Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Goofin' Off An Awful Lot

I'm taking care of my procrastination issues; just you wait and see! –As seen on Pinterest while procrastinating

By my reckoning, in the time that has elapsed since I finished the Sea Glass quilt, I should have had Grasshopper's Halloween costume finished and most of the rest of Paulette's Dresden quilted. But instead of the happy hum of the sewing machine, there's been an awful lot of procrastination going on around here.

My story goes something like this . . . after the big finish weekend before last I decided that I needed something a little mindless to work on, so I pulled out a really old Ph.D and fiddled around with that for a couple of days. When I could no longer reasonably claim that my brain needed rest, I decided to buck up and work on Grasshopper's costume. The problem with this is that I needed to make the pattern based on a set of instructions written using the metric system. {Sidebar: despite what they've been telling us since the 70's, I don't think it is likely that we're going to be switching anytime soon.} I ran all the numbers through a conversion chart, but pattern making/alterations is not one of my favorite things to do. I'm really not good at it. I can see what the lines should look like in my head, but I have a hard time making my pencil put those lines down on paper.

To make the process a little . . . easier {for lack of a better word} I thought I'd use the reference drawings in the instructions as a base and adjust them in my antiquated photo editing software {Microsoft Paint}. I sat down at my computer, full of pluck, and started looking at Halloween face paint. I wasted pretty much the whole afternoon filling up a pin board mostly with different sugar skulls {but in the non-Dia de los Muertos category, isn't this the coolest thing you've ever seen?}. I also found a really cute idea for nails and which resulted in a Halloween-y manicure.

And then I went back to puttering around with my Ph.D for a few more days. On Monday, with only 10 days until Halloween and an all-nighter lurking in my future, I buckled down and started work on the digital patterns, after I first made sure it wasn't going to cost and arm and a leg to print them out on oversize paper. It was a long and laborious process involving all kinds of funky math to convert between pixels and inches and centimeters, and reducing and enlarging by percentages as I adjusted and sized and re-sized the graphics. I worked on it from the time I got home from work until the time I went to bed on Monday night and then all afternoon yesterday. As a final test, I reduced the pattern pieces to the same scale so that they would fit on regular paper and made sure that everything fit together as it should. When they did {miracle of miracles!} I uploaded them to a copy shop and discovered that in my investigation into pricing I must have had the very smallest of the oversize papers selected because it was not the $1.79 per sheet that I'd thought, but a whopping $6.59 per sheet. At five sheets I about died when I saw the total. Trick or treat, indeed.

Mr. Bug commiserated with me and helped with alternate options; an opaque projector, transparencies, a digital projector, pencil and paper. All the time I'd already spent tweaking the patterns to perfection not withstanding, I was most concerned with distortion in the projections and absolutely dreading drawing out the patterns by hand. And that's where I left it when I went to bed last night.

This morning I still felt the same sense of dread {appropriate for Halloween, don't you think?}; none of the options was going to be pleasant. It came down to spending time or money to make this work out. I went with money since I'd already spent plenty of time. I stopped at the copy shop on the way in to work {hoping that the price for an in-person order might be slightly lower than an on-line order. It wasn't.} and left with a roll of patterns and a considerably lighter wallet.

When I got home from work, I was feeling less than excited about the prospect of cutting out the freshly minted patterns and wrangling 5 metres {5.46807 yards} of Princess Neon Blue Crushed Panne Velvet. Instead, I popped in at Pinterest, just to see if anything tickled my fancy. And it did. Pretty much all afternoon. What a waste.

On the upside, I've found my next manicure.


Paulette said...

Well, your Quilt Humor Pinterest board has filled in nicely. Thanks for the chuckles.

I always imagine that the fussy nail polish would last on me about as long as it takes to take the selfie, and I'd probably be wrecking a nail with the finger that does that part. Cute though.

Jill said...

I have almost always made my own patterns for Halloween costumes. But I usually start with an item of clothing they already own as the base for my pattern and then alter it to resemble the character the child would like to be. I cannot imagine thing to make costumes from written instructions/measurements.
Stay tuned to my blog for some upcoming sew and tell. This year has the most detailed selection...