Busy as a sewing bee

That’s the trouble with being back at work, not as much time to do fun stuff like writing diary entries. However, I *am* getting quite a bit of reading done – no, not at work (though it’s tempting sometimes!), but in my lunch break (I find a nice quiet spot under a tree somewhere to eat my lunch and read a book – one of the nicest things about summer!) and while I’m waiting for the bus to and from work.

Phoned Mum on Sunday, and she’s agreed to make us some bookmarks for the convention goody-bags using her new rubber-stamping/card-making skills. I’ve given her free rein with the designs, so I can’t wait to see what she comes up with! I also suggested that she come over to Brisbane with me for the BC-AUS convention (assuming of course that Brisbane wins the vote, but they’re currently way ahead, so I think it’s a safe bet). She was totally surprised by the suggestion, but I think pretty keen on the idea. She’s not a Bookcrosser (yet!), so she might not want to come to all the convention events (though judging from Sydney (and our own plans for Christchurch), most of the events will be fun for non-Bookcrossers too), but I’m sure she’ll be able to entertain herself quite adequately at those times (hey, it’s Australia – there’s shopping!), and we’ll stay on for a few days after the actual convention to see the city properly (that’s one thing I learnt from Sydney – a Bookcrossing convention keeps you so busy you don’t have time for exploring!). I’m really looking forward to this trip already – I can’t wait for them to close the voting and officially announce a date for the convention so I can start looking at flights and hotels and stuff! I did have a minor panic that I wouldn’t be able to go at all, because everyone kept saying if the convention was in Brisbane it would be in July (to avoid the heat), and mid to late July is about the worst possible time for me to take time off work. But I asked Neesy, who is likely to be on the organising committee, and she said they were actually aiming for sometime in the Queensland school holidays, which are mid June – early July, which sounds much more doable – whew! I think lytteltonwitch is planning on going too, and she mentioned something about someone else being keen to go, so looks like we might have a large Kiwi contingent at BC-AUS this year.

Lytteltonwitch and I are having a sewing bee this weekend – she’s going to bring her overlockers over on Sunday, and we’ll get the goody bags made up. I cut out the material on Monday night, and managed to get the pieces for 45 bags out of the 15m I’d bought – probably way too many, but we can always put any spares aside for some future convention, or maybe sell them to people who couldn’t make it or something. I decided to make a start on the sewing last night – I thought if I had all the handles made up in advance, that would speed things up a lot on Sunday, because the handles will be the fiddliest part to do (because they need to be trimmed and turned after they’ve been sewn, whereas the bags themselves are just straight sewing, apart from overlocking the seams to tidy them up a bit). So I ironed and folded all 90 strips of calico (ending up with burnt fingertips after handling that much hot material!), and sewed down the lengths of them to make tubes… and discovered that my trusty old sewing machine (and when I say “old”, I mean it – it used to be Mum’s, and I think she got it for a wedding present, which makes it older than I am!) is seriously on its last legs – it coped ok for the first 40-odd bags, but then the tension started going weird – super-tight for a few stitches, then too loose for the next. I thought it might just be that the bobbin wasn’t wound evenly, but I checked and it was fine, and even when that bobbin eventually ran out, and I wound a new one (making sure it was perfect!), I still had the same problems. So I think it’s just getting too old and tired to handle such a big job anymore 🙁 (I’d love to use this as an excuse to buy a new sewing machine, but I can’t afford a decent one at the moment, and there’s not much point getting a cheap one that would fall apart in a few years anyway). Anyway, with much struggling, I managed to get all the handles sewn, but it’s just lucky that lytteltonwitch has two overlockers, because I don’t think my poor sewing machine will be up to the rest of the bag sewing on Sunday. So the job for the next couple of nights will be to get the handles trimmed and turned (and ironed flat again).

Currently reading: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

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One Comment

  1. Probably a useless suggestion, but have you tried a drop of sewing machine oil behind the bobbin mechanism? The only time my comparatively-young (16 years old) sewing machine ever plays up is when that area needs oiling.

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