The Selfish Seamstress has been blogging for a little less than two months now, but although she is new to blogging, and relatively new to seamstressing, she’s quite the seasoned expert at being selfish. It wasn’t too long after I began sewing in earnest that I noticed the pattern- things I sewed for myself got finished quickly, and things for anyone else dragged on a bit. Quite soon after I noticed this, I quipped to Dan that I was going to start two lines of clothing, one called “Selfish” that would include all the things I made for myself, and one much much smaller line called “UOMI” which would consist of the things I made for other people (Get it?  Get it?  Sound it out.)

Not long after, Dan surprised me with some adorable clothing labels that he designed:

Some of the spelling got lost in the translation, but cute, right?  Needless to say, I have far more of the YUOMI labels left than the Selfish ones :)

Of course, the last outstanding big piece of holiday S.W.A.G. is the brown cotton velvet sportcoat for Dan.  The one I started in 2007.  And when I say, “outstanding,” I don’t mean “spectacular” but rather, the last remaining project thing that will not die, as in “outstanding balance” or “outstanding debts.” And debt it is indeed.  This the price I pay for having a sweet-natured partner who surprises me with things like clothing labels he designed himself for no special occasion whatsoever.  He’s sneaky, that one.

The sportcoat and I have fallen into an uneasy, uncomfortable relationship. It’s like that person at work who gets on your nerves but you never talk about it.  Every interaction with the sportcoat is frustrating, and everything about it irritates the crap out of me.  I’m generally a pretty laid-back seamstress- usually nothing ruffles my feathers when I’m sewing. If I have to unpick something, I have to unpick it, no big deal.  But the sportcoat has found a way to push every one of my buttons.  NOTHING has gone right with this project. Tonight, I sat down grudgingly with it and tried once again to set in the sleeves:

On average, each sleeve has been set about 3-4 times.  I reshape the cap and trim.  I baste and pick and rotate and baste and pick and repeat.  I stitch and steam, and kick the walls and scream and yank them back out again. I swear at myself for not having opted a nice cooperative wool and blow loose velvet lint out of my respiratory tract.  And now, after having spent every last ounce of patience and a fair bit of impatience as well, I have decided that if I don’t settle for mediocrity, Dan will get a very unflattering baggy brown velvet sleeveless tunic.  So this is about as good as it’s going to get:

Sigh.  It’s puckery. It’s hard to press.  Here’s my rope and I’m at the end of it.  If anyone has any clever ideas about this (strangely enough, I have made cotton velvet jackets in the past for myself in which the sleeves settled in quite nicely on the first try – just goes to prove my point about sewing for others being a futile waste of time!), please feel free to share them.  I refuse to negotiate further with the brown velvet albatross, but I’m sure your tips and tricks will come in handy once I’ve gotten back to sewing things for my sweet, beloved ME.