Sunday, June 22, 2008

Join, Being Careful Not To Twist

First up, a long-overdue picture of lace.

I'm a little bit farther than that now, but not much. In all honesty, I've been distracted.

See, I inherited the Crazy Scheme Gene from my father. So when I saw swimsuits in Target for $35 and decided I wasn't in the mood to try on swimsuits, let alone pay for one, despite my need for a new swimsuit, it seemed perfectly logical to me that my next thought was, "I should sew myself a swimsuit." I won't say that no doubts entered my mind--I am aware, for instance, that "making it yourself" is often the same as "paying twice as much," and I'm also aware that it's probably been a decade since I last sewed a garment--plus, swimsuits aren't exactly simple. They're not the most complicated things ever, but they're definitely not as easy as, say, a straight skirt with an elastic waistband.

Did I let these doubts stop me? Hell, no!

So I went to the fabric store, carried along by memories of searching through pattern books with my mom, finding the right one in the big pattern files, and checking fabric and notion requirements carefully. I remembered to check the fabric width, found lining and elastic, grabbed a pair of nice fabric scissors and some sewing machine needles designed for stretch fabrics. I paid the nice lady $63 (which, you will note, is more than $35--even with tax), and set off to start my sewing adventure.

I cut out my pieces while watching So I Married an Axe Murderer, and managed not to screw up. I discovered the stretch stitch on my sewing machine, and practiced on a swatch. (I only broke one needle in this step! But another trip to the fabric store did cost me $20--I picked up a few other things--bringing the total up to $83.) Then I got started. I sewed the two halves of the back together--easy-peasy! I attached narrow elastic at the top of the back; trickier, but I got it. I sewed the front to the back at the crotch, and got the crotch lining in. (Isn't "crotch" just an awful word?) With a stumble or two, I sewed the special back pieces and their linings together, and put the elastic where it should be.

There will eventually be a clasp in the center back.

I made delicate little gathers at the sides of the bust, and then--yay!--I sewed the side seams.

Thrilled that my swimsuit now looked like an actual swimsuit, and bursting with pride, I decided to turn it right-side out to admire my progress. And stopped short.

The highly observant among you will notice that the fabric on the left is a different color than the fabric on the right. That's because the fabric on the right side of the seam is inside-out.

When I pinned the sides together, the crotch was twisted.

I'm a freaking genius.

Laughing hysterically, I called my mother to tell her about my sewing prowess. She informed that her grandmother would say that this was my punishment for sewing on a Sunday. (Apparently, great-grandma Stephens used to say that any stitch you sewed on a Sunday, you would pick out in hell. She sounds warm and fuzzy, doesn't she?) I protested that sewing doesn't really count as work anymore, unless you're a tailor. But it seems that the universe hasn't quite caught up with the times.

My seam-ripper is at the ready. I shall not sleep until my crotch is untwisted and my sides are re-sewn!


Renee said...

"I shall not sleep until my crotch is untwisted . . ."

Best. Line. Ever.

Abby&David said...

I hate it when my crotch is twisted! That's one of the real advantages to wearing a kilt.

If it makes you feel any better, I remember that in all of the few times I've sewn something there was at least as much seam ripping as there was sewing.

Barbara said...

That was my Great-grandma which makes her your Great-great-grandma Stephan, the first Barbara. She was a persimmon-lipped old woman who could sew like a dream and was not a warm person because her mother died when she was a baby and she was raised by her father and six brothers. The townspeople thought old man Roedel had seven sons! I loved her though because she had soft and strong hands and we had the same name. Aren't you glad you got the best of both sets of genes?

I agree with Renee. Best. Line. Ever.

Katie said...

oh my goodness. I laugh because I could see myself doing the same damn thing. I was just wanting to buy a sewing machine, maybe I should put that off for awhile?