Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sewing is the world's most frustrating hobby

My husband did not ask me to make him running shorts. This is a tale of self inflicted woe, well, mostly.
Cycling is my husband's choice of leisure activity and exercise. However, 3 weeks ago, he was asked to make up a relay team for a local half marathon. He came running with me a few times. At 5.30 am, we are needing considerable coverage for this activity (ie tracky daks). The race was to be later in the day, and he mentioned several times that he would need to buy running shorts.
I kept quiet. I do not even make my own running shorts. I find them very boring to sew.
Thursday night was his last opportunity to buy running shorts before the race (late night shopping). He did not get any. He mentioned this after dinner.
I was very stupid. In a rash moment of thinking I was Superwoman, I mentioned that I had some supplex nylon in my stash, and could make some before Saturday. After all, how difficult could it be to whip up a pair of elastic waisted shorts?
I stayed up late (he went to bed, not being a night person), cut out and sewed up slightly lengthened and newly flyless shorts from a Kwik Sew boxer shorts pattern that I had made him previously. My husband finds being measured a form of torture second only to being required to model my sewing for this blog. It is easier to keep using the same patterns.


I added an internal key and cash pocket, used cotton lycra knit on the inner waistband for comfort, and flat felled all the seams to prevent chafing. I pat myself on the back a few times for being a noble wife and went to bed with an agreeable feeling of virtue and a strong feeling that I had earnt Brownie points.

In the morning, I asked him to try them on. He did this whilst I was in the shower, which was rather annoying. When I emerged from the shower he told me that the shorts were too big. He also mentioned that he would not try them on again as A) He had already tried them on, B) It was too cold to wear shorts, and C) He was leaving for work.
I spent the 3/4 of an hour remaining before I left for work taking in the shorts by the precise measurement of "a bit" that I had been given. I pat myself harder on the back and left for work with my feeling of virtue restored.

Early that evening, after some convincing, he tried the shorts on again. Too small.
I exercised great restraint by reminding myself that he has considerable credit for being my dearly beloved for 22 years, and did not abuse him.
Instead I made him another pair, in the next smaller size from the same pattern.

We were to go out that same night, so I was a bit rushed. This would explain why the sewing machine did this, for 3/4 the length of the waistband.


I did get this unpicked before we left, but it was a struggle.
At the social event, the bloke who had organized the relay team told us that he was pulling out, had not managed to get another runner, so the race was off.
I should have been relieved and thrown the dratted things in the bin.

Instead I was a bit cranky. On Saturday morning I forced all likely members of the household to try on shorts 1. They did fit someone, but she said that she was not wearing Dad's daggy running shorts under any circumstances. She has no trouble expressing her views :)
I finished pair 2, and added side panels to the too small pair 1.


I interrupted my husband in the middle of a crucial woodworking project, fixed him with a beady eye, and insisted that he try them on - now.
Being a sensible man, and a kind husband, he did this.
Pair 1 was too big and pair 2 was a tiny bit tight.
He said they were perfect.
I think he ended up with the Brownie points.

To relieve my feelings and use the black thread in the sewing machine, I made myself a pair of Jalie Yoga pants (2 layers of cotton lycra knit, and the waist a bit higher).


Here they are with my oldest hand knit socks. Comfort clothes and comfort sewing - I feel much better.


Lyndle said...

Aaargh!! Well persevered... your description of the first trying on made me laugh and laugh.
And, the yoga pants look lovely, and comfy. Pat yourself on the back!

Carolyn said...

So hilarious!!
But wow, you have been so productive! I'm very impressed. Two pairs of shorts and yoga pants. Excellent work!
And what is it that makes the thread go like that sometimes? It usually happens to me when I have limited amount of my matching thread left, and it is 5pm on Saturday... so frustrating.
And love the handknit socks btw. As a fellow sock-knitter I commend you!

Kyle said...

Lol, such a great story!!

SewingLibrarian said...

No good deed goes unpunished!

shams said...

Definitely this was an exercise in frustration!!!! You are SO patient! And nice to your family. :)

liza jane said...

So funny! You are way too nice. I love the part about how your daughter has no problem telling you she's not going to wear Dad's daggy running shorts under any circumstances.

Carol said...

As I type I am wearing a hand knitted pair of socks from exactly the same yarn as yours. They are my first toe up socks and the first one took me ages. Now I knock out a pair in an evening! I think you need to change the title of your post to 'bloke sewing is the world's most frustrating hobby'. We both know if you were making the shorts for yourself you would have tried them on, measured and then restitched. I was recently asked if I could 'fix the zip in my wetsuit - it'll only take five minutes'. You haven't seen frustration until you try and jam thick neoprene and an enormous chunky zip into a domestic machine. Sounds like everyone at chez kbenco has earned brownie points, even the daughter who speaks her mind! I hope you're staying warm and dry. It's rained for three days straight again down here.

Jane M said...

OMG, I can hardly type for laughing. Bravo to you for persevering.

Kathy said...

Hysterical!! Such patience and perseverance needs a VERY big pat on the back.

Hen said...

You are so brave! Admirable.

Bernice said...

It drives me a little nuts when my kids won't wear the things I sew them, so I feel your pain. Funny story!

Gail said...

Funny. I've found sewing salvation sewing for my man. I don't think he'll need running or biking shorts. He never exercises but is the same weight as he was 30 years ago. It is not fair!

Anonymous said...

Very Very Funny!

If you're didn't have such a great sense of humour I think I might dislike you for being so productive (and so nice to your family)!


sewing spots said...

You are absolutely correct. Sewing is the world's most frustrating hobby! It sounds like it all turned out well. Love the socks!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Wow, you are nice! I do not see myself making running shorts for anyone. I bought some for my boyfriend for his birthday, but the only thing I sew for him are boxers.

Handmade said...

You have the patience of a saint! Goodness me - you should have made your husband do the whole race himself!! Cute socks - very clever!