Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Apron is Done!

Remember my troubles getting the sewing machine to work?  I would like to take full credit for getting the machine functioning again and for ensuring it’s continued smooth operation.  However, my dear husband (AKA official taste tester and machine fixer) took the time to untangle my tangle of thread and chaos and set the machine straight.  As I went to work on the apron this past weekend Andy told me seriously, in a calm voice, “If anything goes wrong, come and get me right away.  Don’t try to fix anything yourself”  This was very reassuring and I attacked the apron with renewed confidence.

Winding the bobbin, before it all went to hell.

Laying out the pattern pieces for cutting.
Accurate cutting is key to getting  your bias tape to fit correctly.
Thankfully a lot of sewing on the machine wasn’t required and I spent much time hand sewing bows.  I really don’t enjoy bows.  It’s kind of a girly-girl thing and I’m not into that much (as I write about sewing an apron!).  These bows are lovely though, truly lovely.  If you’re ever sewing a project that calls for bows, don’t skimp!  They cover up mistakes and ugly spots!  Granted, if I were to actually use bows to cover up all of my mistakes then the entire edge would be a series of bows, perhaps some curly ribbons too.

Bows are your friend.
It may be 60 years old, but a resourceful husband can make it work.
Overall, I think my biggest trouble with this apron was using double-sided bias tape.  I probably would have been better served to have read about how to attach bias tape in advance of sewing it on, instead of looking up afterward to see how I could fix it.  The best way for Sewing for Dummies to be ineffective is for me to be a dummy and only use the book as a weight to cut out fabric.

The second biggest trouble with this project were the cats.  A large part of sewing successfully is ironing your projects to ensure straight edges and crispness.  My cats think the ironing board is the best place to take a nap.  It also happens to be the best place to iron.  Which means all of my fabric is covered in cat fur and I have to spend a lot of time sticky-rolling it off.  The obvious solution is to kick the cats out of the room, but who has the energy for that?  My life is a constant struggle between doing what is logical and letting the cats do what they want (they’re so soft!).

Step 2: ironing the fabric you just washed.
Step 1 1/2: shooing the cat off the ironing board.

He's being so cute!  Who cares if I have to iron?
I’ve learned a lot from this experience.  Mostly, that I should take the time and learn how the sewing machine works.  That would make the sewing process easier and most definitely faster.  During my stand-off with the machine I read this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson at Chiot’s Run:

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier,
not that the nature of the task has changed,
but our ability to do has increased.”

The rest of her post is about taking failure as a lesson in learning, and noticing that as you do things again and again it gets a little easier each time.  This was a poignant thought as I was working on giving up on the apron and sewing in general.  But, I won’t give it up.  I’ve got ideas for other projects (including a bag for dog poo bags!) and these bowls.  I want to learn and get better at sewing because I love being able to create things.

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