Monday, October 17, 2011

Houston, We Have a Problem


This summer I came up with a crackerjack idea - I would sew some holiday vests for the two Dallas boy cousins for Christmas! Because of the fabulous sewing skills of my sister-in-law Kim, the girls always have cute dresses to wear for our "cousins" photos. So, I thought it would be nice for the boys to have something homemade. And, well, heck, I have a sewing machine. And I've sewed a lot of stuff. How hard could it be?

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Well, the first hurdle was finding appropriate holiday fabric. This was difficult, sister. I ended up purchasing and returning a couple of times before I decided I liked what I found. First, a vest is a "formal" piece of clothing - that is, the fabric has to have some structure to it to look right. Trust me on this - it's true. And, the vests I would be making were small - for two little boys, so any pattern that was large and needed to repeat would become problematic. And, it turns out, there are a LOT of fabrics out there that you just can't put on a boy.

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I finally decided on what is officially called a "harlequin" pattern, I think. It's a repeating diamond pattern (structure)- of very small diamonds (repeating pattern solved) - in holiday colors. And, it's not girly, but also not exclusively masculine, so my sister-in-law Kim could use some of it if she wanted for matching girl dresses. And, the boys can just wear white shirts and black pants and put the vest over that. Voila! Holiday attire for the boys!

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The pattern.

I also found a great little pattern to follow. Back to the structure thing, I was pretty sure I shouldn't "wing it." But, here is where the serious problem ensued. When it got right down to it, I haven't followed a PATTERN to sew since, well, maybe high school. Yeah, it's been a WHILE. 

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I'll be making variation "C"

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The directions in the pattern.

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Which parts of the pattern to cut out.

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Cutting out the pattern pieces.

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Un-manicured fingers.

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S took this, and he was very proud of it.

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All set!

I had to ask my mom (who is having a birthday today, actually. Happy Birthday Mom!) several questions just to order the fabric. Then, when I sat down to actually cut out the pattern, I had to ask her MORE questions. (Some of which had to do with the fabric I chose and the inability to follow the pattern's suggestion for cutting out the fabric.) 

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The suggested cutting plan - won't work with my fabric, because it could, in my mother's words, "go all zig-zaggy." That, you understand, is a technical term.

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It ended up that I moved the computer to the dining room (which doubles as a sewing room) and we Face Time-d to figure it out. Yes we did. Seriously.

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Showing Mom the pattern up close.

And seriously, if there was ever any doubt, this post proves how much I love you. Because sister, there isn't one photo in this whole string that is flattering to moi. Oy...it was Sunday night and I was at home, people, just hanging. And this is what I look like when I hang. 

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Making a plan. 
Yes, that's diet food in the background. 
That topic is for another day. Ahem.

What's more, the computer is still sitting in the dining room because I'm pretty sure it won't be the last Face Time conversation before the vests are made. The good news is I have some time. The bad news is I don't have a lot of free time to get stuff like this done. So, you know, I'll need all the time I can muster.

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Having a conversation over fabric. Hee hee.

I'll update you on the progress along the way. And, hey, it'll clean out the cobwebs in the brain surrounding "sewing with a pattern" so maybe the next time it will be easy as pie. Maybe.

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See you soon.

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