Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Delays, distractions, distasters and doldrums
There is a horrible thing lurking in the corner of my sewing room.
I am ignoring it, but it seems to be casting an evil influence over the output, even when I turn it to face the corner.
I often make sensible, practical sewing plans, completely unrelated to any nasty UFOs in the corner. Just recently, for example, it became glaringly obvious to me whilst viewing jacket and top photographs that my 2009 jeans had really seen better days.
I decided to make another pair of jeans. Jeans are not my most flattering garment. I rarely wear them when another garment would do, but they are almost required wear for some circumstances.
I delayed. I made a denim skirt. I wore it to a 40th party last week - outdoor barbeque, where every other person was wearing jeans, and felt just fine.
(Thanks for the styling tips, I think Tropical threads really hit the nail on the head though - thick and cosy winter clothes look bulky whatever you do, and a person of my figure does not do bulky well)
However, this month I have an occasion where jeans are required, as part of a uniform, the other half of which is a bright yellow sponsor t shirt. I know this will look quite awful, but thought at least my new jeans would improve things slightly.
I was wrong.
I used my favourite trouser pattern, from which my 2009 jeans are constructed (BWOF 4-2009-118). First I ran out of fabric.
I pieced one leg, and added some distracting decorative machine stitches overlaid with some hand embroidery. I enjoyed this bit, although realising that it would detract from the usefulness of the garment.
Then I tried topstitching with my 1951 Singer. I bought this Singer for topstitching and the cool feet, but have a rather unsatisfactory relationship with it so far -
it does this sort of thing far too often. I think it is a clapped out 1950's Singer.
I read rather too much on the internet about refurbishing Singer sewing machines, then reminded myself that my hobby is sewing, not sewing machine repair, and that I was on a deadline for these jeans. I got out my other Singer, #28, circa 1933, which my husband bought me because he liked the look of it. I encourage these sort of purchases.
I had not used it to actually construct anything, as it is handcranked.
It has a shuttle bobbin, which is quite fascinating to use.
It topstitched beautifully. I now know why people rave about their Singers.
Unfortunately, despite the pleasures in construction, and my previous sucess with this pattern, the jeans are so unflattering (stiffer denim perhaps?) that my teenage fashion panel not only advised me to wear a knee length tunic over the top, but imposed a veto on the publication of a photograph of myself wearing them. Apparently this would be embarassing to my offspring.
I am to ask for an XXXXL t shirt.
"They look fine in real life Mum" did not sound terribly convincing after these instructions.
I wanted something quick and useful for my next project. Something new, I trawled the internet, speaking sternly to myself about my pattern diet when BMV's $ 4.99 sale popped up, and came across a real treat. Katherineh had published a very useful pattern, free. How clever and generous. I had been restraining myself from buying a Jalie pattern for just this thing due to innate stinginess and my pattern diet.
I printed it out. It was strangely small. I checked my print instructions - A4, no scaling, no shrinking, the print out remained very small. I made it up anyway, being a bit desperate by this point. It went together very nicely, the drafting was perfect. Yes, it was very small. This had to be my mistake.
I sought technical advice. The printer itself had been set up to half pages - quite independently of any computer mediated instructions for particular print jobs. I felt inept.
So in case you were wondering, half page print out of size 6 boys trunks are a pretty good fit for a 12 inch teddy. This will stop that bear from lounging around naked.
I gave up. There are 7 patterns on their way from Vogue. It was that or chocolate. In fact it might have been that AND chocolate.