Sensual Saturday: The Basting Stitch

From December 2014:

Because I am a bigger girl (and on a budget), it has not been easy to find fetish wear, especially for my little side. This summer I took to sewing again after many, many, many years away. I have made me a couple of costumes that people loved. To the point that with one of my sisters, we are thinking of starting a new business making and selling plus size fetish wear and lingerie.

But the past couple of weeks, I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew with my 50s style red satin Christmas dress. The cream jacket that goes with it…well, (blushes) I pulled a Scarlett O’Hara on that one. My ex-husband asked me to shorten some curtains he had bought. I cut off about half a meter of each of the four panels…almost two meters of beautiful cream material. I offered to make him cushions but he said no. But it was too pretty to just throw away (something I rarely do anyway). So it became a fitted 50s style jacket. And while it is lined with cream colored satin material, it is not big deal because no one sees the lining. I made that jacket in a single morning.

I have not been so lucky with the dress. Granted I am trying to sewing it on an older machine that is very very basic. I really need something that has adjustable pressure feet and the satin stitch, but that is on the Santa list. Until then, I need this done. I wanted it finished for Thanksgiving on Thursday. And it is still sitting unfinished in my sewing box…and I am left hoping for the Christmas party at the special needs center that my daughter goes to the following Saturday, except I have her dress to make before then too.

One of the biggest issues has been getting the hem right on the full circle skirt…hemming those things are a &itch. I tried using the trimming like the pattern called for…and ended up having to cut off two inches of the skirt. Then I tried bias tape…and pinning it. I burnt the tape and scorched the material a bit. In the end, I did something I had not done since I took sewing classes in 7th grade (do NOT even ask how long ago that was)…I basted the damn thing. You know what…when I sat down at the machine and sewed, it came out perfectly…first time.

Why did I not baste it the first time? Why do I skip that step and try pinning shit even when the instructions call for it? Because it is tedious and takes time. Why spend half an hour hand sewing something that you are going to rip out? Because it will keep you from making bigger mistakes when you sew it. It will save you the pain of ripping out stitches that were wrong or worse yet throwing away whole pieces of material and starting again.

But me…I have NO patience. My blessed sister keeps telling me to slow down…to have patience. And I keep reminding her that I am water. I must always be moving and growing or I will stagnate and die. So basting for me is truly hard work. Slowing down enough to hand sew those huge stitches that I know will be pulled out once the ‘real’ ones go in. It makes no sense sometimes…but it is what you absolutely positively must do when working with material like silk and satin.

IMG_2550
Not my Christmas dress but satin all the same.

And that taught me something about what has been ristmas wrong with mine (and lots of other) relationships. We do not spend enough time basting it with friendship, taking the time to get to know one another deeply and intimately before we begin sewing. We just quickly iron it and stick a few pins in there to hold it in place…if we even bother with that. You know what that shit can work with dating…cheap cotton. But with precious materials like marriage and long term relationships…you MUST baste it. Otherwise, you will end up going back and ripping out stitches, cutting off two inches of the skirt. Or worse yet, throwing away precious material.

I will finish this Christmas dress…because I have learned the value of basting. And next time I am working with satin or silk I know to leave the pins in their box and pull out the needle and thread instead. Taking the time to baste is the only way to go. And if my beloved goddess should ever find me worthy again of another chance at that special garment of REAL love that I crave…I know now to baste it too, to take the time to get to really know this person, to demand they be as transparent with me as I have always been with my partners, to only offer my love to my best friend.

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