Nov 21, 2009

11/21/09: Marking, Matching and Pinning - Oh My!

Do you know what that is on the left? Oh sure, it says Dritz Tracing Paper but guess what? It's at least 40 year old tracing paper. The wheel is in there, too. It scared me a little that I knew right where it was after at least 25 years on non-use, but I put my hands right on it this morning. I wondered if the paper would even transfer to the fabric, but it did the trick with no problems. I will probably replace this with the new stuff now that I need it again. No doubt this tracing paper dye contains a gazillion bad things. Please note it was only 75 cents at time of purchase, circa 1965. Dritz now sells this (with far less paper) for around 5 dollars!

The reason for finding this was that I needed to mark my fabric pieces with the important dots and other notations I would need when I started sewing the Phillip Bear. I had forgotten that part of sewing, so it was a good thing I took the class. That turned out to be one of many times I was grateful for the class this morning.

After I marked up the fabric pieces I began matching and pinning. This sounds simple enough but I started off with a huge issue that nearly stopped me in my tracks. Now those of you who know me really well already know I have a real problem with right and left, and along with that are some spacial issues - and that's being kind to myself. Although I have a vivid imagination, I don't see how things go together in my head. I write things down, I manipulate things, I mark up maps to get somewhere, draw things out on whiteboards at work ... I can not just visualize something concrete and "get it".  

I sat down and tried to match up the front of the bear to the back of the bear. I had a picture right in front of me as to how that would look. I could not duplicate that with the pattern pieces I had in front of me. I tried and tried. I could not do it. I moved into anxiety-panic mode. What if I cut all right sides and had no left sides? What if I had just ruined this shirt and there could be no bear? Gulp! 

I poured myself a glass of iced tea, took a few deep breaths, and put those pieces aside. I matched up the ears. No problem. I matched up the center of the face with the 2 sides, no problem. My breathing became easier. I matched up the back of the head with those two sides - it's working. I matched up the arms and the legs with great ease. No problems. No matching needed for the soles of the feet. I'm good. 

I took a look at the front and back with new-found confidence. I tried to pin the back to the front for one side. It didn't 't work. Then I tried the other side - no go. Big sigh. I saw that if I traded the two fronts then the pieces actually lined up and matched like they are supposed to. But ... this makes no sense to me because it means the pattern pieces that were cut right side up don't match each other. The front of the piece cut right side up matches with the back that was cut with the pattern piece that was cut right side down. This makes no logical sense to me and it really bothers my orderly little brain. However, it works and I must accept it for what it is. (Those of you who really know me know that I won't accept this and will wrestle with it until I do make sense of it, possibly losing sleep over it.)

The pictures below are the results of this morning's marking, matching and pinning session. Looks like I forgot to capture the ears in these pictures, but rest assured, Phillip Bear will have ears! Sewing and assembly and possibly event stuffing will be later in the day ... or tomorrow. Clicking on an image will enlarge it.

Front and back of head (right side)

Front and back of head



Front and Back of Body

Get out the machine, I'm ready to go!


  1. Sounds like you are well on your way, Mom! I still pull out my Daddy Bear when I need a big hug. He was well loved this week as I struggled with school stresses.

    I am quite confident that Phillip's family will be grateful to have their bear when you are done. And any of the learning blemishes that stand out to you will go unnoticed by those who just plan to love the bear.

    I'm so proud of you!

  2. Karen, your post came at just the right moment. I had a "bear" of a time getting the first paw on the leg. I'm taking a tea break now to relax my shoulders before I work on the other one. Thank heavens the front paws don't have separate pads! Nice to hear your Daddy Bear is still well loved.

  3. It looks great, Laurie. I remember using a Vogue pattern once that made absolutely no sense to me. And, I thought I was pretty experienced at sewing. It was the first step and I was completely, totally lost. The pieces were going together, but seemed to have nothing to do with the garment. Turns out Vogue was right, but it never made sense to me that they started with the step they did. I can't wait to see the finished bear. : )

  4. Just wanted to add I love the pearls, a very feminine touch and I plan on putting her in a seat belt on the way home!