Thursday, October 13, 2011


So after fruitless FRUITLESS searching on the web for a construction worker safety vest for Starboy I decide: You know what, it's time to give up searching and just make the dang thing.

It was hot here--it had cooled to 86 indoors by 6pm-- and I wasn't getting anything done and Joann is air conditioned. Starboy was game because he really wants this vest. He's been pining for it since he saw one at Auntie Troi's in August. So I go to Joann and get some orange fabric and miraculously find the LAST package of reflective tape that is PERFECT for what I need, along with a thing of bias tape for the edges. Of course, I get off-track and also pick up some fabric for some bubble pants for Starboy and then he wants tractor pants, so I get some fabric for that, too (P.S. Do you know of a free pattern for flannel pants/PJs?). The entire store is a monologue by Starboy explaining that he "does not want (whatever I've just shown him) any more. Starboy just wants car pants." He is referring to at least four different hideous children's fabrics we pass by, none of which I'm willing to consider. Especially since I've already said OK to the tractor fabric that he is caressing like his first love and it says JOHN DEERE all over it. (This is not an exaggeration. The brand name is part of the pattern, all over the fabric.)

So, anyway, I come home and make a pattern out of a grocery bag and try it on him. The first one isn't great, the second one is close enough, and then he pitches a fit when I take it back. I start cutting everything out and he's all into everything he is SO EXCITED about this vest. He's into the pins and decides to pin his shirt (by stabbing himself in the belly, natural consequences, ha). He wants to drive cars on the reflective tape. I finally convince him to go to sleep so I can get the thing finished.

It's all going swimmingly with Grandma's loaner Bernina workhorse, and as I'm pinning the bias tape, I'm thinking: Hmmm. This is going to be tight.

So I get to the armholes, and loosely measure, and am relieved that I have JUST enough.

I sew the first armhole (this is the second real mistake here), and then I go to pin the first armhole, and through some miracle of stretchy, circular mathematics that my feeble, journalism-major brain did not anticipate, I have exactly FOUR INCHES not-enough of bias tape. Maybe less.

You know, the bias tape that I conservatively bought only one package for, because I was trying not to overdo it so I wouldn't look like a conspicuous consumer, as always.

The first real mistake.

And then I think, A-HA! I might have some from another project! I rifle around my very small sewing stash box and immediately come up with TWO packs of orange bias tape. And the colors are close! And I rip it open, and—it's single fold, not double fold. It just, totally, will not work.

So I get to drive 30 minutes round-trip on four-buck-a-gallon gas for a single pack of bias tape tomorrow. Because the whole vest is finished except for that 10-minute tiny bit. And because I saved myself $1.40 plus tax by not buying "too much" in the first place.


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