Sewing

I made Ross a T-shirt this past weekend with some lovely bamboo jersey I bought. I actually thought I ruined it when I accidentally cut something I shouldn’t have, so I did some quick window-style appliqueing and think I managed to save it. 

From Crafts

It was the first time I used ribbing, and I have to admit that there is a long calculated formula you are supposed to useto calculate the length of ribbing you should use based on the angle of the neckline blah blah, but I had no time for fractional math because I really have to admit that fractions? I don’t remember then AT ALL. So I winged it and it turned out okay, but probably could have turned out better. I used a pattern I got free from Burdastyle and I have a few things to note about the pattern I used:

  1. it suggests that you cut two of the back piece. Don’t do that. You only need one, cut on the fold.
  2. the neckline is freakin’ tiny and if this T shirt is for a guy, you will want to cut it larger (although be careful as this is where I screwed it up and cut something I shouldn’t have. Remember, measure twice, cut once and all that.)

I suppose such is the chance you take with free patterns. Nonetheless, it was a simple piece, but would have been so much more finished looking on the inside seams if I had a serger. If I only had a serger! I feel like the Tin Man when I say that. I don’t really have room for a serger, but man, I would really really like one when we move into a place where I can have an office / crafty room because holy cow does it make light work of so many things. A friend generously loaned me hers when I made the diapers for Kale (that he so nicely grew out of in three weeks) and seriously, man, that was awesome. 

Anyway, so I had another metre of this lovely bamboo, in a really amazing sage colour, and so for once I decided to sew something for ME instead of my son or my husband or my friends and I made myself some boycut undies. I actually paid for this pattern – the one on Burda Style wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Although, truth be told – I should have just used it because the one I paid for needed some amending anyway. None the less, I managed to use some scraps instead of cutting into that lovely metre of green bamboo jersey I have left, and so Ross’ T-shirt and my undies match. Which is kinda creepy in that matching-jogging-suit sort of spousal way, but its likely that no one will ever know because other than me posting a picture of my new undies NOT being worn on this here blog, the world won’t ever see me wearing them.

From Miscellaneous

You see that elastic up there? That’s actually elastic in a fabric casing I made – the pattern actually calls for the elastic to be applied “naked” and I didn’t like that. Also, next time? I’ll make the elastic longer around – the pattern calls for a measurement, and while it fits, it does ensure a muffin top that I don’t really appreciate.

I really enjoy sewing, which is funny considering Mom sent me to a sewing class when I was about 13 in which I made a blue apron for Rick and it was horrid, truly horrid. I remember very clearly watching the instructor lady put pins into fabric and create gathers with so much ease it looked staged and I remember thinking that there is no freakin’ way I will ever want to do that. When I was sewing the undies I learned a new stitch on my machine – an overcast stitch. Learning how to use and do a new stitch was totally exciting. How things have changed.

When Ross bought me this sewing machine – a Kenmore Model 1560 from like, 1901 or something (okay, its probably more like the 80s), it didn’t come with a manual. Funny how a sewing machine has been one of the best gifts he has ever given me.  

Kenmore V1560 exploded view
Kenmore V1560 exploded view

The knob to select the stitches couldn’t be a nice simple button with STRAIGHT or ZIGZAG or SCALLOPED written on it – oh no. This one has three different knobs with cryptic symbols and colours and crap that you have to know how to turn to  get one of the 20 or so stitches the machine is capable of. So a manual is very, very helpful.

Fortunately, I found a website that sells sewing machine manuals that you can download and then print at home, or they can mail you the CD if you’d rather. I actually paid for something I downloaded from the internet (!) and MAN am I ever glad I did. I have consulted that thing numerous times and it has come in handy and paid for itself in time and frustration saved many times over. 

I like being able to sew things – whether its to mend something or to sew something from scratch. There is no fabric store in New West (woe!) and its something I have honestly considered doing. I actually wonder if its possible to run an online fabric store and make money. No building to pay rent to (although a storage space for the bolts of fabric seems somewhat important) and if you have an EXCELLENT website, I could see it working. Shipping is the issue I think. Fabric can get really, really heavy. But I can envision it in my mind – a garage with bolts of fabric and a gorgeous, slick website and fast shipping. Would it work? I don’t know. 

Part of the problem is that I find that there is no reason for people to sew unless they enjoy it. Hardly anyone repairs clothes if they rip and most people use a tailor for alterations. Fabric, patterns, notions- they are ridiculously expensive even if you buy fabric on sale or used and swap patterns with friends. It costs say, $40 for the fabric alone for an outfit that some child in China is making and is being sold for $12 at your local Super Mart. So its frustrating. 

Anyway, this wasn’t meant to be a rant on the dying breed of fabric stores. I leave you with “Baby Enamoured With Self in Mirror”:

From Kale 6 to 9 months
10 years ago