I've got a few projects on the go. That's to say, I spend every spare minute I can eke out of my overscheduled day searching for thread to match fabric, emailing proficient sewists to ask them key questions about what they might have done to obtain outcome x, trying madly to figure out how to make my own patterns based on math described by others (said proficient sewists), learning terms like "rayon seam binding", wrestling with the details - small and large.
You wouldn't be out of line, exactly, in suggesting that my project after next might involve somewhat fewer than 5 new techniques I've never seen in action, much less tried (lining, seam binding, invisible zipping and bias cutting from a pattern I'm making myself). But here's the thing: Given my relative inexperience, every freakin' project involves 5 new techniques I've never seen before. I'm kind of getting used to it!
I have this "method": I make everything twice. (Or at least I have so far.) The first instance has the potential to drive me to drink (for real). The second time, I remember bits and pieces - sometimes entire techniques. Sometimes I even demonstrate a little bit of flair. It gets me through.
Much as when I cook - I imagine I have my own daytime show and I'm educating a Kristin-loving studio audience. It's post-modern absurd - indeed, far more absurd with sewing than with cooking which, at least I've been doing with skill for half my life. But it helps me focus. And I'm a slut for an audience :-)
This weekend I'm going to make slips. This new-to-me site, recommended by the incomparable Sal, is the best thing I've seen in a long time. I can't wait to try the tutorial, though I've already spent the better part of a week getting ready.
Here's what I've done so far (indulge me, it's my blog after all):
- Dissected the instructional post dozens of times.
- Compared it with techniques in 4 different books.
- Bought stretch fabric in 2 colours and weights.
- Realized that the pattern is for non-stretch fabric.
- Decided to proceed with stretch but with modifications.
- Laughed ruefully.
- Bought lace and stretch elastic at this place in the sewing district called Mokuba which, formerly, I could not believe managed to stay in business selling ribbon and lace. I spent $36.00 on stuff for 3 slips that can fit in a mini-ziploc bag. And I went with the cheap and cheerful (though lovely) stuff. Nothing in this place is less than lovely.
- Tried to figure out if I could make 3 slips out of my 2 yards of fabric.
- Remembered some other, non stretch but taffeta-type lining I could use to make a third slip.
- Wondered how the fuck I'm going to make 3 slips in a day having never made one.
- Realized I don't have the right coloured thread, even though I bought some the other day - speculating on the colour of fabric I had bought the day before.
- Took snips of every fabric and lining in my bin to buy the actual right colours of thread.
- Cut out the rectangular pattern.
- Realized I forgot about the seam allowance.
- Wrote a note in big letters on the pattern reminding me to eyeball an extra 5/8 inch on the non-fold side.
- Started worrying because the kind of hem lace I bought isn't really lace. It's like flat elastic with a tight, translucent "skirting" for want of a better way of saying it...
Here's what I'm aiming to make: one hot pink tricot above knee half-slip with navy picot waist elastic and that weird hem lace I just referred to - also in navy. One peach-nude tricot above knee half-slip with black picot waist elastic and that weird hem lace I just referred to - also in black. I was really drawn to the hem lace. I only hope it works. (I guess that means I'll be going back to Mokuba before Sat. to see if I can get something more "standard" that costs less than $17.95 a metre. As backup.)
And we wonder why no one sews anymore.
Brief Update: It's like a miracle, because I've finally responded to your recent (and less recent) comments. So sorry to have taken this long. Every comment I get gives me such a thrill - really. So if you feel like looking back, now's the time...