Doin’ de Gheyn – Volume VI

Last time, we left the project with the piping made from pieces.  Today, you get to see me set the things into place and sew ‘em down.

The trick here is to make sure the edges and stuff go the right way.  Piping is just a strip of fabric folded over, set into a seam, after all.  How hard can it be?

If you follow my musings, friend, you know the answer: Pretty fracking difficult!  I set the damned thing four times before I was satisfied with it – all with Robin looking on.

(She thinks I’m setting her up to be some sort of ogre, a big meanie who looms over me with a ruler like a nun in a stereotypical Catholic school.  [By the way, have you ever noticed they don't really walk?  The old ones, I mean, not the modern nuns whose habits don't cover their knees; I'm talking about the old habits where the only skin you can see are their hands and faces.  They kind of hover like Bene Gesserits.  You can almost hear the thrumming of a Holtzman-effect generator.]  She’s not, not really.  I’m learning a lot from her.  She’s made stuff for Hampton Fracking Court Palace; she really knows what she’s doing.)

Moving on.

You set the piping between the panels to be separated by the piping.  The panels go right side to right side.  The piping goes in folded lengthways.  You line up the raw edges of the panels with the raw edges of the piping.  If you’ve cut the piping to the right size, the seam allowance should make the piping a little loop (for lack of a better word) stitched between the panels.  

At left is the piping completely pinned into place.  You can’t really see it – because it’s been properly pinned in place.

Once pinned, it’s time to start stitching.  The photo at right is me sitting in the living room doing just that.

Many people ask me why I hand stitch.  I don’t do it to be pretentious (“I hand stitch because machine stitching is farby and dumb.”).  I don’t do it even because it’s the historically-accurate thing to do.  

I do it because the sewing machine hates me.

I’m just no good at it.  I can never get the tension set right or something; the thing snarls (literally; you should hear it), spits sparks, and makes a complete mess of the project.  So I get soooooo frustrated I want to hurl the whole cornsarned thing through the big window on the front of the house, where it’ll end up in the Canal.  My hounds are in another room, the TV is in another room, Kass is generally in another room.  Math: Machine+frustration+lack of company=apoplexy.

On the other hand, if I hand-sew, I can sit in the living room, hounds at my feet, fire crackling in the fireplace, and something entertaining on TV.  My blood pressure stays down, I get a project done that’s pretty historical, and the math changes to =WIN.

There are a few things to watch out for.

1.  Be careful what you leave about when you leave the room.  When sewing with linen thread, you need to wax it before use.  Beeswax smells nummy to Greyhounds.  See result of Fred’s experiment in chewing stuff at left.

2.  When you get the piped outseams together and the inseams sewn, you have two separate legs.  The next step is to sew the legs together, right?  At that point, it is vitally important you orient the seams the right way.  Don’t do like I did and sew it backwards.  Because then all you can do is rip out the seam and do it again.

After, of course, telling your pants “You’re Number One!”  (See photo at right.)

Next time, we visit Lining.  Stay tuned!