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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Whingeing About Ponchos

I've finished a couple of the ponchos from the new Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. If you like the stuff I'm doing, and if you don't have this book already (it's new this year), then get yourself one. I adore this book. These things I'm working on are from the instructions included on pp. 64-65.

So here was my first one. Just a piece of cotton interlock (on sale, $6.99 yd), over-dyed Sky Blue and Wedgewood Blue and then stitched following the directions in the book. I didn't follow the size--I just cut off a strip and used it--this was totally an experiment. This first one was 23" x 57"
I wore it once, liked it, and made another. This one is two layers with the outlines of the rubber banded sections stitched through both layers.
 Here's the length of stitched fabric. This one is 19.5" x 60". I would go with 24" x 56", I think (the book says 22" x 54")

 This is how you fold it--one short side up and over to the end of one long side--the instructions are in the book:
 Here it is on Ricë, pinned and ready to stitch. You can see how it's folded over. You can wear the point anywhere--front, back, off to one side. I like it in back, covering up the part that's always cold:
I'm going to have to do some thinking about this. In a way, I'm still jazzed about all the ideas this has sparked. In another, though, I'm bummed. For one thing, sewing through two layers of this fabric was really hard on one of my fingers, and I hate that--it sets off some deep-seated worries about how much longer I'm going to be able to do this. Since there have also been some other rough spots, too, though--shoulders, neck, etc.--it may be something else (weather, diet, shoes). Which would be a Really Good Thing.

The other thing is that I wore the second one last night when we ran some errands, and I was not impressed. While a poncho is a good thing for sitting around in a chilly room, having a conversation or sipping wine or watching a movie or something, it is totally impractical for shopping or loading bags into the car or even carrying a shoulder bag. Totally. Finally, in frustration, I yanked it off and left it in the truck so I could just MOVE. It was hobbling me, and this pissed me off: how many confining garments do women still wear? Spanks. Heels. Bustiers. Skin-tight mini skirts.


How many of these do men wear? I mean men in their regular lives; I'm not talking about men who like to dress in women's clothes, because I'm guessing the more stereotypical the women's clothing (i.e., confining, totally gender specific), the better they would like it. No, I mean men going about their regular daily lives.

None, except for neckties. Even their dressiest shoes are built mostly for comfort, at least if you buy the good ones.

Thinking about this irritated me no end, and it irritated me further that I hadn't thought of it before and had gotten all excited about making something that is pretty much unwearable for any practical endeavor.

So now I'm re-thinking my enthusiasm. The EGE is puzzled, since it seems perfectly sensible to him: I'm always chilly. We spend a lot of time at Starbucks. It's chilly there. I'm sitting, stitching, drinking coffee, maybe visiting. Ergo, these are perfect for that. He has a valid point, indeed. Of course, I could save my fingers and just carry a length of cotton interlock fabric in the back of the truck and toss it over my shoulders.

Well, obviously I'm grouchy. I'm not big on pain, even small amounts of it. So the last couple days have left me whinging rather a lot.  I've been working on more floss drawers--since I gave away the last of my rubber stamps, I had five more drawers to use for floss and had to cut and glue the dividers.
I've finished that, and it was no fun for the hands again. To get back on track, I'm going to stitch on muslin for a couple days--I've got this
ready to go. I made the mistake of doing that getting-it-ready-to-go when I was tired and kind of gritchy and got the x's ironed on and put it back on Ricë and went, "Huh? Where'd they go?" and was looking around on the floor to find them, wondering how in the world they'd fallen off after I'd ironed them in place, and with steam. Then I realized: I'd ironed them not on the front, where I thought I'd ironed them, but on the back.

Sigh. (Yeah, I really did heave a huge sigh right now.)

I think I need to go chill a while. I'll report back when 1) I get something fun done and 2) when I get over myself and am not quite such a whinger.



Linda said...

Sorry to hear you're in pain-no fun and no tolerance for me either. I've never found a poncho comfortable but they sure look nice. Still laughing, I so enjoy your blog!

Ricë said...

Hey, I *love* making people laugh, so you made my day. Thanks! XO

Zom said...

Okay, obviously I have missed some things. What are you doing with the muslin/ orange doohickies? I will read some earlier posts and see what I have missed. I am sure it will make sense then.

Thanks for the tip on the book. I looked it up on Amazon and it looks fantastic.

Bloody Frida said...

so do you pronounce whinging like the Brits? I do like that way instead of our way 'whining'

Robyn A said...

Sorry Rice (damn I can't get those dot things to work) I just had to laugh but pain in your hands is no joke. I have fibromyalgia so I am used to pain big time (ha - you never get used to it) but the arthritis in my hands is the most disappointing because I do a LOT of work by hand. I haven't discovered a way to make it go away yet but if I do I'll let you know.

Ricë said...

I didn't post anything else about the linen top with orange--I haven't taken photos since I got the appliquéd shapes ready. I'll try to do that later today. Robyn, my hands have been doing really well until I started stitching the interlock. I take fish oil, glucosamine-chondroitin, avoid nightshades--all those changes seem really to have helped. It's just lately, the last couple of weeks--and it's my neck, too--so it must be something else. Trying to figure it out--maybe shoes? Now that it's warm, I'm wearing different shoes = different posture, maybe?

Ricë said...

Yes, I say "whingeing," but now I can't think of anything with which it rhymes. Huh. Oh! Bingeing!

I spelled it wrong--I left out the "e." Sorry about that.

Wendy said...

I think the amount of hand-sewing you do is remarkable under any circumstances - let alone with pain in your hands.
Floss storage - I'd like one of those whirling necklace stands that jewellers use - a flash one with perspex doors so the dust doesn't settle on the floss for preference. In the meantime? It's just zip-lock bags for each colour of the rainbow.