On Hubris and Sewing Miracles

Happy Friday!! I don’t know about the rest of you, but this week has felt interminably long and I am ready for it to be over!

Have you ever gotten cocky and, as a result of your hubris, not been as careful or attentive as you should have been? I’m living that right now. My current project is a repeat of one I’ve made before, and I sashayed into my work area like I’d been there, done that, and was gonna own this motherfucking skirt. I should have respected the skirt, y’all.

I’ve been working on my next version of vintage Simplicity 1281 on my evenings off (2 per week) and it was starting to look like a skirt. Well, kind of, anyway. For starters, my fabric–a stiff, ever-shredding suiting-weight glazed linen–has been impossible to keep ironed, though I’m trying. On my first workday, I made the mistake of cutting out my pieces and not labeling them immediately; when I returned to the project a few days later, I was beyond confused about which piece was what and struggled to mark them correctly. With this pattern, the front and back pieces are shaped almost exactly the same but not quite, and the right and wrong sides of my material are nearly identical. I don’t know if I messed up the marking or the cutting, but one thing is clear: I messed something up someplace. 😦

I swear I'm not making a cat blanket...

I swear I’m not making a cat blanket…

If you look closely, you might notice that one half (front, in this case, which is the layer that’s against my cutting mat in the photo) is WAY longer than the other. In addition to that, the lengths of the back panels (which are the top layer of the skirt in the photo) are not level–not even close. I have no idea if my cutting was that sloppy or if I made an error in pairing up the pieces before sewing them, but I’m going to have to figure out how to salvage this somehow. Or not, since I have enough yardage left to make another skirt. But, actually, I think I kind of hate this fabric. The finish is beautiful (not in this photo, sadly) and it’s a great weight for this skirt, but it’s impossible to deal with. It’s 100% linen and frays and shreds all over the place at the cut edges. On top of that, it isn’t particularly pleasant to touch. Good thing I bought 4 fucking yards! /sarcasm

Because of the fraying, I decided to do french seams on all of the skirt pieces. This is a hefty fabric, but I liked this idea better than using bias tape or lining the skirt (because I’m a fucking idiot). I’m happy with how those are turning out, so there’s one ray of sunshine. There’s also this:

This bobbin wasn't empty when I started!

This bobbin wasn’t empty when I started!

I’ll set the scene for you: I was nearing the end of a seam finish–the step that encloses the raw, trimmed edges of the first step of a french seam with right sides together–and could hear the telltale sounds of my machine running out of bobbin thread. (It makes a peculiar mechanical “chug” sound, okay? Trust me.) I’ve been using up the leftover polyester thread that I used for Tom’s cardigan back in December, and knew I didn’t have enough on the bobbin to do the entire skirt. I checked my little window and could see thread feeding through, so I kept going. Once I finished my backstitching at the end of the seam and cut the thread, I realized I’d only cut one thread. I sighed, thinking that this was just the kind of sewing day I was going to have: running out of thread during the most crucial part of this seam finish on top of the other mistakes/unpleasant realities I was dealing with already. But when I checked everything, I realized that I ran out of bobbin thread AS I MADE THE FINAL STITCH OFF THE EDGE AFTER BACKSTITCHING. That’s like a sewing unicorn!!! I was really excited, obviously. I stopped there for the night, thinking that this was a bit of goodwill from the universe re: this stupid skirt (and also because I didn’t feel like winding a new bobbin). I’m going to pick it up again tonight and see what I can do. I’ve got my zipper area interfaced already–seriously, the way this shit shreds, I needed to do that, despite the weight of the fabric–and need to sew the side seams to join front to back. Then it’s waistband time! (Assuming I don’t set this fucker on fire before I get to that step.)

I was very naughty yesterday (pay day, woo hoo!!) and ordered some fabric: 2 stretch denims and 2 woven ikats. In my defense, I have patterns and outfits planned for everything already, and one denim goes with each ikat. I just got the Scout pattern from Grainline Studios and the Jamie jeans pattern from Named, so I’d like to jump into those things once the fabrics show up. It’s my first time ordering from Michael Levine, and I’m anxious to see how their material handles.

What’s your favorite fabric source? Are you planning to try any new-to-you pattern companies soon?

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5 thoughts on “On Hubris and Sewing Miracles

  1. Hope the skirt starts behaving for you! I always pick my fabric up from my local store or market (depending on what I need, I always go to the market for 100% cotton) but that means that in one shopping trip I spend an absolute fortune! haha 🙂
    Bea

    • Oy, this skirt! I ended up discarding the one I started and will begin again–this time I will cut carefully AND do all the labeling all at once. I am envious that you find things you like locally; where I am, online is the best bet for non-quilting cotton fabrics in colorways appropriate for grownups, which is what I’m after. =)

  2. It was, though not a negative way, I’m happy to say, a long one here as well. Crazy busy, with this weekend shaping up to be the same way, I think I’ll need to take the next one to recoup from it and just sit out in that glorious summer sun while it’s still here.

    Big hugs & happy start of August wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you deeply for your immensely nice comment on my post about creating my first YouTube videos yesterday, dear gal. I don’t think that’s “weird” at all. I love that after more than five years of blogging, which is sharing my written voice, I finally get to present my online friends and readers with my actual spoken voice as well.

  3. Pingback: Next Up: The Scout Tee | Life in A "Mads" House

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