I haven’t touched a set of knitting needles all day today (except for the time I pulled them out of my daughter’s hands to move out of her reach). Honestly, I’ve spent so much time knitting the last several months, that I thought I’d feel a little lost, a little twitchy. I guess all I need, though, is to have my hands on something fibery. I’ve been working on Steve’s Hawaiian shirts.
This was item #5 in my New Year’s Plans. I have 24 days to finish at least one shirt, and I can’t cast on a new knitting project until I do…and I’m really itching to knit Jeffrey’s sweater (item #1), although he’s unlikely to need it until next fall. And that means I want to knit it for me…and I really need to do something for Steve. Namely, his shirts that are 8 months overdue.
The problem I’m running into is that I don’t really enjoy sewing shirts. It’s kind of tedious, not very exciting, and frequently fiddly. For example, ever since the first few shirts, I’ve done pattern-matched pockets. In other words, I carefully cut out fabric for the pocket so that when it’s in place, you can’t tell that I’ve added any fabric:
The matches aren’t quite perfect, but unless someone looked closely, the pockets don’t stand out–it’s actually most visible on the car print just becaue the gray thread stands out more. It’s a really nice finishing touch, and Steve thinks it’s the coolest thing he’s ever seen…every time he sees it. That makes it worthwhile, because the process, though quite easy, is a bit of a pain. I cut out the fusible interfacing (which gives the pocket the stiffness it needs) for the pocket, and mark on the shirt front where the pocket will go. Then I place the interfacing over that part of the front and trace the shirt pattern onto the interfacing–not the whole pattern, of course, which would have taken me forever on that 3rd fabric! I hit the highlights, picking out unique lines and focusing on the edges and corners. Then I take that interfacing and the scrap fabric and look for a match. After that, I just follow the pattern as written.
I had to take a break after getting all the pockets on–I think the next steps, after sewing the shoulder seams, are the hems, which are just annoying because it’s a lot of back and forth between the sewing machine and the ironing board. That’s why I’m tackling all three shirts simultaneously–now, for each step, I just have to take one trip back and forth, not three. At first I was only cutting them all out at the same time (because I despise all the pinning and snipping that come with cutting out pattern pieces), but then I just started working on all three and have decided to continue as I started.
Steve is quite excited to see his birthday presents finally coming to fruition…so much so that he’s asked me each of the last two days whether I might possibly have at least one shirt done by tomorrow. I know he was really hoping for a new one today, since he learned last night that the inventor of the Hawaiian shirt passed away…but it was little too early for him to be asking. Still, I’m confident I’ll have one done, if not all three, by the end of the weekend.