Wordless Wednesday: Me Likey The Stripey
Napping Is Da Bomb

A Seamstress I Am Not

Big sigh, y'all. Big sigh.

At least I woke up this morning feeling awake and refreshed, after the previous days of excessive sleepiness. I even used my CPAP last night for the first time in... well, weeks, I believe. I didn't have to lie down after getting Chloë on the bus and before getting Jack up this morning, so I puttered about online and looking through my patterns and yarns and things.

Jack woke up a little early and was demanding breakfast, so I sat down to share a bowl of cereal and the paper with him. It's always nice to sit with my boy in the morning when he's usually at his sweetest. Soon, Sophie joined us, and we played a little together before school. His bus came very late today, a full half-hour later than it did yesterday or whenever it was early. Ridiculously inconsistent!

Barbara was coming, so Sophia and I ran upstairs for me to shower and to get ourselves dressed. She insisted on wearing a dress today, not surprisingly. She just loves them, and getting to wear her pink sparkly shoes! I did the last load of laundry (phew! For an instant in time, it was all done) and put some away, and when Barbara came, I quit. Time to go.

Our first stop was Hancock Fabrics. I gave up waiting for Rob to go with me to the fabric store to help pick out everything I needed for the pattern MIL sent me (for a Sophia dress) and took it upon myself to just ask for assistance. Well, well. The lady was grumpy and irritated by my lack of knowledge about what I needed. "What are you making?" she snapped. I held up my pattern envelope. "Well, which one, there's lots of different things there?!" Grr.  At least I knew from MIL to pick out dual duty thread, and I saw it right away!

100_6902 In the end, I ended up with this stripey fabric that Sophia picked out, the only 3/8" buttons I could find (at least they go) and lime green thread because I thought I wanted an accent color. I have since learned that beginners don't want to accent the mistakes they expect not to make but invariably will! Shoulda gone with pink.

100_6903 What do you think? Will I be able to make this??  I know, the picture is muy terrible.

After the fabric store, it was time for our old standby cleaning-day lunch at Panera. We got the usual soup and sandwich and yogurt, and I looked over the little pattern preview booklet I picked up for the sole purpose of looking at during lunch. I decided there was lots in there I wanted to make for the kids and that sewing was my new favorite hobby, even though I hadn't done it since seventh grade (we're talking 20 years, y'all) and had no idea what I was doing.

After lunch, we ran next door to the Kmart, so I could look for card tables. I'm hosting Bunco in July, right after the cruise, and I want to be ready this time. I quickly found what I was looking for, along with an iron after remembering ours was kaput, some new sewing scissors (can't have enough scissors!), Almond Roca (have you had this? Someone brought it to one Bunco and I've been searching for it ever since), and Tic-Tacs for Sophie. We waited a dog's age for someone to go to the back and fetch two table-and-chairs sets for me, to bring out to the car, and my back was killing me with all the standing around. But, I got what I needed.

Exxon-Mobile, or whatever they're calling themselves these days, was next. So much for filling up only once a month; I think someone must be siphoning my gas in the middle of the night! Where's it all going so quickly? I didn't even get 300 miles out of this tank. Eighty bloody dollars later, we were on our way again.

Home again, home again, to wait for Jack's bus. Luckily, Barbara was finished and long gone, so I was greeted with the always-pleasant sight of a newly clean-all-at-once home. This never lasts even to the end of the day, so I go berserk making sure everyone takes off shoes at the front door and picks up after themselves to make it last as long as possible. It's already a wreck again. Sigh.

100_6904 While we waited for Jacky, I pored over my purchases and had a beverage with Soap. She was holding her cup in such a strange way, I had to take a picture. She is a quirky one! She still has those wonderful apple cheeks I love to kiss so much.

