December 25, 2012
Serge, ME Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 52
I got into it with the serger selection on a borrowed sewing machine.
Once I retrieved the manual (thoughtfully supplied by the machine’s owner) I was able to shake off my doubts, adjust my attitude and proceed.
The first attempt to create a copy of an item I saw in a magazine took about 3 hours.
An hour of that was just spent turning the darn-it thing inside-out so it could be stuffed.
When I was finished turning, I noticed that I had stitched the hair on backwards, so all of the cute, curly, colorful locks were hanging inside, and a few crew-cut short wispies were sitting on top of its head.
Sewed the hair the wrong way so it ended up inside
Second attempt, ran out of bobbin – borrowed machine so had to figure that out.
After investing that much time, I was determined to finish my dammit-it prototype anyway.
So, on went the button eyes and cross-stich mouth. Stuffing ensued, slowly. My index finger was only a fraction of a millimeter’s width small than the leg openings that needed to be packed with fiber fill. Thank goodness for last week’s gel tip manicure; they made wonderful pushers and guiders.
I finished the obvious first-effort, almost complete fail off with a whip stitch, before deciding I didn’t like the button-eye selections, and that I could never pass this off as a gift. I unsecured the buttons and threw them back into the button pile for future use, if needed. Then, conducted an inventory of everything that went wrong.
I decided my real problem is the frequency of my simplifying, self-delusional “I can do that!”
I can clearly envision how, however my engineering skills leave a bit to be desired.
Having a creative, clear idea of how something should turn out is another. I never go into a project thinking “I’m just going to create a prototype and see how it goes.” Nope, I take confidence in my vision and enthusiastically proceed, because there really isn’t any fathomable reason why these deceptively non-simple projects won’t work.
Had a thought to make about 20 of these of gifts since I have been sitting on two well-traveled, filled-to-the-top 30 gallon totes of fabric. At least, that’s the hastily scribbled number of potential recipients I thought of at the time. I sat back and considered the mutilated, weird looking disaster, and took a few necessary moments to regroup.
Purposefully and carefully, I mentally catalogued and considered all of the wrong turns and devised unwritten self-instructions to correct them. The second one wasn’t as bad, and only took about ½ of time the first one did to complete. It still wasn’t anything like the one I saw in a magazine for $14.95.
To be honest, my first two attempts to bring my homemade dammit doll pattern to life prophetically elicited the appropriate response from my grimacing lips, many, many times. I also figured I had all the fixin's, could draw up a pattern, and, well... you know how they say the retail cost of any craft should be based on your actual hourly wage and how long it takes you? So far, discounting supplies which I already had, my two questionably gift-worthy dammit dolls were collectively worth about $72.00.
It was midnight by then and it was obvious that my operation still needed some tweaking, but I was too tweaked off to continue. With visions of cat damage, I tiredly packed up all my supplies. I threw the horrific first and interesting second attempts into my handbag, planning to get an honest opinion of whether the second bunch of scraps could pass as a present, or if the first one (if done correctly) would be better. My trusted reviewer immediately fell in love with my second attempt. She didn’t know how it was supposed to look. She didn’t know there were some big flaws. She had no pre-conceived notion, and truly no established expectation. So, I decided to run with it. I guess I will have to mail one to my hairdresser, and probably everyone else who’d like one. Maybe last year’s homemade-sharing Facebook promise can still be fulfilled with these. I think I’ll add a cute note – dammit, I’m late but I made it!
At this point I am prepared to follow-through on my intentions, even though there’s not been one lovely “la” following my many false-start “fa-“’s. I considered officially changing the name to “Fa-it Doll,” but it didn’t have the same cutesy ring to it. My new creation count is up to 28 giftees. I intend to surge ahead. Optimistically, I figure when I can fully create one without having to utter its namesake, I will have done a satisfactory job.
It all would have been easier with a pattern and instructions. Kind of like life, but then again there is a manual for that, complete with instructions and patterns and other tidbits of necessary information. Praying you find peace on earth, believe you are immeasurably blessed by GOD, keep your Bible close. Wishing you a happy, healthy, amazing New Year!
PSALM 89:9: You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.
Posted by jaselin at December 25, 2012 02:47 PM