Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I have a new appreciation for people who don't know much about a kitchen.

So. I recently took up sewing. Why did I take up sewing? Naturally because I want to be the next Stepford Wife. I figured, "I already know how to cook. And I can crochet. And I clean the house. The next step is learning to sew and knit." No, not really.

I have a weakness for pretty dresses. I think pretty dresses are swing dresses. You know. Fifties and forties. Known today as "rockabilly." I never understood why people felt the need to give new names to old clothes. It's like Victorian clothes. They are now referred to as "Lolita" clothes. Erm. They're Victorian clothes. Just call them what they are. But apparently people don't like to be reminded that the clothes they wear because they find it hip and trendy (though Michael let me know that nobody uses "hip" unless it's followed by "I broke my") were worn by their great great great grandparents. Because apparently that means it's no longer hip. (I'll say "hip" however much I want.)

But anyway. My point is that whilst I fancy these dresses and skirts... erm.. they cost money. Lots of money. And well. I have never had a job. That's not to say that I'm some spoiled little eighteen-year-old that's gotten everything and that's why I've never worked. It's that I'm a spoiled little eighteen-year-old that has gotten a lot of the things I've -really- wanted... and I have no job experience so nobody will hire me. And I haven't even been shooting high. The highest I aimed for so far has been Kohl's. Seriously? I'm not good enough for -Kohl's-? I wanted to work in the kitchen and housewares department. <3 You should know I ramble.

I also happened to keep some old sheet sets from when I had a twin bed. A heart sheet set, a yellow sheet set, and a Lion King sheet set. I was convinced I'd "do something with them eventually." Click! I want a swing skirt. A swing skirt costs a hundred dollars. Well. There are some on sale right now for ninety. But still. I've found swing dresses cheaper for forty dollars. Yet a basic skirt, I can't find for less than a hundred. So I decided I should sew my own. I have sheet sets (free fabric) and some thread and my mom has a sewing machine (she doesn't know how to use it.. she got it so my grandma could sew things for my mom).

I've sewn three things so far. None have been the swing skirt I originally started this sewing kick for. One was a recreation of this dress I saw at mybabyjo.com that I liked.

You see that dress? Yeah. It costs a hundred and forty dollars. Ha. That's funny. You really thought I'd pay that much for a dress? Psht. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought twenty dollars worth of heather grey jersey knit fabric. (Grey t-shirt fabric for those unaware.) And I made myself a dress I based on that. Now. Mine isn't as sleak and hip and perfectly upscale like that one. But it's comfortable and I think it's pretty. I used lime green thread on all the visible seams. I love it. Others might find it cheap looking and tacky, but I think it's neat.

But as I delve deeper into the magical world of sewing, I find all these new terms that I've never heard of.

"Basting stitches? What? The only basting I know is, you know, roasting a chicken or turkey or something els in the oven and basting it to keep it moist. And I'm pretty sure that's not what you mean."

Seriously. I'm sooooo confused with all this stuff. I love it, but I'll find tutorials on how to make something, but I'm just so completely lost as to what they're talking about.

"Well. You take that one strip I told you about five lines ago and you fold it in half under the second bridge past the green house on a cloudy day the third Thursday of the month."

I've tried Googling. It doesn't help. Nobody expects beginners. Because yes, most beginners would be content going to the small, "Look! I sewed a -square-." Maybe. I don't know. I was never like that, though. I don't care if I'm a beginner at something. Doing beginner work bores me. It makes me -not- want to do something, then. Because it's so -easy-.

That's why I took AP Calculus my senior year. I was told I needed an elective. Just to fill an empty space in my schedule. I could have picked some slow blow-off class. But I didn't want to bore myself. I knew if I were bored, I'd blow it off. Because that's what I do. When something bores me, I stop doing it. I wasn't going to fail my senior year. So I opted for AP Calculus. Math has always come easy to me, so it wouldn't be too difficult, but it wasn't going to be so easy I got bored. And that's why I jumped straight into actual sewing of real garments. I just... need someone to guide me to explain, "This is what this means. You do this." And once I'm told that, psht, I've got it. But until someone tells me, I don't know.

Which is why I have a newfound appreciation for beginner cooks. Well. The ones that listen and actually comprehend. When I was in my Culinary Arts class, there were people there who'd never made scrambled eggs before. I first made scrambled eggs on my own when I was six. (Oh. In addition to not liking to do simple things, I liked to do things on my own. If I wanted food, I wanted to get it myself. I wanted to make it myself. I didn't want other people making it for me. In contrast, my oldest younger sister figures, if others can do it for her, why should she do it herself? She's the lazy one.)

There were people who didn't understand what folding meant. They didn't understand what kneading meant. Well. They understood. But they just kind of rolled the bread dough around and poked at it instead of actually kneading it.

They would wonder why I'd yell at them for using a metal fork to scrape something out of a non-stick pan, then complain later that their food was sticking to the non-stick pan. They didn't get that "chop as you go" meant to keep their boards and knives at their station for later. Just because there isn't anything to do for the next five minutes doesn't mean I won't need more later. They were the ones who started using all the rubber spatulas with non-stick pans because I yelled at them for using the metal utensils. Then they'd complain to me that the rubber spatula was melting. And so I'd yell at them again because I had already told them to use the -plastic spoons- not my rubber spatulas (I was designated pastry chef of the class). And then I'd hide my good rubber spatulas (the ones that weren't melted) and they'd use the plastic spoons (which weren't heat resistant, either, but they were more heat resistant than the spatulas) and then they'd complain that -those- were melting because they'd have the burner up full blast (commercial ranges are -hot-) and then leave the spoon in the pan. So they'd go searching for a rubber spatula but all they could find were spatulas that were already half melted (really.. half of it was gone) and they'd complain and I'd tell them they shouldn't be leaving utensils in their pans and they'd say that Rachel Ray does it and I'd tell them they weren't Rachel Ray. They didn't like me too much.

I didn't really like them, either. I didn't believe that I needed to hold their hand through everything. That explaining it one way should have gotten through to them. And now with sewing... I need someone to hold my hand. Because this explaining one way thing? I don't get it. It's not making much sense to me. I'm sure they understand it. And I'm sure it does make sense. But I'm apparently a visual learner. That's not to say that it has to actually be in front of me. But if I can see the words playing out in my head, I understand it much more than just the words themselves. And so many of these things.. the words just aren't creating the visual they are supposed to. So I don't get it. And I still need someone to hold my hand.

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