The Gathering Storm

Seriously though, is there some kind of award for blog post titles? I’m bloody good at them. I’ll cheerfully accept your nominations.

The time had come to actually start skirt assembly. The first problem I struck was with the gathering. As this skirt is basically one big gather, this was quite the problem. I tried all sorts of things, but the issue really came down to my sewing machine stitch length. Even the longest stitch is pretty short in the grand scheme of things. Also my threads kept snapping, which made me say unladylike things.

I’d started on the white because it was short, but was despairing of doing battle with this snappy thread thing for the other tiers. I then tried hand gathering, but come on now. Just… come on now. Giving up, I headed to Google where I found this tutorial on gathering with waxed dental floss. Oh. My. God. Works like a fucking charm, saved my sanity (shush you) and here we have a gathered and sewn purple/blue combo.

I’ve seen people roll out their final tier on a basketball court or something, and gather it up there. I, as it turned out, couldn’t be bothered doing that. Instead, I just gathered two purple squares at a time and pinned them to fit one blue square. I did this in batches of about 15ish blue squares. This was for a couple of reasons – one so I could start and end my threads properly and avoid sudden bobbin outage, also so I could break up the pinning and sewing into more manageable chunks. The main reason however is I just don’t own enough pins to do the whole tier at once. I could have bought more pins, but eh.

Everything was going really, really well. Just as I was about to go back to work for another shift I did a quick count of the remaining squares. I had ten blue, twenty purple left. Perfect. Exactly perfect. When I sat down again I found I had nine blue and nineteen purple. I do not know what happened. I’m going to assume gremlins, pixies or a blip in space time continuum.  If it makes you feel better, I went back and unpicked to fit everything together properly. That’s a lie I’m telling you, to make you feel better. I woodged it. It’s fine.

I started with the longest tier as a Dental Floss Conservation Method. I planned to remove the floss and reuse it on the shorter tiers, thereby saving floss and possibly the world. This would have worked, had I not ended up with loops of floss which I sewed all the over the place. The floss was ripped out as the seam was trimmed. It’s zig zagged, then trimmed because it’s a deep seam from the square joining allowance. I don’t have an overlocker, so it’s all manual because I’m hardcore.

Number of unpicking sessions: Just one, from when the blue folded up under itself and got all ridiculous.
Number of holes I need to patch: One. Small. From the unpicking. I am a violent unpicker.
Number of times I’ve rammed at least fifteen pins into my palm while adjusting things: At least a hundred.
Length of dental floss remaining sewn into the seam: Has to be at least 5 metres. At least the whole thing smells minty fresh.

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