May 032009

I think I may turn this into a series of posts, or even an entire site.  But I’ll start with one post about the basics.

First, an introduction. I learned to sew in 2006, shortly after I started dating the woman who is now my lovely wife.  Part of the reason I learned to sew was, to be honest, in order to find an interest that we both shared. But it’s now grown far past that; I sewed my entire outfit for Texas Renaissance Faire last year: a doublet with detachable sleeves, a high-collar, long-sleeve shirt, and a pair of fitted breeches (pants).  I’ve made several shirts, a couple of doublets, and at least 2 pairs of pants.  I’ve sewed several small pouches, and I’m currently working on a fairly ambitious laptop bag.  I’m not brave enough to commit to making an entire outfit that I’d wear to work, for example, but in my wife’s opinion, I apparently have the skills to do.

I decided to write this post (which as I said may turn into a series, or more) because I know there’s a stigma that sewing isn’t a manly thing to do, or that it’s women’s work, or that you must be gay if you like to sew and are male.  So let me set the record straight (no pun intended) from the start: I am a heterosexual male, I am married and have a child on the way, and I enjoy sewing.  The act of creating something with your hands, which you or someone else can then wear or use, is fascinating and deeply satisfying to me.

There are many speed bumps and deep pits on the journey from “that sounds like a neat hobby” to “check out this shirt that I just finished sewing”.  I’ll do my best to help you navigate around those pits, so that you too can experience the joy of creating something that isn’t made of electrons and doesn’t need to eat.  I’m starting today with what I consider the “basic equipment” needed to sew.  This is by no means an exhaustive list; it’s instead just the bare bones without which I would likely not start a project.  Read the full list, along with some crappy pictures that I took with my phone, after the jump.

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An update? What, is it June already?

 An update? What, is it June already?  General  Comments Off on An update? What, is it June already?
Apr 252009

OK, so I’m exaggerating a bit. I’ve just found that micro-blogging (and I don’t even do THAT too often most days) is easier then a full-on blog update. But I got jealous of Heather and Katelyn both posting updates in the same day, so I figured I’d follow suit.

So, what have I been up to since my last post? To be honest, I had to go back into the archives (and sift past all of the autoposts) to remember. And it looks like I’ve started (and done) a lot of stuff since my last post.

I cleaned up my “home office” several weeks ago. Cleaned out the closet, picked up all of the books that didn’t fit on the shelves, and put a lot of those same books up for sale on Amazon. I also REALLY cleaned up my desk; I got some new servers to replace the giant towers I’d been using, which cleared up a lot of foot room. I donated my two huge 17″ CRTs to the church garage sale, and picked up a 15″ LCD that’s connected to the two servers via KVM. I got a “laptop stand” (it’s a giant metal file box turned upside-down) to put my MacBook at a reasonable height.

All of this is in preparation for mid-August, when the baby comes. Yes, that’s right; if you read this blog and know me, and haven’t already heard, Heather’s 6 months pregnant right now, and we’re due August 11th. We’re having a home birth (and our midwife is excellent). But we’re going to need somewhere to put all of the “baby stuff” and this isn’t as big an apartment as it was when I was living alone. So we’ve decided to turn half of the office into a nursery, and separate it from my desk and the bookshelves with a room screen; we found a really nice one on for not too terribly much. I still need to get rid of the couch that’s in here (anyone want a blue & white striped love seat?) so we’ll have somewhere to put the crib, and I need to get rid of this extra desk and TV as well (ditto a 6-foot desk and 24″ SD CRT TV; any takers?), so we’ll have somewhere to put the changing table/dresser. And I need to clean up our storage unit, so that we can store the sewing table and a few other random pieces of furniture that’ve started collecting space.

I’ve also decided that I need a new laptop bag; my old one is still in near-perfect condition, but I don’t think it’s big enough for my tastes. So earlier this week when Heather was buying fabric for some new maternity outfits she’s making, I flipped through the McCall catalog (the patterns were on sale for 99¢) and found this one. This morning, we went back to Hancock’s, and I got some black canvas and navy twill. Based on the directions, it looks like it’ll take me at least two weeks to sew, if not a whole month (I tend to get distracted on the weekends some times). But in the end, I’ll have a nice big laptop bag, with lots of pockets. And nobody else will have one that looks the same.

Also: still fat (moreso than at any previous point in my life), started WeightWatchers again; “this time I mean it” (like I haven’t said that before). First goal is 275; end goal is 180 (but that’s at least 2-3 years down the road).