Friday, May 18, 2012

things i am not good at, part...infinite.

there are many, many things on this wide round earth that I am not good at. Remembering to drink water. Feeding myself. Returning phone calls and responding to emails. Dealing with chaos and loud noise for more than about 15 minutes (ask me about kid's birthday parties. They're my favorite.) Reading directions. Following directions.

Directions. ugh. I am not destined to be a great seamstress. It doesn't help that I broke my machine out for the first time in five years. I missed sewing (and quilting, which is really my first love.) I am that person that reads the directions thrice, and still needs to make several cuts and corrections. It's not that I don't want to follow directions...I do. I'm just...distracted.

Anyway, so I decided that instead of paying a ridiculously painful amount of money to swap all of little bean's pocket diapers out for fitteds and covers, I'd know, sew them myself. In my spare time. Ha. Haha. Hahaahahahaahahaa. I work 3-5 days a week, have two children, and a house that doesn't clean itself. The sucktastic part is my working hours. I don't work a full 40 hour week. Oh no, no thank you. I work Tuesdays for about 4 hours during the day. It's a 30 minute drive, one way. I work Wednesday nights for about 4 hours...another 30 minute drive, one way, to a different job. I work Thursday day AND night, from mid morning, until after dark, and that's the same place as Wednesdays. I work Saturdays (2-3 a month), and Sundays (1 a month). It doesn't sound like much, until one thinks about how much time it takes away from "family time" know, the time AFTER most people get home from work. So, I'm gone a couple of evenings and a few weekends. It is SO hard to get our kids to bed that when I *am* home in the evening, I feel terrible about sneaking off to my sewing room to put stuff together. Wait until after the kids are in bed? HAH. By the time I get little bean to sleep, it's all I can do to stay awake myself, and then there's the mister, and I suppose he'd like to spend some time with me too, although I've no idea why.

Anyway, back to this sewing, I've made two covers now. I'm wondering if the lady who made this pattern was perhaps smoking crack. In one of the steps, it talks about aligning the gussets with the arrows on the pattern before sewing them in. Uh, there's no arrow on the Large pattern pieces. Thanks. So, I make the large one from just a singular layer of PUL. It's an unmitigated disaster, probably due to the pattern and my long dormant sewing skills, plus learning how to work a snap press. I wind up putting 4 snaps on backwards, and damned near destroying the diaper cover trying to remove them to put new ones on.

Next attempt, I make a medium, because the large makes her look like she pooped in it, it sags in weird places and is just ill fitting in general. This is not surprising, I didn't stretch the foldover elastic as I was sewing it down. This was a mistake. So, the has the arrows for where the gussets go...cha ching. I sew it out of 2 mil black PUL that I got for a song, along with a cute cotton print, more of the dreaded white FOE (foldover elastic), but this time I DON'T use a contrasting thread color. Thank heavens. This time I also forget what a 3 step zig zag is and wind up doing some ridiculous stitches around the gussets, and am just having an absolute devil of a time doing...oh, anything right. It doesn't help that the instructions are SO not detailed, and there's nothing about having to sew gathers into the gussets so they fit the allotted space, or anything about stretching the FOE as I sew it (which I learned from watching a video).

So, I look for my sewing machine manual. Surprise! In the last 8 years, it's been misplaced. So I download one. ...oh, I've been winding the bobbin wrong. Oh, that's what those stitches are for. Oh! Wow! My sewing machine is actually pretty smart! Oh...that's what those dials mean. *sigh* And then the bobbin runs out of thread, so I rethread it....and it's acting all...broken. So I have to go and troubleshoot and read the same suggestion about 50 times before I realize I've been threading the needle with the presser foot down and apparently that makes a big difference....Problem solved. Even put the snaps on the right way the FIRST time this time! WOW!

Without further ado, cover number one:

and now...cover number two:

I mean, I know they don't look that bad in the pictures, but they're not great, let me tell you. My grandma is coming home next week. She is going to put her glasses on the bridge of her nose, purse her lips, and proceed to tear them apart (verbally, of course). The good news is, though, she will help me become a better seamstress. This is the woman who taught me how to quilt, and she always pushes me to new heights. She told me once I couldn't hang doing a snail's trail quilt. I did. (Of course, it's not finished).

I can rise to the challenge.

I hope she'll teach me how to use my serger, though, so I can actually make some DIAPERS, instead of just covers.

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