I can’t help but notice that since I got back from my little abduction incident weird and inexplicable things have been happening. You know, suddenly all of my left shoes are too big, the cat has been winking at me, sometimes the anchor on the evening news finishes a story with, “Did you catch all of that, Elaine?” Nothing too nerve wracking.  Until last night, that is. I was working on the Burda ruffle blouse from the 4.2007 issue, had finished a muslin and was starting to cut out of my brown striped poplin:

I used my usual trick for doing symmetrical plaid matching. But this time, it didn’t work!  I couldn’t get the stripes to match.  What! Here’s what I mean.  I cut out one sleeve from a single layer of fabric. I then flipped the sleeve piece I had cut out onto the fabric with the intention of matching up the stripes and cutting the second sleeve. But this happened:

Do you see what’s going on here?  Look at the top of the photo.  See how the stripes on the sleeve piece match up so perfectly with the underlying piece of fabric that you can barely distinguish it?  And then as you progress down the photo, the stripes get more and more unaligned? I KNOW. 

I tried moving the sleeve all over the fabric, aligning it with different stripes, including the exact same stripes from which I had cut the first sleeve (i.e. placing it right below where I had cut the first sleeve along the length of the fabric) and I could not get the stripes to match up!  Here’s a close up:

And it wasn’t just the sleeves.  I couldn’t get the bodice fronts to match, and I couldn’t get the back to be symmetrical on both sides either!  You might be thinking that there’s something about the fabric that is causing it stretch along the cut edges, but this is not the case.  After cutting, the fabric pieces are still exactly the same size as the paper pattern pieces. WTF?

Eventually I decided to give up on trying to make the blouse perfectly symmetrical. I decided better to have the stripes not match perfectly than try to ease  and force things to match and end up with one side of the blouse actually being physically larger than the other. Because the shoulder seams are fairly short, I was able to force the stripes on the bodice front shoulder to match the stripes on the back shoulder, which is where I think mismatched stripes look the worst. Otherwise I figure it won’t be too bad.  It’s a fine stripe and the stripe at least looks regular, so if there happen to be one or two more stripes on one side than the other, or the stripes are aligned exactly the same on one sleeve as the other, it’d take a lot to notice.

But seriously, how weird is that? Has this happened to anyone else? Life is becoming very odd indeed.