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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sewing "Chocolate"

Well, this post could have also been named as "I have super powers!" but we'll get to that in a a few lines...

Last night I came home "a bit" frustrated from consecutive tough days at work. If you follow Erin's series on graduate students around the sewing community you are probably familiar with the fact graduate students are frustrated A LOT. I guess if you're human, and have a day job, you may also experience this frustration from time to time. Despite how much I love my job and how important I think it is, I can't avoid frustration when things just don't work.

Anyway, I came home and wasn't feeling like doing anything fun (or anything at all). I had about an hour before bed time and I felt like I didn't have the mental energy to start with the pants I've already cut, or cut another project. Looking around me my eyes fell on a scrap of knit fabric, left over from a long sleeve t-shirt I made over the weekend. Instead of shoving it into the (overflowing) scrap drawer I took out my undies pattern and made myself new undies from the scrap. 

It made me feel better.

It took about an hour, during which I could clearly think about anything and everything. My first thought was it felt like I was sewing chocolate. You know, when in doubt - eat chocolate? So I did something else that made me feel better, took longer to complete than what it takes to eat some chocolate, and at the end I have a new pair of undies!

Then I thought that if I can just make myself a new pair of undies in under one hour, I must have super powers. It was not the first pair I made (though I changed a few things, detailed below), and I should make some more as my wardrobe still hasn't recovered from the lost luggage in Sicily a few months back. Yet the idea I can use some scraps and elastic and make myself a new pair of undies is not trivial. The fact we can sew our own clothes isn't trivial. It takes dedication and perseverance, and the strength to deal with frustration when things don't work. Just like in real like, only on a smaller scale. 

Specifically, undies are important to me as I'm very particular about what I like to wear. I feel liberated that I can make it myself and I'm no longer depended on retailers, trends, and whatnot. 

As for the actual sewing: Up until last night I always used fold-over elastic. I wanted to try something else, as the fold-over feels a bit to thick and stiff. This time I used decorative elastic for the waist and self fabric for the leg bands. The pattern is something I drafted from a favorite pair a while back. I used the overlocker for the 3(!) seams, and regular zigzag stitching to attach the elastic with a stretch needle. I prefer the result over the fold-over with 3-step zigzag. 

Today is a new day, and I hope it'll be less frustrating. At least I now have new underwear to help me conquer the day!

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