Friday, March 20, 2009

Hello Again, It's Been A While: Vogue 8405*

So I pick up the phone to call Vogue Fabrics. Just to check in on my hat-making class on Sunday. Last I heard there was no one in the class. So I'm fully expecting to cancel the class. You know, just double-checking, checking it off my Friday list of things to do. I punch the Vogue Fabrics number, which I don't know really by aorta. Really, what's in the sense of memorizing numbers that are programmed into my cell phone but not my landline?
"Vogue Fabrics."
"Is this the business office?"
"It is."
"Oh, is this Evelyn? Hi."
She responds likewise. Nice lady.
"I'm just checking in on my hat-making class. How many sign-ups do I have?"
I'm just stunned, like I'm just been told I've won Lotto when I didn't buy a ticket.Blindsided! A week or so ago, last time I caught up with Evelyn, there was no one was in my hat class, but there were two in my leggings workshop. People have their priorities in order these days: learn how to make something that covers the legs, who cares about the head?
"Three people are in my class on Sunday?"
I didn't know this. In fact, if I hadn't called for a status report, where would I have been on Sunday afternoon? Yes! Vogue Fabrics, minus my hat and supplies, working on yet another pair of panties. It takes a moment or two to digest this information. I realize I'm not prepared just yet to teach millinery. Yes, I have the pattern, but I haven't made the hat. I thank Evelyn, hang up the phone. Sheesh, now I'm going to have to spend the better part of tomorrow getting ready to get my hat on Sunday. Yipes.
This means I will need to buy hair canvas, a first in my short life. I will have to cut pattern and fabric....and sew on my machine. At home. All by lonesome, not with a throng of women perusing the pattern books at Vogue outside my classroom door. Can I say I love my Viking Husqvarna, just not sewing at home in my dusty office? Really, can I say that to you women who love nothing more than to sew in silence away from your children, spouses, and various pets? You probably lock your door just to keep the various live creatures at bay. Me? I invite the dust mites inside, and I happily sneeze as they come right on in. Aaachoo, aachoo, aachoo, bless you for stopping on by! For those of you thinking, "Why don't you just bring your machine to Vogue?" Honestly, I'm not about to truck my personal machine to Vogue either, because they have the same exact product there. It's beyond dumb to schlepp my slightly outdated sewing machine, when they've got the latest models there already plugged into the wall. Another thing: I can't just drop into the classroom any old time...sometimes another teacher is there. Can't interrupt, you know.

I did say I'm a deadline sewer in a previous post, so I guess this means I must live up to my word, but it's all good. Really! This last-minute news gives solid purpose to my Saturday. No leisurely browsing on the Internet at 7 a.m.. No dawdling, no drawing, no dandering, no no no! Hair canvas, lining and petersham, oh my! And sewing, which I swear I'm only going to do with a Guinness at my side tomorrow (look: ace seamstress Mac Berg fully supports drinking while sewing, so if she says it's all right, it's A-OK. ) Besides, a four-pack of Guinness is on sale at Dominick's. Now, they're not cold brewskis, so I'm going to have to get some in the morning, get 'em in the fridge, so they're ready when the Viking shivers awake sometime tomorrow afternoon before I go dancing at the Battle of the Bands. I will limit my drinking while sewing to one, maybe two pints, but I'm not driving to the big Swing-dancing event, so I will not be endangering anyone except my long fingernails (which I've known to accidentally snip while I'm cutting fabric. Better that than my actual digits, you know?).

And if I don't finish the hat, that's ok. My students just need to be able to see some of the construction. Look, all hats are basically alike when it comes to making 'em. Some things never change, and millinery is one of them. That said (and you're fully entitled to say, "So what's the point of taking your class then, lady?"), there are some finer points that are difficult to learn outside of hands-on instruction. Like sewing the petersham on so it's looks like an elf did it. Or assimilating the difference between grosgrain and petersham ribbon, and why you even want the stuff inside your hat (basically it acts as a sweatband).

Back to my newfound dilemma: As long as I read and understand the Vogue 8405 instructions and have something tangible to show my students (and offering them fresh cookies never hurts), my workshop will be go well. Oh yeah, I need to wear a hat, and take pictures of the finest hat on the Vogue Fabrics premises. I'll pack up the goods Sunday morning, dress appropriately and I'll be ready to play teacher in the afternoon. I promise I will not be hung-over, the swing-dance crowd drinks water, not alcohol on Saturday nights. Yeah, we're kind of weird that way.

* This is an out-take from a photo session yesterday, outside in the cold. Read the fine print on the instructions from the folks editing the Craft Corps book that they don't want head-shot photos taken with a colorful background. So instead of pitchin', here it is.

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