A Stitch in Time

Or maybe I should have called this “Pocket, pocket, who’s got the pocket?” It was another “Teach boo to sew” night tonight and the project du…errr…night was POCKET! The whole sewing part of the evening, which was just shy of two hours I think, consisted of following steps 3 – 5 (1 and 2 being pin and cut respectively).

Step Three: Go through your random pile of cut bits and try to locate the two side panels and the back panel. Easier said than done because there are a lot of pieces parts to a shirt and folded up they all look pretty similar when viewing them as a pile. That plus the three pieces I needed were, of course, the three pieces at the very bottom of the stack. I did manage to find and identify all three needed parts (with help from DQ who would laugh and say “That’s a sleeve” or other things of that nature when I grabbed a puzzling piece of shirt and held it up to see if indeed it might not be what I was looking for) and then I got to give the machine the hairy eyeball.

That was sort of boo step 3.A, your basic introduction to machine. Machine, this is boo, boo this is machine. I got to wind or thread or load a bobbin (which I have ALWAYS called bobbers, a name my sis and I settle on when we were wee) and then I got to thread the machine. It really wasn’t as bad as it sounds since I have played about with other machines including the one I inherited from my grandma. There seems to be a universal oneness to machines with respect to threading, because basically there aren’t too many ways to get thread from a spool to the needle. I recognized this doohickey here and the other doohickey there as pretty darned similar to the doohickies on my machine. Sorta. DQ’s machine is a little more advanced (call it 65 years or so) so it has all this cool stuff, including an automatic threader. A-whoot that y’all!

The real step three was stay stitch the two front panels and the back panel, after locating them, so this is what I set out to do. Machine and I made nice and zippity-whoops I was off to the races and stay stitching like a mad thing. All I want to say about this endeavor is I drive a sewing machine like I drive my truck. Good thing DQ’s machine does not have side mirrors. It wasn’t pretty but I did stay, more or less, within the half inch margin allowance or whatever it is that you call the proper place that the line of stitches are supposed to be.

Step four: THE POCKET. This took the majority of the evening because you can not just slap a pocket on a shirt and call it done. Oh no! First you have to iron a quarter inch flappy doo into one end of the pocket, which means turning one end over a quarter inch (give or take…more like give a lot in my case. Quarter inch, half inch, whatever), trying to keep that quarter inch fold straight and flat while running a hot ass iron over it (and not your fingers). It’s tougher than learning German, mostly because German has never tried to steam fry my fingers. Ow! Ow! Ow! Once my quarter inch flap was pressed, the hot potato pocket piece went over to the machine to be stitched across the fold flap thing-it. Then, the fold flap thing-it was folded again backwards and sideways and somehow, after sewing a quarter inch all the way around the pocket (but not the top), it turned inside out like a sandwich baggie flap and wala! Top Pocket Fold. Then, you stuck the pocket part back under the machine, whipped off the pocket stitch line that runs across the top flap of the pocket (which, as I understand it in theory, is supposed to be a straight line stitch), folded and pressed at the other three stitch lines and slapped the entire thing onto the shirt. And wala! Pocket!


Well, the pocket is on the shirt and that was the goal for step four, so I’m considering it accomplished. Still working on that straight aspect of straight line stitching though.

Step Five: Sticking stuff together. This was the coolest part of the evening, and also the quickest, because things were starting to look like a shirt! Step five had you looking for those tab doo-dads (which I don’t remember what they were called) on the front panels and lining them up with the tab doo-dads on the back panel and stitching the kit and kaboodle together. Easy as pie (compared to the pocket) and by about 9ish I had a shirt looking thing. It’s alive! It also looks like three of me can fit inside it at the moment. I’m trusting that once I get more stuff tacked onto it, the shirt will become more shirt like and less poncho like. Otherwise, I may be creating a giant electric lime green bat muu-muu with sleeves. And a pocket.

By the way, the pocket rocks (in all its mutant stitching glory) what with the bats all flying off at this dapper angle. I’ll get some pics next time when I try and tackle the collar.

Last year at the booniverse: Mostly, it’s because I rarely have my glasses on in the shower or have the shower curtain open when I have my glasses on so I can’t see the ring nasty that has taken up residence around the tub. Just for reference, I also can’t see the big E on the eye chart either.

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