Threads of the Pattern

Archive for June 2012

At the new year, Rose and I decided my whole clan needed fantastic garb to go along with the Japanese persona I have chosen for the SCA.  Rose chose this pattern for us to follow for a start, and it was on! Life being what it is (hectic and crazy), the clothing wouldn’t be finished in time for the closest event, so I took a deep breath, promised myself the sewing machine wouldn’t eat me, and offered to help. She had already done the hard part, I assured myself, in making the hakama (pants) for my son.

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Aren’t they adorable???

We cut out the pieces for his two kosode (like a kimono, only from the Heian Period) , and I was totally psyched! All rectangles! How hard could it be? Piece of cake! She helped me pin the first one together to show me how it was done and I thought, ‘Omg! What was I worried about? Sooo easy!’

And then….she left.

This would be the very first time I attempted to sew anything with my aunt’s very old and crotchety Kenmore, without her watching me, steering me clear of committing any grievous sins against the poor, little used machine. To say I was terrified would be an understatement.

The next morning, I bravely pulled up my big girl panties and made a deal with myself that I would do nothing, -NOTHING- else until the job was finished! I got out my camera, to document the feat of the century, put on my booty shakin’ music (which happens to be a lot of glee songs and 90s music, TYVM) and sat down to work…

…and the needle broke.

This was immediately followed by a lot of cursing and yelling and shaking my fist at the Powers that Be.

20 minutes and 4 sewing needles later, I decided the Powers that Be either hated my guts, or were laughing at me. A lot.

The NEXT morning, after my husband had knight in shining armored over to Walmart and brought me replacement needles (in two different sizes ‘just in case’) I once again sat down, determined to have at last -someone- dressed in new garb by the end of the day. With the Glee cast egging me on (Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ , hahaha) I started up the sewing machine again.

…and then the thread on the bobbin barfed all over the yellow kosode.

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But was I discouraged? Hells no! I am a mother of 4, dammit! I’ve faced tougher problems before my morning caffeine! And hey! At least the needle wasn’t broken!

Thus my seam ripper,became my new, non human, best friend. I used said seam ripper no less than 10 times, before, finally, I called my mommy and asked what I was doing wrong.

Oh yes, I went there. I am 32 years old, and the moment all my options are exhausted, I call my mommy. It’s a good thing I did, too, because the mistake I was making was so newbish, I would have been embarrassed to reveal it…if, you know, that stuff was embarrassing to me.

Folks, fellow newbie sewers…don’t forget to feed your bobbin thread up through the floor of the machine with the needle before you begin!  If you do? Say…10 times or so? It won’t make a pretty sewn line. It will make thread barf.

Lots of thread barf.

After the mistake was fixed, the kosode came together pretty quickly.

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I had a moment of panic when I got to the collar (or eri) because I couldn’t quite figure out how to attach it when it wasn’t as long as the kosode. I couldn’t remember – was it supposed to hang out? was I supposed to sew it down? Maybe I had done it completely wrong?

Finally, after reading and rereading the directions, I pinned it from the center of the back and just um..tucked in the ends. yeah…I choked and did a whatever move. It came out pretty nice, except for the jacked up seam that was totally a user error and had nothing to do with the Rosemary’s Baby of Sewing Machines or the awesome instructions.

The second kosode came together so quickly, even -I- was surprised!

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Useful tip? Don’t rely on the foot of your sewing machine to keep your seams pretty. and try to pay attention to your seam allowance! That’s why there is one, for pretty seams! Mine aren’t so pretty, but hey, it was for a 6 year old. He just thought he was a Jedi, anyway.

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Since the epic sewing machine battle, I have retired it to the confines of it’s sewing table unwilling or unable to get up the nerve to press my luck and make another set of garb. I had a moment in the spring where I really thought I would take it out and make my niece a dress…and then I had a margarita and let the feeling pass quietly into the night. Crafting ADHD being what it is, I know I must conquer the sewing machine…but I’m hoping the terror of using it will fade from my memory first…kind of like childbirth.

Is there a crafting item that you are unwilling to use? Or maybe one that just resists all attempts at being conquered?

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Every year, I try to plan our summer vacation. And every year, I’m thwarted by bad weather, mismatched vacation times and lack of proper crafting supplies. So this year, I decided to pick out the things I’d like to make (most of them with the kids) and hope for the best!

10. Melted Crayon Canvas

This is as close to being a fancy artist as I’ll ever get. I want to hang this in my newly remodeled bathroom when it’s finished!

9. Handmade Sidewalk Chalk

Sure, you can buy sidewalk chalk at the dollar store…but this is Hand. Made. I want to try and use pieces of the cardboard roll my bathroom floor came in to make the biggest piece of sidewalk chalk ever! So full of win!

