Thursday, June 20, 2013

The writing on the wall.

I grew up in the South and even though I'm presently exiled in Yankee territory compliments of the US Navy, I'm a Southern Girl.  I grew up going to crawfish boils, fishing, playing at the pool all summer for survival from the heat, playing tennis, learning to cook and sew.  Yes.  My parents made me start cooking dinner 2 nights/week when I was 7 or 8.  I learned to make a fantastic Hamburger Helper.  You know teaching their daughter to cook was important if they were willing to endure that culinary train wreck on a weekly basis.  Ha.  

I begged my parents to let me take ballet lessons at one point.  My dad's response?  "Put her in the kitchen and teach her life skills!"  When I decided to join the Navy my dad was amused... probably because I waited until he had paid for 4 years of private college before joining.  I remind him that had he just let me take ballet, maybe I wouldn't have gone in the military and taken such a liking to firearms.

But I digress.  Each summer, my mom kept us busy with "classes" or lessons.  There was softball, tennis, swimming... and the summer I was 8 years old, sewing classes... because a good Southern girl knows how to sew, right?  Ha!  Boy did I prove them wrong.  I have no skills when it comes to sewing.  NONE!  During that 2 week class we were suppose to learn how to read patterns, cut out material and (theoretically speaking at least) sew a straight line.  Fail, fail and epic fail!  At one point in that class, I was sewing a pair of shorts.  I got disoriented, didn't know what I was looking at and sewed the leg of the shorts shut. Seriously. That was quite the seam to have to pop back open. Thank the Lord home economics wasn't required in high school or I know what class I would have struggled to pass.  

The problem is that I automatically think I can sew because I'm a Southern girl... because in my warped mind, the 2 are suppose to be interchangeable.  Given that I'm barely 5'4", most pants don't fit me and need to be hemmed.  Now lets be honest.  Hemming pants isn't rocket science.  It requires very primitive math to figure out how much to cut off, minor ironing skills and the ability to sew a straight line.  Remember what I said about epic fail?  Yeah.  I can't sew a straight line for the life of me.  However, I have a sewing machine and continue to live under the delusion that I can sew.  

Which is what brought me to last night. I should have seen the writing on the wall.  Years of failed sewing projects.  I sewed the short leg shut for goodness sakes!  But no.  I decided to try and hem some pants at 9pm last night.  A bad idea with terrible timing. The last time I tried to sew something it led to a huge fight with Justin (the night before we were leaving town... because waiting to the last minute is always a good start) as the project didn't go "well" and he didn't understand why I keep trying these projects that (truthfully) are more ambitious than my skills allow for. 

Here was my practice sewing before trying to sew the hem last night:
Wow wee!  My luck has turned! Looks good, right?  The lines are even straight!
Such skill! I was feeling pretty confident... but then I flipped the test material over...

Say what?!?  That's not what it's suppose to look like. I kept trying to adjust the settings on my sewing machine (pretending like I actually knew how to fix this)... and I created this:
Lovely birds nest, isn't it?  

So here I am at 10:40 at night, cussing at my sewing machine.  I think the problem was that I was using top stitching thread (in order to keep the style of the hem similar to what was there) and a needle that wasn't big enough.  The problem was I felt pressured.  We're about to leave for the Gulf Coast and I haven't worn non-maternity shorts in years since I started having babies.  Needless to say, the shorts I own from before I got married don't fit well at all.  With our trip so close I'm feeling the pressure to get these capris hemmed so I have something other than jeans to wear on this trip... but it just wasn't going well. 

Of course, I was unwilling to give up my pride long enough to admit I didn't know how to fix this.  I'm a Southern girl!  I took sewing classes!  I can sew a hem line.  And then it happened.  My husband asked if he could try since I was having miserable success.  Lol.  Poor guy was just trying to help me get to the end objective... and he probably didn't see my response coming... but it was less then gracious or grateful and more along the lines of "Don't you dare accuse me of not knowing what I'm doing! I took sewing classes!! Have you taken sewing classes?  Hmm??"  Like I said, I should have seen the writing on the wall because I've NEVER been good at sewing... but I didn't.  And I think it's possible that I hate my sewing machine more than I hate the scale.