Meet Onyx — Paprika Patterns' new minimalist hi-low woven shirt. When Lisa asked me for a review, I was excited because I love her work. But also a bit skeptical because I have a big anti woven tops bias. I prefer close-fitting clothes, but hate any restriction in my underarms and shoulders, so 99% of my tops are knits. Still, there is something so sleek and grown up about the structure of woven shirts, that for a while I've been waiting for a pattern that challenges me to get over my silly bias. And with Onyx, get over it I did. Like a phoenix from the ashes, this top rose from the pits of my blunders and skepticism and stole my heart.

I chose the cropped version because I thought the darts would make it more fitted. But that also meant the possibility of flashing my tummy and I am self-conscious about my tummy... I decided, hey may be Onyx is the universe telling me that it's time I got over that disempowering bias too. My third bias was, amusingly enough, against using bias tape because I always imagined that it would be crunchy, hard to install, gape-y, and motion-restricting. Lastly, after a year of knowingly (or unknowingly) going after projects that are a bit (or a lot) past my skill level, while also learning to deal (or fail to deal) with my weird shape, I was sick of pattern alterations. Just sick of them! So in my rebellious mode I decided to make it as is, come hell or high water. You just sit and watch (my tummy), World, you just sit and watch! 

I consider By Hand London's Polly Top to be my first "grown up" make. It's got serious flaws (curly fries, ahem, bindings anyone?) and I made a comedy of rookie errors ("It says it's for wovens, but I'm sure this paper-thin jersey will work too, right?"). But I still like it because it's bright, soft, and my true Firstborn.

To be honest, I didn't treat it as my true firstborn at the time. I thought "Well I've made some refashions, that patternless skirt, and a few other silly things (a knit pillowcase. don't ask). So surely I already Know Stuff. How hard can learning the rest be?" (Ha ha ha!). I did realize that the fact I'd never laid eyes on an actual sewing pattern was a problem. So I downloaded a tiered skirt Burda pattern, taped it, and screamed! What in the world was that??? It didn't make ANY sense! So I did what I always do when things don't make sense. I went to school. I signed up for a 3-session sewing class. It was not a good experience, but I did learn one thing: how to read and, most importantly, appreciate, the pure genius that are sewing patterns. And for that I am forever grateful!