The other day I went fabric shopping with my mom. We stopped by The Quilt Cupboard near us and I exposed her to the wonderfulness of charm packs and layer cakes and jelly rolls. She’d heard of them before but she kept asking “Can you make something with this?” At first I rolled my head back and laughed. OF COURSE!! But she wasn’t convinced.
As we looked around more and more, the ladies there got into the discussion and before we knew it, my mom was purchasing a few items to add to her stash for a future attempt at a five and dime quilt. Below is a video from the Missouri Start Quilt Co. demonstrating a five and dime using a layer cake and a charm pack.
After we said our goodbyes, we headed over to the new JoAnn’s in my city. It’s big and glossy and still smells of freshly painted walls. As we walked around, my mom got hooked into a conversation with a gentleman at the sewing machine counter and I was left to my own devices.
I hadn’t gone in there to shop for anything. I have enough on my plate as it is. But I couldn’t help poking around my favorite section where they keep all the geeky selections like Star Wars and Marvel. In between my favorites, I found a few bolts of another favorite, Doctor Who!!
Then it hit me! I should make some pajama pants for my growing son out of these prints! He loves Doctor Who also (even though he’s not seen too many episodes. We just show him the fun clips without the scary stuff).
But I’ve never followed a pattern let alone made some clothing so I was a little hesitant to jump into it. While my mom continued to talk I jumped over to the pattern drawers and looked up a Simplicity package for men’s and boy’s pajama outfits. Hey, this looks simple enough! So I grabbed it, some elastic for the waist band and two Doctor Who fabrics for my little man.
But I powered through and cut them out, pinned them as the instructions said and cut out the front and back to the shorts for boys.
Then I got to the sewing instructions…
Ugh… What fresh hell is this? I was surprised at how minimal the instructions were and felt instantly dumb. They were so simple I didn’t understand them. I felt like I was reading a book with a chapter or two missing. But I went ahead and gave it a try. I did as the instructions said but found myself stuck at step number two.
Yup… I didn’t even make it to number two before I was lost. I had sewn the inner thigh seam closed. Then, looking at the instructions, I couldn’t tell how I was supposed to sew the inner thigh seams together. Did I just line up the seams and run my machine down them? That didn’t make sense so I had to go back and rip out those seams and leave it be for a while.
Then got smart and got some help. I took it to the machine shop where my mom bought my Elna and asked the lovely folks there what did I miss and how should I proceed. Cricket, a wonderful creative soul I totally felt a connection to within the first 5 minutes of meeting her, pointed out that I needed to open the fabric and press the seams down THEN join the front and back together by sewing the seams in a U shape.
THAT made more sense! So I took pen to the instructions and made some notes so that I would better understand it in the future.
Now I don’t know if I screwed things up from the get go, if my cutting is really THAT BAD or if the pattern just stinks but nothing was lining up like the instructions said and I was about to chuck the whole project.
Instead I sat it down for a bit to come back to later. It wasn’t worth all the stress it was causing me.
I intend to finish it no matter how it comes out. There is something in me that needs to complete a pattern and learn the skills that go along with making a piece of clothing. I NEED to do it.
So I will. Maybe…