I decided the grumpy fabric store lady was wrong and that I did need fusible interfacing and elastic cord after all, because it was printed right there that I did, and maybe she was having a bad day and wanted to sabotage mine? So when Rob came home early, I sent him back to Hancock's to get that stuff and maybe some new fabric that wasn't striped. MIL told me to get a small print to hide my mistakes, and I disobeyed. "But they're tiny stripes!" I protested to her on the phone during one of my I-can't-DO-this calls. In the end, he forgot to buy fabric and came home with all kinds of other notions for me, and what the heck, I was in business.

Oh, but then, my Dad called to tell me his dog died. Very sad. Chelsea was much beloved by my father. Say what you will about him (and I do), but he loves dogs. However, he knew she was ailing for quite a while and never bothered taking her to the vet. When my sister called me later, she made the snarky comment that this particular course of action (seeing a sick loved one, depending on prayer for healing, not seeking emergency medical help when it was apparently needed, and dealing with a sudden death) didn't work with our mother, so why should he surprised when it didn't help the dog? Anyway. That's a whole 'nother post.

While the kids were upstairs supposedly resting but really being quite active, Rob began to show me how to work the sewing machine. He sews for a living, y'know. I told him tonight I will never again take for granted the things he can do with a sewing machine. Boy howdy, it kicked my arse today. I like threading the machine. All those ins and outs are fun.

100_6905 We had to stop before I could actually do anything to go to the AR (Accelerated Reading) Pizza Party at Chloë's school. She earned enough AR points to reach the "Ultimate Achiever" level, and the kids were being honored tonight. Here are my three chimpanzees racing toward her school.

100_6906 Jack looking for a squirrel

100_6907 Waiting for the ceremony to start, and badly in need of a ponytail fix!

100_6909 Hollering for his pizza to be served!

We waited and waited throughout the certificate and trophy awards, whilst the pizza got cold and nasty. Jack was so hungry and impatient, I thought he would have a meltdown. He held it together. Whew.

100_6910 Receiving her certificate from Principal Timlin

100_6911 Yay, Chloë! We are so proud of you, honey!

100_6914 All smiles with Gianni (from her class and the bus stop) and Makayla (from her class)

100_6915 Finally, dinner was served! She was so bubbly about her big night, she scarcely ate anything. Fortunately, Sophie was there to make sure it didn't go to waste.

100_6917 Clean me up, Mommy!

100_6920 Looking like the big man on campus, which did a lot to allay my fears about his kindergarten year and small size

100_6921 Doing some kind of tribal rain dance? It worked!

100_6922 Back at home, Chloë took about 87 pictures of me pinning the pattern to the fabric (not easy to do with fake nails, I have discovered. Next time I sew, I think it will be after the cruise when they are removed, if I decide to take them off...). Finally I gave up and had Rob help me do some pinning, else I'd have been there all night!

100_6933 Eventually, it was time to sew. Rob wanted me to practice test-sewing on the scraps of fabric I'd cut away. I did, for about three minutes. Once he was out of view, I got to work. I tend to approach life like that. Just jump in and do it, already! Lots of times it works out, and other times, well, thank goodness there are do-overs.

My goals for this project were two-fold: that the recipient like her new dress, and that she could wear it out in public without people pointing and laughing. I'm not hoping for compliments... just yet!

I learned a lot while working on this dress. For one, I HATE HATE HATE facings! For another, I'm still a raging perfectionist, and am extremely hard on myself when I don't do things absolutely right the first time. Sleeves are extremely fiddly, and I almost gave up and did them by hand after we did them three times (me twice, and Rob once) and had to rip them out each time.  I decided to do it a different way, and it worked. More or less. I really wouldn't want someone to inspect my work up close! I made a lot of mistakes, some by accident and some "on purpose but I don't care let's just keep going and get it done already." I mean, I tried, I really tried, and it was 12:51 AM when I finally finished. And I made Sophia, who didn't nap today, stay up that whole time so I could see it on her when it was done.

Video of her reaction is here.

100_6935 I still have to sew on the button tomorrow morning, but that's nothing. Well? What do you think? I know I met my first goal; tomorrow she'll wear it and we'll see if I made the second!

Ahh. Time for pills and sleep, glorious sleep.