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01/09/18 at 14:30
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image - Broomstick Devil

I love sewing. And I love broomstick skirts. I don't have much time to sew just for fun any more, but today I decided to take a little time and quickly add to my wardrobe. Little did I know that today would forever live on my calendar as DO NOT SEW day! It was "The Day of the Broomstick Skirt from Hell!"

I was going to two sewing meetings out of town and thought I'd make myself a new broomstick skirt, my favorite kind, because I can use our luscious cottons, and these skirts are great for traveling. Now, I've only made about 20 of these, and I've gotten them down to about an hour each. Heck, maybe I'd even make two today. So I started at about 8 am. I rotary cut my strips (9 of them,) and cut two of them too narrow so I had to re-cut them. THAT should have been the first clue. But, no, I optimistically forged ahead.

I cut my 4 pocket pieces, no problem. I sewed them to the two top pieces, and found I had sewn one upside down. Clue two. Blindly going forward, I threaded up the serger, went to get out my shirring attachment so I could gather and attach the tiers at the same time. It wasn't there. I must have taken it into the shop to demonstrate it and not brought it home. Clue three.

Was not my high school slogan "Ever Onward"? So I do it the way I used to, and gather one tier using my differential feed, and then attach it to the first layer. Went in easily, and as I turned it I realized I had the seam on the outside. Did it rip easily? Not really. Four This time I pinned it and double checked to be sure the seam would be on the inside, and sewed it again. OK. Surely things were turning around now. I held it up, and I had sewn it to the wrong side of the top layer, so the pockets went up instead of down. OK. How many times have I told other sew-ers that when things are going wrong, STOP and go do something else. So I went and petted kitties. Always a tension release.

Rejuvenated, I headed back to the (by this time "dreaded") skirt and ripped again. Determined to triple check everything before sewing, I pinned the whole next layer, (something I try to do as little as possible, but you see how my day has gone so far). Everything was fine, and I smiled at my sewing machine and BASTED the third layer to the second, carefully taking out the pins as I went along. I got almost to the end of the long third tier, and can you guess? I had run out of bobbin thread about 4 inches from the beginning! (My regular machine would have warned me, but it was busy embroidering, so I had used an older one that didn't have that wonderful feature.) I think this was clue five but I decided to quit counting. So up I got, frantically petted TWO kitties this time, and re-pinned.

Wind a new bobbin, and baste again. Check. Seam inside, attached to the right place. The Sewing Goddess must finally be smiling down on me knowing I can't take much more. So I head fearlessly to the serger and serge the third tier to the second. It was basted already so what could go wrong? No, I didn't accidentally cut into my skirt fabric at the serger. But I did sew a big tuck in that last layer. By now it's 3 pm and my one hour skirt is seven hours old and still has the hem and elastic to go. Dick came home and was very supportive as I explained my day of sewing, asking if those psychologists hadn't said that sewing is one of the most relaxing things you can do.

Well, you know this skirt is not going to get the best of me at THIS point! I'd given it the better part of my day so far, and there was NO WAY I wasn't going to have a new skirt to take along. After all, I'm an EXPERIENCED sew-er. Pride, you know. After ripping and re-sewing the part with the tuck, I changed to the rolled edge and finished the bottom flawlessly. NOW we're finally chugging right along! I pressed the casing, sewed, REMEMBERED to leave an opening in it to put the elastic through, and grabbed the elastic. You have to know at this point that I'd made the casing too narrow for the elastic. BUT, I went to my elastic stash and found a narrower elastic! Fooled it this time! I got the elastic threaded through. Dick hesitantly poked his head around the corner to see how things were going. At this point I naively said, "Don't worry, there's nothing more I can do wrong from here!" He was relieved, having more hope for getting dinner tonight, and went back to the living room. I never cut my elastic before I put it in, so I can snug it up and not have to measure. OK. Pin, overlap the long end over the short end, sew, and cut off the extra. But instead of cutting off the extra, I cut at the wrong side of the joining point. Well, I figured I could stand it just a little snugger, so I overlapped and sewed again. As I eased it into the casing, I discovered I had the elastic twisted.

Well, I'm going to lose weight, I won't notice it just a tad snugger yet. So I cut, overlap again, and re-sew, only to find that I hadn't really had it twisted the first time, but NOW I had a twist in that gosh darn elastic! Well, it's only 4 o'clock, not time to throw the frozen dinners in the microwave yet, so I added another piece of elastic, made absolutely sure there was no twist, and finally was able to finish that blasted broomstick skirt to slap it in the washer, wet it, and get it in the pantyhose.

I honest to goodness did not make up ANY of this story! As I reread it, I find it hard to believe myself, but it really is a true story. At Sewing Club I've had people tell me they love to see me make mistakes because it makes them feel better. So now you can mark September 18th on YOUR calendar too, and say, "Oh, yea! That was the day of Erica's eight hour one hour Broomstick Skirt from hell," and REALLY feel fantastic! So will I! And I still love sewing, but you can bet that next September 18th I'll be doing something more rewarding than I did this year. Like cleaning toilets.

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