Saturday, October 12, 2013

Project 31: Apprentice Robes

My godson turned nine this year, which was how old I was when I put myself on the path of the Craft of the Wise. A friend of my sister's called Lois gave me a little grocery store checkstand book called "Everday Witchcraft" and I was off and running. The story of my and my friends' self-guided education in the Craft is full of amusing stories, but perhaps another time.

I was determined that if my godson wanted an education in the Craft, that I would give him the one that I wished I had had. In anticipation of this birthday, I have been scooting him along gathering the necessary tools. Even if he decided not to pursue the path, what's the harm in having a cup, knife, stone, and stick around, right?

So, in deep consultation with his parents and with his own (enthusiastic) consent, we scheduled his first lesson for the first new moon after his ninth birthday. Learning the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual skills necessary to practice our religion is not a trivial task. There are many chants, incantations, and spells to memorize, complex visualizations to develop, lore to internalize, and personal development to undertake. I thought to myself that there has to be some fun involved too. Two things immediately leapt to mind: robes and cookies. This kid loves to dress up and is a major chow-hound.

I took him to the fabric store and he picked out a beautiful Kelly green corduroy and some pearly buttons. Made in the shade, right?

Two days before our first learning session, I realized that the commercial pattern I intended to use (McCall's 3789) didn't include the kid-sized pattern pieces. Duh. Several fabric store visits later I resigned myself to the task of drafting my own pattern pieces. Having no formal education in this science, I relied on my high school education in mathematics and geometry.

Wisely, I executed a muslin first and wound up re-drafting two of the pieces. The final result doesn't fit perfectly yet, but in about a year when this cycle of lessons is over it should be just right.

Oh. And the cookies. Oatmeal. Turned out perfectly the first time. I must be a Witch or something, since I can also fold a fitted sheet.

One technique that was new this time was not doing two-fold hems. I used my serger to finish the raw edges and folded once and topstitched. The result was perfectly fine and I think I'm steering toward getting a coverstitch machine because of it. We'll see once next year's contract is exercised and funded.

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