So, this happened yesterday. (I have to upgrade to upload videos. So please click the link. It is an Instagram video.)
Around the new year I slowly start picking up a sewing project again. It started out as a quilting project in December for my boyfriend that would feature the Hyrule crest.
At first I was staying up through the night and I simply waited for my dad to go to work early in the morning before moving in my rotary mats, basket of fabric and other supplies to simply trace the templates I made and get that part started while I watched TV and movies in his room on the floor.
Quickly though, it became apparent that I could only spend five minutes at the most hunched over before I had to lay back for another five to ten minutes while my back, neck, shoulders and wrists quieted down. As you can imagine I did not get very far in the scant hours I had to work on it.
At first I was using very old muslin fabric my mother had brought from my grandparents for since this was my first quilt and it is a rather involved project and was only going to be a “rough draft” the first go around.
But when I decided all that work shouldn’t go to waste and I was going to use extra fabric that fit the color scheme of my choice and make a quilt for me so I could practice and still use what I made.
Then I discovered my fabric was off grain. And no matter what my mom or I did, even with her fifty years (since she was ten) of working with fabric could we get it back on grain.
So I was frustrated. In pain. And upset. I hadn’t even begun the piecing of the quilt top and here was quite the obstacle.
I distracted myself by mildly organizing (says the person diagnosed with OCD) and thoroughly cleaning my sewing room. That also involved organizing the absolute mess that was my patterns collection.
I still wanted to sew but I knew I honestly couldn’t handle the physical pain that was accompaning my trying to work on the quilt. I was funny to try deluding myself that it was limited to quilting at the moment. Rheumatoid Arthritis does not work that way.
Anyways. I have quite the hoarding of “silky types” from JoAnn sales that I never used because I was afraid of making a dress and then becoming so frustrated with one tiny issue (like the neckline gaping) and taking it apart and abandoning it.
But they aren’t high quality fabrics. Pretty but not fancy. And with me, if I don’t actually enjoy the fabric, and I don’t see myself wearing it because of that – I won’t do it at all.
So I went to a pattern I had already made previously, Simplicity 1687, a Project Runway pattern.
This time I would be making it in a cream and soft jewle toned fabic that was quite shifty and sheer.
I spent the first day working on tracing the pattern (I always trace) and double checking to make sure I didn’t need to lengthen the bodice as well as address fitting issues I had encountered in the previous version. There was of course, a gaping neckline, gapping at the back above the zipper in the detail and the armscye is tight in the under arm. But gaped underneath. So, to clarify too high and tight on my armpit, but actually gaped away from my body.
These are fit issues with every “Big 4″ pattern that I am starting to learn how to address before the fact.
This time around I used an old cotton I had in the stash, my mother just refers to it as nightgown material, to make the upper bodice where the fit issues were.
I wish I had photos I could post, but I took them in my bra to true the fit and well, that isn’t going on the internet. That was for to reference going forward, only.
On the muslin, I pinch two long, thing darts angling softly down and to the sides at the neckline and moved in the side seam 3/8”. My first instinct was to go a full 5/8″ from the initial seam for the closest (comfortable) fit as I prefer my dresses fitted to shape. But, I wanted to factor in wearable ease and lining so I only shaved off 2/8″ from the fabric itself and will fit the seamline from there to what is most comfortable.
I however, forgot to adress the back bodice issue, so I may revisit that in a moment as I have plenty of fabric to recut the two small pieces.
I started tracing and cutting the fashion fabric by weighing it down with various object and taping the pattern pieces to the fabric itself with masking tape to eliminate and possible chances of it moving on me whatsoever. Keep that in mind. I was also tracing and cutting on the single layer.
But… something weird happened.
When I would after finishing tracing and transfering markings, I would remove the pattern pieces and then actually replace them best as I could to confirm I didn’t mess up.
But the tracing was entirely different from the pattern piece.
So I retraced.
And traced again.
Eventually I just gave in and cut everything out. Slowly. And quite painfully. I have a pair of I believe 7″ or 8″ knife edge left handed Gingher shears that I have worshipped for nearly a year if not more and they are heavy. Supremely heavy. And in need of sharpening and possibly an oil in the pivot points. Screws. However you prefer to refer to it. Anyhow, I was once again in pain. Cutting one piece at a time and wrapping my hand and wrist in a warm towel and resting between.
JoAnns had sent out coupons for a 15% off your total purchase through a text. I suggest if you frequent JoAnns, you sign up. The coupons are good and work with or without internet access. There was also a 5 for $5 pattern sale. I had a litrle bit of money so I figured why not check it out while there was a car available for a few hours?
