Nothing’s changed since grade school…

When I was young, our school system had a program called “cycles.” For 5 weeks at a time, students went through a variety of classes – music appreciation, computers, shop, drafting, cooking, sewing and art (I remembered them all!). I was dang good at the first two (yes, I was a nerd), pretty good at cooking, crap at shop and art, decent at drafting because I wowed the teacher with Auto-CAD or whatever the program was my dad had, and decidedly mediocre at sewing. One year we made decorative pillows (mine was a cupcake); another stuffed animals (I made a carousel horse and Scottie dog); and the third was garments (the era of the popular boxer shorts as fashion statement).

I can still see the cupcake pillow in my mind’s eye. It had all these layers of icing (felt applique) that didn’t quite fit together like they should have. The shape of the pillow was more or less cupcake-y, but wasn’t distinctive at all. I couldn’t cut the fabric right and the sewn seams reflected this all too well.

The stuffed animals were another exercise in being cutting-challenged. Some of the seams had holes because they were so awkwardly cut. I don’t know how I managed to make two projects in the 5 weeks of 40-minute periods (perhaps had I slowed down my product would have been better?), but neither were anything to write home about.

The garment? Boxers…that I actually wore. I cringe at the idea because I remember the fabric being hideous–while all my friends were sewing nice flannel plaids like the good preppy kids they were, I was sewing some crazy 80s print. What was I thinking when I picked it out? I don’t remember my sewmanship on the boxers, just that I made bad fashion decisions at the age of 12.

Anyway, I think my fabric decisions are better now. I got this cute fabric at Purl Patchwork last November and only just managed to wash it and start making something with it. Considering it’s been 15+ years since I used a sewing machine, I figured I’d start easy: napkins. Cut a square of fabric, hem the edges. Easy peasy, right? Well, theoretically.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

I still can’t cut straight to save my life.

The sewing part isn’t too bad, although I’m still figuring out the machine and the seams are a bit wonky. I think that will improve (indeed, my 4th line of stitches was significantly straighter than the first). But I think I’m hopeless in the straight cutting arena. I foresee a cutting mat, rotary cutter and good ruler in my very near future…

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3 thoughts on “Nothing’s changed since grade school…

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