Tuesday, May 30, 2006

socks + sewing madness

It was a long, hot, wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day weekend full of crafts, beer and did I mention relaxation?, and I pronounce it good. One of the products of the three-day weekend was Socks. She's a little bit shy, but she's a mostly friendly sock monster cat thing. Here she is relaxing in the backyard.

Sewing a sock monster is different from sewing other things. It's not very precise. It's a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of sewing project, without a lot of concern for perfection, or even sewing straight lines. But making all these sock monsters sort of started deluding me into believing that I like to sew, and maybe that I ought to sew some more things.

no straight lines here

And after ooh'ing and aah'ing over the beautiful set of shirts that Jay just finished making, I was feeling kind of inspired. Then my sister mentioned that the fabric store was having a big Memorial Day sale, and, well... I took on a sewing project.
I bought a pattern.
I bought fabric (on sale for $3.49 a yard!)
I bought thread.
I dragged out all the equipment.

Then I spent HOURS last night cutting out pieces of tissue-thin pattern paper, pinning it to fabric and painstakingly cutting out dozens of pieces that have to be just right. ARGH! Sewing! Why is it always like this???

Ahem. Tantrum over. Anyway, the pieces are all cut out and the fusible interfacing fused, and I am just a few dozen hours of sewing, cursing and kicking away from a shiny new.... bathrobe!

Yes, that's right, I'm making myself a new bathrobe. I live in North Carolina, I am too cheap to use the A/C most of the time, it's already 90 degrees, and my bathrobe is made from heavy winter fleece. Hence the sewing project.

I just wish sewing weren't so dependent on all these straight lines and matched-up pieces. It makes me crazy! I'm going to have to make a crazy monster with the leftover bathrobe fabric to re-orient my craft-making mindset.

perhaps I can orient your mindset?


  1. Okay, breathe... just take a deep breath and hold it for a second. It doesn't have to be that hard.
    Personally, I never cut into my paper patterns because
    a) I may want to reuse them in a different size
    b)they are too flimsy to actually use with the fabric.
    I usually trace the pattern pieces I want (yes, another step, but well worth it!) onto non-fusible interfacing (the thinnest I can find).
    Just make sure you have done all your pattern alterations at this stage. The good thing about using non-fusible interfacing as your pattern is that you can actually pin it together and try it on, which you can't do with the tissue paper (not without suddenly freezing because you've heard paper, somewhere, tearing!).
    I hate cutting out the fabric and interfacing the pieces too, but once that is done you are on to the fun bit. Just remember your seam allowances, and feel the garment coming alive under your fingertips!
    I can't wait to see the result... I love turning a flat piece of fabric, a few buttons, some thread and a pattern into something I can wear - a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, a shirt, tear-away chaps, butt-less jeans. What a rush!

  2. I forgot to say - I LOVE him... he is so gorgeous! Are you going to post a How-To!? I want one of my own... well, for Jack!

  3. Good luck with your bathrobe. I'm sure that you will do fine. Jay has good tips! What a guy. All of my happiest sewing patterns are actually taken off of the garment that I want to copy. It involved a lot of eyeballing and all of my dresses were along the "loose and flowing" lines. Draw string pants, tote bags, you get the picture.

    I would love to see a quick and dirty "how-to" for the sock monsters too! It is the type of sewing that my 11 year old excells at and I know that she would so enjoy a quick tutorial.

  4. the joys of sewing ... i'd always thought the hardest thing about sewing was the prep work, all the deciding which size and cutting out all those pieces. your finished product will only be as precise as the initial cutting. the cutting out is kinda like swatching though ... once it's done, you're on your way.
    i broke down yesterday and turned on the a.c. i decided that i'd rather enjoy 80* than the 90* + that it was in here. sweat was rolling off of me as i sat at my keyboard, and the yarn was sticking to my fingers instead of sliding through them! gotta love summer in n.c. :)
    and once again, what a cute sock monster! i did order the book, so maybe i can make a monster when i go home to visit my mom this weekend :)

  5. I love the sock monster! I'm with you about sewing (although Jay claims that it's easy & that anyone can do it). I don't like the exactness of it (just a little bit off on measurements and you screw up the entire project! Good luck to you on the bathrobe.

    And did I read that right? You have A/C but you CHOOSE not to use it?!? I'm dying - not dyeing, but DYING - in our lovely humid, 90 degree weather with NO A/C (long story) and you CHOOSE not to use yours?!?
    **sorry! it's the HEAT! :-) **

  6. wow
    is the way
    to go on cute

  7. That is really awesome!


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