First off, I wanted to check out the patterns. I only buy when they are 5/$5 and I knew the Early Spring catalog was out.
….it sucked. I spent twenty minutes going over that and even the winter catalog and I only picked out four patterns. And I had to talk myself into getting all but one.
I checked out the notions. I got a seam gauge, some thread (my first spool of Gütermann!) an invisible zipper and I was going to look, just look at lining fabrics as my original choice feels like plastic-y to me.
So I was browsing and walking around and of course landed in the “silk types” aisle.
I was just feeling and touching the bolts as I passed them. If they were white they usually got a closer look as I couldn’t find any colors that really matched the fabric I was going to use.
Most of them had that same plastic-y feeling I was trying to avoid until one caught my eye. My finger? Touch? Attention.
I am trying to make a better practice of actually identifying the fabrics I purchase and use so I have made a habit of snapping a quick picture of the end caps on the bolts of fabrics I like.
I tried calling my mother to ask her opinion but she didn’t pick up the phone.
From what that says, I really hope this is peachskin that I have read about. It was a mental boost I really needed. Some girls buy shoes, I buy fabric.
Before during and after waiting in line to get the fabric cut, I was using a calculator to check, double check and triple check that I was going to have enough money. This is something I always do when shopping.
While waiting in line I was right next the scissor and rotary cutter display.
I had been researching rotary cutters for the quilt for a couple weeks before I called a hiatus but I was planning on using them for quilting exclusively as I was worried as to my dexterity with using it around curves. And I knew that they weren’t available online exceot for a mark up on Amazon. The one’s I wanted at least. I wanted something with weight to it that would help sink into the fabrics thus requiring less effort from my joints.
And of course something geared towards southpaws. I don’t need left handed utensils but it sure is a lot easier and I have to actually think about what side I am cutting on which turns my dyslexia around and frustrates me.
The 45 mm left handed Gingher Rotary Cutter was disappearing and fast. Even on the wall at JoAnns it was on clearance. For nearly, if not slightly above half price.
I once again did the math, just the sure.
Tried calling my mom again.
Texted Mike and he called me.
He said if I had issues afterwards he would help me out. Not that I would let him but it was comforting to know he was willing to offer.
Anyways. I go home. Smiling and happy and excited.
Back to the tracing issue. Like I said, no matter how many times I traced, how much I weighed the fabric down or pinned, it never matched the pattern piece when the vellum paper was placed on top.
What is this madness?
However, when I placed the fabric on top of the pattern piece it magically lined up.
I took to Instagram and Twitter for assistance and no one knew what was going on.
So I just moved on.
Using the rotary cutter was like a dream. I still had back pain but no more having to wrap my wrist and hand up.
I have yet to cut out the lining fabric as I am unsure as to whether or not it is best to line or underline (ha, get it?) the dress.
Underlining would had more structure to the bodice but I want the skirt of the fashion fabric to be breezy and a lined skirt underneath for proprietary, separately.
But now that I think about it… maybe it would be best to just treat the two as one. I dunno. Suggestions?
And last night, when I was going to wind the bobbin with my new thread that matched the fashion fabric, it did it’s spazz out.
I called and spoke with the Viking Sewing Center in Sanford where I bought the machine a year and a half ago and she said bring it in, they will take a look but it sounds like it more than likely needs to be serviced.
Super bummer. Super duper bummer.
One thing about me, especially if you have been reading about my trials with mental illness, is when I become extremely upset or emotional – I go into a psychotic episode. I will start hallucinating and I did. After I had calmed down a bit and I was talking to Sassy, I tried going back and asking her about some of the things she mentioned but it was never brought up at all.
I was driving to get food and on the way home I could have sworn I saw a woman with two small chidren walking a Rottweiler down the middle of the highway. I pull up to the stoplight and they were no where to be found.
In my memory, I have never hallucinated actual people before. Animals, voices, monsters anything but people. It was definitely frightening.
I was so upset because I was really hoping to have this dress done by Sunday when Mike gets here. And now it is definitely looking unlikely. When I get an idea, and I let myself believe it is possible… I put everything into it I count on it. I depend on it. It is now part of me, my schedule my future and when things don’t go the way I plan? It sends me reeling.
It sounds off but it is just one of my “issues. Just like my hallucinations. I cannot help it.
Anyways. That is where I am at today.
This was originally a sewing blog and now it is a whatever is on my mind blog. This was entirely for me and my outlet and if you are willing to hop along for the ride, awesome. Nice to have you with me.
Drafted and posted using my Samsung Galaxy SIII. Please do forgive any typographical errors.