Before I launched into the sewing challenge, I had agreed to make uniforms for the local high school's winter percussion team. One of the people who runs the team is the son of a woman I've done a lot of sewing for in the past.
In the very far past, I made sleeves for the winter percussion when they did something with a mariachi theme. I made mariachi sleeves from a rented costume they let me use and saved them a ton of money while making a pretty penny myself.
When their original costume was backordered and wouldn't be sent until most of their competitions were already over, his mother told him to ask if I'd make them.
Here's what he showed me.
My first plan, after cutting off the sleeve, was to cut up the same side as the missing sleeve so I could completely open the shirt to sew on the stripes. I can't even tell you how much thinking it took before I figured out that would be the best way to do it. And it was!! Having the freedom of the open shirt to put on those stripes was fantastic.
When I was finished, I planned to jut serge up the sides and no one would know the difference.
My first attempt looked like this.
After internally bursting into tears (I had 22 of these things to make and now I'd have NO SERGER??? They'd look like total crap!) I tried to see if I could figure out the problem.
It was clear that #13 and #14 had somehow smashed into each other. #13 was currently what looked like stuck into #14 and there was no movement. They are supposed to glide by each other like scissors, never touching.
I was sure that meant my serger was kaput. It's almost 20 years old. I've never had it serviced because it never gave me any trouble.
I called the one place within an hour's drive that I know repairs machines and they put me in touch with the woman who specializes in sergers. Over the phone, she calmed me right down and said she thought it was something easily repaired and not to worry about it. It would take a couple of days but I should be back in business.
But then it snowed and she went away and had to order parts and ONE MONTH LATER I finally got it back.
If my serger hadn't taken a powder for a month during this, it would have been a breeze and not a lot of stress. Not knowing if I'd get them finished to my liking in time for their competitions really put a wrench into everything. When I finally did get my machine back, the timing was such that I had to work on them all in one day. Not exactly what I planned.
Figuring out what to do was kind of fun. Seeing them come together was kind of neat. I like doing these kinds of things because it's kind of fun to problem solve.
And everything if fine and dandy until the machines turn on us!
And now, what do I do with a million gold sequin scraps??
That paper in the background is my wild math. You probably shouldn't look at it. The number of shirts in each size kept changing because he couldn't find enough in each size and he cleaned out the local Joann, Michael's and AC Moore.