Friday, November 9, 2012

A Step Towards Reconciliation

I have always said that we were barely on speaking terms, and it is quite true, we don't really get along. I don't know if it is because I can be impatient at times, or it might be the language barrier.  She is soooo complicated, and unforgiving!  She doesn't smooth over my mistakes at all, they are right there taunting me the whole time!

It all started years ago when I was just a kid.  I was just trying to get to know her, and she would just freeze up at the worst possible times.  I would get so frustrated that I would have to call my Mom in to try to fix it.  You see my Mom could do anything with her, she was like putty in my Mom's hands.  It was ok as long as Mom was in the room, but from then on I began to have a tense relationship with her.

 She was, after all, my Mom's sewing machine.  Mom can make her machines do anything! ( or that is how it has always seemed to me, the non-sewest!)  Mom is quite the seamstress, and seems at ease with the whole process.  The choosing of the fabric and pattern, the prep work, the cutting and fitting of the garment, and there I was stuck with a machine that would jam up on me without the least bit of provocation!  Also, the garments that I have tried to sew, really left me with no desire to continue.

I ran across a couple of sewing blogs a couple of weeks ago, and when I have a few minutes in the evening, I have been reading them. ( When I find a blog that interests me, I almost always start at the beginning post, and work my way to the present. )  There are 2 blogs in particular that have caught my attention.  One is "The sewaholic" and the other is "Gerties blog for better sewing"  Both of these girls are much younger than I and they are really into the fashion of the 50's.  They even go as far as to buy old patterns in their approximate size, sew them up and wear them!  I can dig some of the 50's fashion but other bits are just not in my future. (girdles for one!)  One thing however, that they have been talking about it how to make what you sew fit your body.  That is something that has always been a mystery to me, and I want to know how to do it!

I have been able to serge and sew the straight seams that my weaving project requires, so maybe it isn't "her" fault at all!  I just need to learn the process of fitting the pattern to my body!

So I have been flirting with the idea of trying some of the techniques that they use on their garments.  Before I do that however, there is the Foothills Guild Fall Craft Show next week.  That means there are a few unfinished items that I need  finishing, so that my inventory isn't just plain pitiful.  (It is a good thing we are doing this as a group, I don't think I could do it on my own!)  I have successfully made myself stay away from any new ventures until after the show.  But, I have been eyeing a few hand sewing projects that need my attention, just to warm up to the whole idea.  You know buttons that have left their proper place, seams that may have fallen to pieces on that old work shirt, and of course things that need shortening (one of my least favorite things to do!)

I decided to start with a gray wool skirt that I purchased at the Cleveland Tn Goodwill.  ( which is well worth the trip!)  The skirt is too long by several inches, this does not surprise me at all because, at barely 5"1' everything from skirts to pants to sleeves is always too long by several inches!

I took the photo on my striped couch so that we could compare the length when I finished.
This skirt was handmade by someone, who knows how long ago, but she was just almost my size, just a little taller maybe.  See the lovely hem tape!  I was careful to save the tape, and I reused it!

Recently, I wore the skirt to my Daughters house and while I was there, I pinned the hem up  2 inches all the way around.  (My granddaughter was fascinated!)  I  took a look in the mirror, and my Daughter and I agreed that it needed to go up more.  So I tried 3 inches.  "Nope",  she said it needed to go up even further!  3.5 inches?  "Up,Up,Up" she said!  I went up a full 4 inches, and it hit me at that sweet spot on your knee, where you can see the calf begin to curve in.  "There" I said, and I was happy.  She still had her doubts, but she let me be!

 That evening, I pinned up the hem at 4 inches, and basted it down by the new hemline.  Then I placed a pin at 2 inches all the way around the hem, and cut right along the pinned line.
Holding my breath the whole way!  Oops, looks like a basted after the cutting!

 I should have used a contrasting thread for the basting but you get the idea.  Then I reapplied the hem tape and sewed the hem with what I call a catch stitch, and finally, took out the basting thread!  Finito!  ( I took the picture below before I pressed the hem, but you get the idea.)

I realize that this project was all done by hand, and that there was not a sewing machine in sight, but I hemmed a skirt that actually ended up the length I wanted it to be, folks!!!  That is huge!

Baby steps, baby steps!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


  1. Sewing has always been a pleasure for me...that's not to say that some of my projects turned out the way I thought they would!!! But, having the time and the right equipment does add to the experience.

  2. Practice practice and practice some more and soon you too will be able to sew like your Mom. Your new skirt is lovely, love the hem tape.

  3. Congratulations! Like you, I am short and have to hem everything. Jeans I just cuff up, but skirts, dresses and dress pants all have to be shortened. It looks like you did a great job on it, too!!!