Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I've Slowed Down a Bit

I didn't sew at all yesterday, but I did remember it was Me Made Monday, so I wore one of my favorite sweaters
 in an effort to remind myself that there are often about 10 days in the entire year when cotton sweaters actually fit the temperature because the catalogs are coming.  There is no bigger pain than trying to splice cotton or weave in cotton ends, but every spring those bright colors of cotton trying to suck me in with their promises of bright colors at 12-year-old models frolicking on the beach.  Thank heavens,
there is cotton fabric.  Theo has rediscovered the joys of sewing, and has become quite a determined sidekick, which has slowed down progress--as if I needed any help with that.

The pants I'm making have a drawstring, which I usually don't actually make as turning long, skinny tubes of fabric inside out ranks just after frogging mohair on my list of Activities to Make One Drink, but thanks to Nancy Zieman, I  now own a set of these:
 They're bias tape makers, but they also save one from turning tubes.  I basically feed the fabric in one end, then follow behind the small end with the iron and the ends are folded inside, then I folded the edges together and stitched it all up.  That Nancy is certainly an enabler, but she does tend to also be right about such things.  So, the drawstring is all done, and this morning I'm making my way through the stack of "pinned and ready to sew" pieces I put together Sunday night:
 I'm trying to get into the habit of leaving everything ready for the next step before  I stop sewing, so if I only have a few minutes, I can still get some things done instead of wondering where I was at and where everything went.  It's a level of organization I have generally been incapable of, but 200 yards of fabric in a year calls for desperate measures.

I'm not doing nearly as well with my resolution to buy no craft related items this year.  These:
are my newest acquisitions.  I learned to sew in 4-H when I was a kid, but I didn't learn much, in all honesty.  Nothing about changing needles to fit projects (or when they were just old), nothing about fitting, nothing about dealing with different fabrics--really, nothing except that I had to rip out any stitching that wasn't perfectly straight because I had to get a blue ribbon.  You can imagine how much fun THAT was, so after two painful years,  I gave it up and refused to ever sew anything again. Now, however, without someone looming over me to tell me I'm doing everything wrong, I enjoy it, but I still don't know very much about it.  The Super Stitches book is new, and probably geared toward someone fairly new to sewing, but while I have all these great utility stitches on my machine, not even the book that came with the machine explains what they are FOR.  If I tell my machine I'm sewing with heavy woven fabric, it picks a particular buttonhole, but I don't know why, and the sewing books I've located are too simple.  At first, I was going to wait until the end of the year, but as this year I am making a lot of clothes, making those clothes CORRECTLY would be kind of nice.  The shirtmaking book I had borrowed from the library, and two of his techniques have already made collar points SO much better that I knew I would buy the book, and again, I'm making shirts this year, so why not learn it now.  So, I have broken that resolution, but this should keep me busy for the rest of the year, so hopefully I'm back on the wagon for the rest of the year.  AND I'm going to find out what all those extra stitches on my machine actually DO,  Seriously, the Platinum 770 that I bought on Ebay a few years ago has so many stitch options that I've only been guessing which one is the actual zig-zag. NOW I'm not buying any more books though.  Really.  I promise.  I've made it seven whole days now......