Posted by: jinniver | March 25, 2008

Seam Ripping: A treatise on the suckiness of undoing sewing

For over 6 months now, there’s been about 40 yards of fabric sitting neatly folded in a corner of my craft room.  They were intended for my daughter’s crib bedding, all of which I intended to sew myself: quilt, bumper pads, dust ruffle, canopy, and of course, the quilt.  I actually had a good excuse for not sewing everything up before she was born–my baby belly kept me too far away from the sewing table for my arms to reach the sewing machine!

After she was born, my excuse was that she was sleeping in a bassinet in our room, not in her crib–and since the crib wasn’t yet set up, I didn’t have the exact measurement of the canopy (since that was going to be the biggest part, I needed to cut those pieces from the fabrics first).  So the fabric sat there…resentfully.  And if you don’t think fabric can be resentful, buy 40 yards of it for a specific project, then let it sit where you can see it daily for over 6 months.  You’ll learn.

Resentful fabric

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I set the crib up (with a little help from my son…very little), and measured the canopy (it has an arch to it, so it’s actually longer than the crib).  Then I procrastinated some more.  I did say there was a reason for my blog title, didn’t I?  Eventually, I started pulling out the fabric, changing my original plans for what fabric was going where (after those plans had been made, I found another coordinating fabric that I had to add to the pile), ironing, cutting, and yes, sewing!

The canopy, I knew, would be the hardest part.  I’ve never sewn anything like it, but I was starting with the dust ruffle pattern in one of my books (P.S. I Love You Two!: A Sequel).  However, since I didn’t want my baby girl to have just the back of a piece of fabric to look at, I was adding another piece of fabric, and was going to sew this basically like a cover for a pillow form:  first, the ruffles to the top piece of fabric, then the bottom piece of fabric to the top piece with right sides together, then turn it all right side out and hand stitch the rest of the seam.

The work has been fairly tedious.  I had to cut all the pieces (a top, a bottom, and 4 ruffles) and hem the ruffles–although the hemming was made much easier through the use of fusible web.  Then I had to gather the ruffles, and I decided to stitch them to the top as I finished gathering them, instead of trying to pin everything together and sew it without something going caddywampus.  Tonight, I had finished gathering the last side ruffle and was sewing it to the top piece.  Everything was going so well that I was confident I could finish this sewing and then even sew on the bottom piece and see a finished piece of work before midnight (since tonight’s my night for my daughter’s feeding).

 009_edited.jpg

So…can you see where it all went terribly, terribly wrong?

I was almost to the end when I realized that the bottom fabric had gotten folded under the needle.  I only swore once or twice under my breath as I pulled the canopy out of the machine to see how long a stretch of seam I would need to rip.  The muttering got a little louder as I saw how long that stretch was…and then I saw that this was actually the second time I’d made this mistake.

So much for finishing this all before midnight.  Rip…

UPDATE:  Seam repairs were completed at 1217 (12:17 am for those of you who don’t live in a military household).  Baby girl woke up for feeding at 0115, back to bed at 0150.  Baby girl woke up for surprise SECOND feeding at 0557…and never really went back to sleep.  I’d love to tackle the rest of the canopy since I have all this unexpected morning time and both children are content with their own entertainments right now, but I’m fogged enough from lack of sleep that I’d probably sew my finger into the seam.


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