Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let's Believe...

in Santa, so that I can use my new stockings.

While we are at it let's also believe that that I am humble and that I will not make all visitors to my house during the month of December stand by my fireplace and have conversations until they compliment my handiwork shamelessly.  We will also say that I will take these compliments gracefully and NOT point out all the little tiny imperfections.

And while we are believing in miracles, let's believe that these FOUR stockings did not take me over TWELVE hours to sew NOT including the cutting.  Unfortunately, that is where our belief would have to end because they did indeed take that long.  It was MY OWN FAULT!  I had three main problems:  1. I did not believe in the pattern provided for free by McCall's, 2. I am a poor visualizer, and 3. I own, and therefore I must use, an embroidery machine.  Actually there was one other problem and that was that I just kept on going.  I would not let myself stop and take a break and THINK.  Just go, go, go.  That last one is why I was up at 2 AM thinking about how I should've centered the names on the cuffs. 

OK, let's review: Believe in the pattern.  I made my stocking first.

Pretty good, right?  Well, I spent hours trying to visualize (problem #2) how the cuffs were going to fit and how to "fix" the edge that was going to show after the stocking was done.  If I would have believed, I would have found out earlier that the seam does not show.  It is UNDER the cuff not inside the stocking. 

Problem #2 was ever present.  I tried to visualize how the cuff was going to be attached and failed.  I tried to visualize where the name should be embroidered so that it would come out on the right side AND right side up and failed.  Finally, I just had to go for it and 3 or so hours after I had started I had my first finished stocking.  I thought after that initial time that the next three would be easy since I now had conquered the problems.  I believed once again in the pattern and I did not need to visualize because I had already done it AND taken notes. HA! (Have you noticed all the exclamation marks in this post?  It was an emotional project.)

The last three were supose to be easy-peasy.  HA!  Problem #3 lurked, ready to suck all of my Saturday time up.  I had gotten lucky with my name on the first stocking.  You see I own a Brother SE-350 which is a good little machine that has a 4" x 4" embroidery area.  This is not big enough to embroider any of our names in one pass except for Eric's.  With the others I had to re-hoop.  It is not easy to re-hoop a piece of fabric so that the letters are 1. on the same horizontal line and 2. with the appropriate spacing from the previous letter.  So, three tries later for Sophia and two for Amelia, I had it. 

I must, now, confess a slight obsession about the side seam of the cuff.  You see on my stocking when I could not visualize ANYTHING, I did not know that the one seam of the cuff should line up with the side seam of the stocking.  After mine I did and this set off a whole new problem with centering because I could not just center the names on the cuff, I had to center them on the FRONT side of the cuff.  Oh, man.  I can be really compulsive sometimes!

After the embroidery was centered on the cuff, I had to center it on the stocking.  It worked for all but Amelia's.  So today, the day after my twelve-hour sewing marathon, I ripped out seams so that I could re-center it.  I did so with my 2AM epiphany which is appropriate during this holiday season.  I also had to (please stop reading now because this is getting painful even to write) rip out the seams that held on the loops because I did not listen to the pattern.  In an attempt to minimize the bulk of the seam area, I did not place the loops in properly and it caused the stockings to hang in all different directions. 

But now, all is well. We can once again believe...

Merry Christmas!

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