Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sewing and Sanding

I apologize, again, for lagging in my posts. I have spent the past couple of weeks in Asheville so I haven't racked up much stuff to say about guitar building and wasn't sure if you would like to know of the events that transpired while I was at home. Things like taking Harper to a new dog park where she was promptly bitten by another dog and left bleeding, having nightly How I Met Your Mother marathons with Nick, making Salmon Wellington for the first time and serving three pretty little salmon packages and one scary mess of puff pastry with a salmon filet sitting primly on top....are you interested in those things? I didn't think so.  Well, I do have one story that might be worth telling.

The other day I got a sewing machine because I discovered Pinterest and ended up spending significantly more time on that website than I probably ever have on Facebook. Anyway, if you haven't visited Pinterest.com, it initially looks kind of stupid, just a compilation of random things that people find entertaining or interesting online and then they 'pin' them on their virtual bulletin boards. However, if you like cooking, like I do, or being crafty and making things, like I do, or just looking at really neat ideas for decorating your house or planning an event, then this site is not as stupid as it may seem at first glance. Anyway, one of the pins I discovered while perusing the site at oh, 2 am and not realizing I had been on it for the past 5 hours, was how to make an adorably cute dress with only one piece of fabric and incorporating the top half of a cheap cotton tank top into it.

So, as soon as it was light, I called my aunt Shirleen to inquire about sewing machines, and what I would need in order to make the beautiful dress that I saw. First I considered hand sewing it, but the instructions called for elastic thread and I figured my dexterity might not be up to par to handle such tasks. Shirleen helped me pick an inexpensive machine that did all the basic things a sewing machine should do. She seemed skeptical that I could get it properly functioning by myself though, and suggested I bring it back down to Rugby and she would help me. Well. I showed her. Kind of.

After lugging my new Brother 17 Stitch Free-Arm machine into the house I proceeded to read the instructions carefully. I actually parked on the couch and read it like a book, cover to cover. Well, the bits in English, and then, just for fun, some in Spanish. Some Spanish sewing words are funny. Anyway, I then worked to do all of the things the little icons instructed. After a while, I managed to make a bobbin, and load that bobbin in the bottom of the machine, and wound the thread that goes on top of the machine up and down and back and around and in and out...(does it really need to do all that? Really?!) But eventually I managed to sew my fabric together. I only felt panicked enough to try to conjure my Granny a couple of times, and I called Shirleen once to help me adjust everything so my thread would quit spewing out all over the place. Ok, well even if it didn't all go swimmingly, when Nick walked in the door several hours later he was greeted by little (maybe bigger than that) piles of wasted thread and fabric scraps all over the floor and table, it ended up working out just fine. I constructed a long dress that I can't wait to wear when it is warm enough outside to do so. Before that happens though, I  need to learn how to hem the skirt so I don't fall down, which I might have done a time or two whilst traipsing infront of my mirror.

Yesterday, I returned to Rugby, and today I sanded my waiting guitar with 2000 grit paper and water until I could not find any scratches in the finish. This is way easier said that done. The process took all day and several trips back to the spray room because I ended up sanding through the layers of finish to expose the bare wood several times. Then when the sanding was done, while pressing the guitar body into a huge yellow buffing pad that spins at a significant speed, the finish kind of...burned off. The neck is the main culprit of 'burn throughs' as it has numerous sharp edges, off of which it seems the finish just can't wait to fly. In any event, I managed to respray, resand, and rebuff every bit that gave me trouble, and it now looks as smooth as a skating rink. (Actually, after several years of figure skating, I know how scratched and flawed ice is and my guitar doesn't really compare. I just thought I would use a common analogy for something super shiny and smooth.) Here are some pictures of the walnut back and sides, spruce top, and curly maple binding that makes up my guitar.












2 comments:

  1. I have a mess of sewing books in my Amazon queue, waiting for me to get paid work to buy them :/ Now that you're really delving into cooking, can I make you an apron? Here is one that I made for one of my old colleagues at Harvard: http://flic.kr/p/8tLycG I can do either a full or a half one. You can see another if you scroll once to the right, too...Mister is modeling ;)

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  2. :-0 I asked for an apron for Christmas and didn't get one!! Yes please make me one!! Whatever you think would be fun-that yellow one is super fancy/adorable. I could wear it for fashionable brunches! If only this dang country were smaller...then it would be easier to make a fancy brunch for YOU! It will happen someday :-)

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