaned to a fob!

Awesome dragon buttons!

Tada! It is finished!

I am extremely pleased and somewhat surprised it turned out so well. Phew!

If you set out on a crafting adventure, remind yourself that being creative is trial and error and more trial and more error. If you go into the endeavor expecting setbacks, they don’t knock the wind out of your sails. I had to pick three seams and a button stitch, adjust, reconnoiter, and overcome a major bobbin fiasco during this project. But they didn’t faze me as badly as similar problems have in the past. I honestly enjoyed the process and am glad to have made something I plan to wear regularly. 

Burn the bras, and then we’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard!

*Check out my Crafts page in the menu to see other things I’ve made. 

If you liked this post, let me know in the comments below, as well as any requests or suggestions. 

~ May the stars ever shine on your path.

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