Sometimes I try to be all zippy and play my own fairy godmother... most of the time it turns out badly, (something I don't ever seem to remember). I blame my mother. Obviously.
She has a fondness for quoting four of the most aggravating words known by all her children. "Be a problem solver". I used to ignore her advice since it was clearly total lunacy. I'm not sure when I stopped ignoring her, but I think she was surprised when it happened. Somewhere in my angsty teenage years my aunt gave me a book of authentic victorian patterns, and since my obsession with costumes is not a new one, I immediately set about drafting the tiny patterns to my size. My mom didn't think I could do it. Oh sure, she tried to hide her skepticism, but I had not hidden my dislike for sewing, and I also had a habit of getting frustrated with things and giving up. There was no way I was going to be able to finish that dress and see the project through to the very end.
But I did. Mostly to prove my mom wrong. Unfortunately, not all my projects have been as successful as that first one, and most of the time I want to throw the iron out the window and rip up my fabric into sackloth and ashes. But somehow I always see my mom's dubious look in my head, as if she's just waiting for me to give up, and so I grit my teeth and carry on.
I do have a pretty serious sewing handicap. I am not the kind of person who recieves any sort of joy in the actual doing of things. I don't organize cupboards for fun, cooking is not a relaxing hobby of mine, and I certainly don't think it's fun to watch and steer a sharp piece of moving metal through an odd shaped cloth that is bound and determined to slide everywhere except where I want it to be. I know pins are a common solution to that problem, but again...more pointy metal things that never do quite what I tell them too. Besides, all my pins get into arguments with the sewing needle and the pins always win. Bullies.
How am I supposed to know I'm sewing something backwards, when I'm busy settling arguments? The back stitch feels unappreciated and inadequate, she only gets used for a quick second here and there (compared to her older sister the forward stitch). The seam ripper whines all.the.time, he begs to trade places with the back stitch button because goodness knows he never gets a vacation. The bobbin has a crush on the feed dog and continually throws herself at him. He of course just tramples on her heart and I am left picking up the pieces and putting her back together. It's no wonder I can't sew anything straight. What should be a well running machine is instead a freaking soap opera. The only piece I get along with is the pedal, but we're in therapy right now because he feels like I mistreat him and step on him all the time. I tried to explain the obvious reasons for that, but he's punishing me by sticking at the worst times. It's a miracle I haven't sewn through my fingers during one of his fits.
All that to say, I tried and tried and tried to sew something to wear for the Christmas cocktail party this Friday. I cut and pinned and sewed like I was on project runway. I have a bad habit of giving away my clothes on a moments notice because I'm sure something else will turn up. This time it didn't work, and consequently I have nothing to wear. My solution was to turn an old formal skirt into a cute little party dress. Epic fail. But of course I had those awful words branded into my brain "be a problem solver" so I took the whole thing apart, redesigned it and tried again. Epic fail #2. Stubbornness took over all my normal faculties and I dug into a third attempt. Took the whole thing apart, added new fabric and used enough pins for acupuncture, but in the end all I had was a sad lumpy mess and no more fabric with which to make a fourth attempt.
Guess I've got some more problem solving to do.