Thursday, 13 March 2014

Those embellishments.

I have the situation almost under control again - I managed to battle the obstinate embellishment successfully yesterday.

Let me bring you up to speed. The red dress (of which you've seen the buttons) is supposed to have a silk trimming, in a nicely contrasting colour (bright yellow, in this case) around the neck opening. Now... narrow trimmings are no problem, but this one, inspired by the artwork in the Manesse codex, should rather be a wide one. And the silk, being not stiff (as most modern silks are), was putting on a bit of a fight.

Add to this the other minor delays due to other things, my being quite tired when I was first trying to tackle it, and you have something like "I won't get finished in time" panic. (The schedule for this project is very, very tight anyways.)

Now... I know that embellishments take an unnaturally long time (just like rows of buttons). That's their nature - they just do it. Sewing silk is slower work than wool, too. There's always the effect that when you are doing textile work that is more than just a tiny little bit of work, something crops up and stuff takes longer than foreseen, or is suddenly more complicated. (All the textile crafters I know agree on this. We try to figure this in best we can... but it won't always work.) So I had planned accordingly.

However, when the thing did not want to lie flat, as it was supposed to... well. Let's say the worst thing about stuff like that happening, when you are working on your own, is not the fact that something will take a bit longer, or that you might have to re-do a bit of the work. The worst thing is that you can start doubting yourself, and your planning, and start to slide into the gentle onset of not-so-gentle panic... which is, ironically, not a good state of mind to tackle a problematic piece of work. (Jim C. Hines, coincidentally, has the perfect accompanying blog post about this today.)

So I did what I had to do: took a deep breath, tried to be gentle with myself yesterday, and worked on another piece for a bit. And then, when I revisited that facing... it wasn't that bad and hopeless after all. A little tweaking here, a little finagling there, a bit of trimming, some coffee and a few sighs (and using way, way more pins that I usually do!), and it turned out okay.

Which means that I'm feeling a lot better today, and that things are starting to feel back under control. Whew. I shall now proceed back to the lovely surcot I'm working on and get things completely back under control (or something close enough) so I can also catch up on my desk work a bit today.

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