Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Bad Idea Involving a Sharpie

I have not done a bit of sewing in over a week. This is not for lack of desire, of course. My husband has been working almost non-stop in an effort to pull the last bits of his dissertation together - most days this has meant he has been gone from ten in the morning until well after midnight, and then sleeping until nine the next morning. So, I have been seriously busy with kids and home and everything else that is much easier with two bodies around. Plus I always seem to have trouble falling asleep when my husband is not at home so I have been up late hours too, but mostly laying in bed wishing I were asleep. Right now, in fact, he is still at work and I have a world of dishes, laundry and picking up waiting for me in the other room.

But I am ignoring it. I have had a thousand projects bouncing around in my head and in my ideas book that have been waiting for me. (Maybe this is part of what has been keeping me up at night...) I want to make:

  • Placemats for the kids from Meg McElwee's Growing Up Sew Liberated
  • A few much needed shirt(s) for me
  • T-shirts for the kids
  • A birthday present for my mother-in-law
  • A pencil roll for Evan from Amanda Blake Soule's The Creative Family
  • Good morning dressing bags for the kids 
And that does not include the non-sewing projects, in particular a handful of plans that Evan and I have for some beautiful branches we found fallen after a wind storm last week.  

So, I took the kids out to the fabric store yesterday, although I should have been getting them outside for a bit of movement and fresh air. I really wanted at least to pretend that I was working on something. I picked up patterns for a couple shirts and a dress for me. I have never used a pattern to make clothing, so this will be a major first for me. I wanted a basic long-sleeved shirt or two and ended up with a few other things as well, including Burda 3197, Burda 7866 and Simplicity 2147.

The Simplicity pattern says "Learn to Sew" on the front, so I pulled that one out first. Umm...yeah, I really do not know how to read a pattern. And that is what led me to hole up in the office and forget about the work at the other end of the house. I might have another half hour before it becomes a bad decision.

I thought that part of what was making me feel googly-eyed looking at the pattern was the wealth of unnecessary information. The pattern includes four different garments and all of the sizes ranging from six to eighteen. It contains over twenty different pattern pieces, of which I only need four. Cutting the few pieces that I actually need seemed a good idea, rather than sitting in front of two giant sheets of tissue paper covered in nonsense. I did not want to cut right into the pattern - that just seems too filled with finality for my current mental state. Not that I expect to need a different size - I can eat a horse or pick on birdseed and my body size does not seem to change. (Nice most of the time, except for when you want your body size to change.) But still, cutting into the pattern just feels too...serious.

Now any reasonable person would buy themselves some nice tracing paper and would set to work copying the pattern, right? Well, I have this thing right now about using what we have in the house...sometimes a bit too overzealously. (Maybe it is because we have been "about to move" for the last year, so I feel like I need to keep things small until we do...although a year is a long time to keep the cupboards bare.)

We have a big roll of butcher paper that I bought to do projects with the kids. It is no tracing paper, that is for sure. But with a sharpie, an extra lamp, and a lot of squinting, I managed to get two pieces traced. They look so much prettier than they did on the original pattern - so clean and simple. And they do make me feel like I might actually be able to make this dress. Maybe.

One final note, in case anyone ever wanted to replicate my terribly flawed pattern tracing process. Sharpies bleed through sewing patterns. So do not trace the pattern lines on your favorite desk, please. And if you do, do not use nail polish remover to get it off. 

This desk is growing more charming by the day!

1 comment:

  1. Katie, you are getting so ahead of me with your sewing. Now that I'm settled - I have to catch up!