It’s been over a year since I told you I was going to learn how to sew my own shirts. For a while, I thought I could get away with simply learning how to cut them, but unfortunately, I’ve run into a major glitch: when three separate expert seamstresses in three separate locations sew the fabric pieces that I give them, the final results vary from my specs in three separate ways. I’ve tried everything but sew the shirts myself to figure out what is going wrong.

I’m SO fortunate that the affected customers have stuck with me while we fix the shirts to fit the way I’ve promised, but as you can imagine, I’m frustrated. Sometimes I wonder if this is a sign that I should pack it all in and get a job working for someone else . . . which puts me face to face with this maxim.


I’m faced with two possible changes–look for a job or learn to sew. This is why, after working up my courage via the Henley top alterationI finally sewed my first collar a week and a half ago. The points aren’t sharp enough, and the seam shouldn’t be visible on top, but I finally stopped worrying and started doing. And then we went on vacation (which is why you didn’t hear from me last week)!

my first collar 1

I’ll probably bore you with more of my little triumphs in the months ahead because this is a big deal for me. Of course, from one little imperfect collar, my brain is already jumping to other sewing ideas (wait till I show you the thrift shop dress I found last week–I want to take it apart and copy it. Why no, I haven’t finished my purple sweater yet. Why do you ask?), so I must force myself to concentrate on one little step at a time.

This leads me to share an excellent book that I finished recently called ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. If you tend to underestimate time or get overwhelmed and easily distracted, then I highly recommend this book! I discovered it in the comments to a recent Corporette weekend thread, and already it’s making a giant difference in how I approach my day. My tendency to underestimate time is one reason you may read fewer posts from me while I tackle my shirt-sewing challenge. (I’ve also started taking a beginning Spanish class so that I can communicate better with my Ecuadorian-American seamstress, which is another reason you may see less from me for a while.)

I can’t think of a good transition to the other great book I just finished, but if you have ever wondered about the effects of trauma on children’s brains, then you must read The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog. My husband and I are taking a workshop to research whether we want to adopt a foster child, and the workshop leader told us this was the very best book for understanding the life experiences of most foster children. Even if I never apply what I’ve read in a parent-child situation, this book is changing the way I relate to the people around me, knowing that everyone has experiences in their past that affect how they act today.