Wednesday, February 17, 2010

how did that happen?

If you've been paying attention to my sidebar list of Finished Objects, you've probably noticed that I haven't been doing a lot of sewing lately. Even though I list that first in my profile, and it tops my list of hobbies any day. It used to be the main fiber art I practiced, but I got back into knit and crochet with a vengeance when I had to dismantle my sewing room and turn it into a bedroom for Twin1 (at some point, I will organize the pictures of that transformation, and share that with you - it was quite the process). Because I had to have a creative outlet, and the sewing machine (and all the stuff) was either not accessible, or heavily disorganized, during that period, I turned to yarn to satisfy that need.
At any rate, it seems an age since I did any serious sewing, aside from what I did for my sisters wedding, and a few pairs of pajama pants. In fact, I think that's been the gist of what I've done, along with some mending and such, for months.
Last night, craving something different, creatively, I sat down to work on this white vinyl purse that has been some time in the making. If you've ever sewed on vinyl, you may have an inkling as to why it's taken me a while to get this project done. It's thick, it sticks to the presser foot, itself, and the machine bed, and any needle holes stay there, so it had better be right the first time. (Wondering why, then, I would choose to make something in vinyl? Obviously, it's really cute. Plus, I got the vinyl really cheap, as a remnant, and had this handbag pattern that seemed perfect for it, and this cute black print cotton to line it with, and black wooden handles, and...well, it's really cute. I'll show you when it's done. Promise.)
Anyway, I got everything out, and found a denim needle (you need one that big, so you don't keep breaking needles while you sew all those thick, heavy layers of vinyl), and started to change the sewing machine needle.
And this is where it gets scary.
The needle that was in the machine, despite the fact that my most recent projects were 1) finishing the neckline on a little cotton baby dress (not listed in my FO, because I didn't actually sew anything except that neckline, and the snaps), 2) mending various items of normal-weight fabrics, and 3) my dress, and parts of others, for my sisters wedding, all in fancy, silky, fine, light-weight fabrics, for which I should have probably used a smaller needle anyway. Despite all that, the needle that was already in my machine was...a denim needle!
I have absolutely NO idea what I last worked on that required a larger needle (Twin1's pj pants were in really thick flannel, but would I have changed the needle for those?). Besides which, I tend to change the needle back to a normal needle when I put away whatever it is, even if I'm not yet done with the project, just in case I have to mend something or work on something else, so I don't have to wonder what's in there. Unless I know I'll be back to the project right away. Which is what my mind must have assumed, back when I last worked on whatever it was.
I am now scared about holes suddenly appearing in my nice dress (too big a needle can do that to fine fabrics) and did a fairly close inspection last night of the seams. It looks okay, but I'm still a little worried. The needle is nice and sharp, so maybe it's okay. But still, nervous.
This delayed my project just a bit.
I still worked on it, and actually got the handles sewn in (not an easy task, what with the wooden handles in there, the multiple layers of vinyl, sewing across the zipper at each end), and we're down to just the lining. It actually already looks like a purse.
I just don't know where my mind is anymore.
(I left the denim needle in the machine this time, but the purse parts are spread out everywhere, too, so I shouldn't forget that's what I'm working on. Though perhaps, I should just change the needle back to normal anyway, given my recent track record.)

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