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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


Swimsuit Issues

I've mentioned before that I'm a plus sized woman - I'm currently hovering somewhere between 22 and 24, and am slowly losing weight (another story altogether).

Last fall, at the end of the season, I was fortunate enough to find a bin of swimsuit separates in all kinds of colors and sizes, some that went together, and some that didn't, all for three dollars each piece.  The only catch is, the tops are all sort of ugly, and the bottoms are all shaped vaguely like granny panties.

Now, I get the physics of stuffing my fat rump into giant granny panties, but I have to say, I'm not fond of the look.  It's not like I go to the beach to pick up guys, but a girl wants to be able to PRETEND that they still look great in a swimsuit.  Thus, all my swimsuits have little skirts attached, to hide my tush, and make it so that I can pretend that the tops of my thighs don't touch.

Thus, my latest project is re-vamping all the swimsuit bottoms and tops.  On the bottoms, I'll be adding simple little skirts, and for some of the tops, I'll either be adding a bit of length via a coordinating swimsuit fabric, or else I'll be revamping all the tops altogether.

The reason my last couple of posts have been light on pictures is because I've been having some laziness issues, whereupon the pictures are either still on my camera when I go to write posts, or else I've taken the time to download them to my computer, but I'm at a different computer when I go to post.

Yesterday, I solved this issue by splurging on a couple of Eye-fi cards, so that as I take the pictures, they'll automatically upload to my picture server on my network, as well as to Picasa.  Next post, I'll actually have things to show you!


Two Dog Night

So, last post, I mentioned that I'd found a skirt pattern from what looks like the mid to late 40's and that I was going to try making it.

I made some pretty good progress, though lacking instructions, I'm having some trouble with figuring out how the pockets fit together. Unfortunately, the skirt is far too small for me, so even if it's a success, I'll still have nothing to show for it, except some pictures.

Even more unfortunately, one of the dogs got sick, and has been going through the cycle of poop/eat poop/vomit partly digested poop.  This is apparently because they changed the formula of the puppy food he was on, so I need to find some old bags of food to mix with the new food.  I called the pet store and they have what I need, so the problem will be solved later today, but still...

But wait, ONE of the dogs?  Last time I blogged regularly, we had only one dog, Pepper.  Now, we also have Comet, AKA our little Christmas Miracle, AKA the Accidental Dog, AKA the Poo Eater.

How did this happen?  Well, we got in the truck to go to see my husband's family for Christmas, and about ten minutes into the trip, we were like "What the heck is that smell?"  Turns out, it was Pepper.  Like the old saying says, you never know how stinky your dog is until you put it in the truck with you.  If that's not an actual old saying, it should be. 

Anyway, as we drove, I called a groomer in the city we expected to be passing through in a couple of hours, and asked if they could do a rush job on a dog wash.  They said sure, bring her in.  It was, no word of a lie, a place called Vinny's House of Pets.  If Tony Soprano had a cousin who liked kitties, this is the kind of place he'd own.

Anyway, they took Pepper in for a bath, and The Hotness and I decided to wander around the store while we waited.  Big mistake.  We went down the aisle with the cages, and I was all "Um, let's not look, okay?"  and the Hotness was all "Oooh, look, a puppy!"

Long story short, the guy told us that the puppy was a rescue, and that we could have him for free if we bought a bag of puppy food.  I went to sit in the truck to protest the idea of getting a second dog, and also to hide my "I want that puppy" face, and The Hotness came out with the dog, stuck it in my arms, and off we went.

Before this, I don't think he'd ever set foot on the ground outdoors.  The first time I put him down in the snow to pee, he looked at me like "seriously, lady, what the heck is this white stuff?"

There was much puppy-related Christmas drama (unsurprising) but the end result is that I secretly love this dog.  He's stupid looking, and really needy, but OMG, I just want to stick him in my shirt and carry him around with his head poking out of the headhole, so we're cheek to cheek, 24/7. 


Building a mystery

I'm going through the process of de-stashing, and I've started by selling off as many of my vintage patterns as I can. Some of them are going in my Etsy store, others will end up in lots on eBay; one way or another, I'm getting rid of the old, to make way for the new to make room for me to sew.

One thing about going through your vintage pattern stash, sometimes, as you go through the envelopes, you find some interesting surprises.  For example, as I was going through  the envelope for this pattern;

I came across the pieces for this pattern;

I don't have the instruction sheet, just enough pattern pieces to make the front, back, and pockets.  I'm not sure why, but I feel compelled to see if I can make this skirt from the pieces I have.

This is likely a fool's errand, but whatever gets me into my sewing room is fine by me!


A personal epiphany

I have to admit; my new coverlock 3.0 was an impulse buy.

You may be asking yourself, what kind of dork impulse-buys a six hundred dollar sewing machine? I know I certainly asked myself that question quite a bit as I loaded the box into my trunk.

As I installed my shiny new serger, I had an epiphany of sorts.  I'm not who I thought I was!

I've always considered myself a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, and this extends to my 'crafting' such as it is. I like to figure things out for myself, or just wing it, far better than I like looking at patterns and reading instruction sheets.

Admittedly, this is a huge contributing factor to the phenomenon I like to call the "crap sieve", but after 37 years of working with the crap sieve, I'm more or less immune to the effects.  That sort of last-minute lack of planning just kind of works for me in my personal life, though it can be a little frustrating to those around me.

Still, as I manhandled my new serger downstairs and into my sewing room, I remember clearly thinking "There, NOW I can get some sewing done!"  Apparently, in the dark cave that is my mind, I've had this sense that there's no point even trying to sew knit garments if I don't have a serger that will do a proper finish.  I didn't even know I felt this way until I brought home my Pfaff.  If someone had said "hey, why aren't you doing much sewing?" I would have given a dozen different answers, none of which included "I don't feel like I don't have the right equipment."

This is the epiphany that I had; apparently, I'm a crafting snob. 

In all other aspects of my life, I'm content to make do, to be slapdash, to cobble together a solution to overcome whatever obstacles are in front of me.  But when it comes to my creative side, I don't feel comfortable even trying if I don't have the right gear. 

Goodness knows, I've got a terrible lack of skill, but still, I DO have the ability to sew a zig-zag stitch, which is really all you need to knock together simple knit garments.  Most of my sewing machines actually come with several nice stretch stitches, PLUS, I've got a perfectly good 4-thread serger.

I'm very exasperated with myself, but also, I'm feeling very good about getting started.  Now if only I could get the new dog to stop pooping next to my sewing room, I could go sew something!


Back in the game

It's been a difficult two years; several deaths in the family, some serious illness (not my own), and a lot of other family stuff has kept me from sewing.  But with the advent of spring, and with most of the bad stuff behind me, I'm starting to feel it.  "It."  My sewing mojo, back and in full swing.

To celebrate its return, I went ahead and bought myself this;
Oh, Mr. P, let's make a knit dress together!

My very own Pfaff coverlock 3.0. 

I'm proud to say that during my hiatus, I didn't buy so much as a single scrap of fabric, though I really wanted to; more than once, I found myself in a fabric store, fingering fabric and thinking about the possibilities.  I'm know for certain that I'm not the only sewist out there who feels a real sense of comfort from their stash, but I may be the only one with a 600 metre stash, who has yet to complete even one single wearable garment.

Well, that's untrue; I did make myself a knit top three years ago, which I still wear.  It has unfinished edges, and I have to wear it backwards because I cut the front too low, and when I wear it the right way, my bra shows.

It's time to up my game.  Here's to me making a shirt I can wear the right way around!  Wish me luck!