O.M.G. I am IN LOVE. And it’s completely unexpected. It’s not what you think…
Through most of my schooling in Malaysia, there was a subject called (loosely translated) Living Skills or Life Skills. It was a mandatory subject for every student and covered things like woodwork, wiring, gardening, and sewing. I took to the first 2 with gusto, and the 3rd I managed to pass on the goodwill of my friends because I didn’t (and still don’t) don’t have a green thumb. As for sewing, well, my tomboy rebellious teenaged self in an all girls’ school thought, ‘I’m not doing that. Why would I need to sew? They’re just trying to domesticate me and I won’t fall for that!’. Clearly, I didn’t see it that way when it came to cooking! Do you see the flawed logic of that teenager? 🙂
Fast forward 15 years and not only have I learnt to sew, I actually enjoy it. I’m still at a beginner level but I love having a physical final product.
But back then, it was a different story altogether and this memory illustrates it perfectly. I remember the scene like it was yesterday: our assignment for the term was to make an apron. Now, this shouldn’t have been hard – the whole class was doing it / mainly straight lines / finished off with bias binding – but my care/interest factor: ZERO. Nada. Zilch. It didn’t help that the fabric was this horrible orange-bright pink-yellow flowery polyester blend thing and the bias trim was, from memory, an equally horrendous pink. I wore clothes that were predominantly navy blue, black, and white, thank you very much. We were also in the afternoon session so some of these classes were late in the evening in a poorly lit room, sometimes with the tropical monsoon rain banging down on the tin roofs bringing relief from the humidity…great time to doze off especially when you can’t hear the teacher over the rain… really old Singer sewing machines and slide-in bobbins that I could never work out… the thread would bundle up and jam on me… oh, it just wasn’t working. At all.
Days before I was due to hand in the assignment, I asked my mum if we could get some help with the apron. I still had my main apron piece, the front center pocket and the bias completely detached from each other. (Whoops.) We didn’t have a sewing machine at home at the time, so even though mum knew how to sew, she couldn’t help in that way. She did however pick up the phone to phone a friend (get it?) who was an interior designer and we drove over to this friend’s shop. We chatted with her for the next hour, while one of her workers SEWED THE APRON FOR ME. That’s right. I cheated and got an A! Thanks Mum! 😉
Earlier this week, I watched a video by the supertalented Dana at danamadeit about making bias binding. Bias binding is kind of like a strip of fabric you use to add a trim to clothes (like here and here). There are other great uses for it, but this is one of the most obvious examples if you don’t sew. You can easily buy them pre-packaged in a store, but these may not necessarily match your fabric, so an alternative is to make it yourself. I have read tutorials online on how to DIY-it but it always seemed too complicated. Until I watched this video. Dana made it look SO EASY I just had to give it a go! So off I went to buy me a bias tape maker. I also found some cute fat quarter fabric on sale. And this morning I attempted it and that, my friends, is when MY LIFE CHANGED.
Can you belive this? CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?? I can’t.
Ok, let’s be honest. It wasn’t all smooth sailing. I started off with seams like these:
And my perfectionist side went, ARGH!!! That’s not acceptable.
Then my other, more rationale side said, You dufus. It’s going to be folded in anyway so WHO CARES? (See, I have developed a more rationalse side in the last 15 years. Still developing, though). I tried to get it as close to lined up as possible, but relaxed my standards a bit. I’m sure I’ll get better at it… *Fingers crossed*!
You know what’s crazier? This fabric has pink in it. PINK!!