After posting 3/08 #108 as one of my least-worn garments of 2008, I sat down the other night to consider the reasons why that might be. I liked the general design of the shirt, loved the collar, the pockets, the fabric. I liked the little glittery black buttons I found that set off the black striping in the fabric, but when I looked at it, they were the only thing that stood out as wrong.
This past Saturday was half-price day at the thrift store, and I went on a notion and button mission. I spent about $10 at the store, and in addition to buying a Ralph Lauren suit (which is asking nicely to be taken apart and remade), I bought several blouses and sweaters which had interesting buttons and which were in sufficiently ratty shape that I felt no remorse at cutting them up. One of those pieces was a gauzy white Express tunic with flat gold buttons that looked a little like coins. And they were small, about the size of the black buttons on my shirt.
In a few minutes, my black buttons had become gold buttons, and I liked the shirt a whole lot more. I wore it to work yesterday, got several compliments on it and felt pretty good - at least until I got home and looked at the picture that the receptionist took.
Honest and truly, it looked completely different when I looked in the mirror! And I'm not saying I think I look that bad, but I recognize that body. It's not mine; it's my mother's. I'm not happy about assuming my mom's vaguely fire hydrant shape in my mid-forties. I made fun of her for it, and apparently she left it to me. Thanks, mom. I've been getting back to the gym more frequently since the holidays ended, but if I needed a picture to put up on the fridge, this is it.
But I do like it the top itself. Instead of not wearing it, I'm going to wear it more often - but without a tank top underneath to bulk it up. I like the stretch shirting aspect of the top (I think one of the reasons my blouses tend not to be worn is that they're a little boxy); there just needs to be a little less of me in the shirt.
Considering that last week I was thinking about getting rid of this blouse, I'm now thinking about altering the pattern slightly and making it up in white, because it could be the start of a perfect TNT white shirt if it were (a) longer, (b) had a less distinctive collar, and (c) had regular cuffs. Which would make it not like this blouse anymore at all, so I think instead I'll keep the collar, lose the pockets, and add some length to the bottom. I also think I want to curve the hem instead of leaving it straight - I think that would be more flattering to my general shape. I also think one of the reasons the top makes me look a little thicker is because it ends at the wrong point. Nothing I can do about that now, but that's the joy of making another version.
On a less positive note, I spent the first part of 2009 making a very successful wadder. More about that later - whether or not it stays draped over Evelyn or ends up in the can is still up in the air.