Topic: Cats, Catz and Kats
The tools required to draft sewing patterns can be pared down to four of five simple, easy to find items, a tape measure, a long ruler, a T-square, a pencil and large sheets of paper. Really, you don't need more than that. You don't need drafting tools, expensive curved rulers, or those spinny round things that help with angles. And you absolutely 100% do NOT need a cat to help you. Cats are wonderful companions but they know nothing about pattern making, so having one on the table while drafting patterns is more of a hindrance than a help. They don't hold down the paper to keep it from flying off the table, and their paw marks will not help you find that last cross mark, indeed, dirty paw prints can look like cross marks and they can cause your side seam to be three inches to far to the front.
Last night I was trying to make a few men's shirt patterns for Dave. cotton madras plaid shirts are in all the stores right now, but I refuse to pay 75$ for something made from 4$ a yard fabric from Len's. I don't know if I want to make a casual convertible collar in a standard fit or an adapted tailored fit dress shirt with the stand and fall collar. I decided to begin by making fashion style drawings then cutting the patterns and letting Dave decide. Block patterns are always a worthwhile time investment because I can use them over and over and adapt them to many different styles. I have the classic business dress shirt block that i use all the time.
When I cleared off the table and brought out my supplies Trixie the Cat decided that it was time for some loving and attention. She knows that when I am making patterns I will be captive at the table for at least a couple hours and she can have my undivided attention. She considers being swatted, scooted, tossed off the table, and moved out of the way of my metal ruler to be good attention. And for some reason she thinks being swatted with a short 12 inch ruler is a game, she tried to grab the ruler and yank it out of my hands with her paws. Then every time after that I moved the ruler she thought it was a game.
She also thinks when I move the pencil it is like chasing a toy mouse on a string, and she believes the the purpose of the shiny silver end of the tape measure is to amuse her. She thinks that pattern paper is for her amusement and that there is no finer sound to cat ears than the crinkle of pattern paper as she flops over on her back and stretches as long as she can. If i don't rub her tummy she moves in closer and does it again where I am working.
And the worst thing? When she sticks her butt right in my face. To cats this is a sing of love and trust. To humans, well -lets just say it's not something we humans enjoy. We tend to think it's disgusting.
So I did finally finish my patterns. I made only one major error and it was Trixie's fault, her paw print really did look like a cross mark, but I caught it in time and fixed it. I needed the patterns to take to the fabric store so I could be sure that one, the pattern will fit on the odd width of the madras plaid, and two, to ensure I buy enough to match the plaid at the match points. Then I add 25% more because madras cotton shrinks like a bitch in the first washing. Fortunately, it's 4-8% a meter and that's really cheap.
Now, it's off to give Ben a hard time. It's his birthday today. He's 22. I think I'll make some Birthday Jello for him. Or maybe not!