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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sewing with One Half of AliciaSquared

AG is an uber talented photog and is also one half of AliciaSquared, a great blog about two friends (both named Alicia) who have decided to become roomies and from all evidence, cooks a mean meal (not that I've been invited over for a meal *AHEM*) and crafts at a level that only Martha Stewart and Sweatshops has so far been able to achieve (I dare say that they may out paper-craft the Sweatshop...we may need to have a "craft-off" to find out!).

About 2 and a half years ago AG started a t-shirt quilt. She had asked for my help to finish it as the last time she sewed anything was in 7th grade Home Ec class. So with the Sweatshop all setup, I invited AG over for an evening of sewing, food and wine.

AG also came over with a dress that needed repairing, and the aforementioned quilt that needed to be finished. We ordered some horribly fatty American-Chinese food (the kind that makes Panda Express look like haute cuisine) and proceeded to sew. Fixing the dress was easy and was completed before the food arrived.

Now, before I go further, I'm going to make a ton of excuses in a poor attempt to salvage my Sweatshop and master-seamstress reputation.

  1. As this quilt was AG's project, I had to fight against my natural inclination to just take over the project and sew it myself.
  2. Also, I will gladly admit that I am a *horrible* teacher. I talk faster then I type and I just *assume* that everyone has the same abilities that I do. I just need to rattle off a few super high level directions and I expect that everyone completely gets what is needed. I'm like IKEA directions, only not as clear.
  3. I was also working on a few sewing/crafting projects myself as I had gotten a few orders in that day and I wanted to have them shipped out first thing Saturday, as Monday was a holiday and I didn't want anyone to have to wait for their purchases.
  4. Wine may, or may not, have been involved in the evening's sewing.
drumk sewing!

So, please keep all of this in mind and don't judge me too harshly. Heh.

Since AG's quilt was made from old tshirts that had sentimental value, we wanted to be sure that the finished product was nice. But because she wanted to use this for picnics and parks, I didn't want her to spend too much money on this. So we started off by buying two yards of navy blue 1" diamond doubled faced quilt to use as the backing. By using a pre-quilted fabric, we saved several steps (and money!). I cut this fabric in half lengthwise and had AG stitch the fabric together along the width to make a backing that was large enough. Since this was to be used outdoors, I had her reinforce the seams so that it could withstand lots of wear and tear and multiple washings.

A potential future Sweatshop slave!

While AG was doing this, I was whipping out poker hair flowers, and working on the logistics of a few new products (to be released soon! Oooh! So excited!). When she was done, I had her lay out the backing on the floor, and we then laid the pieced together tshirts on top of the backing. I gave her a box of pins and had her pin the edges together before sewing.

I completely forgot to warn poor AG about pins and the necessity of always being aware of where all the pins are. I'm completely squeamish about other people's wounds (I don't mind blood, I just can't see the actual wound), but fortunately, my husband was on hand to administer first aid.

Hello Kitty is the official band aid of craft injuries

Normally, I hate sewing with n00bies (see above Excuse #2), but when one is sewing with a n00b who is a avid crafter, it's not so bad as they have a basic foundation of the importance of straight lines, keeping their workspace neat, and thinking through the steps of what needed to happen next.

HOWEVER, because they are still n00bs, they don't know to check on certain things that avid sewers would, and because they catch on so quickly, an experienced sewer (like me), wouldn't think to do the normal double checks, because they seem so competant.  Like, checking to make sure that both pieces of fabric are pinned on the wrong side.

After working on this quilt for nearly two hours...we were | *this* | close to completion...and I realized...I didn't check, so I had AG pin and sew the backing on the wrong side, so that the seam down the middle width of the quilt was exposed.

Complete #CraftFail

AG was a good sport and had a good laugh. But I was so mortified that I promised to fix and finish this up for her, which is actually a horrible punishment if you know me (the one thing I hate about sewing above all else...ripping out seams), and I proceeded to mope in front of the TV after AG left, deflated.

Which is good for my ego (it does tend to get a little cocky if I'm not careful) but my self-esteem took a beating. I wonder if there are Hello Kitty band aids for pride?

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