Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I sew things

You may wonder what I do with my free time when I'm not writing stories.

I lounge by the heated pool sipping mojitos after my strenuous polo matches

I clean the house from top to bottom, making sure that my lovely daughter can see her reflection in the fireplace tiles

I plan and make delicious gourmet meals that require me first to go into the backyard to milk the cow so that I can make my own cheese from scratch

I sew things. Each time I attempt a project, I make progress. Today's project, a pair of wide-legged pink trousers, came out quite satisfactorily. I plan to wear them three days in a row.

I'm quite fortunate. While Lucia has become jealous of my guitar practice to the point where she climbs up on my lap and hugs me while flattening the guitar with her tummy, she is often a good sport when it comes to sewing. As long as she can talk to me, unroll ribbons, play with the spools of thread (a particular favorite is "Robin the Bobbin" who rolls upon the pin-cushion as if it were a slide), place her toes on the cut-out fabric I've laid upon the floor, pull apart the sticky-notepad I keep in my sewing box, measure her arms with the dinosaur-shaped tape-measure, and make her dollies "walk the plank" on the hem gauge, she's content to let me work on my projects for certain stretches of time. She knows she's not supposed to touch the pins and needles, and has been fairly respectful of the sewing machine. Once, I was sewing a zig-zag hem on the collar of her umbrella-print tunic, and all of a sudden, the machine went really-really-really fast. I'm sure that if I had been sitting under the table, I wouldn't have been able to resist finding out what happened when I pushed down harder on the sewing machine pedal.

Tomorrow, I'm going to sew a jacket.

Update: It was bound to happen that I would mess up a project. I didn't do so well on the jacket I planned. In fact, the jacket is now scraps for future quilting projects (not mine). So it goes! I was a bit down about it earlier, but my mother reminded me that jackets are difficult.


galetea said...

I must congratulate you on your sewing skills! Thanks to you, my shinies will never be tangled again!

abcgirl said...

cute pants!

i too prefer to sew by eye. i learned sewing from patterns and my very precisely-sewing mother, but nowadays, i'd much rather make it up as i go along.

Nonny said...

Those pants are so cute and look so comfortable. I'd wear them 4 days in a row!

I can't believe you don't use a pattern or anything. I'm impressed, of course I can't sew a lick. My mom use to make alot of our clothes I just never got the hang of it.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

You're welcome, Galetea! I'm thinking of making modified (i.e. not raw silk) versions for Lucia's teachers as goodbye presents... but then, I might do mix cds, too. Any ideas?

ABC Girl, Thanks! By the way, I saw some fabric at the store that was stripey with sage green and white 1/2 inch (or so) horizontal stripes. I thought of the trousers you saw on a patron, and wondered if this fabric would be of interest to you. I don't think it's stretchy, though.

Nonny, You're very kind! By
"not use a pattern," I mean that I didn't buy a pattern, but I did look at an existing pair of trousers and make modifications. The key to making trousers (as I've discovered after a number of attempts) is to account for the bottom (as in, derriere) as part of the length and make sure there is more fabric than I think I need for the waist-to-hips part. I can always trim it down, but it's a lot harder to add panels. Also (and I'm just writing this for general interest, so please bear with me), the neat thing about trousers is after you sew the individual legs, you stuff one leg inside the other, sew the middle part, and voila, the legs are attached!

I learned that in my sewing class last summer. And yes, I did use a pattern then, but I was unhappy with the results. Trousers are easy enough to sew, but tricky to get the fit right. That's why I'm going for the "glorified skirt" look instead of the tailored look.

Lady K said...

I can't sew to save my life. In high school home-ec class we had to sew something and I chose a satin jacket. Of ALL the fabrics to choose for a first project, that was the hardest to work with. I burned the pocket ironing it and, being the first project, I ended up having to pull stitches. I'm sure you know what satin fabric looks like once needle holes have gone through and then pulled back out. Yikes.

I AM, however, attempting a project with my mom (who DOES sew)next weekend, a cover for our family pagina, (feather quilt) that's been handed down to me. Wish me luck. I'll definitely post pictures!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Lady K, I just posted the update about my failed jacket. I'm impressed that you had the courage (bravado? hope?!) to sew a satin jacket. Satin intimidates me. I like it in linings, but I prefer someone else to sew those linings. I wish you much luck, good fortune and FUN in sewing your quilt cover. Let me know if you need any fat quarters!

Lone Star Ma said...

You are so incredibly talented.

I cannot sew at all. My daughter's GS vest is always a sick joke. It is truly sad.

I wish you lived here! The LSG is really interested in fabric lately. I am trying to find her a teacher...