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Aug 17, 2010

When Bad Things Happen to Good Patterns or "TOKIBAT!"


Friends, one of the joys of blogging is that no matter what kind of disasters befall you, you can always turn it into material for your blog.  Barring the type of catastrophe that sends you to the other side -- and I don't mean Europe -- a capable writer can spin any setback into a life-affirming tale of courage-over-despair worthy of a comeback vehicle for Donna Mills.

In fact, when life's troubles get me down, I always say to myself, TOKIBAT!, smile ruefully and go on with my day.  Sometimes I also whistle a happy tune or take a mild sedative.

Sewers with blogs (not you SWOBS, sorry), do you ever find yourself saying TOKIBAT in your lives? Surely, you...


When I say TOKIBAT do any of you understand what I'm talking about?

TOKIBAT stands for "That's OK, I'll blog about that!"   It's heard more and more frequently during these challenging times, so full of badly written pattern instructions, cracked cam shafts, and uncooperative sergers.

Let's all say it together: TOKIBAT!

Don't you feel better already?
I had a moment of TOKIBAT only hours ago after returning from my dog walk.  I'd been surprised that during a forty minute stroll through Chelsea's steamy streets, Willy hadn't once peed.  It was only when I returned home and was settling down to drink my morning coffee and read my email, that I discovered why:

Readers, I would rather not make this a conversation about paper training, adopting puppy mill puppies, or removing stains from wool carpets.  I can think of a half dozen reasons why Willy did what he did and I'm sure to his walnut-sized brain it made perfect sense.

But why, oh why, gentle people, did he have do it on my Burda pattern?

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a tragedy.  I can spray the carpet with a little "Nature's Miracle" cleanser not that that ever does much but whatever, air out the soiled pattern pieces, trace them onto fresh paper and tape them into place.  I have many, many options.

I don't think Willy meant this as a comment on the pattern itself, which as you know, I think is well drafted if accompanied by instructions that are nearly indecipherable.

Nor do I think it is in any way a signal from the great beyond that my chances of winning this competition are piss-poor.


Meanwhile, as you probably can tell from the photo above, I have finished my muslin -- mostly.  I will practice button loops separately; I simply didn't have the patience the last couple of days.  I'm still sort of "iffy" about the neck binding; I don't think it's necessary but I'll give it a try I guess.

Last night in my dreams an image appeared that was very similar to my cousin Cathy in my Burda muslin...or was it St. Teresa of Ávila?

It was all very dark and my memory is murky, but I see it as a sign that this dress is to be worn with wedge espadrilles, as some of you have suggested.  (Of course, I'm still open to other ideas.)

It also confirmed my belief that a soft cotton A-line tunic dress must be worn above the knee to avoid any similarities to this kind of thing...

Hopefully that Liberty Art print will lend the dress a more sophisticated look, if the fabric ever gets here.

In conclusion, when life seems to be handing you more lemons than lemonade, please remember to TOKIBAT your troubles away.

Any TOKIBAT moments you wish to share, my friends?

I'll be here all day, disinfecting carpets, waiting for the mail delivery person, and having lunch with my mother.



  1. Oh, Willy, you TROUBLEMAKER!

  2. Peter, Peter, Peter...Love you to pieces. it too.

  3. Feeling better after reading. My pattern-paper-and-silk-thread-devouring basset hound graduated to brand-new-spectacle-devouring this morning. I've stopped calling glue factories to see if they'll take immediate delivery and am getting back to sewing the most-difficult-tank-ever. TOKIBAT.

  4. MMm. Nature's Miracle sure worked for me, during several years of kitty kidney failure.. Perhaps you don't have a type specific for pee? Or maybe you're not waiting for it to be completely dry to test? You wouldn't think to wipe if off, would you? It's the drying part of the process that works.
    That said, this thing here is surprisingly wearable. I'd definitely second the above-the-knee pronouncement though.

  5. Here's the thing: both dogs are trained to go in a litter box lined with cloth diapers (please, I know...) we keep in the bathroom. Freddy NEVER misses. Willy will use the box too -- UNTIL it is what he considers too dirty to use, in which case he will pee on the OUTSIDE of the litter box. (At least he's in the bathroom!)

    However, every once in a while something will stimulate him to eliminate elsewhere -- perhaps a sweaty gym shirt lying on the bed, a dirty bathroom rug in somebody else's house -- that sort of thing. Undoubtedly the pattern paper on the floor reminded him of a wee wee pad and, bleary-eyed at dawn, he just lifted his leg.

    Our mistake, IMO, was getting the dogs used to going in the house. We did it because we thought it would make OUR lives easier -- and it did, until Willy came along.

    That's life, I guess!

  6. Gotta Love Willie!!! I have another acronym that is my mantra...FIDO, which may also be Willie's mantra too (it stands for "@#$% it, drive on!") Mary

  7. Every once in a while it's okay to start or end your day with a cup of coffee and a pint of Godiva ice cream.

  8. "walnut sized brain" LOL

    When you mentioned morning coffee, I was hoping...

    Now, I've had cat barf on patterns, fabric, etc., but luckily not that. Nature's Miracle certainly does the trick.

  9. LOL at your fear that the dog wee is a sign of your chances of winning. Not a chance - you have such great style - but thanks for the laugh.

  10. 28th floor, I think you said? Let me be the first to say that the litter-box-lined-with diapers is brilliant! So ecologically sound, too (as these things go). (As dogs go? That will be enough of that.)

