Showing posts with label Creative Hobbies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creative Hobbies. Show all posts

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Sad Story of Sewing

Try as I might, I am not capable of making lovely items from material, thread, yarn - or much of anything else. (I take beautiful pictures and write lovely words to make up for it, though. And I can color.)

These past eight months or so I have delved into these homemaking crafts, remembering with each attempt why the idea of Home Ec in high school never appealed to me. All thumbs, untidy, unable to do a straight stitch - that's me. I am the pig pen of sewing and home crafts.

Back in the fall, I purchased two pair of stretch jeans. At the time of the purchase I knew the pants were too short when I tried them on, but my husband, who was with me, said, "Oh, they look great." Against my better judgment, we bought the britches.

Since I am allergic to most dyes, I have to wash dark jeans multiple times in white vinegar and/or baking soda. So both of these jeans went straight into the wash. I think it took 11 dips in vinegar before I stopped smelling the dye odor.

After that, I tried them on and yes, they were too short. I hate it when my pants do not break around my shoes. If you can see my shoe strings, my jeans are too short.

I wore them occasionally around the house but the too-short issue bugged me.

Here they are, all nicely hemmed.

And then I ripped the hem out. Yikes.

I used to do this in high school, an act that drove my mother crazy. She hated the raveled look at the bottom of my jeans, that I would sometimes end up walking on them, and the fact that I would do that to my clothes.

To compromise, I let her run a line of thread around the bottom of my jeans with the promise of carefully cutting off the raveled parts from time to time.

My mother was into sewing. She could take a piece of cloth and turn in into a pair of pants or a blouse. Presto change-o. Her expertise did not pass into my genes, apparently.

Looking at my newly no-hemmed pants, I recalled how my mother sewed that line along the bottom to keep my jeans from unraveling all the way up to my knees.

I pulled out my "vintage" Brother sewing machine, circa 1989 or so.

I took it from its hidey-hole in the closet, letting it see the light of day for the first time in at least 10 years. It was already threaded and ready to go. I zipped one leg in and raced the thread around it.
It wasn't even, but it would keep the pants from raveling too much.
I set out to do the second leg. I made it about a fourth of the way around and then the machine stopped.

As you can imagine, I opened that up and it looked like Frankenstein to me. I had a dim memory of how to check on things, but of course the manual for this machine is who-knows-where. So I yanked out the bobbin and poked around.

I found lots of broken little pieces of thread, which I cleared out. Then I tried to remember how to make the magic of pulling the thread from the bobbin back through happen.

After quite a few hesitations and many instances of broken thread, I finally made that work. But the machine itself simply sat and hummed.

So, with three-fourths of a pant leg to finish, I moved the needle by hand with the thing on the side that makes the needle manually go up and down, and finished the pants.

And what a relief that was!

Monday, July 04, 2016

What To Do on a Gray Afternoon

My brother gave me an Erector set for my birthday earlier in June. I had mentioned how envious I had been of his when he was younger, so he sent me one.

Supposedly the best set out there.

Yesterday was a gray day. It rained off and on. My husband was inside with a cold that we've been passing back and forth since early June. I am finally getting over it after four weeks; he is on his second round.

So we decided to find something to do, and opened the Erector set.

Two and a half hours later, we had built a dune buggy.

I placed it on the fireplace hearth, for now. It seemed a shame to build it and then take it apart right away.

Those nuts and bolts are very small. Next time I think we need one of those magnetic screwdrivers/wrenches to make sure we don't drop tiny pieces.

We both agreed this set was not like the ones either of us remembered from childhood. There are more plastic pieces now, and fewer metal ones.

But it certainly made for an interesting afternoon, and at least we weren't watching TV or playing on social media.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Learning to Color

Coloring has become the new meditation practice, I think. I've read many articles about how adults are using it as a stress reliever.

Over the summer I bought a coloring book, planning to use colored pencils on it. Of course, I never picked it up (and at the moment I don't even know where it is, probably in some pile in my office). Then the local paper put out an entire page to color and challenged adults to have at it.

So I did.

I started on this page the day it came out, September 6, and finished it last week. It took a very long time to do in colored pencil. It was also difficult to get bright, brilliant colors with those coloring utensils.

Now I want to find some kind of magic marker that doesn't bleed through to use on my coloring book when I find it. I am not up on my coloring tools, though. Anyone have any ideas?