Bahama and Blankets

Just because you have “Bridal” on your business card does this mean a darn thing?

My neighbor who likes to wear trendy clothes asked if I could “fix” a recent purchase of his after it ripped on the first wearing. I said I would take a look and within a second he was reaching over our back fence with his sad Tommy Bahama silk shirt. It ripped right in the center of the yoke where it joins the embroidered back panel. Once I opened it up this is what I found:

  You can see where the fabric just gave away and left only the vertical warp threads of this delicate silk. I sure did not want to just sew it lower down and cause the back panel to be pulled up into the yoke and give the man a Quasimodo back to his shirt so fusible interfacing to the rescue:  

With an inch wide strip cut lengthwise for extra stability and no stretch this should give a nice backing to protect the frayed edge and prevent it happening again. Next I pinned this section to the inside yoke facing:  and then placed the outside yoke over the stitching line and topstitched through all 3 layers.   The finished project looking like nothing ever happened in the first place:

So next time your man thinks he needs a $120 silk shirt to swan around in, go ahead and buy one but ask the guy to at least pull his shirt up in the back when he sits down or this may be his fate…a little stress on silk will cause it to tear horizontally.

Also this week I got a call from a little baby voiced girl who said she “had made a blanket for her skateboarding boyfriend and her friend’s sewing machine broke just when she was ready to sew up the ends of the blanket” and could I quote her a price. She said it should only take 5 minutes…well 5 minutes might run $3 so she said “Awesome, I will be right over.” Now you all are ready for the project, right?

Guess what walked in the door?

To start with she had purchased a polyester queen sized flat satin sheet in red and had skateboard logos screen printed on it. Then she bought a black polyester queen satin sheet for the back and finally a roll of batting to go inside. Along with this collection of great potential was 3 yards of black polyester satin fabric from JoAnn’s with a drawing of the finished measurements on a scrap of paper from the fabric cutter on duty. Can you guess what was next? She says all I have to do is cut all four of the 9 inch wide satin binding strips, sandwich the batting inside the 2 satin sheets, attach them somehow and attach the binding and embroidery her name in one corner….all in 5 minutes…simple, no?

Never mind, that I have NEVER made a quilt nor have any desire to do so, so I guessed at a price and time…what a joke. This was going to turn out to be one of those life lessons I hate to keep learning over and over. The next day I decided I should call a friend, Sandi Benfield, who makes quilts day after day and she told me about laying all this flat and making tacks every 9 inches or so to hold the sandwich together and how she wished she could help but didn’t get down unto the floor anymore. She may have muttered a “God Bless You, you fool” under her breath but was encouraging and said I was a brave girl working with slippery satin on satin and no prior knowledge of what the hell I was doing.

That afternoon I spread all layers across my sewing room floor and knelt on the layers and put safety pins every 12 inches or so where the tacking might occur to keep the batting from bunching up during washings. Thinking about a skateboard adolescent I doubted whether it would EVER be washed in it’s lifetime. Once the pins were intact, I rolled the whole mess up into a tube and realized this was just a bridge too far.

The next day I cut four 9 inch wide strips 108 inches long for the binding. Choosing NOT to miter corners I decided to sort of make a frame instead doing the long edges (108 inches) and enclosing those with the short ends (92 inches) and topstitching after attaching from the wrong side and flipped to the right side. Did you know that batting inside 2 layers of satin like to bunch up as you sew??? OH MY, I sure did lots of controlled holding and sewing and swearing to keep everything flat and in the end this was the result:

Lovely isn’t it….nice thick binding with no puckers fit for a juvenile male. Here is a close-up of the embroidery:

What else has passed through my front door this week??? Two new brides, an opera singer with 2 dresses, a policeman needing a quilted lining for his flak jacket and more bridesmaids along with custom sewing from scratch…whew… what a start to the summer season!

Her’s hoping that you avoid ANY slippery satin fabrics this week or slippery clients!

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18 Responses to Bahama and Blankets

  1. prttynpnk says:

    Oh, lord please don’t let him look at another girl at the quickie mart and they break up and she sets fire to it on the hood of his nova…..that would be just too much!

  2. mrsmole says:

    The path of true love is never smooth is it? Seeing as this girl works at a Little Caesar’s Pizza take-out she may meet another Prince Charming in the near future…who knows what fate holds!

  3. Sandi B. says:

    Mrs Mole, It’s a good thing you have a sense of humor about this and I know that next time you will
    definitely ask more questions, right? Glad I was able to help HEHEHE!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Sandi, you and your dear repairman/knife and scissor sharpening husband just make my day! Just hope this type of project finds me again!

