November 28, 2012

The Renfrew of Quiet Desperation (also possibly magic and unicorn hair)

Thanksgiving is done, and it'll be Christmas in like five minutes. Luckily for me, that means a slight uptick in business in my flagship shop* on Etsy, as people prepare for gifting. That's great news, obviously, but I find that as my to-do list gets longer, the more panicky I get, and the more I crave distraction in the form of something completely different from my obligations.

This time, yesterday afternoon was the tipping point. I just couldn't put my needle through another piece of Stand Mixer Cover. I had already vacuumed the house, laundry was washing, dinner could wait. I had no choice but to turn to my projects-in-waiting and find a quick fix.

Cowl Neck Renfrew

It came in the form of trusty Renfrew coupled with some decidedly crazy-ass "foil jersey" that I bought on a whim from the clearance section (as usual). Guys, this stuff is weird, and maybe a little gross. I'm not really sure what possessed me to buy it in the first place, but I guess I was blinded by the sparkles or something. It was strangely off-grain like it was kind of stretched out or twisted on the roll, and there were all kinds of warnings on the bolt about not washing or ironing or otherwise disturbing the magic woven into the threads. Also "fabric may crock". Super! Better make a shirt out of it!

Magic Renfrew

Cutting this stuff was a pain due to the aforementioned twisty-ness, and I'm not sure whether my rotary cutter blade was sharpened or dulled by the exercise. It slid through my machine like butter though, and was surprisingly easy to sew. I breezed through the construction of this top in about an hour, and I feel ready to return to my responsibilities again.

Do you do that? Sew (or do other things) for distraction or to soothe your anxiety? Last week(-ish?), Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow wrote about "sewing for sanity, stress relief, and sense of control" and I could totally relate. It's kind of funny, because I use sewing as an escape from my sewing, but it's different when you're always sewing for other people. I'm a total perfectionist, so the items I sew for my shop have to meet my self-imposed exacting standards AND be turned around quickly, packaged nicely, and shipped with care. It's exhausting! Sometimes I just need to sew something brainless from weird fabric and if it comes together in kind of a slapdash fashion, so be it! For this top, I couldn't even be bothered to change the threads in my serger from white to brown, but I didn't want the seams finished with white either. My solution was to PINK the seam allowances. Seriously, it kind of looks like a fifth grader made this top from the inside, but I don't care! No one will see it.


So- I'm now the proud owner of a cowl-neck Renfrew that is almost certainly imbued with some magical properties (or at the very least, might turn my skin green). But now if you'll excuse me, I have a long list of actual work to do.

*Sorry, I know that sounds kind of lame and pretentious or something, but with three distinct shops now to manage and keep straight in my addled brain, I've started thinking of twilltape as the flagship. It's what all the cool kids do.