Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Happy Mushroom Applique

I made this happy mushroom applique shirt over the last couple of days. When I cut out the mushroom fabric I did not allow enough seam allowance to iron the edges down properly and ended up with some trouble. Trouble continued as I attempted to use the zig zag stitch on my Ye Olde Sewing Machine. The zig zag just never works. Probably the issue is the tension, and, as suggested by Angelina after my last post, I should get it checked out. However, I think it just is what it is. What it is is a Singer that my mother bought me at Woolworth's back when there was a Woolworth's on 8th St. in the Village. If you remember when this was, then you know how long ago this machine was purchased. Add to the age of the machine the fact that I bought it at Woolworth's, and that may explain why the zig zag never quite works out. Within two seconds of using the zig zag on the large mushroom, the machine had sucked the T-shirt into the slot under the needle and built a mound of thread to render it nearly impossible to remove the shirt from the machine.

After resolving never to use the zig zag again I straight stitched the mushroom heads on to the shirt and then embroidered around the edges to camoflauge where their seams were not deep enough to cover the raw edges. Clearly I need to perfect this design before I can sell it anywhere, but it still came out cute enough for Harlan to wear. In the photo of him he is saying hi on his imaginary cell phone.

Last night Joe and I went out for our date night (the second of 2007 despite to resolution to make it a monthly occurence). Luckily our friend and neighbor Salina babysat for us. In exchange I will sit for them one night whey they want to go out for dinner or to a movie. I have been pretty good about finding free babysitters so far. I have yet to pay for any. If I had to pay $10 an hour plus car fare home for someone to watch Harlan for an evening then it's already a night we can't afford. Anyhow, across from my house and right next to Salina's house is a stoop that is perpetually littered with stoop sitters. They are often drunk and yelling at one another, both from next to each other on the stoop and from stoop to window up above. Salina and I love to recreate their world every chance we get. For instance, if I am walking down the street and she sees me out her window, she will throw open her window and holler at me in part Spanish- part faux-drunken jibberish. I will yell back the same way.

Last week I was walking up the block around the corner and saw Salina ahead of me pushing Mattie in the stroller. I sped up, leaning on my own stroller and began to call out to her, "Hey! Mira Puta! Muy sexy! Muy sexy!" Then I continued with some loud tooth sucking noises that some of you may be familiar with if you have ever been a woman walking down a street in a city. Here's the punchline, when she turned around, it wasn't Salina at all. The woman held her hand to her chest and looked at me as if to say, "who me?" And I began to immediately apologize, explaining that her hair looked just like my friend's, and her stroller is the same one my friend has. She turned around and kept walking before listening to even one word. I have to say I wasn't quite as embarrassed as I should have been because I was pushing a baby in a stroller which somehow legitimizes my offensive behavior. Doesn't it?


Bitterbetty said...

Oh my gawd.. That story killed me. So awesome to know you are out there accidentally sexually harrassing fellow moms.

The pic of you wildman in his mushroom shirt is also a treat.

I had a singer that made me so sad that i didn't sew much. A trip to the shop helped for awhile.. But the thread mounds were abundant. I finally bought the machine Futuregirl recommended and I have been so relieved that it wasn't me that whole time. It took a few years and sewing on my mom's Viking to convince me to invest..

Violette Crumble said...

I also think that poor woman didn't speak English. I hang my head in shame.

It's clear that I need a good quality machine, but we're about to buy a place to live so it's pretty low on our list of priorities... Oh well, a girl should always have something to look forward to.

futuregirl said...

That story is killing me! Too f*ing funny!

I love that Harlan pretends to have a cell phone. It's so different from when we were little. Kids these days get pretend cell phones and laptops.

I love the mushroom appliqu├ęs. They are awesome. This weekend when I was sewing I thought I'd broken my machine. The thread was getting double-caught and the machine was pulling the thread so hard I thought the needle was going to snap. Sweet Jesus, I was about to cry. Then I noticed that the thread wasn't threaded through number 3 (the up-down arm in the front) anymore. Anyway, with my 3 minute flirtation with sewing machine problems, I can totally empathize ... and it *is* awesome to have things to look forward to. :)

Sonya said...

I am here because of Ms Bitter over there and I am glad for the referral - oh man that story. As far as I know it should be a city ordinance, total amnesty granted when pushing a stroller. Completely legit. Anyway I am loving the self-referential fabric thing I am seeing in the world of blogs today - go check out sotosofties and spiritcloth.

Tess said...

Sometimes when I am sewing and my thread gets caught under, I hold the threads away from the machine before I even start. This helps keep them from tangling and causing problems!!

Very funny story!

Angelina said...

That's the kind of trouble I always get myself into. I completely enjoy knowing that you're out there hollering and shouting slurs at your friends. That sounds like such fun!

Have you found a place to buy yet? Will it be in the city or somewhere else?

You have a good point about the machine being crap and probably not being worth tune ups. My first machine was also the crappiest Singer ever, I had nothing but problems with it. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to get a better one. But if you keep sewing you will get to a point where it will be imperative. You've got some time.

I hope it behaves better for the next project. I love the mushroom shirt! I have some of that fabric too that I would like to use for kitchen curtains. Maybe.

AnastasiaC said...

the mushroom applique detail is adorable...so is your baby!
Hope you had fun on your 'date'...we too said to do it more often, it needs to be planned ahead so my mum can look after the little ones...