My trusty yellow skirt is worn out, so I bought new yellow (unknown) fabric from the fabric outlet to replace it. After much travail and repeated washings of the fabric in vinegar and salt, I realized I was trying to use canvas to make a skirt. Canvas may soften over time, but what on earth do I do with a skirt that stands up by itself until then? (Off to Goodwill - couldn't stand to look at it and I hope someone has a better idea for it).
Exhibit B: Made-up Tea Cosies
I tried to sew a teapot cosy from my own design. It was supposed to be a warm little bag with a drawstring top with places for the spout and handle to peep out. The drawstring was too long and awkward and out of frustration and impatience, I sewed faster and consequently, the work is sloppy. (Stuffed these in my scrap boxes, where my daughter pounced on them and started using them as bags until I pointed out that things were falling out the holes. She pinned the holes closed. Hello, Grandma Weaver!)
Exhibit C: Slippers
First I used this pattern and made a horrible, strange slipper with pretty fabric and a red leather bottom (no photo - couldn't bear to look at it). Then I used this tutorial, scavenging the red leather soles from the first failure. These slippers do not match and need some tweaks (thicker cushioning on the sole, 2 layers of fabric on the upper), but I see possibilities here. Genevieve has claimed them for her own. I offered to cut them down and remake them for her, but she insists on pinning them to her size with pink plastic clothespins.
In the meantime, I found a pair of Goody Bon Bon slippers on ebay that I love - so whimsical, cushy, and pretty. My husband was commenting on how I wear these slippers with irony and I had to ponder that (out loud, of course) for a while, until I understood that, yes, I am wearing them ironically. I think they're fun, but they're definitely a joke for me, and I am definitely channeling an ageing Southern belle with a whispery sweet voice and a cool shadowy house with tall ferns at the shuttered windows.
In all of this, I kept asking myself why I was pursuing these projects instead of buying ready-made things. It's because I like solving the problem, figuring things out on my own, and experimenting. Sewing is really a hobby for me. There are times when I sew for thrifty reasons, but the thrift is largely a side benefit, and the real reason is my deep satisfaction and pleasure when I sew something just right. Stay tuned for a happy lot of "just rights" coming up!