SewJuly 18, 2012
I swear this won't become a sewing blog, but I got a SERGER for my birthday from Lala. (What's a serger? It's an overlock sewing machine that cuts, sews, and finishes an edge all at once. If you look at the seams of a t-shirt or sweatshirt, that's what serging looks like. It's pretty awesome.)
Digit, serger, and my new shirt, "My Cat is Famous on the Internet." Because he is, you know.
So, I got the serger for my birthday. It took me a full WEEK to find the bravery to take it out of the box. I was very excited and equally terrified.
I've wanted a serger since I was about eighteen, when my best friend's mother used one for creating huge gorgeous hoop-skirted dresses for the Harvest Festival. She would curse and swear at it when it got tangled (which was often), and my fear was forever cemented, along with my awe.
(I got this one. Doesn't it look terrifying? You should see the inside!)
I girded my loins. I read the whole book first. Then, when I was thoroughly confused, I sat down and tried to sew (it comes pre-threaded). However, two threads were tangled in the pre-threading, and I ended up with this disaster (that's a chaotic bloody tangle there, if you can't quite tell). I started swearing at the machine about two minutes after I first touched it.
Then I had to learn to thread it, damn it (there's a method where you tie on new threads and pull them through, so once it's threaded you don't have to do it again -- I didn't get that luxury).
I learned. I threaded. I sewed. I squealed in glee. It's so FAST! (About 1600 st/minute as opposed to a normal machine's 400). It's so FUN!
I immediately got out one of my favorite knit dresses which has had holes at the waist for a while because I can't be bothered to sew anything by hand. Zip zip! Fixed! And hey, it was such a great dress that I decided to copy it. (Copying clothes is my new favorite thing, yo. Just Google rub-off patterns -- it's EASY. Lay the dress down on paper, trace away, make a pattern, make a muslin, adjust for a while, Bob's your uncle. It's soooo much easier than following a standard pattern, and you're copying something you already know fits.)
So I made a muslin (a mock-up) of the dress in a black rayon I got on sale at Stonemountain & Daughter, and I ended up with something Angelina Jolie would have blushed to wear to the Oscars. The vee was slit past my navel. I couldn't have worn it to the kitchen.
But you know what? I just cut off the whole waist seam, rejiggered the bodice, and resewed it. Knit fabrics are so FORGIVING! I was getting closer. And when I added the sleeves and tried it on for the thirtieth time (sewing involves a lot of nudity, yo), it was actually wearable!
I made it in a couple of hours (!) and wore it to two parties that night (and yes, told anyone who would listen that I'd made it, with a twirl for effect).
I've been working pretty much ever since (120 hours this week) but next week, starting on Sunday, I have eleven days off in a row (vacation! RWA National in LA!), and I'm going to sew the hell out of a couple of those days. There's a big fancy awards night function called the RITAs (the Oscars of the romance writing world) and attendees always dress to the nines. I have a fantasy of whipping up something pretty out of red sparkly fabric and wearing it to the big night along with fabulously high heels.
I'm no Angelina Jolie, but I'll strike a leg pose iffen I have to.