Monday, March 7, 2011

Sew Sorry

No, this is not an apology. It's a status update of sorts. The status of my sewing. It's sorry. I need to let you know that when I post sewing projects on "Runs With Scissors" you must never think I've over here cranking them out with absolute ease. Over the last three days I've been tempted to throw the scissors through the window several times which is bizarre. I find sewing therapeutic. Calming. Therapy? I think I need some.

This is what I've been trying to make. I love Petite Poche patterns and have made several over the years for the baby girls. They're old fashioned, well designed, and utilize special embroidery or trim techniques that make for pretty garments. One technique that designer Wendy Schoen uses is madeira trim. It's that scalloped edge around the neck and hemlines that you see on the pattern envelope. It can be a harrowing experience but Wendy provides perfectly clear instructions for applying the trim. It's just that sometimes I don't want to follow the instructions. Sometimes I think I have a better idea. I know you find that shocking.

Sewing guru Martha Pullen has developed a sure-fire method for applying madeira trim and I've used it on several little things for the babies. I would post a few photos of those garments but my blog photo uploader keeps telling me that the photos are unreadable or corrupt. That figures. See? Sewing is not always just a zip-zip proposition.

Without making this sound like brain surgery, the secret to Martha's technique is water soluble thread. You sew two strips of trim together with the magic thread, clip, turn and press the scallops, then dampen the pieces of fabric thereby dissolving the thread. Pull the two strips of fabric apart, press them again and bingo, you've got perfect trim pieces.
Not this time. This is what I got instead. A pile of lumpy mess in which I had invested mucho dolares.

Then when I pulled the pieces apart I went into panic mode because the edges were fraying. So were my nerves. Maybe if I press it all will be well.

Just take a look at the iron. The remnants of water soluble thread are now permanently affixed to my steam iron. My new steam iron that I got for Christmas. Have I mentioned that it's a NEW steam iron? And that represents to me the idea of luxury. I have an upstairs steam iron for my sewing and a downstairs steam iron for my laundry. My ironing needs have been luxuriously met! And now it has rock hard supposedly water soluble thread affixed like epoxy. It's water soluble everywhere except on my new steam iron. I'm thinking I may ask Spike to try to shave it off with some Black and Decker power tool.

So then my only option was to follow the instructions. I'm so compliant. Fold the 1/4" edge over and carefully press each of the 500 little curved edges until you are about to go over the edge yourself. That's what I did. Pressed, I mean. Didn't go over the edge. Yet.

Finally I got it all put together and this morning was eager to put in the buttonholes and stitch on the adorable little pink daisy buttons I had in my button box. I had to rip out one buttonhole four times. Four. But finally got them in. Ahh, the buttons. Heading down the home stretch. Uh. I was sure I had three pink daisy buttons. Two orange, three yellow and TWO pink. So I spent $800 in expensive gasoline to drive into town to get the button and just when I got to the store Spike called and wanted me to dig out last year's tax return for him. Taxes? How can you talk about taxes when I'm having a button crisis? Got the buttons. Sewed them on. Got out the tax return.
Here's the finished product. I know you'll believe that I just deleted the photo. Could someone call and make an appointment for me for therapy? One more quick thing. I'm afraid the dress may be too small. I'll let you know Friday.

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