I have been left home alone unsupervised for a few nights, so I figured I should do some projects to surprise everyone when they get home to show that I can be a responsible adult. Last time I thought about making an A-line dress, but instead decided to eat out. It was probably a better option.
This time, though, my wife had posted an album full of pictures like this…
The sewing machine was set up on the table, and was already threaded.
It seemed fate had decreed what to do.
So I didn’t lose impetus, and also to get more comfortable with Twitter, I decided to live-tweet it. I’ve a few mates that do similar for their art projects, I figured I could return the favour.
I’ve gathered those messages here, since that format is an ephemeral beast.
The Making of the Shirt-Dress
Live tweeting the folly of an art project: one of my shirts into a kids dress.
Step 1: become overconfident
Only possible as I am left unsupervised for few days, wife posted some pics of idea & some of my loud shirts are back in rotation
Step2: fail to find pins. Go buy beer. Turn up loud, bad music. Raid various art caches round house. Find pins AND sequins!
Shirt (it’s sadly a bit tight across the back due to a larger beer baby these days)
Step 3 sort of trace a dress with teacher chalk but eyeball the arms because I don’t like its ones. What could possibly go wrong?
Step 4: swear because beers are still sitting out instead of in the freezer. Cut out dress, watch the instructional video.
Step 5: repeatedly watch 30s segment. Looks nothing like mine, 1/3rd of an inch in metric is… uh…? and complex sewing lingo
Jade: If only I could see her face when she gets home and discovers what you’re doing.
Eventually worked out fold and iron, without growing extra arms to hold stuff while pinning it. Looking lopsided already, oh well
Wondering why I cut fancy, swirly arm holes when I had to fold them over. Look like they’re stapled. Who am I to judge art though?
I traced my dress, they didn’t. If I follow instructions for the neck, there will no longer be arm holes. Time to extemporize!
I was wondering why they were making a dress for a giraffe. Next time, watch the whole damn video before starting.
Not shown: blood from sticking myself with pins
Fraser: we all have our battles. This is yours.
To be honest mate, the larger battle is not going to get more beer, because honestly I can’t see how that could make things worse
Apparently it’s time to turn on the sewing machine. I’m guessing it’s all downhill from here (not that it wasn’t before)
It’s all in Japanese, apart from a picture of a turtle, a hare and a BIG FUCKING ARROW LIT UP IN RED. That’s always good, right?
I can do green, and motion, but not really. +there’s a playful grinding sound. I’m thinking artisanal hand stitching is called for
Art: cool that you’re teaching yourself to do this!
It is meant to prove that I can be trusted, left home alone unsupervised but I am not convinced that’ll be the result mate
I was so excited about finally threading the needle that I dropped it and it bounced off.
Second go, with a refill of loganberry rượu was much faster but made me wish I cut a longer thread
Who needs a sewing machine for a snarl? I did it second stitch
Going to start drinking left-handed as apparently putting the needle down for a moment is a bad idea
Creates a big knot. That looks rather Gordian. Say… that gives me a good idea. No, no, it seems that is a bad idea, instead
Attempts to tie off the thread already sewn in, remembers that I have only worn velcro or slip-ons since 3rd grade for a reason
Good thing this is a five hour playlist
Bracing a needle on the table vertically & slamming the cloth down is faster than conventional stitching, but a miss hurts more
Balanced out that pain by forgetting about the dregs and swallowed them
Finally rethreaded the needle. Tempted to ready a bunch more before cracking the next beer, but that’d be too sensible
That’s why you don’t do a long thread. Arms are little. Going to try stand & walk away as I sew so I don’t have to thread another
Yesss… finished that bit. What’s next? Oh… the same again, but the neckline for the back. Sigh
Good thing wife has loads of asymmetrical dresses, it’s an homage
Girls, I made this dress for you…r granddaughters. Surprise!
Dad, they’re all in their twenties!
I worked as fast as I could
Wow, I am getting better at this! … no, the light’s getting worse.