8. Pillowcase Dress

I foresee my 1 year old niece having a closet full of these by summer’s end!

7.  Floaty Balls of String

Ok…that’s not what they’re called. But it was either that or “Floaty String Goodness”.  I want to make a bunch of these, get a string of white Christmas lights and hang them around my pool deck. This vision was met with various levels of wow, from “Omg!” to “You still haven’t finished my knitted socks.” (Thanks, Uncle Jim.)

6. Rag Rug, via Hula Hoop

Remember those pot holder crafts we used to make? The ones that ended up being about 3 inches square and not appropriate for any kind of hot surface? My mom’s pot holder drawer was full of them when I was 9! This is a much, much larger version of that, and I totally can’t wait to see if my kids and I can make it!

5. Homemade Play Dough

Thank you, Erika the SAHM, for giving us this year’s attempt at homemade play Doh. Every summer we end up tossing old, hard Play Doh and making our own version, to various degrees of success. This year, we’re using this one.

4. Handmade Journals

Recently, my sister’s boyfriend had a birthday. I really wanted to make him a handmade gift, but came across this journal, made from a game board too late to do it.  I am so excited to make these, and am already planning one for each person in my family for Christmas.

3. Superhero Cape

My 7 year old son is obsessed with superheroes and Jedi at the moment. I have been eyeing up the instructions for this cape for 4 months now! I really would like to have one made for him this summer (he is requesting Batman) and maybe a Robin cape for my sister’s boyfriend. The only thing holding me back is the fear that he will never take it off again.

2. Hair Chalking!

Both of my girls and I would love to have some brightly colored hair, but unfortunately, age prevents us. (They’re too young, I’m too ‘old’) We bought some sidewalk chalk to experiment with, but I think I’ll end up going to the art store to get art chalk, as it seems to work the best according to the websites I’ve checked out.

1. Beaded Bracelets

I recently found a box I have had since I was 16, containing a bazillion seed beads. This led to an obsession with relearning how to make beaded bracelets. Crafting ADHD has once again reared it’s ugly head, and I have trolled too many websites and books to mention since then. Hopefully, this one will turn out to be The One!

As summer wears on and we discover new things, I’m sure there will be other things to do. My son, for instance, has me saving gallon milk jugs for something spectacular that he isn’t willing to divulge just yet. He’s mentioned piggy banks and jetpacks, though, so I’m sure it will be interesting at the least! What crafts are you most excited about? What’s on your Crafting List for summer? Please post pictures of anything you’ve made or are planning to make this summer!

Sometimes I psych myself out.

I have been writing this blogpost, tentatively entitled “the First, the Kickoff, the Most Rockin’ Thing I’ve Ever Written” for three weeks now, all in my head. I have alternately been hilarious, introspective, mushy, intelligent, and unable to form two coherent sentences in a row. And finally, while in the shower (where I do my best thinking) it came to me, like the voice of God, echoing inbetween my ears: Just Be Me!

Well, gee. Why didn’t I think of that?

So. This is me. Ayshia. I am a mom and a wife and a nerd and a pretty awesome friend. I occasionally cuss like a sailor and drink like a pirate.I sometimes like to stalk through my house pretending to be a ninja whilst humming my very own theme music. I like exclamation points, and feel that there is no such thing as ‘too many’. I like to play video games and make costumes and read -everything-. I love the Steampunk genre,the SCA, and learning new crafts. I am more than a little afraid of my sewing machine, mostly because it’s older than me. When I’m not crafting or writing, I admit to an addiction to Facebook and Pinterest as well as soaking up Vitamin D poolside during the 3 months of warmth my state claims to have. I met my partner in crafts, Rose, on a text based online game honoring Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series nearly 10 years ago. She has since become one of my very closest friends and my go-to gal for all things. Hopefully her voice will join mine on this blog, and you will learn just how awesome she is!

Threads of the Pattern began as a great big “What If” for us about 2 years ago, while planning her wedding. What if we could go into business together? What if we could live out the remainder of our days (May they be plentiful!) doing what we love to do? Which, of course, is spending time together, wallowing in what is fondly considered to be “Crafting ADHD” and creating exciting and gorgous crafts for ourselves and others to enjoy? In time, Threads of the Pattern will hopefully become everything we envision and more. This blog is the first step into Greatness. I plan to take you all on a journey into the behind the scenes of crafting. I can’t guarantee that sometimes I won’t wander over into other topics, as I have an opinion on just about everything, but mostly my hope for this blog will be all things crafty – for the novices, from the novice. Not everything I write about will be for sale, but it will all be interesting and educational! I hope you will enjoy Threads of the Pattern as much as I enjoy writing for it!

 

 

 



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