Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Aspirational sewing, for the rest of us

Here's a horrible reason to have a Sewing Day: one finished home-sewn curtain panel an inch longer than the other.

Yep, when I got to the cottage this spring that's what I found on my bedroom window, as though the Me of last July didn't see fit to mention it to the Me of this June.  To be fair to that Me though, there was so much sewing in such a short time last July, I probably couldn't face ripping out the hem, re-measuring, cutting, pressing, and restitching it.  Ugh, it does sound awful doesn't it. But it turns out that looking at the wrong panel every day after all that hard work is worse.

The thing about sewing, for me, is that I love a lot of the process and hate just enough of it to make it not fun.  And especially now that blogs are a thing that exist, I'm surrounded by evidence of people who apparently find it a lot of fun, and do wonderful things with their sewing machines.

I make assumptions about people like this.

1/ They probably have dedicated sewing space, such that they are not hauling their bits and pieces and fabrics all over every time they decide to make something - and then putting it all back again (or else they have enough time and patience not to mind doing all that.)

2/ They must have a natural talent for geometry and order, such that they are not sewing one seam before they were supposed to and then having to rip out that one to do the other.

3/ They have actual skill.

Now, normally I would just look at the picture of some gorgeous piece of sewing and feel envy, but then I met Super Batty and Steve, and it occurred to me there is another way.  Instead of envying the talented person who can sew a perfect tiny circle for big staring eyes and hand embroider a non-crooked smiley smile, I decided to hold up the bats as examples of what can be achieved by mortals with a sewing machine.

And look!

I found the strength to get all my primary threads and matching bobbins out of their plastic bag and set out neatly on a cheery red stand that's been cluttering up my sewing closet, unused, for the last year.

And after another couple of hours of dithering, look!

I got the curtain panel stitched down to the correct length.

After that it occurred to me that I had the sewing machine out and a couple of useful hours left in me, so I rushed through to finish another couple of projects I'd started a super long time ago and had to put away in pieces.  They didn't come out exactly as planned and one of them looks more than a little odd, but they're done!  and I'm sure they'll be very useful.  You can tell me so (whether you think so or not) in a few days when they are photo-ready.

I'm sure you're wondering how I managed to fit in any spinning after all that and the answer is: barely, and badly.

I must have overtightened the tension again because even after I realized and loosened it the thread went onto the bobbin a little more overwrought than I like.  Fortunately this sort of problem tends to work itself out in the wash (unlike out of order seams that have to be manually ripped out to repair.  Spinning: even when you go wrong, you are such a comfort.)

Today I am hoping to finish off that tea cosy, but I think there will also be sock.  Either way: knitting! Hope you get to do some too.

ps in case you were wondering about the birds in the background of the sewing pictures:

The cardinal is Amos, and the owl you will probably recognize as Flloyd, and the bowl they live in was one I made at a pottery party a couple of years ago.  Their job is to make my desk a cheerful and watched-over place.  Everybody has desk birds, right?


linda gaylord said...

Sorry,no desk birds house is filled with frogs--glass frogs,ceramic frogs,resin frogs,metal frogs,frogs that hold candles...10 of them thus far.and they all have names,and hold prominent positions about the place....(ps--forgot to mention that I am "grannysticks" on Ravelry...)

Mary Keenan said...

And the great thing about frogs: green! I have one with magnets in his hands and feet so he can grab onto things, like the side of the 'frig :^) thanks for the heads-up about your Ravelry name Linda - I'll go friend you right now.