Monday, May 24, 2010

We'll call this one week

Why so long between posts? Because life got in the way. And I'm not going to waste time excusing or complaining about it. I'll just say: My first project is complete!!

I bought some pretty off-white fabric with small grey and lilac blossoms decorating it at Hancock Fabrics, and a length of cream lace to use as trim. I used the pattern "Guest-Room Pillowcase" from the book Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. The pattern was easy to understand, as a beginner; there were no outlines of the pieces to cut out, of course, because it's pretty easy to figure out how to cut out a square from a larger square :D. The only part that confused me was the last step which, according to the way I was reading it, would have made the pillowcase far too short for my pillow (which looks like everybody else's, so I think it's safe to assume that it's "standard" size), so I just went and measured an old pillowcase and went with that measurement instead. I think I made the trim facing the wrong way -- but oh well!! It's my first project and I'm allowed to make mistakes :D.

The sewing machine is pretty awesome too. It's some sort of Brother model (my sister bought it, not me), and aside from forgetting to put the stage down on the first bit I sewed, things went smoothly. I even managed to tangle -- but then untangle! -- the bobbin once. It makes me feel very accomplished. I liked how you could adjust the speed of the needle with your foot, which helped me a lot.

The only thing that was difficult for me was sewing the 3/8" seams along the edges of the fabric -- without being able to move the fabric with both hands, the stitches would sort of just veer to the right until they almost went off the fabric; it was really hard to keep the fabric straight. It was almost like the stage was too tight against it and it wasn't flowing underneath the needle smoothly enough -- does anyone have any advice on that?

Next mission: yoga every day of the week, for one week.
Deadline: 5/31

Now for some glamor shots :).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Resolutions, mmmaybe.

I'm pretty sure what I've got here is not an original idea. How many people saw Julie and Julia again? My story is vaguely similar, but different: I feel years older than I really am. I am going through a difficult time in my life, and feel a sudden desire to reconnect with that childlike sense of wonder and discovery that died, unnoticed, years ago. I want to look forward to each day. I want to enjoy life before it ends. If this life is it, I've been terribly unproductive.

I've decided it's time to step up the productivity: I am going to enjoy this next year even if nobody else does. I spoke with someone recently who said that they knew a person who knew a person (etc. etc.) who had seen a study done on people with depression, and found that creativity would sometimes heal them. I'm going to try to do one creative thing a week. I'm already a mildly involved arts and crafts person, as well as a scientist, but more often than not I find myself too caught up in the shit that's happening in my life to enjoy things.

As far as making this a blog, I find that telling people I'm going to do something makes me do it. It makes me feel like if I make my plans public I'm obligated to follow through, even if nobody really cares :D.

This week: I am going to sew a pillowcase. I'm starting small, but that sewing machine manual looks pretty scary o_o. I fancied myself a seamstress long, long ago as a child when I would cut the hems off my nightgowns and "sew" them into "clothes" for my dolls. I'm a librarian, and for a tweens' program last summer a local sewing club brought in a truckload of Singers and oversaw kids sew their way through pillowcase kits. The idea of arming rambunctious kids with needles and having them stick their fingers near the machines alarmed me, but they managed just fine and all of them went home with pillowcases. Heck, if a nine-year-old can operate a sewing machine and make a pillowcase, so can I!

Mission: Pillowcase
Deadline: 4/18