It turns out that blogs are meant to be updated every day. We have lower expectations here at the messy method –I barely manage to pack my children lunch every day — allowing a much easier-to-achieve sense of accomplishment!

In an uncharacteristic act of sewing discipline I unpicked my attempt at the lapped zipper and re-re-read the lapped zipper instructions in Chapter 6: Beginner’s second skirt. I think I can do if I try again, but that’s thanks largely to my having read the instructions that came with my Coats and Clark zipper. This may be impolitic of me, seeing as how my hobby life is currently devoted to her, but — language is not Edna Bryte Bishop’s plaything.  When she says on page 67

“Place the zipper face down full width of chain on back seam allowance and place the left edge of chain along seamline”

She does not paint pictures with her words in my mind (what’s a zipper face? OH! Place the zipper face-down… full? Wait, okay, full width… width of chain on… no — ‘width of chain’ ON THE… I need a drink)

I feel as if I need to create a Boolean search string with her sentence, like so:

[Place the (zipper AND face+down) WITH “full width of chain”  on “back+seam+allowance”] and [place the left+edge+of+chain along seamline]”

…but now that I read that, I can see it really must be my communication problem.

Getting back to my lapped zipper freakout — I was completely and utterly thrown by the habit Ms. Bishop has of offering an alternative way of doing one step without really making it clear when that alternative, or step 1A ends and when step 2 begins. It is sort of like this:

Drive three blocks, then turn left. An alternative method for the first step is to use your jetpack and take three rights. Use the the overpass to Elm street.

Wait, is that a jetpack-only overpass? Or am I back to the ‘drive three blocks’ followup? Stop, slowdown, help!

I realize that part of my problem is that I just want to slavishly follow steps, like a 1040EZ tax form, rather than think through the sewing project and therefore really truly learn to sew.

At least I have taken the baby-step of committing to inserting the damned zipper correctly, even when every instinct told me to keep resewing on top of resewing the zipper in ever more desperate and ludicrous applications, preferably with mismatched thread and occasional applications of glue. So in the end, the book is helping.