They won’t be hiring me at the nearest Chinese sweatshop anytime soon

Surprise, surprise, I got a sewing machine for Christmas.  Which means that I’ve pretty much done nothing for the last few days except obsess over the user’s manual just to figure out how to thread the darn thing.

It only took me an hour.

And a nervous breakdown.

With eight inches of snow on the ground, we couldn’t get out for a couple of days to go fabric shopping, so I tore up an old bed sheet and practiced sewing crooked straight lines so that I’d be prepared for my first project.  My parents sent me a gift card to Jo-Anne’s for patterns and fabric and by Tuesday the roads were clear enough to get out and move about, so I spent a few minutes in the store picking out what I needed to make some long, crisp, cotton pajama bottoms.

I chose this fabric with ladybugs and daisies on it because don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower (name that movie) and also because ladybugs have this long-standing habit of sneaking up on Mr. CPQ and it cracked me up to think about him having to sleep next to them every week.

I laid the pattern pieces out and cut them incorrectly, something I discovered after I cut the fabric then called Heather, asking her what I should have done.  She told me it wasn’t a big deal and that I could just wing it, which pretty much sums up my entire life philosophy anyway, so I continued.

I did okay sewing up the inner seams, but some of the illustrations for the next steps were confusing, and I have always been a little spatially challenged so I called Heather again and she walked me through what to do but something got a little lost in translation over the phone and I ended up sewing the wrong seams together and creating knickers for a high-waisted Oompa Loompa.

So I became best friends with my seam ripper and tried again, and came out with something a little better.

And guess what?


I’m a happy Oompa Loompa.

Have a nice day.



29 responses to “They won’t be hiring me at the nearest Chinese sweatshop anytime soon

  1. You are a nut case! I’m literally LOL (as opposed to all those times I’ve said I was LOL and really just grinning ear to ear)! Movie? You’ve Got Mail. Oompa Loompa? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Please post more of your sewing journey. I’m loving it! Oh, by the way… I’m really tight with my seam ripper. I’ve tried many times to break off our relationship, but I’m terminally co-dependent…

  2. Yet, the pattern packaging says, “YES, it’s easy!”

  3. I’m impressed. I have similar skills with a machine. I have a machine but it hasn’t seen the light of day since we moved overseas. I just might pull it out this year.

    Happy 2011!

  4. Pants in general are hard! The crotch always felt wrong. Ha. You should have started with an apron. Home-Ec 101. I received an A- for my apron in high school because it would have “layed better had I made it a three pocket front instead of two.” Whatever. I gave up sewing after I made maternity dresses with my first. Just couldn’t look at it after that. Ha.
    Good for you! Looking forward to hearing about more projects!

  5. you cracked me up!! never know, oompa loompa could become the next fashion rage!

  6. you’ve got mail!!! I love it as much as bouquets of newly sharpened pencils 🙂


    And so excited about your christmas gift…almost as excited for the gift I got…I cordless glue gun…insanely excited about that.

    Anyway, your pj’s turned out awesome!

  8. so, so, so rad. love that you stopped to take a pic of take #1. I would have been in a puddle crying on the floor and would have nothing to show for it later.

    *high five for persistence*

  9. Atta girl!

  10. LOL…ROTF..LOL..
    You just made my day!!!

  11. thelumberjackswife

    Ha! Thank you for sharing! I can’t sew worth a darn. I can’t even thread a needle.

  12. If only you knew how many times I’ve done the very.same.thing! And yes, you became friends with your seam ripper.
    Obviously I have the gift of prophesy.

    What’s next? Skirts are pretty easy too…

  13. High-waisted Oompa Loompa. Snort.

    You did much better than I did on my first try. I wound up with giant clown pants.

  14. Yeah, but did you throw anything? I’ve never sewn anything without something hitting the floor or wall. And I’ve only sewn a couple things that weren’t…um…square! I’m very impressed with your pj pants. 🙂

  15. Impressive! I’m glad you didn’t stick with the MCHammer pants/OompaLoompa pants. They flatter NO ONE! 🙂

  16. Very impressive! I’ve not completed anything I’d have to wear (notice word choice: “completed”). I mostly do quilts. lots and lots and lots of squares. And a tree-skirt…..really dont recommend trying ruffles until you’ve got several projects under the belt.

  17. CAN’T TOUCH THIS. Dunt. Dunt-dunt-dunt.
    Hammer time!

    Here’s what you can spend your gift card on:
    Simplicity MC Hammer Pants Pattern

  18. I can recall holing up in the basement with my mom’s sewing machine in high school and pulling back proudly to look at my finished shorts only to realize I had sewn the crotch incorrectly! Oy! Clearly faulty instructions over the years!

  19. Your pj’s are adorable! Enjoy your sewing projects. I took a sewing class years ago at Joanne’s. I made a shower curtain. The teacher had a plastic tablecloth on the cutting table. I managed to cut my fabric and her tablecloth! Oops!

    Enjoy your machine! Happy New Year.

  20. I want to know all about your new machine! Your pj bottoms turned out great! If you have any questions, & Heather’s not available, give me a call. Sewing is one of the few things I know something about… from YEARS of experience. I made the girls “Little House on the Prairie” outfits for Christmas. So rewarding!

  21. I so love pair #1. I especially love that you photographed them.

    You go, girl!

  22. Your first pair of pants are hilarious! Pants always have the strangest instructions, in my opinion. What will you try next?

  23. A couple of things:
    1) I’ve been a terrible bloggy friend, but I’m fresh slating we shall see if I can keep it up past January 1.
    2) You’ve Got Mail.
    3) Daisies are my favorite flower because of that movie. But I liked freshly sharpened pencils before Kate ever said she did.
    4) I might have snort giggled over your MC Hammer pants when I saw them on FB the other day.
    5) I snort giggled all over again just now.
    6) I’m kinda hacked that you didn’t take a picture of yourself wearing that first attempt. Because that would have just been good fun.
    7) Happy New Year, friend.

  24. oh, this was SO funny! i was crying. yes. thank you for making us all laugh!

  25. LOL! Love the pjs. I’m SO EXCITED you got a sewing machine!!!! I can’t wait to see all the cool stuff you’ll create with it. 🙂

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