The Day I was Put in my Place

So. Two weeks in and things are starting to pick up. The interminable literacy and numeracy tests (!) are all over with and the learning is starting in earnest. With my tailor’s thimble ready and rearing to go on the end of my (blue-tacked) finger, I started the week with a determination to keep up with the class’s high-flyers and, also, with the absolute belief that this week, I would get noticed by the tutors. A ‘careful what you wish for’ moment if ever I had one.

We take classes in four areas: tailoring, garment construction, pattern cutting and career development. Tailoring classes have so far consisted of learning basic hand stitches : Padding stitch, Cross stitch and Raw Edge Fell Stitch. Now that I have my thimble use just about down (see previous post), I LOVE these classes. I’ve always been inexplicably fond of repeating patterns and there’s a highly pleasing hypnotic quality to the process of creating swatch after swatch of uniform stitches. And so far, I think I’ve been pretty good at it. Confirmation of this came on Friday morning when I received a (highly sought after) approving ‘hmm’ from the tailoring tutor, V, as he paused to look one of the swatches I had done as homework.

Another that I did at home.

Cross Stitch.

The swatch which caught my tutor's eye

Padding Stitch.

Swelling with pride and delight at having had my previously unacknowledged skill finally noted, I continued apace for the rest of the day, chatting away to my course-mates, only now and then puzzling over the very erratic appearance of the stitches I was making. By the end of the day, still brimming with confidence after the undeniable compliment I had been given by V (a man of few words) earlier, I sought yet more attention from him by asking, openly and in-front of the class, if he had any tips for the latest stitch we had been learning – the Raw Edge Fell Stitch. I’d found it a devil a job keeping ANY uniformity going on my sample and thought that, being teachers pet-of-the-moment, he would share an absolute gem of a tip. Instead, I received but two words. Two words, delivered with absolute blankness. Void of humour or sympathy or any kind of encouragement.

‘Stop Talking’

And it was only then, as I looked back on my day, did I see that I had done pretty much nothing BUT talk. Loudly. Excitably. Very and Extremely Noticeably. And, looking down at my stitch swatch, I could clearly map the trajectory of 7 hours worth of conversation, wobbling along the edge of my fabric.

Raw Edge Fell Stitch. Oh Dear.

Next week, I’ll be sitting in self-imposed isolation, lips absolutely sealed.



  1. This made my day. 🙂

    1. acapitalgirl

      Haha – thank you! I am pleased to report a direct improvement in my sewing following my concerted effort not to chatter through class. One day, I hope to be able to multi-task but for the time-being it’s one or the other!

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