Friday, August 27, 2010

When it's just not worth it

There are some things that are not worth the trouble it takes to sew them, in my opinion. For example, this shirt I bought recently with my aunt:

Don't get me wrong, I love this shirt! I would cheerfully have many more like it. But it looks like a headache to sew. In case you can't see cleary in the photo, the shirt has bubble sleeves with elastic in them, a shirred bodice, and a neck edge that is made out of a fabric shirred in a wave-like pattern. The idea of trying to get all those lines of shirring parallel and then sewing all the pieces together is quite daunting, at least to me. And given that I can buy the shirt for $15, it's a no-brainer. Since it's so stretchy, the fit issues that drove me to get into sewing clothes don't apply.

Other things I'm reluctant to sew include things with lots of buttonholes, like shirtdresses or button-down shirts. I find it extremely difficult to make buttonholes look presentable.

What are things that you'd rather buy than sew?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jalie 2908--finished!

At long last, not only are the Jalie 2908 jeans finished, but I have photos of them! The photos are pretty bad, but given that I took them with a broken camera in a rush in a sketchy motel in Indiana, they could be a lot worse!

The front:
Yes, Teresa usually stands on one foot and one side of a foot. And then she complains that her shoes fall apart. :P

The back:
This is a slightly odd angle. But it's all I've got, and you can see that I got the pockets on evenly, which is what I wanted to show off. And look! Both feet are on the ground at the same time!

Action shot:
I suppose this isn't very much action, but it's hard to think of anything else to be done in that motel. Jump on the beds?

The pocket lining:
This photo is blurry, but I didn't notice it at the time, and given that the jeans and their owner were left behind in Indiana, this is what you will have to live with until fall break in October!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sorry all!

I have been very productive, I just haven't been sewing. Our youth group (well, part of it) spent a week in Delaware with Habitat for Humanity. We took a house from this:

to this: You can't see too well on the photos, but what we did is finish the decking on one side of the house (it's a duplex), and raise the walls for the second floor on the other side. It's not quite as much as we had hoped to get done, but we did run into a good many snags along the way.

Many of us also tried out new things. For me, those were sawing with a circular saw while standing on scaffolding, and nailing from the top of a high ladder:
That's me in the black T-shirt and white hard hat in the top left.

I also tried out what it might be like to die early. We took off work early one day and went to the beach, where a friend and I got caught by the waves and had a very hard time getting back to shore. Physically, we are both recovered (me) or recovering (him), but neither of us likes to look at pictures of waves or the beach, and as a matter of fact, when I went to see Inception last night, I had to get someone to hold my hand during those beach scenes. I think it will be a while before I go to the beach again.

It is getting to crunch time for getting ready for college. I honestly don't forsee much sewing, and I'm sorry about that.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sewing machine troubles

So, sadly, I think it is time to admit something I've been trying to deny for quite a while. I think the timing on my sewing machine is off, and I think it may be time to take it in for a tune-up of some sort. The issue may not be timing exactly, but something is definitely wrong with this poor machine.

Exhibit A:
See those brown scratches around the hole where the needles goes in? I am pretty darn sure that those are scratches from where the needle scrapes the faceplate (is that what it's called?) instead of going into the hole cleanly. There were some of those scratches when I got the machine, but there are now more of them, and my needles do go dull pretty quickly.

Exhibit B:
This picture is much harder to see, because my camera doesn't do very good close-ups, but inside that red box is a little dark line. That dark line is a dent. That dent is new. I think the needle dented the bobbin case.

Now, I have several questions for you. First of all, does this seem like a timing issue to anyone else? My sewing machine has been getting crankier and crankier, and it also started working much more poorly after the trip back from Montreal (which may have been a bad idea, in retrospect). If you don't think it's a timing issue, what might it be?

And, the main question: Do I have any hope of fixing this myself? The affordable machine repair shop in the area closed, and I am looking at a bill of $90 just to look at the thing from the only other store in the area that I know of. I don't think I have any local readers, but any suggestions for a sewing machine repair shop in the DC area would be gratefully appreciated, especially if they're cheap. But, again, if I have any hope of fixing this myself, please let me know!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Busy, but done

Well, I managed to finish Teresa's jeans yesterday, and, of course, I have no photo. And I am going out of town in less than two hours. I feel safe saying this publicly, since it is just me and Teresa leaving, and there will still be six blue belts and a purple belt and a shotgun left behind to guard the house. Haha.

So yeah. I have no photo (except I will say that they look quite a lot like the photo on the Jalie website; I'm quite pleased), and very little chance of getting a photo before I leave, since I'm not quite all the way packed. But the waistband fits quite well, and I am quite satisfied! If I get a chance, I'lll write another post and schedule it for some time this week, but I make no promises. I'm well aware that I'm falling down on both the sewing and blogging front, and for that I apologize!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


About two weeks ago, I won a pattern from The Long and Winding Bobbin. It arrived in the mail today, and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. Not by the pattern--it was lovely, but I knew what it was already, since I entered for it. No, I was surprised by the lovely packaging. If I had done this giveaway, or any other giveaway for that matter, I would have put the pattern in a mailing envelope, scribbled an address on, and thrown in into the mailbox. But no. The package was addressed in lovely clear handwriting:

Sorry I cut the address off. I don't feel like posting my entire address on the internet for all the world to see!

When I opened up the package, I found (stuck between two layers of cardboard so it wouldn't get crushed) a package wrapped in red tissue paper with a sticker on it. Mind blown! (Please note that the bottom left corner was torn by my abortive efforts to open the package. It was not like that when it arrived.)

And oh yes, there was a pattern inside. Here is a picture of it:

I just love the version with the bow in front!

July wrap-up: I fail

Okay, until I came to wrote this post, I had had no idea of the extent of my slacker-ness. I knew that I had done very little sewing this month, but you know how many things I finished? None. I mended a sheet for my grandfather, which took about five minutes and hardly counts at all.

I have no idea how to get back started up with sewing. I think I need to get my rear in gear and find those needed supplies, and then just make myself sew a little every day. If I'm not sewing when I move into college, I'll be less likely to sew while I'm there. Besides, I'm on a major deadline here, and I have several things that really should get finished now. Or very close to now.

Gack. Send prayers, or good wishes, or whatever you like. :P