Monday, March 17, 2008

FaDSA: March project - Pintucked table runner

I'm about 99.9% sure I did this project wrong and it was not for a lack of reading the four lines of instructions, I'll tell you that. I read those fuckers to the bone.

However, I'm pretty pleased with the way this came out, even though I'll have to iron this thing for sure if I ever wash it so that those pintucks look all crisp, etc.

Perhaps my problems started at the beginning, with My Vision. See, I could not envision how the contrasting rayon thread called for in the pattern was going to make one bit of difference once this beast was sewn together since, to me, it looked like the seams got hidden when the muslin was sewn on.

I thought this strategy might reveal itself in the instructions, but there were only four lines of those, and I wasn't holding out a lot of hope.

Anyone tracking me here?

So, when I bought my linen (Note: this was my "something I've never done before" because technically I've never sewn linen OR pintucks and you can call me lame if you want but that is how it went down and there's no way in hell I'm going at this FO with a needle and embroidery thread.) I went over to the threads and picked out a contrasting rayon thread so that I could be all in line with the directions but kept trying to visualize the final product and could NOT make it make sense.

How was I ever going to see these seams?


So, because I like to follow shit to the letter and all, I bought some stupid contrasting rayon thread and then I also bought some matching cotton thread because, let's face it, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to sew it with the cotton thread and bury that rayon crap at the bottom of my sewing basket for "later" and in the event that the Mystery Rayon Thread Secret reveals itself in the four lines of instructions then I am going to bust out my rayon thread and be like, "I knew it all along."

So, no big surprise here, there was no Mystery Rayon Thread Secret awaiting me in those instructions. And I looked, too. HARD. But there wasn't much to look through, so I gave up. Call me a loser, but I think I need things spelled out a little more clearly when "Pintucked Table Runner" involves no pins of any kind and this contrasting rayon thread in the "Materials Needed" column is not obviously presented in the shiny picture in the book.

About those pins...

So, this is how I know I did it wrong. First, I used pins. A lot of them. Three per tuck, to be precise. And also, none of the seams showed in the final product, despite the one picture showing seams in the book. Confusing.

In the end, I went with the process that I thought would get me closest to a runner that looked the most like the one in the photo. Because, really, that's what I'm about: Making shit that looks like the photo. I do this when I cook. I do this when I knit. I do this when I sew. If my FO looks like the picture, then it is a job well done. If my FO looks like a pile of horse shit and I'm not, in fact, trying to sew horse shit, then I dive into a deep pit of despair and self-loathing.

Every project I do gets me *thatmuch* closer to seeking therapy I think.

Anyway, even though I'm sure I did the project wrong, I did end up with a project that looks somewhat like the picture and so I'm suitably happy. I also have a mile of linen leftover so will be making some place mats and napkins OR a skirt or a top or whatever but not another runner.

Also, I'm not sure how one effectively launders linen without ruining it, so please let a girl know, k?


  1. Eh, wrong shmong. I like what you did here! And I'm with you on the whole could-use-a-fifth-instruction thing. In fact, I looked at the pattern two weeks ago, sorta figured it out but not quite, and closed the book again. This very afternoon I remembered that March is slipping away. Oops. Need to crack the book again. Anyway, you're way ahead of the game -- well done!

  2. M'kay. I'm gonna assume you really want to know what happened. First I have to pick myself up off the floor because I've been dringking green beer all day. My book has these funky green instructions at the top of the page, they help with the contrasting rayon thread dilemma of 2008. See Finny, your supposed to sew those pintucks an 1/8 of an inch from the fold with the CRT so what you have are tucks no pin, the CRT should give off a nice contrasting glow. The pics in the book don't really give the whole pintuck issue good viewing, but if you turn back a page to the Wave Placemats and look at the vertical stitching (Not the hoarizontal) that's what a pintuck is supposed to look like, and the stitching should be with the CRT. So m'dear, what you have done is create a new sewing technique henceforth to be known as the "Fin Tuck".
    Hope that clarifies things,
    signed drunk girl
    aka Thistledew

  3. Well, I was going to comment, but honestly, Thistledew's comments cracked me up as much as your post. I will not be able to sew this project without thinking about the Fin Tuck!

  4. Ummm.. not sure you noticed but you have an enormous screw on your floor. So, you know, watch out. Love the runner. I concur on the instructions.

  5. Yours turned out really nice! I like the "Fin Tucks" haha. I might actually like them more than the pin tucks...

  6. If the 'Fin Tucks' are deep enough you could stick flowers or after dinner mints in there. Or in my case some Tylenol and a sedative. At least your project resembles the photo in the book, my WIP is currently a pile of fabric and a vague notion of making something with green in it.

  7. Meg - See? In the end, if it doesn't look like crap, it can't be *too* wrong, right?

    Thistledew - OMG you get the award for the funniest fucking comment on this blog ever. HA! Not only do I not care about the fact that I'm totally a douchebag for the way I jacked this whole pattern up, but I am kinda proud of my new technique, the aptly named, Fin Tuck. You're the best :) Also, I hope your hangover isn't too rough. I had a Saturday AM that coulda killed a horse thanks to my enthusiasm with the Guiness on Friday night. Yeesh.

    Jan - Oh dear, my shenanigans have a name. I guess I should be ashamed of myself, but oh well. Y'all seem to like it!

    Hooli - DUDE! You're RIGHT! I will have to talk to Bubba about that one. Thankfully the cleaning lady sucked it up with the vacuum yesterday so I won't end up with it in my foot. PS. I'm glad it wasn't anything gross, frankly. DID you see how filthy that rug was? Yick.

    Kristine - You are welcome here any time.

    Kristine - Seriously, that's what I was thinking the whole time - shit is going to get lost in these folds. Oh well, I'm here for y'all's amusement and maybe this way no one will feel bad about how their runner turns out since I went in a totally different direction. Ahem.

  8. Is that your dining room table? I love it! Looks like you did a good job! ~D

  9. I love your project and, as the wonderful Thistledew termed it, your new "Fin Tuck" technique. Quite brilliant of you even if you didn't know your brilliance was going to shine with this. Anyway, you care for linen much like cotton. You wash it (I use cold water) and then you have to iron it as it wrinkles a lot. You'll probably cuss a lot about the last bit but it is what it is.

  10. love this! i have seen this table runner on another blog and loved it then too! it looks like you did a great job!

  11. OMG -- Finn Tuck. Are you kidding me? We have to get thistledew drunk more often. She is cracking me up!
    Considering I haven't even considered starting this, I'll just say bravo my friend. Bravo!


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