Monday, November 23, 2009

I figured it out!!!

One aspect of sewing that I love is the challenge design or construction goals sometimes present. (If it were easy - it wouldn't be as much fun.) A vest I am making for David's Aunt Neno has presented some challenges.
You may remember the beginnings of this vest in my post about slopers. (vor langer zeit!). I got a little side-tracked for a while, but I am back.
This past weekend, I set about cutting out the vest in earnest. I had all ready ascertained that I didn't have enough fabric to construct the vest in toto of the tapestry Aunt Neno wanted, but we had worked that out. She selected a camel-coloured suede for the back. That should have worked, but, alas, the fabric was only 20 in long, whereas the sloper pieces were 26 inches long. I considered piecing the fronts near the shoulder, but the fabric is so thick, I knew a seam would be bulky, and that is a bad place for bulk.
So, I attempted to turn it sideways. The pattern is obviously intended to go along with the straight grain, and I really didn't care for the way it looked sideways. To me, it looked obviously askew. Of course, I had been looking at it straight-wise, so mayhaps my eyes were biased.
I played with the sloper pieces, considered many creative design ideas, and eventually decided that, since the pattern is quite large (it is actually upholstery fabric), it might look okay sideways if I carefully matched the pattern across the chest.
Remember my mentioning that I didn't have enough fabric in the first place? * * s i g h * *
It took some carful consideration, and not a little colourful language, but I eventually realized that the pattern was left/right (actually: top/bottom) symmetrical. Viola!! All I had to do is turn one sloper piece in the opposite direction from the other, and I had enough fabric to match the pattern across the front. Yippee! [See the picture on the left.]
Sewing the shoulder and sides seams shows the proof. [Pic at top]. You can't tell from the pictures, but the lining is constructed, and attached, WS together. All that remains is to attach the front plackets for buttons -- I don't care to do buttonholes in so heavy a fabric, so I am leaving openings in the seam that attaches the placket to serve that purpose -- and bind the edges all around, sew in my label, and I am done. I say that as if it will appear momentarily, but in fact, with a holiday trip to spend Thanksgiving with family in the next few days, don't hold your breath!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

of helmets, protecting personal freedoms, and such

Still not sewing much, but the ironing pile is diminishing significantly. I have stopped doing laundry, so as to catch up.
Last week my son, James, was involved in a motorcycle accident. (When you drive a motorcycle daily in Houston traffic, it's only a matter of time.) His wrist is broken, and now plated; his ankle is now broken, and pinned. He has all ready endured surgery, and now anticipates a lengthy recovery period. However, his head and face (such a pretty face!) survived unscathed, while his helmet did not fare so well. James wears a top-quality, full-face shield - always! My boys do not always adhere to everything their mother teaches them -- but this is one instance in which I am profoundly grateful that he did. Even my rudimentary knowledge of Physics is sufficient to tell me that hitting the ground at as little as 20mph would be sufficient impact to cause serious damage to skull and brain tissue. Because James was wearing his helmet, he escaped likely death. [actually, as my doctor/daughter reminds me: "There are worse things than death." Too true.]
Both my boys, my husband and I ride. My sons ride motorcycles exclusively, while my husband rides his mostly to work, and recreationally. Of course, when I say recreationally, I mean: David frequently loads his custom-built trailer with Dutch ovens, camping equipment, food, and pulls it with Big Red (his Yamaha Roadliner 1900) all over Texas and ArkLaTex teaching Dutch Oven cooking. I ocaissionally ride to work, if the weather's nice, and I'm not hauling much stuff. I work 4 miles from home. We ALL wear helmets.
Over on Facebook, a mini-discussion has started regarding the legal requirements for wearing helmets. Here in Texas, there is no such legal compulsion. Motorcycles operators are free to choose to protect themselves or not. Texans love their personal freedoms, and resent Big Government telling them how to conduct their lives.
While I would not so much as put the key in the ignition of my bike, and back it out of the garage without wearing a helmet, I support Texas' lack of helmet laws. Why?
Because anyone who is not smart enoug to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, doesn't have enough brains to be worth protecting. Let's get them out of the gene pool.