Friday, February 3, 2012

Push to the finish line

I spent January rocking the WIPs... but there was one tough guy, one hard egg, that I took a while getting up the gumption to approach... The %@#$*! Alabama Shirt.  (Official name)  I started this shirt early in 2011 - enthusiastically drafting sleeves, testing the pattern, picking fabric, stencil, paint, thread... cutting, basting... and then I hit the a wall when it came to the hand-applique outline stitching.  Guh.  (That's the sound I make when I hit a wall.  Believe me, I know.)

I do not know how anybody, anywhere, finds the patience to do all that hand stitching.  I could see if the stitching was of normal difficulty.  It just takes a long time, you spend hours puttering along, do it while you watch TV, whatever.  BUT NO.  The thread is so freakin thick that pulling it through 2 layers of jersey requires a pair of pliers for every stitch.  Plus, the fabric rubs on that fat thread and encourages it to unwind, making a twisted, tangled mess that has to be straightened out... every stitch.  Kill me now.

This is an actual photograph of me sewing the %@#$*! Alabama Shirt.  Note my red eyes of rage. 
I didn't go to kindergarden, which is probably where they teach you not to scream and throw things when you are frustrated.  I am just guessing about what they teach you in kindergarden.  The only other thing I know for sure is that they teach you is how to get in line.  The point, though, is that I have been known to scream and throw my sewing projects.  Somehow I never made much progress sewing this shirt.

For my WIP-busting extravaganza this month and on the recommendation of a fellow guild member, I took another whack at this project last week, armed with beeswax for my tricksy thread.   I waxed the heck out of that thread.  It took care of my twisting problem in a kind of amazing way, but those pliers were still unfortunately required.  I looked at the project, I looked deeply into my soul, and I decided the shirt either had to be altered or scrapped.  With a joyful heart, I used embroidery scissors to clip out what little stitching was there.  Now I just have to sew up the stenciled layer up and I can call it done.  Hooray for progress(?)!

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