Saturday, July 30, 2011

How to be a slave driver in 5 easy steps!

Technically, this should be written by Roughie since she is the slave driver being referenced but since she's busy researching inventive things to do with her placenta I'll just have to do it for her.
How to make your very own placenta print! I can't look at this picture without gagging.
But first, a few public service announcements: we found out this weekend Roughie is having a girl! Now Julia gets a sister and that adorable coat and beret I made for Julia won't go to waste! Second, and admittedly anti-climactic after the first announcement, I am typing this blog on my brand new MacBook Air!
11 inches of pure pleasure. Oh, and then there's the new laptop too.
The iPad I bought about a month ago didn't work for blogging so I finally got a laptop so that I don't have to borrow Bobby's and get third degree burns on my legs. He claims his hot-plate of a laptop is probably the reason we can't get pregnant so if I ever do get knocked up we'll have to name the damn kid Toshiba. For now, my new MacBook is my baby. I got a clear pink cover for her and I call her Ruby. I wonder if I'll keep waking up every five minutes to make sure she's alright..... okay, back to the blog.

So last week, I had just finished the girl's Rapunzel dress and needed to make the matching mommy shirt for a trip to Disney the following week when I received a request for a Belle shirt but it had to be finished pretty quickly for a birthday party.  

And since I knew that I was going up to see Roughie for her ultrasound, I didn't know if I'd be able to finish it on time. I couldn't cancel with Rough since I was there when she found out what she was having with her other two and I'm afraid if I break tradition then I might jinx this kid and it'll be born with some extra fingers or something. 

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
I did a little bit of my fancy math and figured that if I started right after work on Thursday with buying all the supplies and work on it Friday night, then I could leave Saturday morning, drive to Jacksonville, then come home Sunday afternoon and finish the shirt Sunday night. And I reaaaaalllllly wanted to make a Belle shirt. And I have to add that I was extra motivated because this was the first time the shirt would be exactly the same size that I wear so I wanted to see what one looked like in my size (aka without cantaloupe-size knockers). And in the end, the shirt was FABULOUS! Loved the pink and yellow. But it did take a lot more trial & error than I had anticipated, kind of like the Tink shirt.

So after staying up late Friday night and then sewing for a few hours Saturday morning (or more specifically, taking apart the apron and re-doing it), I throw some clothes in a bag, pack up my sewing machine, fabric, accouterments, patterns, and the all important Wonder Board and head north to Rough's house. This was going to be a vacation in the sense that Auschwitz was just a 'camp'.

I'm sure 'work makes freedom' seemed like a good slogan at the time. Look how well that turned out.
Here are 5 tips that Roughie used to turn her houseguest (me) into her own personal sweatshop worker:

1) Take her out for a nice meal right off the bat. This will give her a sense of well-being and lull her into thinking the rest of her trip will be that relaxing. It won't be, but she doesn't need to know that. Just make sure to limit the carbs or your worker will be nodding off at the machine later.

2) Don't let on that nobody else is going to be doing any work but her. Sit at your machine and attempt to 'sew' but then claim to want to learn by watching her work. Discreetly check your emails from your phone or watch movies under the table while she prattles on endlessly about crap like bobbins or pins or what the frick ever. Blink frequently to prevent eye glaze.

3) Whining is just another way for her to tell you that she's bored. After one project is finished and she starts complaining about 'needing a break' or 'being hungry', try to distract her with something shiny or pretty. Let's face it, obviously she's not that bright if she's got herself into this situation so it won't take much. Just move her on to the next project before she has time to get too distracted.

4) If the situation is getting hairy and it looks like she might want to quit after only four or five hours, crack open a bottle of wine. Just dump out half and then add water so that she doesn't actually get drunk. The placebo effect works just as well as the real thing.

5) Check her pockets for her cell phone before allowing bathroom breaks. The last thing you need is a stray 'help me' text to make it's way out. If it does, claims it's an inside joke. People are gullible and will believe anything.

I ended up producing both the Mickey shorts and the Minnie dress that night but the kids did love them so it made it worth it. Look how fricking cute they are:

They were so happy with their outfits (which were all Roughie's idea, to give her credit). Speaking of Roughie's jon jon that I hated making- it's turned out to be my most popular item yet. Go f'ing figure.                                                                

Sunday afternoon, I drive home and get back to cracking on Belle. 

The Rapunzel dress came together so easily so I expected this to be the same but I got stumped on getting the skirt to look just right. At first I had the overlay gathered a lot, which made it very full but when I gathered it up at the bottom, it ended up standing away from the body and looked like a lampshade.

Aw man, that's hot. No seriously, this thing is cooking my eggs like a Toshiba laptop.
But flattening it out didn't look very princessy at all so I had to find a happy medium to get it full without being too puffy. Swagging the sash part was pretty easy, but in the end, all of the gathers (skirt and sash) had to be sewn by hand so it was just a long process. Then the neckline: to sash or to to sash. Without a sash around the neckline, it didn't look balanced. But if I sewed on a sash, would it still be easy to wash and iron if needed? I ended up sewing on the sash but attaching the center pink rose to a safety pin so it can be removed and the sash could be ironed after washing if needed. Voila!

In the end, I ended up making the Rapunzel little girl's dress, the Mickey shorts, Minnie dress, Belle shirt, and then the Rapunzel shirt all in about 10 days. It's great to know it can be done, but I'm hoping to space things out a little better going forward. So what am I doing this weekend? Filling the damn jon jon orders.

Coming up- the bride's shirt! I am really excited to make this. It's ironic that I started this blog to write about sewing but now that I'm sewing more than ever, I have even less time to write. One day I'll find a balance, one day!


Bride-onicles said...

The Mickey shorts and skirt came out so stinking cute!! Loving the bell shirt too. I feel ya on the balance thing..betwen house cleaning, blogging, planning a wedding, and work how does it all get done. Once kids get thrown into the mix..EGAD! I will need a cleaning lady! Hope your having a great weekend!

Anna said...

Thanks Tiffany- and I just bought the material today to make your bride-to-be shirt! No, I haven't figured out the balance thing yet and I don't blog nearly as much as you do so if you figure out how to do it all, let me know! I'm trying to calculate how many jon jons I have to sell to hire a housekeeper. I think that'll help.