Saturday, May 14, 2011

Off the Needle

Wow, it's been longer than I had anticipated since I've gotten to any crafting, sewing, or anything else!  Serving on a couple different committees, one board, and wrapping up loose ends for a volunteer position I really don't want to give up, but have to.  In the middle of all of this, a family member became extremely ill and required emergency surgery (and is just now starting to come out of the woods) - it's been a long, long week. Or two.  I've lost track.

I have been doing some hemming & alterations for a family friend; though that's not truly blog-worthy, it is still something accomplished.  Some weeks, that's all you can celebrate.

So the other day, when Son #1 approached me and asked if the Girlfriend could come over to get some help on a biology project, I took it as an opportunity to do some crafting - slightly odd-ball crafting, but crafting nonetheless.  Could I help her make a baby for a demonstration?

Whoa.  That sounded like a loaded question, for sure.

Turns out that each group in the class took on a different system in the body and needed a report, research, a display board and some kind of visual effect for their presentation.  The Girlfriend's group is doing the reproductive system.

Oh.  Okay.  (Whew!)

They will be making a paper-mache "womb," from which a demo baby will be shown being "born."  It needed to be flexible, sort of generic, soft, not weighted, and not necessarily biologically accurate.  Not like the pseudo-babies you sometimes see high school sex ed students carrying around haphazardly (you know, the ones that are supposed to teach teens reasons to abstain).

Off we went to pick out some flesh-colored cotton fabric.  Of course, as soon as we went past the dollar fabric bin we both had to go through it.  And then there was the remnant gauntlet to run.....LOL!  I am a confirmed fabric-a-holic.  I will be the first to admit it.  No cure, sorry.  And it looks like I'm training a new recruit.

Back home again, we look on the internet and find a free cloth baby doll pattern (if any of you sew for charity, there are some terrific, easy patterns here) that can be used for personal purposes or to give away.  It was just the right size, easy to sew in no time at all, and cute.  We printed out the pattern, and after cutting it out, for some strange reason, it reminded me of all those CSI shows on TV:

A sewing victim.

I started sewing and got almost all the way around it - until my machine started jamming up.

Oh, No!  She's gonna hurt me!  Oh, Noooooooooo!

Rats.  Off the needle, cut the rats' nest out of the bobbin area, rethread, start the machine again.  Jammed again.  And again.  I'm thinking now that after this particular embroidery snafu, I may have actually done some damage to my sewing machine after all.  This cloth baby may turn out to be more expensive than just all the extra remnants I purchased today.  Sad face.  It was already too late to take the machine in to the shop, so I had to sew the rest of the doll up by hand.  Tiny, tiny backstitches.  Turn it, stuff it, hand-stitch the "joints" for the arms & legs, stuff the head & body, then hand-stitch the back closed.  Then it was on to the umbilical cord.  Old pantyhose, stuffed with polyester stuffing, put some thin red and blue yarns strands into it to simulate the vein & artery, then pull it in tightly with more hand-stitching so it doesn't look out of proportion.

More hand-stitching than I've done in awhile.  I think I'll leave the rest of the hemming until tomorrow.

The Sewing Assistant, however, still thinks that he is the new furniture inspector.

Our newest knick-knack.

Isn't he realistic looking?

Don't even get me started on how he was...."helping".......when the technician came to the house to calibrate the big screen TV.  At least he didn't jump on the poor guy.

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