In which an error makes things better

Jean and I went shopping for the fabric for her tallit a few months ago. She had chosen a delicious black ribbed silk for the body of the tallit.

Jean also fell in love with a complex striped silk that included stripes in satin , and gold brocade. The stripes silk was expensive. it was sold by the panel. The stripe pattern didn’t repeat.


My original plan was to have the stripes continue to the inside of the tallit.


Once I got the fabric home I realized that this was not possible.  there simply wasn’t enough of the same element of the stripe pattern to have the same bit of the stripe pattern on both the face and the lining of the tallit. I spent a little while feeling completely stymied by the problem. Jean, ever gracious, was prepared to find new  new fabric.  I was not ready to give up that easily. She had invested a fair amount of money in the fabric. I didn’t want to see such beautiful fabric go to waste. Also Jean is a really careful decider. It takes a good deal of long and careful deliberation for her to come to a decision she is  comfortable with.  I didn’t want her to doubt herself or to start dealing with an entirely new set of moving parts.

So I spent time figuring out the problem. I kept pulling out the fabric, looking at it hard and trying to see if I could figure something out.  Eventually, I realized that if the stripe on the inside of the tallit was cut from a different piece of the fabric  ( with a different stripe pattern) you would then have something that was coherent, a variation between the inside and the outside of the tallit.

Then life, and death intervened and it took me a while to get back to work on the tallit.


When I was ready to get back to Jean’s tallit, I carefully pieced first the outside of the tallit, and then the inside, the lining of the tallit. Once I got the inside and the outside sewn together I realized that my error in calculation has yielded something even better than planned.

Here is the tallit displayed with the lining side out.


The stripes from the face of the tallit shimmer through the lining. It looks simply amazing.

This isn’t what I had planned, it is just way better.


Here you see the tallit how it will look when worn, with the lining turning to the outside. I’m just so happy with how it looks.


Yes, I know the tallit needs a proper pressing. Please ignore all lumpiness. It won’t be part of the final product. I was too excited to share this to take the time to properly press the tallit.


Next we need to figure out the atara together.


  1. I didn't understand Until I enlarged the photos. And then I was amazed. This is soo cool.

  2. This is amazing. Beautiful. And the subtle mystery of it all just enhances the whole piece.


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