Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Last July, when I was back in Kansas City, I bought a few yards of some beautiful off-white wool fabric from Kaplan's Fabrics on the Country Club Plaza.

My intention was to make myself a new preaching outfit from it, for those weeks from Easter on when it's too cold and early to wear white linen, but just wrong--liturgically, in particular--to wear black.

Not that I don't already own a winter white suit; it's just that I bought it back in 1997 and I've, well, kind of outgrown the skirt since then.


Anyway, this weekend it hit me how close it's getting to Easter. So Sunday I found the fabric and the pattern, and preshrunk the material in the washer because there's no way I'm paying for dry cleaning every time a speck of dirt falls on it. Monday, I cleared and extended my dining room table, and started cutting the skirt pieces out.

This morning I attached the three front and the three back sections (it's a six-gore skirt), using French seams.

I'm debating whether I'll put a pocket in it; the pattern doesn't have one, but it's handy in case a church wants me to use a radio mike. Trouble is, when I made this skirt before, the seam over the pocket didn't sit straight. That skirt is black, so there I can kind of get away with it.

In white, not so much. But a pocket is so useful. I'm still trying to decide.

One thing that's not up for debate: The skirt needs to be lined. The wool fabric is too fine and lightweight not to. Last evening, I drove over to JoAnn Fabrics and got some matching lining material. Preshrunk it last night, and this afternoon I cut it out and started attaching the pieces.

But what on earth--? My sewing machine will not let me sew a straight seam on that lining! The feeddog catches it (or maybe, doesn't catch it) and the needle inexorably veers in a mindless diagonal off to the edge. I tried completing one seam, then another. Hopeless. They both look like a work of a crazy drunken fool: meandering all over the place, starting and stopping and restarting again, the stitch length long to tiny to back again, the tension too loose or too puckering tight.

I just can't make that machine sew my lining evenly and straight!

Why now, Lord, why now?

And why, at all?

. . . Well, yes, I did notice this morning that the sewing machine presser foot isn't dropping smartly into place. Rather, it sort of moseys its way down onto the fabric, like it hasn't quite made up its mind whether it wants to get to work or not . . . And this afternoon it was so slow and lacksidaisical about it, I thought it would never descend at all.

My theory is that it's just not holding the fabric down to the feeddog the way it should. The wool was just thick enough to make do with the pressure it gave, but the lining acrylic, no.

All very nice to have an idea of what's wrong. But I could have gotten so much more done on this skirt tonight! And now I've been sidetracked. There's no point in doing anything more until I can borrow or rent another sewing machine until mine can be fixed. Or until I can figure out how to clean up my old machine, a 1951 Singer, so it won't get oil and crud all over my nice cream-colored fabric.

How am I ever going to get my new suit done for Easter Sunday!? I'm as sidetracked as my crookedy lining seams!

Unless-- Unless this is God's way of telling me to work on my sermon for Easter Sunday before I work on my clothes? Like, maybe, this is His way of getting me-- maintracked?

1 comment:

Sandy said...

He does work in mysterious ways.... a blessed Easter to you!