Friday, March 14, 2008

Made with Rage: Amy Butler's Stash and Dash bags

I think I have road rage of the sewing variety because I just broke the last needle in the four-pack that I bought, like, a month ago.

And since this was the first pack of needles I ever bought, since the dawn of me owning a sewing machine in 2001, it seems strange that I was able to sew for, like, seven years with just the needles that came with the machine (four?) and in a month I broke the last of the needles AND went through another four-pack.

What am I? Some sort of sewing psychopath?

It sorta seems that way.

I mean, yes, I clearly swear and make mean faces while I sew - that's a given - but I don't consider myself particularly destructive. At least when it comes to the machine itself. I can ruin a million sewing projects by throwing a tantrum on them with my scissors, but harm the machine? Never?

Oh well, I guess I need to either;

A. Slow down and take deep breaths
B. Stop trying to sew OVER the zipper head.

Seriously people, I think there needs to be something in these sewing directions that includes a "move the zipper head to the middle of the zipper so that you don't try to sew your dumb ass over it and end up breaking your hundredth needle, ok?" part.

Because that's how I always end up breaking needles. I have the project all inside-out like and I'm trying to finish up the last seam that will bring the project to a merciful close and CRACK! I snap the needle off right on the zipper head because it's all jammed over to one side so that I can do as instructed in the Next Step (which I've already jumped ahead to in my head) and turn project right side out through the zipper and press.

But no, I am all YAYI'MALMOSTDONE in my head when the needle goes breaking off and suddenly I'm checking my soft parts for embedded needle heads and realizing that SHIT I can't finish now because I don't have the right needles for the job and Hancock's is closed because it's nine on a Sunday so damn.

Thankfully, in this case anyway, I was able to set aside my rage (and thus do no further damage to my machine) and reconvene at the machine another day with a new idea and some more patience.

I came back to the table the other night with the almost done project, one lightweight needle from the bowels of my sewing box and my fingers crossed. I was going to sew slooooooooooooowly. I was going to take deep breaths. I was going to, perhaps, pray a little bit.

Okokok - lets be honest, I decided to just not have a cocktail first. Sobriety would be my savior.

And as it turned out, the whole scenario was much more serene and simple than I imagined. Literally took me longer to get out the machine than to sew the one last seam along the interior fabric (which I forgot to photograph, but it's cute green dots) which was made SO much easier and successful because OH I MOVED THE FUCKING ZIPPER HEAD TO THE MIDDLE OF THE ZIPPER BEFORE SEWING.

Yes, I understand now. I have learned something. This is key.

I vow to not break any more needles in this way from now on. I'm sure my soft eyeballs will thank me for it.

Meanwhile, so you don't think I was just making this bag for no reason whatsoever, I will tell you that it is a #2 birthday gift for Goddaughter to the Stars and is filled with some pink pearly jewelry for her dress-up collection.

I got the cute apple fabric from a recent giveaway See Katie Sew did and I've been touching it ever time I go into the closet (whoa naughty) wondering what perfect project will get it. There's also some monkey fabric in there that I imagine will make its way to the GTTS in one form or another.

This is also the pinkest girliest gift I think I've ever given because I don't like the "You know she is a girl, right?" comments I get from the grandparents when I give her sweaters knitted from *gasp* blue yarn instead of pink and what have you.

So, there you have it - a very pink, very girly gift with obligatory bows, tulle, iridescent shininess, purses, pearls and pink stripes. Even the card is sparkly and cutesy and so barfaliciously girlish that I can't even show you a photo. THAT is how I know it's girly enough. It makes me want to retch a little.

But I adore this child and so there you go.

Happy #2 Ms. Emma!

You can't read this but I think you know what I mean.


  1. Sober sewing... say it ain't so??!!??!

  2. You might not want to hear this, but you should be changing your needle more often! In my early sewing days, I only changed the needle when it broke, and I think that's a pretty common practice.

    But I've learned after 99 years that the best thing you can do for your sewing is to use a fresh needle! Many, many problems can be traced to a needle that's dull or nicked or bent. I change needles when I start any new project. A good rule is to change at least every 8 hours' worth of sewing. No kidding! I buy needles by the box of 100.

  3. I recently went through a brutal bout of sewing, breaking bobin thread, then breaking needle thread, then cursing, then crying, then pouring more gin, then breaking threads again. This went on for about a week (I might mention that my sewing machine is also circa 2001, the manual still protected in its plastic coating). My husband, in his love for me (even while in rage) busted out the manual, and said "Babe, have you ever oiled your machine?" To which I looked at him blankly. And then said "shit" for about the 40th time that day.
    Needless to say, I feel your pain and love so much that you lay it all out for us to laugh (and cry) with you. So thanks, you make me feel in good company.

  4. Super cute bag. I've had that pattern since it came out but never made anything with it.


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