I don’t think the girls will wear it, not because of my janky stitching but because it won’t flare out when they princess twirl
Lining up the edges to pin them evenly was impossible till I stuck my tongue out #lifehack
Step eleventymillion: Eat something. While beer is a food group, nothing but since lunch doesn’t help for delicate, dexterous stitching
Step square root of -1: Put more beers in the fridge. Step square root of -1.a wish I’d done this sooner
Progress is slow. Not sure if I should blame the internet or beer. Don’t see the sense in pointing fingers, frankly
Can’t wait to finish this dress. For the sense of satisfaction of a job well done (ha!) or the celebratory ham sarnie and beer?
You can sew overarm and underarm. Mind blown, and don’t need to research stuff on the net while I “rest”
Jade: I don’t even know what that means haha
Backstroke/freestyle, which way your arm moves the needle. I think I was doing both all along, but I have a bad attention span
I’ve never done an all-nighter. If I do now, does that show that I’m adulting well? (Excuse the empty tinnies as a rounding error)
Pushing like a mofo… damn this is hard work. Wait, that’s a pin, not my needle
I was going to make a dress for both daughters. Nope. Here’s a kinder surprise egg instead. Daddy, you love me more!
And now I remember how much I like drinking water, X beers in (X=2 for plausible deniability (not) if wife sees this)
Invert the dress and you’re done– shit! It’s coming apart already! Wait… no, that’s the shoulders. That’s not a bug, but a feature
What idiot pulls the thread out of the needle before the jobs done?
Uh… I plead the fifth
Are staples and/or hot glue gun viable sartorial options? This needle threading stuff is bullshit
Jade: *cough* fabric glue *cough*
Wife just said she’ll show me how to make the sewing machine go, so next time there can be even more blood
Jade: You hand sewed that whole thing?!?!
Yeah mate. I couldn’t work the sewing machine out, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. That’s why it took 8 hours
Well, booze and lack of skill probably slowed it down a wee ketch, too
Jade: You’re a madman
I’ve seen some of your projects where you did hand stitching mate, so it seemed like a viable option
Jade: Dude it takes like three hours to make a hand-sized plush. It’s not worth it, my friend. It’s not worth it. Love yourself.
Yeah tonight’s project to prove I can be responsible when I am left at home will probably be something easy, like a photo manip
Jade: Can you make a potato wearing sunglasses the next US president so I can have a little hopeful fantasy fulfilled?
For you, anything mate!
Here you go mate! God Bless ‘Murica
PSA: the eye of the needle is not on the pointy end. Who knew?
Jade: Amazingly the eye of the needle is the part that resembles an eye. Crazy, I know.
But daddy, I can’t physically fit in this dress!
That’s unfortunate darlin’, but look at it as training wheels for the male gaze
Invert dress (again) and one shoulder is magically undone (again) Tada! Amuse and amaze your friends with this parlour trick
Add shoulder straps for an insouciant nod towards fashion trends
Or so your daughter doesn’t accidentally disrobe if she jumps
Harking back to the male gaze, I forgot how revealing this shirt was due to crap button spacing. 1st “party” dress #dontgocommando
Jade: Gotta indoctrinate them early.
Aw yiss, in only ~8 hours you too can be the proud owner of a travest–uh… I mean a toddler’s dress
Now to “cook” dinner 7 hours behind schedule. Holding bread in one hand and a slice of ham in the other is high art after this
And scene… though there is magically another beer in the fridge (spoiler there’s been a few) and I’d wake up in about 3 hours…
Shoutout to allies who #artharder including but not limited to @Haurbus @TheJadeAria @jpbeltran @anhla7 Y’all inspire me Thank you
Javier: loved the play by play of dressmaking times! Props to you for going through it!
Seeing the finished product in the morning light, I regret nothing (apart from the last few beers)
Tune in next time, when wife makes a smaller, more tasteful dress the girls can actually wear from my clumsy attempts
Trang: You and Rosalyn should both wear it today
Not sure you thought it through mate, even with a tie it might be a no