Friday, February 24, 2017

An excuse

So I broke my wrist. Unless you have done this yourself, you likely are not completely aware of how very useful your wrists are. I wasn't either. Luckily it's my left wrist and I am right handed. However, that left hand? It's also extremely useful. It is a very good helper to that dominant hand. 

All those things I like to do: sewing, knitting, skiing, curling, swimming? All off the agenda for 6 weeks. My timing? Impeccably bad: the first day of my annual 5 weeks of leave from my office job. During which I planned to do what, you might ask? Answer: sew, knit, ski, curl and swim. 


I BEGGED to go back to work, believe me. I will take my time off after I heal, thank you very much! (At least I can still think; and my typing while awkward is improving.)

So, I'm three weeks in. My wrist is definitely getting stronger. I thought, perhaps I could sew something. And I did. I made this top. It took me at least three times as long as it would if I had two fully functional wrists, but I did it. 
#111, December 2005

This is a pattern from an ancient Burda World of Fashion magazine (December, 2005, #111) that I've been meaning to make for ... 11.5 years apparently. I finally got around to it. 

As Burda conceived this top, it was made from a woven (front cut on bias) and it had a waist band/tie affair. I made it from a knit (thin, drapey) and lengthened it to be a regular hemmed knit top. 

As is usual, I ignored Burda's actual instructions and improved the garment. I doubled the shoulder/sleeve pieces instead of making them as Burda instructs (fold edges and topstitch). I used some white power mesh for the second layer rather than self fabric since I wanted them to be firm and stable but didn't want any show through. I used a strip of self fabric (cut lengthwise from the selvedge) to create a firm edge at the back neck and under the arms (Burda called for bias strips here). 

And I extended the self facing at the cowl edge to make it deeper/more weighty and to allow for a clean finish at the junction with the front edge of the shoulder/sleeve piece. At left is a view of the front shoulder area (wrong side). 

I need a white evening glove
for my right arm...
The fabric is a miscellaneous knit print which wasn't really a very good choice for a sewer with only one fully functional wrist. Its slipperiness augmented the degree of difficulty. However I am satisfied. I managed to cut the garment with the pattern centred, both front and back. I remembered to think about what bits of the pattern would be hitting what bits of my anatomy. I managed the tricky bits to produce an acceptable (not perfect) outcome. I did it more or less one handed. And I have enough of this fabric left (which I really love) to make another top!

For my next trick, however, I plan to work with a stable woven. 


  1. So sorry to hear about your wrist and glad that you didn't lose your 5 weeks off. The top is pretty - love the way you worked the print. Heal fast and I'm glad you're okay!

  2. I do hope that your wrist heals well and that you'll be back to "normal" just as soon as the cast comes off!
    The top is lovely - quite an accomplishment for one-handed sewing!

  3. I've missed your blog, what incredibly unfortunate timing! Hope it heals well and quickly, lovely top - Angela

  4. So how did you manage to break a wrist? Good work on the top. 11.5 years? Boy time flies...

  5. The top is lovely--may you continue to heal quickly and well.

  6. It's a beautiful top and looks great on you. Daniel broke his wrist in August 2014 when he slipped on rocks on the shore of Lake Temagami.We were 4 days into a 2-week stay at the island. He couldn't go into the sauna (he slipped after coming out of it); he couldn't go swimming. Fishing was possible but not comfortable. He set himself up with his paints and paper in the sleep cabin and he created 3 gorgeous paintings that are now hanging in our home. Creative people find creative solutions to all the problems before them.

  7. Love the top and the fabric really makes it special. It must be so frustrating for you! At least it's your left wrist. I have more of an affinity for breaking parts on my right. I tore my rotator cuff, right shoulder when my son was two. Bike accident. I broke a finger on my right hand when my dd was a baby. Couldn't drive with the first one since both our cars were stick shifts at the time! I've got to say I commiserate with you! Hope that they actually take off the cast at 6 weeks. Good luck with that. At least you were able to go back to work and not waste your lovely time off!

  8. Beautiful top! Looks very Alexander McQueen-ish. Glad you're able to start doing things again, no matter how un-handy it must feel. Best wishes for fast healing. :)

  9. Hope you heal soon and get to take your vacation thereafter. I like the top-- very stylish. Abbey

  10. I hope your recovery goes smoothly. And great job on the top!

  11. As one who broke her right wrist in the same time frame a year ago, I admire what you have accomplished!All I could do was plot/plan sewing projects for 2 May weddings and a resort vacation. Love your new top...

  12. I am so feeling for you, as I fractured my dominant wrist and also my jaw in a crazy dog induced fall. Definitely no sewing when dominant hand involved. 6 weeks in a cast is...long. Impressed with your top! Heal well.

  13. OMgoodness, what timing! Hope you are on the mend now :) This is Katharine in Brussels, commenting with my poor husband's account on. Love your top, and lengthening it to a regular top length makes it so much more versatile. The color and mirror image prints on your top are stunning on you. That top also caught my eye 11.5 years ago but silk charmeuse is still not a practical item in my wardrobe, but an iteration like yours with in a silky jersey is! Perfect timing for a nice drape neck sleeveless top... and no banded sash hem for me either. Do you mind if I note that you might like to try a swayback adjustment as you have some fabric pooling at the back? You have a lovely feminine figure, that's all. Pinching out a very narrow little dart in the CB tissue will generally correct the pooling of fabric by removing excess length. I have a steep swayback now as I just gave birth 2 months ago so I pinch out 3/8" in total dart width but generally just 1/4" is already plenty and a good start. This nursing mom thanks you for inspiring an easy and cool drape neck top!