Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An example of me living on the edge

Hey Donk,

When it comes to sewing, I really don't know what I'm doing.

I'm not sure that I've ever told you exactly how I learned to sew, but I will tell you now that it included just the manual that came with my sewing machine and a lot of time spent ruining perfectly good fabric while creating new swears.

I believe that, in some circles, they call that hands-on learning, but in my circle - which includes Bubba and two sewing machine-fearful pets - we call this, "Time to Flee the Building."

Mostly because of my swears and how I tend to throw pointy things and shriek when things don't work. Which happens a lot when you don't know're.doing.

Anyway and thankfully, it's been about 10 years since I departed down this long and winding road of seamstressness and, even though I basically still don't know what I'm doing, every now and then I deem it time to conquer a lingering sewing fear instead of letting it seep deeper and deeper into my sewing psyche. In the name of learning and growing, perhaps, I don't know.

This month's sew~along project and my stash's sudden lack of corresponding thread presented just such an opportunity and I seized it and conquered it and now I'm going to tell you about it at mind-numbing length so just get comfortable and maybe get a Guinness because I hear it's that time of year and what not.

Truth be told, I've already had one myself today, so this post might get confusing toward the end. Or maybe it's already confusing and my blurred vision is making that hard to recognize. Who cares! Moving on!

So, the old lingering fear I'm talking about has to do with thread.

Not, like, the thread itself - like I'm lying in bed at night worried my spools are going to come to life in their big woven box and come goose-stepping their way down the hallway toward my bed with swords or anything - but actually using thread properly in my projects. Specifically, sewing straight lines with thread.

And this is why I have always, until last weekend, been a strict Sew With Matching Thread Only person because it's a lot easier to hide huge threaded mistakes when they aren't contrasting wildly with the fabric upon which they were sewn.

But then the moment came, the one I knew I'd someday face, where I finally summoned the energy, desire and necessary accoutrement to complete a project only to find that LO I didn't have matching thread.

Shit. SHITshitSHITshitSHIT.

Now what?

Well, I decided it was time to be a grown up and face my fear of contrasting thread, that's what.

I gave myself a little pep talk to the tune of, "Don't be such a pussy. It's just thread and fabric and you don't want to be beaten by thread and fabric do you because that is lame." and set out to find a thread color in my stash to contrast pleasingly with my fabric of choice.

After I checked and rechecked the fabric against all of my green thread which refused to just change hues and WHY DON'T YOU JUST MATCH ALREADY? Rude. This thread is rude.

This is what I ended up with. Because I apparently think I'm the Easter bunny.

Granted, the color choices are a bit Springy, but since it's actually Spring right now, I'm going to let it slide. You normally wouldn't get this color combo out of me in, say, November, but that's OK. For now, pink and green work. And, really, this will probably be a gift for someone who likes pink, so there won't be that whole "Oh god it's pink. I hate pink." drama when I take it out of the closet with the intent of using it or anything.

The green fabric though? You know I love that. It's just SO GREEN and I love green. Which, one would think, would mean that I love St Patrick's Day, but it doesn't. Beyond the color green and Guinness in my office's kitchen on this day, I have no emotion for this holiday other than hope - that no one will pinch me so I won't have to punch them in their face.

I don't enjoy being pinched.

What I do enjoy, however, is how I managed to make my way through this whole project, flax-filled heating/cooling pad and all, with contrasting thread that looks, dare I say good.

I should have taken a picture of the pad with its many contrasting seams. Thing of beauty, that.

And so, Future Person Who Will Receive This As A Gift Because I Already Have Heating and Cooling Pads Galore, please enjoy this stylish and therapeutic Obi belt with the understanding that the making of it proved that I, against all odds, can sew with contrasting threads without making a huge fucking mess of things.

Please take a moment to notice how even the back sides of all sewn objects are straight and not all knotted up and mangled like they have been in the past.

Why, that looks downright respectable as far as seams go.

This was a big moment for me and I want you to know that while you sit on it and let it soothe your aching back.

That's all. Finny can sew a straight line with pink thread on green fabric. I guess I think I deserve a cookie or a gold star or something.

Rather, I shall go have another Guinness and celebrate my victory over string.



  1. I am going to have to get the book so I can make one...I am not afraid of contrasting thread colors...

  2. Those are very very straight lines, Finny. Well done.

    Did you ever think that you'd be this proud of straight sewing? I realized that I'd gone over to the dark side when I wrote a post about double hemmed corners and captioned a photo something along the lines of, "Ohhhh, flaaaat." Or at least that's what I was thinking when I looked at it.

    Personally, I inherited a rainbow of thread from my mom, so I can keep on sewing all wonky.

  3. Well, since you can actually make the sewing machine work, who the hell am I to judge your color combinations? Oh, did I mention my back is aching....hint, hint ;)

  4. Heh, I went to that same school of sewing. Unfortunately I'm only in my sophomore year, so I am still very much afraid of straight lines and contrasting thread. Not gonna be tackling those demons anytime soon, nuh-uh.

    P.S. Nice obi.

    P.P.S. That sounds a little dirty.

  5. What does it say about me that I not only thought it was a good idea to tackle a contrasting thread project early in my sewing career but I also didn't bother to fix it when one of the lines turned out all wonky? Yours looks great, though! You have absolutely no reason to hide your project in the closet in shame (as I did with mine).

  6. I think it is no coincidence that the word "seamstress" has the word "stress" right in it.

    I had a Guinness yesterday too. The baby appeared to enjoy it as well. Second-hand, of course, in the form of milk.

  7. Cute fabric! I'm always a month behind on these projects (or I give up) - I'm just finishing up my Folklore Bag - but I'm totally going to make one of these, complete with contrast stitching because you are an inspiration! :) (And now I have Peter Ceterra crooning in my brain. Damn.)

  8. Is that PINK thread? You of the "I HATE PINK" fan club? I do love the green fabric. And the fact you conquered your thread fear. As usual, project rocked.


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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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