It must be fun to be a seamstress

Yes, this is what my clients ask me all the time…it is fun most of the time making fitting alterations and making women beautiful in their clothes but there are some days when it isn’t.

I was going to continue with the British robe sage but this just fell into my lap yesterday and I had to get it off my chest.

I got a call from a lady who wanted to bring her mother-in-law’s coat over to be hemmed as she was going to a wedding in Lake Tahoe, NV and needed it in 2 days. It was a quick job so I agreed and it was delivered yesterday…the first thing I noticed was the fabric.

Does anyone remember back in 1970 the fabric industry came out with some foamy type of fabric made into robes and hotel blankets and we all had to have them? The only problem was the robes could not get near a heat source or they would melt and the blankets were never warm, just foamy. Well, lo and behold, this coat was made from that same wonderful attempt of modern chemistry to promote yet another petroleum product into a wearable garment. Under the lining I could see that this foamy fabric was backed by yet another innovation…foam back woven interfacing. How clever!

So after I measured and chalked the new hemline I started to cut off the excess fabric by 4 inches and the nightmare began. Pouring forth from the cut edge was 40 years of disintegrated foam backing and foam fabric and in less than 30 seconds I had growing mounds of orange sawdust piles on my ironing board. The more I cut, the more piled up and then I thought the only way to control this was to get it to the serger and seal up this edge. Carrying the coat across the room brought back bad memories of toting a sick child with projectile vomiting to the bathroom. Looking back there was a trail of this orange stuff and at that point some swear words began to flow. If only the camera was handy I could have captured the cups and cups of foam remnants spread from one end of the sewing room to the other.

Once the serger had done it’s magic and sealed the edges the next thing was to try and vacuum and suck that nasty stuff up off the carpet and ironing board. One thing my clients always get in a ziplock bag is their scraps to take home so naturally all this was added to the bag as a reminder of grandma’s coat droppings.

So fellow sewers, if you ever come across a garment with this label or these seams….run as fast as you can….

As an added footnote to this horrible project, the pins I used to hold the hem up to hand sew were coated with the same residue of foam. Last week I bought a small bottle of GooGone and didn’t realize it would come in handy so quickly!

Hope your sewing adventures are less messy!

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