Thursday, September 9, 2010

Best laid (optimistic) plans

I have been told (by someone in particular) that I am a 'negative' person. I disagree with this (I prefer the term ‘realistic’...) and it would seem that my attitude when it comes to sewing indicates that, actually, I may be overly optimistic. This is because I went to my sewing class on Tuesday night with visions of sewing up the baby pinnafore in a flash, getting the teacher to help me make the button holes, sewing on the little wooden buttons, and sailing off into the night with the finished product: the cutest baby pinnafore in the history of the world.

But of course, it wasn't that simple and I feel like I didn't really make that much progress except to sew the WORST HEM EVER.

It was all going well, I sewed the front bodice piece to the front skirt piece for both the outer and inner layers of the pinnafore.

Then I sewed along the edges on the outer layer (or the 'shell' as the pattern calls it) and came to the hem, for which the pattern says 'Turn the bottom edge under 1/2” and press. Then turn it under again and stitch.' So I marked 1/2" all along and ironed it up and then turned it up again, but I didn't mark where to turn it up to the second time, I just folded it at the point where the first turned up fabric stopped (this is a cryptic and pointless description of events I know, but I'm writing it anyway). I thought it looked okay so I sewed it. As I was sewing it I thought, 'Hmmm, maybe this isn't the most even of hems but oh well.' And then when I finished I thought, 'It's not great, but it's okay.' And then the teacher said, 'How did it go?' and I said, 'Not the best hem ever' and she looked at it and said, 'Well you could unpick just this bit and sew it again?' (which must be bad - I mean she doesn't seem like a perfectionist by any means) and (clearly in denial) I replied, 'Nah, it's fine, no one will notice when it's on.'

Then, as per the pattern, I went about sewing up the sides of the lining part of the dress. When I came to the hem on that the teacher said, 'Marking where to fold it up to for the second fold might help' and as I followed her advice I thought, 'Why didn't I do the hem on the lining before the hem on the outer? Then I would have made this discovery before doing the hem you actually see'. Right at that moment the teacher walked past and said, 'Actually, it would have been a good idea to do the lining part of the pinnafore before the outer part because they're exactly the same and you could have practiced everything on the lining which no one will see.' I casually smiled and said, 'Yeah I just thought that, oh well!' all the while thinking, 'WHY DIDN'T YOU MENTION THIS BEFORE? NOW I HAVE A TERRIBLE OUTER HEM ALL BECAUSE I WAS RELIGIOUSLY FOLLOWING THE PATTERN. I DON'T HAVE YOUR WISDOM. THIS IS WHY I AM HERE.'

Craft rage. It's so common. And so often it's the patterns that cause it. Why DID the person who wrote that pattern say to make the outer 'shell' before the inner when they're exactly the same up until you attach the lining to the outer? It does make more sense to 'practice' on the lining because you're not going to see it. But then I guess people writing patterns aren't thinking about making it as easy as possible for beginners with no foresight.

Anyway, we had to pack up before I got to sewing the second hem and I have since decided that really, I need to unpick the whole first hem and do it again. Grrr. But I CAN finish this pinnafore before the end of my last sewing class next week. Surely that's realistic?

Project Runway started again tonight which was super exciting. I went to my friend's house for dinner and her Mum, Aileen, is a knitter who has been knitting up a storm for the Spring Knack Market on Saturday at the South Wellington Intermediate School hall (Rintoul Street, Newton, 9.30am - 1.30pm). Luckily Aileen is also a big Project Runway fan so we had a really good time knitting and drinking wine and having our own little Project Runway judging panel. I am probably extremely annoying to watch Project Runway with because I love to mimic Heidi - she says the same things every week so it's pretty easy: 'As you know in fashion, one day you're in, the next day, you're out.' I liked the dress made by the designer that got sent home, clearly Heidi and I don't share the same opinion when it comes to fashion. Then again, I guess we don't have much in common at all, so no wonder.

Because I hadn't planned to go round to Aileen's house for dinner, I went straight from work and didn't have my knitting with me, so I started knitting a little scarf in moss stitch for the teddy bear Aileen was knitting. Here are some of the creations she and her sister-in-law have been making, I love the little sleeping teddy in a pink bunny suit...

I may have to buy it. I'm definitely going to go along to the market anyway, as it's very close to my house.


  1. This will sound weird because we don't know each other at all (but have been enjoying your blog for a wee while now!). I have such a girl crush on you!

    Finally someone who understands my craft rage *happy sigh* it's not just me!

  2. I have girl crushes on so many bloggers I've never met! I also have life envy of the two American women whose blogs I follow - they seem so perfect. As for craft rage, I feel like it's one of society's dark secrets that need airing; maybe we should run a social marketing campaign 'Craft rage: it's okay' and publish guidelines on the safest way to embrace it i.e. put down your needles, make sure small children keep a safe distance...