Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Projects Gone Awry

I feel like my life is one big stalled project right now. It seems like every time I get almost done with something, there is a problem. And I have to say, it is starting to get to me. Spring is a time of new beginnings, but I can't start anything because I have too many things waiting to be completed. Not to whine or anything.

A couple of weeks ago, I FINALLY cast on this hat. It is MY hat. It is the very first thing I have knit for myself. I have had the yarn for months, but I kept finding other projects to work on and I never got around to making it. I selected the yarn because it matches the lining in my parka. Sadly, I recently noticed that the fabric around the entire zipper is starting to wear through and I can see tears getting ready to emerge. I have had that parka for about five winters, so it isn't like it is brand new. But it is sad that it took me five winters to make a matching hat, and I won't even get to wear them together.

And based on the photo above, you can probably guess why: Once again, I ran out of yarn. Do you have any idea how frustrating this is for me? I found this pattern on Ravelry. It is called Odessa. I read through more than a hundred posts about this hat, and I can't remember reading about anyone running out of yarn. Once again, my tight knitting has me in a pinch. I ordered this yarn online. The website has $6.99 shipping, which is fine if you are ordering a bunch of yarn, but I just need this one ball. And I can't find this color in stock at any other website. I am going to attempt to have a local yarn store order it for me. Until I can get around to doing that, I decided to start a sewing project, which leads me to...

this dress. A few weeks ago, I had both girls with me at the fabric store. I can't remember why I was there, which is sort of scary, but Nora saw this fairy fabric and fell for it. It has all of her favorite colors, and the fairy wings are sparkly silver. She asked me to make her a dress out of it. I told her, "Not today." A week ago, I was at the fabric store again, this time alone. I saw the fairy fabric and was reminded of her request. A close friend of ours is getting married in April and I thought a fairy dress would be the perfect wedding outfit. The store owner and her sister helped me pick out a really lovely pattern. They actually took out the instructions and walked me through them, and assured me I was capable of making this dress. I was crazy enough to believe them. See, I had visions of a giddy happy Nora whirling and twirling in the three-tiered skirt, and those visions sidetracked me from reality.

I started this project on Friday night (I know-party time!). By Saturday afternoon, the skirt was done in all of its whirly twirliness. The bodice was tiny and seemed so easy! When I got to the yoke, the directions and diagrams looked weird. They weren't making any sense to me. I read through them about ten times and made my pieces match the diagrams again and again. Still, it seemed off. But I decided that I was too focused on the details and couldn't see the big picture. If I just followed the directions one step at a time, it would come together. So I pinned the everloving daylights out of that yoke, stitched it up, followed the remaining few steps, and held the dress up.

It did not look like the finished photos.

I resisted the urge to cry or vomit. (You have no idea how many hours I had into it at this point-I am no good at sewing and I was determined to make a beautiful dress, so I took my sweet time with every step in an effort to avoid all errors.)

I tried to reason with myself: while it didn't look like the photo, it was still cute (not exactly true). Nora would like the ruffle yoke (probably true).

So Nora got home from Grandma and Grandpa's house Sunday afternoon and promptly tried the dress on. What did my lovely daughter say?


Wow-so not the response I had envisioned! Clearly the upside down piece (yup-that was the problem. I sewed the yoke on upside down, following the instructions EXACTLY. I swear!) made the bodice tight. It squeezed her arms. Which, when you think about it, it kind of crazy. Nora, after all, is 6 1/2 and weighs about 36 pounds. Her arms are not exactly beefy.

There was absolutely no way to fix this because (hold your breath here) I had already sewed in the buttonholes. Seriously.

After much thought, I happened to glance at a dress hanging in the closet that has a really cute bodice that fits Nora well. I have decided to copy it. After I have calmed down from this horrible experience, that is. A wise woman (hi, Tracy!) once told me she has no interest in making garments. Why, oh WHY did I not listen to her?!

So while I work up the nerve to attempt a new bodice, I decided to make a tote for my good friend Erica, who saw Dana's tote on this very blog and asked me to make her one, though with some modifications. Specifically, she wanted it bigger.

So Monday night I cut out the pieces for the tote. Tuesday I stitched it together. When I got to the final stages (specifically, the handles and the topstitching), my sewing machine started to do something funky: it would only sew in reverse! Do you have any idea how hard it is to sew in reverse, when you can't see what you are doing? It was not good. And it still isn't. I finished the tote and mailed it off to Iowa without saying too many swears, but my machine needs help. I heard it making some scary noises, so who knows what else is going on. The thing is, I can't finish Nora's dress until I get this machine fixed. So if you have a suggestion for where I can get it fixed, where the people will be nice to me (trust me-the local sewing machine repair people do not have friendly reputations), please direct me there! I have other sewing to do, too, and having my machine sitting in the closet is bumming me out.

So that's where I am at with projects. I am about to start another hat, but I realized today that I don't have double pointed or circular needles in remotely the right size. So I guess I am going shopping for needles first. I am sitting here shaking my head, eyes closed. Why is everything stalling on me?

1 comment:

  1. Okay, Alissa, you first need to remember that you actually are getting TIME to work on these ambitious projects now that your kids are older--yeah! Second, I don't think that the fairy dress looks that bad on the hangar--too bad that it doesn't fit Nora, but I'm sure it can be salvaged. Third, I love the tote for Erica! Lastly, your hats-turn-out too-small-problem: bring all of your needles and patterns that you want to work on with chosen yarn to the next knitting night and let's see what we can do.