    Our unruly urinator is a Maine Coon kitty-mill rescue cat. Most of the time, fine. Frequently, not. Happily, we have no carpet, and she confines herself to linoleum, rather that the 60 year old oak floors. We use the ever-lethal Odo-Ban, followed by Simple Solutions Hard Floors.

    Never let it be said that MPB isn't a full-service blog.

  11. I am in love with TOKIBAT. What an amazing word---it has the power to transform any setbacks, even complete wadders, into pure blog fodder.

    If anything, I tend to blog MORE when things aren't going well... If everything's swimming along I just want to keep sewing until the project's done.

    My cats used to use the laundry basket as a substitute if the litter-box was not up to their standards of cleanliness >_<

  12. Oh dear. :/

    I think the espadrilles are really working with it. Then again, I could also see this with tights and boots, too. Not that I'm obsessed with tights and boots or anything....

  13. Oh, I would love to see Cathy in some thigh high slouchy suede boots...

    Let's see what I can dig up!

  14. The espadrilles look so good with the dress. I think it is the addition of the ultra-femme bows and killer gams to the somewhat simple silhouette of the dress.

    The way you've been talking about this dress, I wasn't prepared to like it as much as I do. Really, seeing your muslin makes me want this dress.

  15. I agree, from the pattern drawing it looks like some kind of boho nightie but with the raised hem and the wedges it is really stylish. Good on you!

  16. I've just had a TOKIBAT moment too! I pricked my finger handsewing and got a drop of blood on my work, and actually blogged about it (or rather, about how to get it out!) last night, so it is funny to see your post this morning!

  17. ahahaha- i jsut have to say- i've been reading your blog for a while- not cure if i ever commented- but i love your blog! :) ehhehe- always puts a smile on face. i had a tokibat moment last night- as i was trying to finsih sewing a vintage pattern- was aboutto put a zipper in- only to see that i bought the wrong size zipper!!!! argh! had to stop and instead go to sleep- as the craft store was closed... TOKIBAT! :)

  18. Hilarious! I knew I was on the edge when I thought I'd locked myself out of the house with both kids and when I found my keys in some pocket or bag or whatever a small corner of my mind actually thought, "Aw, shucks! That was going to be such a good blog post!"

  19. Here is my "TOKIBAT" moment, and unfortunately, it was pre-blog era, so I will share my horror here (thank you Peter, for providing the forum!). So, there I was, knee deep in double faced silk satin-BLASTED hard to work with, I might add-with my darling 6 yr old daughter on the other side of the room playing quietly. I am completely immersed in sewing seams on this wedding gown, wanting it to be just perfect. The fabric is all pooling down onto the ground, where I have smartly placed a clean sheet, so the lovely fabric will not pick up any fuzz or whatnots from the floor. What I have not noticed, is that the very quiet child has made her way under my sewing table, with paints and brush in hand (not an activity that is approved by mom for the sewing room). I cannot adequately describe the moment I looked down, to see yards of very expensive silk covered in green tempra paint.... needless to say, that moment is a memory that is seared in my child's mind, as the moment she saw mommy FREAK OUT, and say some things she definitely would never hear on Sesame Street! And then there was the crying...lots and lots of crying, when I realized I would have to buy fabric, and start all over. I am sure it would have made a hilarious "after the fact" blog posting, what with before and after pictures of the satin. I would have left out all of the unpleasant words, lest other children happened upon the posting. I guess we all have our moments, but I would have preferred mine to not have been such an expensive one....and I still do not know where the H*** she found the paint!

  20. Now that I know Willie, that doesn't surprise me a bit. Like the others, I am really digging those espadrilles.

  21. Fortunately, Hoover is about 180 degrees from Willie. He's the most anal retentive dog ever. I kind of have the same problems but orthogonally skewed.

    TOKIBAT. I like that. I think I adopted it subliminally this morning when I was wrestling with the latest issue of Burda.

  22. I happen to love this caftan looking dress with those espadrilles. You are spot on about the hem length.

    My little doggy used to pee on things that I spent a lot of time on. I think is may be a jealousy thing. Or since we are talking about a Willie with a wee willie it may be a territorial thing.

    Lots of TOK but no ore IBAT. I got sick of talking to myself so I deleted the stupid thing.

  23. God bless Nature's Miracle. We're on our 2nd gallon of the stuff w/ our 11 week old poodle, Lucy.

  24. Oh, Christine, I feel for you!

  25. You are "working it" better than your mannequin (i used to know how to spell but I've always been too lazy to look things up to see if I even spelled mannequin wrong). Looks good! If I wore it, would still be Egad.

  26. TOKIBAT? I can't be saying that to myself, because I'm Czech and it looks rather Japanese or something to me as is. However, I can be thinking Czech version of the unshortened TOKIBAT, and I surely will, many times.

    TOKIBAT moments? Dropping stitches on my knitted sontag so awfully that I have to start anew. Definitely a TOKIBAT moment.

  27. TOKIBAT! So brilliant! That's what I'll say from now on about my sewing projects that ever come to fruition...and by the way, I blame blogging, not my bad time management, to my lack of sewing productivity. SWOBs have all the time to sew in the world, which is why they feel superior...

  28. Hm... I think blogging itself is not as bad as reading other people's sewing blogs! In terms of no time for sewing, that is. In terms of almost everything else, it's great, having so many sewing blogs like this one to read.

  29. Love it! TOKIBAT is why people are more interested and comment as much on my fail projects as the shiny pretty ones :)
    TOKIBAT is getting pumped about the Summer Beach Hat, sewing it up and realizing that some things (hat crown pattern pieces) are not meant to be self-drafted without testing first. That's ok, I'll blog about that!


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