Wednesday, 19 October 2011

More skirtyness

Last night I worked my grey skirt up to the last step - hemming. Lest I got too excited about the approaching finishing line, while I was fossicking for my Bernina manual among the fabric stash, I pulled out a skirt started about a year ago. For wear during pregnancy, ‘twas all done, except for the hem. Hems and I are not friends. I suspect the enmity goes back to the days when I used to mend my school dress with a stapler. Or perhaps the skirt I made three years ago, where the lining keeps peeking out from under the hem and because I couldn't be bothered to fix this, I wear it anyway, as though it’s meant to look layered like that.

My trusty Bernina does actually have a blind hem foot and a blind hemming stitch. Alas I found the instructions incomprehensible last time I tried. Given I ask Mr Internet almost everything else, and learned most of my knitting techniques from kind videos by strangers, I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to look whether there was a Bernina you tube channel. There is. Sewing, like knitting, tying knots and other fun activities, is much easier to learn when you can watch someone else rather than trying to describe movements in words and pictures. I only had to view the clip four times to get the hang of it. A note to video makers - perhaps would be nice to not say how “simple” a technique is to the schmo who’s come looking for learning? Likely you do find it simple, because you know how. The person who keeps accidentally sewing the hem upside down could do with instructions minus the implication of stupidity. I’m just sayin’.

While Martha took an all-too-brief break from her feature role in CryingFest 2011, I had a go at pinning up the grey hem. Here I encountered another problem: having not followed a proper pattern the seam didn’t curve correctly and it took some finagling to fold it up. There’s probably a neat technique for dealing with this, but given I can’t find my Reader’s Digest sewing bible I improvised by putting small pleats/darts along the top. Possibly the Digest would have said, “Why don’t you use a proper pattern, you dolt?” anyway. In case you think an instruction manual would not be so forward, let me tell you I own a cookbook which lectures its readers thus: if you can’t take the effort to cook proper polenta, which requires the milk of an infant unicorn and three hours continuous stirring with the virtuosity of a violinist’s bow arm, you shouldn’t bother eating polenta. I suspect this lady has been omitted from many a dinner party invitation for fear of her being Ms Judgeypants about the food. Certainly would be in my house, where I cook polenta in a rice cooker in the microwave. The shame, the shame! Martha awoke before I had a chance to combine the pinned hem with the newly-learned technique, so I shall have to wait and see if this works. If not, we'll always have staples.

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