Sunday, 13 June 2010

The rebellious seamstress

You know the saying Life is too short to make peg bags..? Yes?

Well actually that isn't really a saying, I just made it up. But if it were a saying it would be a jolly good one.
Anyway, life really IS too short to make pegbags. But I like to take up those few useless seconds that I would otherwise squander on drinking wine, daydreaming and writing a bestseller. Besides, when your peg bag gets to looking like this, drastic measures are needed.

So I get some of this (impossibly thick, fades easily, and which coincidentally is exactly the same covering as our futon cover):

And some of this (bright orange and smooth with lumpy velour leopard patterns on it):

To make one of these:

And yeah, I know that the flower isn't even, and the sewing is wonky and, well just don't look too close. But it does function as a peg bag. It holds pegs slightly better than a carrier bag would and may have a slightly longer life-span. What more can you ask for?
Of course if Carlsberg made peg bags they would make peg bags like this. Actually they'd probably make beg bags that looked like cans of Carlsberg (never one to miss out on a promotional opportunity). But you get my drift.

I was never born to be a seamstress. At least not a conventional one. Let me give you a few reasons why...

1) I never use a pattern. Well I've bought loads and I have used one once. But once in 40 years doesn't count.

2) I never buy material. Unless you include the pennies I give the scrapstore for their eclectic bundle of offcuts. Well actually I did buy some material once, and that was to go with the pattern that I used, once.
3)The material that I do acquire is always completely useless for making anything that anyone sensible might want to or need to make. You know, I go for the weird, quirky, wacky stuff. The stuff that is too thick (needle-breaking) or too thin (needle-skidding) or just too damn shiny/bright/small/furry/glittery/boring/patchworky/skinny/fraying/odd-looking to be made into anything.
I choose material by looking at a pile in the scrapstore and going 'Ooh that looks like a tarts underwear, I'll have some of that' and 'that looks like a shredded piece of chainmail, I'll have some of that' and 'that would glow really well under UV light, I'll have some of that'.
You see my problem?
4)I never use the right thread. I mean I never use the right colour thread. Because if I've managed to find 10 minutes and a small space on the table in which to haul my machine out, then the last thing I want to be doing is running out to the shop to buy the right colour thread. If it goes through my machine without my machine jerking to a halt or spewing bundles of thread-spaghetti from under the needle, then I'll use it. So what if I'm using black thread on white material I LIKE CONTRAST!
5) And I can't be faffed with winding bobbins. So if the only bobbin with anything on it happens to be bright orange, then bright orange it is. Of course it goes without saying that this bobbin thread never matches the top thread, but there is an advantage in this: it lets me know (in bright orange) when the tension is wrong and the bobbin thread is coming up in big loops on the 'best' side of my sewing. It's not always orange. Sometimes it's purple. And on rare occasions it has been red.
7) I don't change my needle unless it breaks. But because I often use the inpenetrable furnishing material, my needle breaks at least once a year and so I probably change it as often as more conscientious sewers (that's people who sew, not those victorian pipes for chanelling your doo doo from your chamber pot to the English Channel).
Oh and I only ever use those needles labelled as being for 'jeans material'. Well, my logic goes that if the thick needles will go through thick stuff, they will also go through the thin stuff, so why buy a different set of needles for the thin stuff? (seamstresses all over the world will be turning in their little seamstressed coffins now)

6) I don't look after my machine. Once or twice a year it comes out onto the table. At regular intervals during sewing I blow the fluff from out of the bobbin compartment because otherwise the bobbin jams up. Often I bemoan the fact that it needs oiling and it's rattling so much that the table is vibrating. I remember that I still haven't replaced the bulb, so I can't actually see what I'm sewing. Then I put the cover on my machine (which is torn and needs replacing) and put it away for another 6 months.
8) No matter how often I ask for advice about sewing, I'm either too impatient, too arrogant or too damn lazy to take it. Am I bovvered? Probably not. But next time I ask you for advice, maybe you should just come over and do my sewing for me.


Lou said...

My peg bag looks like exhibit 1 also!! Good idea, my daughter would love peg bags to hide all her clutter in..... hmmmmm 'Changing Rooms' moment I fear!

Big mamma frog said...

I think peg bags could be the modern solution to the storage problem. Stick everything in 'em and then hang outside on the washing line where you don't have to look at the clutter!

MadameSmokinGun said...

Use a tumble dryer for gods' sake Pegs are for coffee and frozen peas. And child torture obviously - for the kids, by the kids....

I'm just jealous really. I am a sewing machine killer. Currently on my 4th. Not on speaking terms.

And my peg bag is a pinny/bag. Looks sad but I don't have that 'where's the bloody peg bag gone?' trouble. Instead I just lose the phone in it for days on end.

Anonymous said...

You make that look so easy, Big Mamma! You ARE a born seamstress in my book.
I have a plastic peg basket, which tells you everything you need to know about how 'creative' I am.

Big mamma frog said...

Ah MSG, but I like pegging things out. When I used terries nappies for the babes it wasn't anything to do with being eco friendly, it was just so I could peg up lines and lines of white terries squares (except that they were usually more cream-coloured with yellow patches).

And pegs are also very handy if you have a spaniel and are fed up of picking dog food out of his ears.

MadameSmokinGun said...

Too much information

Big mamma frog said...

Well, I'm not let out alot, you know...