Before I begin talking about the horrors of sewing machines eating ones project, let me start you off with a laugh. Hopefully. At least, I find this funny.
Elizabeth hosted a sewing & crafts night on Friday at her new place. I took a few different things to work on – fabric to “wing it” on a pair of fingerless gloves for Project Breyna, and some lovely giraffe flannel that I cut a while back for yet another pair of pajama pants. I know, you are tired of pajama pants. But I am not! The first step is admitting you have a problem, I suppose.
Anyway. There were about six of us. Kate worked on some crocheting, which she is learning to do. She left before I got to picture taking, sadly. Sara is new to sewing, and decided to make a blanket and pillows for her daughter’s Barbies. It was cute, but I failed at picture taking on that one, too. Liz was also working on a pair of pajama pants for her husband’s belated birthday gift. That is some super soft fabric, let me tell you. And it has tools on it, perfect since he does a lot of woodworking.
Elizabeth attached some lacy, flow-y sleeves to a fun top she is working on for Halloween. And then she began work on modifying a dress for Sara, which you can see her working on below.
And Kelly spent all evening seam ripping a costume she is working on, poor girl. I could not have spent that much quality time with Fred in one sitting. But her costume is going to be pretty epic. She also taught us how boning material can be very cheap if you buy zip ties from the local hardware store.
I decided that I would sew my gloves first so that when I #$%@-ed them up, I would have a consolation project of giraffe pants. It began with 4 pieces of fabric that looked like the picture below. I did some very basic measuring of different parts of my hand and arm first, including:
1) The width of my hand at the base of my fingers
2) The width of my arm about 2-3 inches below my wrist
3) The diameter of my thumb
4) The distance from the base of my pointer finger to the base of my thumb
I thought I was being clever for thinking about how I might hem the thumb holes by adding the tiny part that juts out a bit from the rest of the rectangle. Turns out it was fairly useless in the end.
I did learn why it is bad to hem things prior to attaching pieces together. More on that later. For now, the first thing I did was hem the top and bottom of two pieces of a glove. You may notice that this is the same ivory jersey knit fabric I used on much of Project Breyna. And so I was prepared with tissue paper to prevent wavy seam syndrome. You can find details of that trick in other posts, so I will spare you them here.
I was still in the middle of my narrow hems when all hell broke lose. My sewing machine decided it was hungry. I can’t really blame it, I am hungry all the time too, and Elizabeth did have quite a spread of food out for us since we potlucked. However, it decide to eat my fabric.
I stopped, grumbled a bit, ripped the seam with Fred, and tried again. It was still hungry. And this time I was kind of angry. So much so that even though I knew it was starting to chew on my hem, I kept pressing my presser foot. Inside my head it went something like, “You want to eat, #($@!? I’ll feed you!” This was really not the best way to manage ones sewing stresses.
I pulled. I tugged. I really shouldn’t have done either of these things.
Victory was not mine. The glove lost part of itself. I finally had to open up the sewing machine. I have mentioned before how awkward this is with my machine, so I thought to take a picture for you.
See how a person cannot stand the screwdriver up straight to remove the screws on this thing? It takes a lot of coaxing.
After that 20-30 minute setback, I cut a 5th piece of fabric for the gloves, to replace the torn one, and I hemmed it again. I guess my machine was full as it did not try to eat this one. After the hemming, I stitched the thumb-side of the glove together. Rather, I stitched the top 2″ of the thumb side, then skipped the thumb hole, and started stitching again underneath it all the way to the bottom of the glove.
Once done, I folded the fabric under nicely at my little notches, and I opened the glove along the seam I had just sewn. I placed tissue paper under it, and began a slightly curved line of stitching from the end of the top seam to the beginning of the bottom seam. Below is an example, only the left side of the thumb hole is complete.
At the top of the middle seam, you can see the reason why you don’t hem before attaching pieces of a project together. They may not line up nicely. Grunt. Oh well, I will think about doing it properly for the other glove, but the idea of sewing such a small circular seam is a bit daunting. Anyway, rinse and repeat for the other side of the thumb hole. Try on the thumb part and do a little happy dance.
Then I stitched the final seam that would go along the outside of my hand. Instead of just stitching a straight line, I did a slightly curved line to match the contours of my hand. The right side of the picture below demonstrates this. Sorry for the poor lighting.
At least for the night. I decided one glove was progress enough, and that I really wanted a pair of giraffe pajamas. Aren’t they glorious? Ignore Project Breyna on the table beside, drying the fabric glue from the jewels I just glued on it.
That seems like a pretty happy way to end this post, and so I shall! Yay, giraffes!