  4. Alethia says:

    (Wiping the tears from laughing so hard!) ~ “…all you have to do is….!” UGH! If I had a dime for every time I heard that I wold probably be a millionaire, lol! They all think it ONLY takes 5 minutes.
    Next time you get that, rent 5 minutes out to them, let them use your machine, and let her finish it herself. Then, let’s see if the story is the same.
    People honestly do not realize all of the hard work that goes into working with any project. She wasted her 5 minutes already when she stepped foot into your studio and pulled out the fabric to show you the project. Better yet, she wasted 5 minutes of your time when she called you for a consult. If I haven’t said it once, I’ve said it a dozen times, TIME IS MONEY!
    Ooooo, that makes me mad every time I hear that…..
    Oh, that’s your project and your customer, hee-hee! I think I had a flashback for a moment there, LOL!!!
    As for my own projects, I’ve taken in about 4 pieces to make for one of my repeat clients.
    I’ll get started soon. I took a day vacation away from DB. Now, I’m ready to go again!
    Don’t stress yourself out with the ton of projects you have on the table.

    Happy Sewing!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks for the boost, Alethia! All we can do is keep our heads down and keep on stitching. Taking one day off can throw you for a loop!
      Here’s the real kicker….the girl wanted the blanket finished ASAP and moaned when I said it would take me a week. When I called her today to say it was ready, three days early, she was very excited and then said she did not have the money until the end of the week…I’m charging so little, just 1.5 hours, that she didn’t even have enough to cover the labor…go figure.

      • Alethia says:

        LOL! I am not surprised. That’s ALWAYS how it turns out. They rush you, then they don’t come pick up there stuff on time, ugh!!!!! That’s the very reason I started charging up front, or I take half pymnt. and tell them they must pay the other half before they can collect their items. NO PAY~ NO WEAR!!!
        You hate to be like that, but like Elle C, said, these non-sewers have no respect for time. They ALWAYS think it just takes “x” amount of time or it’s so simple ( to them~ even though they can’t sew) that it shouldn’t cost that much. WRONG!
        That’s so irritating to me, ugh!
        I’m sorry, no scratch that~ I’m not sorry, but when I encounter people like that or I think they may be a problem, they or gonna make it worth my while or leave~ I charge an extraordinary fee and leave it to them. If I know I don not want to deal with their foolery, then I decline the project. I tell people I am not a sweat shop working and I am worthy of the work I do.
        I guarantee you , if one of them was propositioned by there boss to take a cut in pay, just to “take one for the team”, they would have a fit because they feel like they earn every penny they work for and some. Am I right?
        LOL!! On my soapbox again~ so sorry!

  5. Caroline Bleil says:

    Nice job for a greenhorn, Mrs Mole!

  6. Elle C says:

    OMG. I am visualizing what that “blanket” would have looked like had she tried to finish it. It will keep me giggling for days. Why do people who don’t sew have a skewed idea of time? Cause lets face it, they all do. Everyone who has ever asked me to sew anything for them always says it will only take ____ minutes, when in reality it is more like ____ hours.

    You are a far better person than I, I would have gently and kindly shown the young woman the door.

    • Alethia says:

      I like the sound of that, Elle C….” I would have shown the young woman the door.”

    • mrsmole says:

      I guess I felt sorry for this little girl wearing a pizza t-shirt and covered in tattoos….also I had had house guests for 3 days and my brain was fried.

  7. Alethia says:

    I meant to say in my first post that I took a seven day vacation…. oh well.

    • mrsmole says:

      Seven whole days? Wow you must have had a load of stuff just waiting for you!!! Between regular work at the store and private work at home that makes June pretty well filled!

      • Alethia says:

        Well, I too the 4 projects in during my vacation~ they are not due until the end of July!
        But, I got a nice surprise when I returned to DB, the girls really worked and everything was in order. It made me feel so good to not have to come back to a workroom in disarray. I have 7 girls working for me and they are great!
        I told them I should’ve spent another 7 days away if I had known it was gonna be like this.
        This has been one of my best times of rest and relaxation, no sewing or anything.
        I am refreshed and booted up for what’s ahead. :)

  8. Alethia says:

    …not in disarray. Heehee!!

  9. Darla in PA says:

    Bless you, Mrs Mole for taking on the blanket job and only charging the young lady 1.5 hours for doing it. I know that took much longer to accomplish than that. Although. you should probably let her know what the real price is for future reference. It just turned out very well.

    • mrsmole says:

      She did come yesterday to get it and was floating out of here. She said it looked better than she could have imagined and hoped it didn’t give me any trouble. I just explained it took way longer and she should not tell anyone I did it. File it under “sympathy or charity sewing” along with a long list of life lessons…ha ha. I’m sure you have many of those too, Darla!

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