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McCalls 6247 Travel Wardrobe & Status of The Writer

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I have a trip coming up and some lovely cotton lycra double knit in 3 colors: rust, camel and white, perfect for a mix and match travel wardrobe. I am using McCall’s 6247 as my base pattern


I have finished the top and pants. I modified both pieces. On the top I made turned up cuffs with buttons to hold them in place and the pants, which were largely PJ-like stovepipe, I pegged the thigh and made boot cut shaped legs.

I was surprised to see how the sporty details of the top make it look almost masculine


The jacket is almost finished. It is made from a long-stashed faux suede, I can’t remember the popular name for this brushed, knit backed fabric, but it’s soft and static-y, drapey and lightweight and barely stretchy enough for this pattern.

Edited: after ironing and top stitching I’ve removed the puckers YAY!)
OK, it’s NOT stretchy enough for this pattern: the front band causes the body to pucker but with the full drape and busy pattern it is not really noticeable. This is the fabric lying on top of the camel colored (it’s camel in Real Life) double knit:


I don’t have an alternative fabric for the jacket. I have not bought very many knits in the past. The skirt is cut out from the same faux suede: 2 pieces with elastic waist. I am making the self fabric belts, closed by some nice Clover D-rings in antique gold.

So? How come I’m not modeling and showing off? I’ve had some big changes in my life: my hair is now steel gray and white since I’ve chopped off all the yellow, my shoes and orthotics are huge and I can’t seem to take a good photo any more. Many of the fabrics in my stash are good for the old hair color and don’t fit my colors now. I’m a navy and gray person now. I need wide legged, long pants to balance out the shoes, heels are out of the question. My style must change! Ack!

OK. Please don’t laugh. I’ve been hiding. I just lately figured this whole thing out and more with the help of x-rays and a physician.

I need carpal tunnel surgery on both hands and have fairly advanced arthritis in my joints and bone spurs in mt left thumb. Husband needs the surgery, too so we’ll have to coordinate on this latest of adventures in aging.

Yeah. I’ve ground to a halt.

Last night I couldn’t manage the scissors so I ripped through the medicine shelf and found all those old wrist braces I used to wear when I did a lot of wood work and heavy gardening. I can’t even wear the braces any more. My right hand is still asleep and tingling.

Yup. I’ve been compensating and have totally incorporated pain into my daily life choices. I should know by now that if I don’t want to do something I used to love to do, there’s probably a good reason.

I just have chosen to stop sewing and posting and much of anything that will strain my hands. Oh major, beyond-Bart-Simpson, DUH moment.

So, I’ve cut way back on computer work and devoted myself to sewing and I hope to get through this current project or I’ll be left with an orphan color way in the closet. And we all hate that, don’t we?

Surgery, braces, doctors. Oh sure, I need more of that (NOT).

I would love to hear: has anyone had this surgery and did it help you in your ability to sewing and do daily tasks?


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

10 responses »

  1. I haven’t had the surgery, but have quite a few musician friends who have, and it seems to be quite successful. String players especially seem to all end up needing this. So, it probably will be a good thing. Surgery’s no fun, but you need your hands. Hope you find a solution you’re happy with.

    I like your travel wardrobe, too! 🙂

  2. Oh, my. So sorry you’re having such difficulties. You have gone through a lot. I do understand pain, because I have arthritis in my hands and feet. I take drugs, do moderate exercise and watch my diet, which seems to help. Good luck finishing your outfit. Think positive, and best wishes.

  3. Oh Mary Beth – I don’t have experience with the surgery but my father, as a string player, probably will sooner than he would ever admit. I love to check in on your blog from time to time too. Take care of yourself and enjoy your sewing – I love the outfit you are creating.


  4. Yikes! this is hard that you had to quit sewing on this project. I hope that you are able to finish because it is beautiful. Your work with this pattern and fabric, and your design additions with the large button cuffs are great. I also like the boot cut pant idea. I bought this pattern last month and intend to make it for travel too. Do you think a sweater knit would be too heavy to work well into the jacket? Hope you are well again soon.

    • Sounded horrible, didn’t it? I’m since adjusting and after having sewed up some new clothes I felt much better about my appearance. I managed to finish and add more pieces (see the next 3 posts). Best way to tell if the jacket’s sleeves will work over a sweater is to measure your biceps and then measure the width of the pattern pieces *between* the stitching lines. I found the jacket a bit tighter than I would have liked since I tripled the sleeve fabric by adding cuffs.

  5. Oh, I’m so sorry you have CTS. My DH had surgery on both hands back in the 90’s. I’m sure fishing was his demon. I had surgery for my left hand in 2002. Out-patient surgery. The actual surgery took less than 15 minutes. I’ve had no problems since with that hand/wrist. OTOH, with my right hand – I should have had surgery in early 2003 on it, I still suffer from CTS. I get the sleeping hand, and tingling. I’ve also lost my grip-ability to a degree with the right hand, tho I’m not sure if this is associated. Get the surgery. I received cortisone (?) shots for a couple of years prior to surgery and that kept the symptoms at bay for months at a time. For me, the worst part was enduring the pre-surgery “bench-marking.” (Hope it’s not done like this still.) electrical charges are placed onto the nerves in the back to determine how sever the CTS is. That was uncomfortable and down right hurt! I’ve learned to sleep with my right hand and arm outstretched and flat on the mattress. Hope you find a solution soon.

    • Uh-oh, Laura. I’ve put off the surgery and am having that “bench marking” test first. La-la-la-la-la. I’ll have to think of sewing something wonderful during the test I guess.

  6. Pingback: B5215 Connie Crawford 3 Basic Tees | The Stitchery

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