Always take a before picture

I was the first one to open a Christmas present this morning. My family watched with baited breath as I unwrapped it, and pulled a black sweater out of the box. It was covered with rhinestones and ribbon detailing and had obviously come from a thrift store.

“Try it on, Emily,” they said.

I tried it on. It was all wrong. It was way too BIG in the armpits, so that if I raised my arms it would cause that wing effect that I just hate. I have no picture of how it looked so instead I will insert a picture of Preston in a too-large sweatshirt.

There. That is how the sweater looked on me only it was fancy and covered with ribbons and rhinestones.

Not only that, but the sleeves were that awkward length of being too short but not short enough to be three-quarter length. The whole thing was very unfortunate but I said my “thank you”s and put it back in the box. There was a somewhat awkward moment, and Mom said, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it. The thrift store had a fill-a-bag for ten dollars deal and I just threw that in there in case you would like it.”

Then, someone else opened a present.

Later after every single present was opened I thought, “I bet I can fix this sweater.” So I took it into the sewing room, and I fixed it.

I hemmed the sleeves, to make them just-past-the-elbow length. I put it on my dressmaker’s dummy, and pinned and drew chalk lines and sewed and trimmed two inches out of the armpit and one inch off the shoulder until it fit.

Here are some “after” pictures.

That is my “just go already you stupid self-timer” smile.

Is it just me or do my eyes look very large in that picture?

We spent the afternoon picking up branches, among other things. Finally we are cleaning up the tree that fell down….how long ago was it? In any case, you can read about it here.

See the little red circle on my head? That was my Christmas covering. It had little green plaid lines in it and I believe it went on top of a jar full of Christmas goodies but it was round and Christmassy so I bopped it onΒ  my head for a veil this morning.

Well I borrowed Mom’s camera to take pictures of my sweater and while browsing through them I found one of Jenny’s cat that I thought was cute.

Merry Christmas, folks!

P.S. I may post a tutorial of how to make a too-big shirt fit right. It may be somewhat ameature of a tutorial. I have never done a tutorial before. I think it may be fun. If you REALLY want to know how I did that sweater, step by step, you can leave a comment and that will probably convince me to do my first tutorial.

6 responses to “Always take a before picture

  1. Thank you for acting thankful when you opened your present. And it was actually a rummage sale at a church where you could fill a bag for a dollar and a half.


  2. The reason your eyes are larger than normal on the picture is because they are at the edge of the frame of a wide angle picture. All photos distort reality because they are converting 3D to 2D. The wider the angle the greater the distortion. The closer it is to the edge, the greater the distortion. You see this same effect on flat maps of the world in which Greenland appears much larger than it does on a globe.


  3. Emily, I am so impressed by the way you fixed the sweater! I wish I could do that, but sewing and I don’t mix very well. πŸ™‚ It looks really cute on you too.


  4. Emily,
    Good job! Your sweater is beautiful! Please share more details about the transformation.


  5. Hey Emily,
    I’m Kara. For Christmas, I received a copy of the book “Louder Than Words – The First Collection” Like you, my family is BMA Mennonite. When I started to read your story, I was shocked to discover that you were also. Although I began exploring other denominations when I was 16, my family and I have reached an understanding. After all, we worship the same God.
    Like you, I understand what it’s like to be sick. I live with Fibromyalgia.
    The intensity of your story left me staggering. I was sitting in bed, moping, and then it hit me: What you went through your senior year of high school was worse in some ways than my physical ailments, yet you got up in front of your community and delivered a speech on it. “…we can handle anything if we’re not given a choice.” That’s SO true, and I’m so glad that you found a road to recovery in Colorado. Are you still there? Are you better? What’s your life like now?
    You’re Mennnonite. You wrote about it. I’ve read very few books written by Mennonites about the Mennonites, and it SO AWESOME to see that you were speaking out, not about the conservative traditions, but about the love that the Mennonite community embraces … and most importantly, the God that we worship. πŸ™‚
    I’m so, so sorry for what you went through physically, but simultaneously, it is tremendously inspiring that you still clung to Christ through all of that.
    I only know the little bit of your life that you decided to share with the world, and it inspired me to face the truth of my life … and to start writing again.


  6. We are thrift store shoppers, so of course we would love a detailed tutorial!

    Have a great New Year!


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