I sewed the collar on wrong. I hadn’t noticed at the time; not until I couldn’t get it over my head. Only then did I look down and notice I had cut the fabric out wrong and the stretch was going in the opposite direction. The collar wouldn’t budge. I tried everything to force my head through. I can be so stubborn, especially when I sense resistance. But no matter how hard I tired I wasn’t getting it over my head. There would be no ripping of seams; I had finished everything so beautifully and I feared I’d only rip the fabric. The only option was to cut into my work, to create something different, to risk going in a new direction.
For a brief moment I heard the cry within me go out, “Why? Why even in my sewing must I be tested?” As quickly as it came to my mind, it was replaced with a softness that reminded me that this too is teaching me. Who would I be if I always got it right? Would I even want to know that woman? No. I like this woman who has to ponder and plan and adapt. She’s becoming resourceful and bold. Yes, I’ll take this woman any day with this collar she sewed in wrong, and that fire in her eyes to make it work.
The rest of my Eva top was some of my best work. The choice of fabric, the stitches, the exposed seams – I get ecstatic when I look at it. And then I cut a line right down the back of the collar to make room for my head. That line that’s so much like the moments that mark our lives. Whether full of grief or joy, we are shaped by them and we can always see them. The lines that completely change our path and set us on journeys we never anticipated. I’m still mulling over how I want to adjust and stitch back up the collar, but one thing will always be clear, it’s not the same top I started out with; it’s forever marked by my willingness to let go of what was and my courage to choose a new path.