Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lucy and I Didn't Always Agree

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a half-hour usability study for the new IUB home page. Usability studies are right up my alley--five different problems to solve using the web site (finding where the list of part-time jobs for students is located, finding a map with Woodburn Hall located on it, finding the requirements for study abroad, etc.), and My. Opinion. Matters.

Hells, yeah.

In exchange, UITS gave me a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card. I know, right? I carried it around in my pocket for days until we all had a chance to get to Barnes & Noble, and I pored over every single craft book in the store until I finally settled on .
and the Skull-a-Day book were both close contenders, and
(inspirator of the rainbow patchwork marker roll) might have won altogether if there'd been any in stock.

There are some VERY cool things in Weekend Sewing. I have laid out on my cutting mat right now the pattern for Ruby's Bloomers, but the absolute first thing I needed to sew was a baby gift for a dear friend of mine who's expecting her second daughter next month. I already have permission to hold that baby anytime I want to, and if I'm going to enjoy dressing her up and loving on her and taking pictures of her little feet and then dressing her up in a new outfit, she needs some teeny little clothes to be dressed up in.

I sort-of sewed to a pattern once before, but not really. And wow--it's harder than I thought. I chose the Lucy's Kimono pattern as the one that I would most look forward to dressing up my little baby in, and I found a dumpster-dived pale green striped button-down blouse in my stash. I got everything cut out just the way Heather Ross wanted me to, and all nicely pinned and everything-- --and then... I don't know, I kept not being able to figure out things. In step 3, for instance, the instructions asked me to attach the kimono fronts to the kimono back at the shoulder seams, with the WRONG sides together. I stared and stared and stared at that for a while, but I finally decided that it just couldn't be correct--wouldn't that put the seam on the outside of the kimono? The hand-drawn illustration of step 3 (it's picky, but hand-drawn illustrations/patterns in craft tutorials are a big pet peeve of mine) seems to have the right sides together, so that's what I went ahead and did. Kind of made my mind melt for a little while.

My biggest headache, however, came from the darn sleeves. I think this might just be my unfamiliarity with pattern sewing, but there wasn't any indication of how the sleeves might be oriented to attach to the body. Each sleeve was a sort of trapezoid, with two long, straight sides and two short angled sides--what end gets sewn to the body?

I made my most educated guess, sewed it up, and felt comfortable enough with my choice to finish the kimono. I dont' know, though...when I looked at it, it just seemed odd. Funny how my sleeves are long and skinny, and the sleeves in the book are short and wide...Crap.

After I ripped out the stupid sleeves, I didn't have enough material left from the button-down shirt to make them anew, so I cut them instead from the quilting cotton I was using as the bias fabric: Even more freakin' adorable than the first try, if I do say so myself.

So the end result would maybe be: Book Errors=2 (asking for the wrong sides together when it should be the right sides, not including the location for the side ties on the pattern piece). Human Errors=1 (sewing the sleeves on sideways. Unless sleeves are supposed to have their edges marked, and then that would be another Book Error). Anyway, only the sleeve issue was dire--everything else, even if I didn't understand it at first, I was able to figure out. And it was well worth the trouble.

It seemed like it would be more trouble than it was worth for my mom friend to have to find a matching bottom for the kimono top, so I sewed the baby a pair of tiny little pants from the sleeves of the button-down blouse: I can't decide if I love them, or if they just look like two sleeves stuck together:

And then, and THEN, I found in the girls' blankie stash a little baby blanket I'd scavenged years ago, with an awesome circus print on it in green, to serve as the wrapping for the outfit.

And once that baby is born, I get to dress her in that outfit and wrap her in that blanket and hold her anytime I want. I have a promise.


Abby said...

Julie, that is SO CUTE!!! You are amazing.

melanie said...

Very very awesome! And, I like the pants!

julie said...

Y'all are so sweet! Admit it, though--it would have been totally hilarious if I had tried to give that first skinny long-armed kimono to my friend and expected her to put that on her baby!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that is beautiful! Reminds me of a little kimono I wore when I was about 3 yrs old...but prettier.

glenna said...

I'm still laughing at the longgggg arms on that Kimono! You should have left it that way and framed it!