Wednesday, May 11, 2011
An exercise in humility.
I can knit almost anything I want with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back. It's that easy for me. Yep, I frog plenty, but almost always because I'm designing and don't like what I'm doing. And I'm getting better at crochet. OK, I'm pretty good at flat pieces; haven't ventured forth into sweaters and such, and I suspect that may be a challenge for me because I don't think in crochet terms, I think in knitting. But I can crochet lots of patterns.
And many years ago I was an ace embroiderer. Hardanger, cut work, canvas work, I could do it all.
And I say this in all modesty: you have to know what you are good at. And I'm good at all of those nice yarny/thready hand-worked crafts.
And then there is sewing. Gah! What can I say? I haven't sewn a garment in over 20 years, maybe even 25 years. The last time I used a sewing machine was maybe 15-20 years ago when I went through my Fair Isle phase and steeked everything.
So last Saturday we went into Stroudsburg, PA to the Pocono Sewing and Vac Shop and I bought a little, portable Janome. Fine. Good. I can do this, right?
At first my goal was to try piecing. I have no desire to do actual quilting, at least not at this time, or probably forever. But I adore patchwork quilts and I want to try something out there. And hey, it's mostly sewing a straight line, unless you are doing curves, and that's beyond me at the moment.
And then, in a moment of total lunacy, I bought some AG doll patterns online, and the rest is history. So far I've made one outfit: a reversible wrap skirt and a top from a Liberty Jane pattern. It's taken me at least 4 hours per pattern to make each garment. You have to see me in action to watch me try to figure out the pattern. I can't read instructions. Well, I can, but have no patience for it. Yes. Well. Uh huh. Go figure this out without reading the instructions, ruth.
The humility part? I now totally understand how a beginning knitter feels. What I can do without a thought, is not so simple for the beginner or for someone who is learning a new technique. I feel so clumsy and so dopey, and I'm so grateful that I actually made 2 pieces of clothing and didn't sew my fingers together or jam up the machine more than twice. I have learned how to thread the needle many times; how to put in the bobbin also a few times. When and how not to do a little zigzag. 1/4 inch seam is not a 1/2 inch seam. Yup, I've learned that. Sewing velcro on is not all that hard, but getting the 2 pieces to meet is another story. Cutting out with a scissors is not too painful, but learning the rotary cutter is another story. Oh, I am such a novice at this. I have laughed so much at myself today. It's a riot to watch me in action.
But I did it. Not terribly well. Those velcro pieces are not lined up, but Miss P can figure it out.
Look, Ma, I did it. Notice that the top goes with the skirt. Did you see that little ribbon that goes around the neck?
Reversible skirt. Whoo hoo. Notice that the velcro part is hidden in the back. What, I'm going to show you the mismatched stuff? No way.
OK, the top stitching on the bottom of the top has a bit of a wave to it. But it could be much worse.
Doesn't Josefina look cute? I'm exhausted. I could have run a marathon for how tired I am. Clearly this is a major lesson in humility, but it is such fun. No, not the humility part, the sewing part, goofs, velcro and all.
So now I'm thinking that I ought to dye some yarn to match the many fat quarters I bought and make little cardigans or hats or a bolero.
If I were a drinking woman, I have a large swig right about now.
So what should I do next?
Linda W - Can't you just see that? And we'd all walk down the street together in our finery.