I almost wasn’t going to post today on the theory that my life is about what it’s been: to wit, crazy busy with weddings, etc. and surely you’re tired of hearing about that by now. But then I remembered that I do have actual new things to tell you, even if it still is on the same topics. But don’t worry – a few more weeks and we’ll be done with weddings, at least for a while, and I can go back to writing about whatever I used to write about before the Great Weddingpalooza came in and stole my life.
First of all, Mom and Dad did make it safely to Korea, and have been having great fun jauntering about there. Mom had a chance to do some pottery with a Korean artist, and had a wonderful time. They gave Sunny the box of presents we put together for her, and she loved it. In her e-mail mom said that they, “went to a fish market to end all fish markets yesterday!!!: think of a Walmart wall to wall filled with fish and shellfood in any edible state possible: dried, fried, frozen,pickled, spiced, and flopping around, gills waving at you as you look. The sqids, octopus and sea rays held a special fascination for me.” So, you know, they’re having fun.
Big Brother and Sunny have been finalizing all the legal details around getting married and preparing for their Catholic wedding tomorrow (which might be today, depending on whether I understand the time zones correctly). Regardless, by this time tomorrow Big Brother will have achieved a Family First of being the first sibling to actually get married. Which you have to admit is pretty darn exciting. 😀
I’ve been working on Big Brother’s American celebration – on Tuesday I had an appointment with the flower people. In the end we decided that instead of ordering flowers it would be much more economical and practical to just come to their warehouse Thursday morning before the wedding, pick out a couple of hundred dollars worth of whatever we wanted, and have it stored for us in their coolers until Saturday morning. I rather like this idea, especially since then I’ll be able to take Sunny and Big Brother with me and have them pick out the flowers they especially like.
However, the thing I’ve been working on the most is my bridesmaids dress for Sae’s wedding. I finished the muslin for the bodice a while back, and had used it as a pattern to cut out some lovely olive green cotton stretch poplin I’d gotten at JoMar. I know that I’m going to need another dress for weddings and other occasions this summer, and I wanted to do a trial run of the full out pattern because there were some construction details that confused me in the directions. I wanted to make sure I really knew what I was doing before I started messing with the precious, irreplaceable brocade. However, after I got all the pieces cut, it sat on the cutting mat on the dining room floor for about two weeks while life happened. And then Tuesday I finally started sewing everything together. It sewed up pretty quickly, and by the time I went to bed Tuesday night I had the bodice completely sewn.
Last night I started the next step. I knew that I wanted to do a variation on the skirt, with more fullness cartridge pleated to the bodice instead of the release pleats the pattern calls for (much easier, and then I also don’t have to grade up the skirt pattern pieces). So I measured how much fabric I had left, cut a yard and a half for the skirt back, 3/4 yard for each side of the front, and proceeded from there. Unfortunately, the sewing gods weren’t on my side. Although the skirt ought to be infinitely simpler than the bodice (three pieces plus pockets – usually I could do this in my sleep), I ran into equipment difficulties. Specifically, the serger that Crafty Minx so generously loaned me. It’s not the machine’s fault, it’s entirely mine. First I got the needle stuck by trying to turn a corner, which required having to take the needle out to get the fabric out, then figuring out how to get the needle back in, then threading the needle again, by far the most difficult part of the operation. These people don’t believe in making their machine accessible, let me tell you that. But against all odds (and with only moderate swearing) I got the thing threaded, and everything working happily again.
And then one of the spools of thread started to run out. No problem, I thought, I got this one. Crafty Minx told me what to do. You tie the new thread onto the end of the old thread and then you don’t have worry about it. (This, it turns out, is what the manual says too – the machine comes prethreaded, and the manufacturer strongly suggests that you don’t ever let it get unthreaded because it’s such a nigh-impossible task to rethread it again.) So I got out my new spool of thread, tied it to the old spool of thread, and started working again. Except, it turns out that what I should have done was tie the new thread to the old, and then gently pull on the thread until the knot has traveled completely through the machine before I started working again. If you don’t do that, you have a high likelihood that your knot will come undone, causing God knows what mayhem, including your machine coming unthreaded. And, you know, that happened.
For a while I tried to figure out how to rethread it myself, and got exactly nowhere. So I turned to my old friend the internet. A quick google search took me to the free downloadable manual from the manufacturer’s site, which was heartening until I read it, and found out that it basically says “Do not let it get unthreaded. Ever.” I did find out that there is a handy diagram printed on the inside of the machine’s front cover. I had high hopes for this until I looked from it to the places where I’m supposed to get the thread to go through and thought, “Are you kidding me?!” I mean, it’s these tiny holes recessed down into the bowels of a machine in places where I can’t even reach. That was the point when I decided to throw in the towel and go to bed.
This morning when I woke up, the first thought I had in my conscious mind (no, I’m not kidding) was, “Tweezers!” And I think that just might work. If I can work my tweezers in there, maybe with a flashlight so I can actually see what I’m doing, I might be able to make it work. I’ll have to let you know. In the meantime, I have one completed bodice, two halves of a skirt (still separate), bits of cloth that will be pockets, and two packets of pearl snaps to pound in as soon as the dress is together. If all goes well, and possibly if I ditch Mr. Zoot’s performance at Urban Nights in favor of sewing, by the time Sunday rolls around I just might have a completed dress to show you. Maybe.
In the rest of my life, there is various swing-dancing-related shenanigans down at Urban Nights tonight. Mr. Zoot is performing with his school’s show choir, and since I missed his last concert (that was when my car tried to blow up on me), I really want to see this one. Tomorrow night is Sae’s Bachelorette Sleep-Over. The Duchess if driving in from Philly for this one. There will be pizza, silly movies (I think I’m bringing Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham), and toenail painting, also brunch in the morning. And then Sunday Zanzibar is having a cook off with his brother, and I’d like to be there to witness the epicness (it all depends how far along I am on the dress). It’s a full schedule, though not as full as my weekends have been lately. I’m glad, to be honest. I need a bit of a breather!