Search This Blog

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Airport Epiphanies

Generally, I think that viewing other people as individuals, rather than representatives of some group, is a sound idea.  Don't judge a book by it's cover, you know what happens when you assume, etc.  However, I sometimes often fail to live up to my idealized vision of myself, and in the interest of self-improvement, I'm coming clean about my failure to see one group of people in particular as individuals:  Other People at the Airport (henceforth OPA)

OPA are nothing but obstacles to things I want in the airport.  When they're ahead of me in the security lines, I just know they haven't flown since sometime in the 1990's and will be completely clueless about all things TSA.  They will have worn knee-high lace-up boots and scattered twenty containers of liquid toiletries throughout their carry-on, rather than putting them in a quart-sized bag.  They will also hog all of the bins.  Because of them, I will miss my flight, or at least not have time to buy food before it.

When OPA get coffee in the airport, I just know they will spend ten minutes crafting the perfect order.  This will spiral into even more time as the barista stops everything to make said specialty order.  They will cause me to forgo my beverage or miss my flight.

I can't speak for male OPA, but female OPA are problematic even in the restrooms.  When they get ahead of me in line, I just know they will inexplicably park themselves in the stall for the next twenty minutes, and probably pee on the toilet seat before finally leaving.

And of course we know that once we finally get on the plane, it's those awful OPA who have hogged all of the overhead bin space.

I laughed when I realized how I was generalizing about all OPA, but then I someone else, I am OPA, the imagined obstacle between the airport and the final destination.  In the future, I'll try harder to be nice in the airport so as to improve the image of our downtrodden group.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I Think The Calendar Misled Me

I thought it was spring, but this is by far the most snow we've gotten this year.  I won't complain, though, since it gave me a day off.  My rule for winter weather is that it either needs to be eventful enough to get me out of doing something (usually that something is going to work at this point in my life), or it shouldn't happen at all.  I've never really bought into the idea of snow being beautiful, and spend a lot of time griping when it makes my commute cold and slippery.  It's been a very odd winter here, and I wouldn't necessarily rule anything out, but I have to think this will be our last major (I am fully aware that this term is relative) snowstorm of the year.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Making Pants Is A Lesson In Patience

I've mentioned my foray into sewing at least a couple of times on this blog.  I also recently mentioned some of my pants-fitting problems.

I know I'm not unique in my pants woes.  I've heard and read complaints by women of all ages, shapes, and sizes about the problems of finding reasonably flattering jeans, in particular.  Some women find a budget brand that works reasonably well with their body; others feel compelled to shell out for designer varieties in order to not feel self-conscious in their own clothing.  The trouble with pants in general (and maybe jeans in particular, due to the material used) is the number of body parts they have to fit.  There is a lot of room for problems with both appearance and comfort.  Where my problem comes in is that I am confined to the small subset of women's pants that have a 36" inseam.  From there, I have to try to find a pair that works reasonably well with my waist, hips, etc.

For all the reasons that it is difficult to buy pants that fit well, it is also difficult to make pants that fit well.  But given the rather small selection of ready-made pants I have to choose from, it seems like a good skill for me to try to master.  I've had what one might call incomplete success with pants-making in the past.  I made a couple pairs of drawstring pants that I liked as a teenager, but I don't think those make the best work clothes now.  More recently, I made a pair of wide-legged pants (only wore once, as they were clownishly wide-legged), and a pair of slim-fit pants (only wore once, as the mystery fabric I used to sew them became weirdly baggy throughout the day).  I decided to try again recently, using the wide-legged pants pattern (but making the legs more narrow to avoid the clown look) and using a higher quality fabric.

I started out by re-tracing the wide-legged pants pattern and making the legs a smaller size than my waist and hips.  I basted them together to test fit, and they were still ridiculously large.  Oddly, the fabric was really pooling in the back leg pieces.

I ripped out some of the basting stitches, took an inch off each of the back leg pieces, re-basted, and tried the pants back on.  It was an improvement, but still pretty clownish.  I ripped out the basting stitches again, and took two inches of width off of each back leg piece.  I re-basted, tried them on, and decided this was an acceptable fit.  Back to the sewing machine to sew and finish real seams.

I then constructed a waistband from the pattern pieces that came with that pattern.  I sewed it to the pants, and--just for kicks--decided to try it on again.  Good thing I did because the waistband was just not going to work--the waistband curve was completely wrong for my proportions.  I put it aside and sulked for a couple days.

It finally occurred to me that the waistband from the slim-fit pants that I sewed from mystery fabric fit me pretty well.  I new waistband pieces from that pattern, sewed them together, and put that waistband on my pants.  Success (at least comparatively speaking)!

The final patience-tester of these pants was botching cutting open the buttonhole for the hidden button closure (I put a lot of Fray Check on it, and am hoping for the best).  But they are done now, and I can say that I did everything I could to ensure that these are pants I will want to wear.  Sadly, my photography skills turned out to not be up to the task of providing a decent picture of this triumph, but I'll try wearing them to work later this week and let that be the test of my pants-making skills.  Whatever happens, though, much like my botched buttonhole, my patience is frayed, and I think I'll try sewing something else next.