Wednesday, August 5, 2009
While the dog days of summer may be barking at the door, I'm inside thankful for my air-conditioning. This is the first summer since we have lived here in Raleigh that I remember such an oppressive stream of humidity. Usually it is hot and somewhat more dry due to the blessing of an ocean breeze blowing across our part of the world. Seeing as how we have had rain on and off now for over a week (another thing to be thankful for compared to last years drought), I suppose the humidity it has brought with it should be of no surprise. No worries however, I love summer and the warm weather and therefore willing to accept with it the good and the sometimes unpleasant.
Lucky for me, amongst my parenting, homeschooling and wife tasks, I've had the wonderful vintage apron to work on inside my comfortable, climate controlled home. It is coming along swimmingly. Let me catch you up to speed on what I've done so far.
Last we spoke I had finished cutting the pattern pieces out and then I believe I remember something about a refreshment break. The next step was to start sewing. First I had to put the four darts in the front of the bodice. Easy enough. The next step however proved to be a small challenge but one I was easily able to overcome. I needed to sew a double seam around the front and back bodice edges. Not a big deal until I arrived at the rounded borders that would become the shoulder straps. Turning in a 1/4" and pressing with an iron then sewing in place I was able to make them look presentable, but then I had to do it again. I realized this time my hand-eye coordination alone would not be enough to make a smooth rounded edge on the straps. Patients is a must when doing this kind of detailed work. This being one of those things where you just need to take you time and it will turn out fine. I ingeniously fashioned a template out of cardboard, then pressed the second hem in around it and sewed.
Everything was moving along just nicely at this point. I then repeated the process on the back straps (the part that looks like an H.) Of course I could have used bias tape to finish off all the edges, this would have made for a clean and nice look but I had decided to stick as close to the original pattern and therefore chose the double-hem instead. Once this was completed I needed to sew the front bodice and back straps onto the belt made of contrasting fabric. Here I ran into a few snags. First, I wanted the blue thread in the bobbin so that when I put the two pieces together I would have the yellow thread on the toile fabric and the blue thread on the blue polka dot fabric. Okay, simple enough. After pinning the pieces to the belt and carefully checking that I had them all facing the correct direction I sewed them to the belt. When I removed the fabric however, I noticed while the top stitch looked nice and neat, the bottom was loose and ugly. Ah Oh, my first thought went straight to a tension problem, and when it comes to sewing machine I am deathly afraid of tension problem. While that may be sad considering the fact how many years I have been sewing it is none-the-less true. I usually end up sending my machine out to have tension issues resolved. But then I remembered that I had just swapped out the bobbin, so with fingers crossed I opened the cover and inspected the casing. Yeah, the bobbin was not firmly seated in the casing and so with a slight adjustment we were off again.
I removed the gargled stitches, laid down a knew set, and since I don't own a seam serger, chose to finish off the raw edges with a zigzag stitch. The directions had actually told me to go ahead and make the button hole and sew the buttons on for where the shoulder straps meet. I decided to hold off on that. I would prefer to see where the finish product hit me and then customize the placement of the buttons. Stay tuned however on that issue, because I believe I might be adding a slight twist on that one. Not sure yet.
Well, that's it for today. Tomorrow I'll be putting the skirt together and before the weekend is here I will have a brand new apron to wear, I'm so excited. See you then everyone...