Posts Tagged 'stitching'

Getting stitchy with it

pjs-fish.jpgI’m sewing up a pair of comfy pjs, using fish-patterned fabric. Unfortunately no serger or attachment for my old Singer to allow me to do an overlock stitch or zigzag*, so I’ve been doing some of the finishing stitches by hand, based on a couture book. But legs are very, very long, as is the outside hem, so I’ve been making up new words for this Fresh Prince classic while I stitch**, and “getting stitchy with it”. It’s taking a while, but better to handstitch on this than work on my knit lace shawl while my gauge is off.

Pattern: Kwik Sew K3602. The fabric is new to me: a stretchy knit cotton. So I’m trying my best to get a hang of it, mostly because I fell in love with the fish.

*Yes, I know I can buy attachments that can go on my model 404 Slant Needle, but part of me wishes I knew where I’d stored the original that came with my machine. I found the buttonhole attachment, and I’m thrilled.

**All apologies to the writer of the original tune. Bet they never thought something as uncool as this could happen, and now I’m imagining a retirement community where this and other music (LL Cool J, Salt ‘n’ Peppa, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Coolio, Madonna and Aerosmith) is piped into the dining halls. Hopefully there will either be a quiet room, or you can upgrade to classical, choral, or jazz on days when you’re not feeling up to 80s and 90s pop. [For those of you who do dystopian fiction, I think that’s a writing assignment in and of itself. What will we grimly to cling to with nostalgia as the world changes, and who else will be impacted by this choice?]

 

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The power of needleworkers – December 1

On December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for Civil Disobedience when she refused to give her seat to a white passenger in segregated Montgomery, Alabama. She was employed as a seamstress/tailor’s assistant, and along with her husband, she was active in the NAACP. After the boycott that ensued, Ms. Parks lost her place of employment.

When Ms. Parks was asked to give up her seat on the bus, she was actually sewing a dress for herself. The Smithsonian Institute has the dress in its collection (link here). How many of us would have given way to an order to move or else the police would be called? I like to think some of her resolve came not just from training in peaceful protest, but also the knowledge of how many times her needlework had been interrupted before. She was quoted as saying “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

December 1 is also World AIDS day. In San Francisco, in November of 1985, the idea of the AIDS quilt was born, to give names to the people who might have died in obscurity and to give us an idea of the impact of the disease. Today, the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is still growing, with panels made by 100,000 friends and family members. By June 2012, exhibits showing the quilt raised $4,000,000 to fund direct services to people living with AIDS. Gay rights activist Cleve Jones had a powerful idea that keeps growing. Over 94,000 names are on the quilt now. There are 40 International Affiliates outside of the US of the NAMES Project.


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