Friday, February 22, 2013

A Masochist's Guide to Sewing Bunting

Background: my darling cousin Jasmine decided to get married at my parent's house this March, as they have almost three acres and a gazebo for the ceremony and plenty of room for an outdoor reception. (Don't worry, it's Florida. Weather should be perfect but we're renting a tent just in case.) I volunteered to take on decorating the reception tent. On a budget. Oh by the way, this conversation went down in late January.

I decided the reception tent OBVIOUSLY needed bunting. I had a bin full of fabrics that I've had for years, waiting for that quilt I'll never make. What a perfect idea to sew bunting to hang in the tent! I can have it done in a week of evenings and then I'll work on centerpieces, I thought. HAHAHAHA. Please know that all of my sewing knowledge was imparted to me at age six by my grandmother when I used to make elastic skirts and sleeping bags for my Barbie dolls and at age twelve during a two week sewing lesson by my 7th grade Home Ec teacher. Everyone else in Home Ec made an apron, but I made a tote bag because I would only have to sew straight lines. So.

I made three cardboard triangle templates and began tracing with markers. Hours passed. Nights passed. To be fair, I did this while watching marathon TV shows, like Food Network Celebrity Cook-Off and Two Broke Girls. All the shows backed up on my DVR that didn't need a lot of attention to watch...

I stopped counting at 600 triangles. 
(I see triangles when I close my eyes. I dream of triangles. Triangles, triangles, triangles. I might be going crazy.)

But the triangles were pretty and vintage-y and I felt good about this. Three weeks in, and all. I decided that I wanted them different designs on each side, and I didn't want a wrong side to show. (MASOCHIST ALERT.) So I broke out the dusty sewing machine and randomly grabbed triangles, sewing them together on the long sides, wrong sides out. This took approximatley 65 hours and I wish I was kidding. (Lou Diamond Phillips won Celebrity Cook-Off if you were wondering, but I really though Coolio had it in the bag with his 'Ghetto Gourmet'.  Coolio, who knew you were such a great chef?)

I then turned all the triangles right side out and ironed them, creating millions of little flags. The internet told me that I should use bias tape to string them together but apparently the internet is a billionaire because that stuff was like $1/yard. I found some 2 inch thick indoor/outdoor ribbon selling for $6.99 for 100 yards instead. And bought three. 300 yards of ribbon. 900 feet of ribbon. What have I gotten myself into?

I cut a piece of ribbon about as long as the dining room table, fold it in half longways, and iron it. Then I pin my bunting flags inside, starting each flag every twelve inches. I don't know why I decided to measure THIS when I don't measure anything else; I guess it's because I love Jasmine so much and want her wedding to be beautiful. And evenly spaced. I then sew along the entire ribbon, attaching the flags and leaving a bit extra ribbon on the ends so I can go back and sew all the little ribbons together for one ginormous strand of bunting. I was in the groove tonight, almost finished with the first spool of ribbon (100 years!) but now I kind of want to cry. Ok, just kidding. I already cried.

My very old, very inexpensive sewing machine has broken.  The wedding is less than a month away.

Dear Universe,

Please help.


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