Monday, August 27, 2007

I Can't Sew

For some reason, I had an urge to make something today that wouldn't be destroyed 10 minutes later (cleaning, cooking, laundry, all of these things stay "done" for approximately 10 minutes before they need to be done again. It makes me crazy. I feel like a hamster on a wheel, sometimes, running my little heart out, but not getting anywhere).

I have a real thing for bags, so I thought I'd make a tote bag. How hard can it be? I was aiming for 18" x 18" x 6" deep. Um... Yeah. It's really more of a rhombus than a square, and I totally f*&^ed up the handles (as in, I didn't put them on before I assembled the bag, and now I'm not sure what to do with it, because it's too big and rhombussy to be a clutch.

I made it out of fabric remnants (chocolate brown polyester outside, light pink satinny stuff inside) so it's not like I spent a fortune on the thing, so that's good. I'm kind of happy with the pockets inside. The cell phone pocket, in particular, came out just right. I had intended to put a zipper on the top, but I royally screwed it up somehow, and the zipper is too short. I've never put in a zipper, anyway, so I don't know what made me think that it was a good idea. Maybe I'll steal a couple of MG's magnetic letters to make it close.

I need to think of something for the handles, though. I had intended, also, to put pockets on the outside, but I got ahead of myself and ended up sewing the lining to the outside before I put the pockets on, so I either need to seam rip it (and damned if I can find my seam ripper!) and take it all apart, put on the pockets and the handles, and then sew it back together, or I need to leave it and cope with not having exterior pockets. Since I'm pretty sure that, rhombus or not, any efforts to disassemble the bag, at this point, would destroy it, I think I'm just going to have to cope with not having exterior pockets. There are enough inside, anyway. Maybe I could do something by hand? I don't know. It's very sad to be this close to having it finished, and to realize that I don't know how to finish it!

What kills me is that talent for the creative arts totally runs in my family. My mom is the only person I know who can take a sheep and make useful things out of it. She can sheer it, card the wool, spin it, weave it, dye it, and then sew it into something. She doesn't need Walmart. She is the only one of us who will survive the apocalypse. She can also make dinner out of the sheep, so she'll survive the apocalypse well dressed and well fed. I'm going to be spending the apocalypse naked and starving under my bed, thank you very much. My aunt Julie is similarly crafty. Grandma Betty made Martha Stewart look like, well, look like me. Great-Aunt Carolyn's sewing room is better stocked than most fabric stores, and she makes these gorgeous quilts. Grandma Shank quilted and painted...

I can write. Occasionally I can cook, but the brisket tonight was really tough. I can't sew. I can't knit. I can't crochet. I can't even spell crochet. I can't do cross-stitch, or spin, or weave (even though the loom does most of the work). I can't choose fabrics and colors that "go" together. This is why I am nearly always in jeans or khakis, because I am absolutely without fashion sense. I can choose clothes for the kids that are cute because kid clothes come in outfits - there's no mixing and matching involved. It's when I mix and/or match that I get in real trouble.

I kind of feel like I'm letting my foremothers down, by not carrying on the tradition of being able to make things with my own two hands and my creativity. I mean, maybe I'm ascribing a little too much weight to a rhombetical tote bag, but how on earth am I going to teach my daughters how to survive the apocalypse if I can't even sew a square?


I'd better go to bed. I can do sleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can! The first time I sewed (home-ec in jr. high) I put the needle clean through my finger - nail and all! You should come to a quilt guild meeting with me some time. They meet every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. In fact, quilt camp is the weekend after labor should come and visit and see what everyone is working on! I can't even tell you how much fun it is or how much everyone is willing to teach newbies! Good luck with your tote. Zippers are not my friends either!