I've been on a bit of a sewing jag, among other things.
I made a dress on Thursday.
Back in the nineties I was sewing around ninety percent of my clothes, even bathing suits and unmentionables on occasion. I looked into support undergarments (ok, bras) but it seemed like a rather exacting undertaking and besides, there would be no way to make them seamless without sophisticated machinery so I didn't go down that path.
I sewed a lot, and I was very efficient. I could make a pair of pleated dress pants in an evening and wear them to work the next day.
I was sewing in part because I could, in part to make what I wanted in the fabrics I wanted, in part because of the cost, but after a while I realized that I wasn't enjoying it all that much and that I'd much rather be knitting or spinning, so I largely stopped, though it took a while for my fabric purchases to slow to the same extent.
At this point I have a decent fabric stash.
I have a very nice sewing machine, frankly more machine than I've ever needed (or perhaps it didn't do quite what I'd hoped - or perhaps I never gained proficiency) and also became accustomed to a serger. I like the insides of my garments to not be embarrassing, in the same way that I like my pendants to be attractive on the underneath because they will at some point flip over.
My serger is fiddly, or possibly I'm insufficiently careful with it, as I was forever taking it to be readjusted, and after the last time that it refused to sew more than a couple of inches without the thread breaking, I went back to the old ways (zig-zag on the regular machine after trimming) of finishing edges but not happily.
I had bookmarked a few websites where they discuss repairing/readjusting sergers and yesterday, having finished the dress and considering some silk in the stash, a serger seemed appropriate (zig-zagging the edges of this silk would create bulk and I'm so over Hong Kong seams) so I dug up the bookmarks and lit into the serger.
It was completely seized up. The motor made a noise but after a very short time nothing would move.
It's got to be eighteen years old and for the price of two more adjustments I could buy a new one, and so I did.
I'd hoped to get my shirt finished by Saturday night, but I didn't.
I did get to see Ira Glass (One Radio Host, Two Dancers, in Three Acts) which was wonderful. I confess to having a bit of a crush on him - he's cute, nerdy, slightly awkward, articulate...yeah. But the show was very good, really!
I really should have been beading today because I'm pretty sure that a week away from class proposals I do not have enough for eight weeks, but apparently I needed to do other things.
For example, my daughter's old room needs painting.
Prep will take rather longer than I had hoped.
In addition, I discovered something nasty.
One wall has always had a discoloured section that I suspected masked some cracking.
My suspicion was conformed when great swathes of the surface, no longer stuck to the wall, cracked off when I worried at it with a putty knife. I'm pretty sure I can fix it (there's a great bucket of Joint Compound in my basement) and I'm pretty sure I can avoid the area of discolouration because I, unlike the previous fixer, have primer, but it's yet another step in the prep I must do before painting.
My plans are simple: neutral walls (and door and closet doors, sigh), jute rug, natural linen soft furnishings (I think I might make a simple slip-cover for a chair which was never all that successful) and possibly a small table or dresser or the like. When my daughter comes to visit it should be at least halfway decent, right?
And oh yes, I finished the shirt.
Some years ago there was a really excellent fabric store (which had a large online presence and more than adequate brick-and-mortar incarnation too) that was less than half a block from one of the worst jobs I've ever had, and for reasons vague and seemingly bogus, it was decided to close the brick-and-mortar store. I was upset, the people who worked there were upset, and so in a show of solidarity (ok, total self-indulgence) I went there every day at lunchtime and bought something, anything.
The three fabrics used in the shirt were from a shipment of Italian silk and represent about a quarter of what I bought of that shipment. Maybe less. I made two skirts and two shirts and I have enough for another couple of shirts I think.
So it turns out that sewing doesn't really hurt my hands, unless I try to use blunt scissors on thick fabric, and the fabric stash is still consequential, so there might be a bit more sewing in my future. Or room-painting or beading or whatever.
I wish there was more Ira to tell the truth. That was fun.