Sunday, March 19, 2006


Woah, sorry about that. It goes without saying that I have been busy, but stories about "I have been busy" are boring as hell, so I will not torture you with them. (Yes you, all five readers that still follow this page despite by erratic postings as of late.) I will instead regale you with my new latest obsession. OK, ready?

I want to learn how to sew.

(And the five remaining readers leave.)

So one weekend I was watching ye olde television set and happened upon that show "Project Runway" on Bravo. I don't watch much TV but this show pulled me right in because wow, how cool, they designed their own clothing line! Also, it was a marathon gearing up for the Big Finale, and I got the instant gratification of watching the entire second half of the season back to back without all that annoying waiting. I was so obsessed with this show that I even stayed up until 10pm to watch the big final episode. Which means I didn't go to bed until after 11pm! The big hand was on the 12 and the little hand was on the 11! That is officially Very Late for someone who usually goes to bed at 9:30pm. But you have to understand, I NEEDED TO KNOW WHO WON. Also, it's nice to watch a reality show where the contestants actually have to have some sort of a skill that goes beyond eating live cockroaches.

Anyway, I started getting all inspired because the show took place in New York, and the fabric store they went to for their projects is, like, RIGHT NEAR MY HOUSE, and dammit, why can't I be all creative like that? I want to design my own dress made of flowers too! Or, at the very least, learn how to sew a damn tote bag or some such thing. That would be very Martha.

Several problems:

  1. I don't know how to sew. I mean, I can sew simple straight stitches, like, if the pocket of my labcoat falls off, and of course I can sew HUMAN FLESH, but other than that, I don't really know how to sew.
  2. No time.
  3. Not very crafty.

Yes, but BE THAT AS IT MAY, I decided maybe what I should do to fix the "no time" and "don't know how to sew" issue was to get a sewing machine. Because that what machines are for. Doing hard stuff. For example, I can't very reliably add two numbers in my head, but I have a MACHINE velcroed to the back of my hospital ID that takes care of that for me. (Kidding about the not being able to add two numbers. Kind of.)

OK, so I got a sewing machine, but just a little cheap one because what the hell am I, one of those women who have those quilting shows on PBS? And I popped it out of the box and plugged it in and commanded it to sew something, but it would not. Rise of the machines indeed. Then I figured, fine, I would read the damn instruction manual and figure out how to get the machine up and running, and pretty soon I would be dressing Cal in a variety of ill-fitting and poorly-advised homemade vestments. Only reading the instruction manual just got me more confused. It reminded me of my early days in med school, where I'd be reading a text and only understanding every third word, a low humming sound in my head substituting in for all the words I didn't know. "Take the (hmmm) and thread the (hmmm) through the (hmmm) and tighten the (hmmm), making sure not to (hmmm) the (hmmm)." Uh, who in the what now?

Does anyone know how to use a sewing machine? Can you come to my house and teach me?

OK, so maybe I'm not ambitious enough to want to sew my own prom dress or some such thing, but I have been wanting to learn how to make my own scrub hats for a while now. I like a sassy scrub hat. How else to differentiate myself from the legion of ciel blue clad clones that go tromping through the ORs day in and day out? The problem was (OK, one more problem, in addition to those above) is that I couldn't find a scrub hat sewing pattern anywhere. I found instructions for making a chef's hat, and this chemo bonnet that seems like it might be pretty close, but I guess the scrub cap market hasn't really hit the mainstream yet, you know?

So anyway, I decided to go with the chemo bonnet pattern, and lo, look at what I have made!

(I tried to make the picture appear on this page like usual, but something with Blogger is BROKEN. Or maybe my computer is broken. Or I am broken. Whichever, click on the link to see the picture.)

We went to a QUILTING STORE yesterday (I know!) and Joe humored me not only by faking a marginal interest in the endeavor, but picking out his own hat print. I made one for myself too, but in an orange-stripey cloth and a little bit bigger, since I have all that hair to cram up in there. Seriously, I am so proud it is embarrassing. See the handy drawstring in the back? What says class like a DRAWSTRING? And (AND!) I sewed it by hand, just like in pilgrim days! Where's my butter churn? Seriously, it was ridiculous, because what took me 45 minutes to do by hand would have taken me probably 5 minutes if I knew how to work this damn machine. I have to wait until Joe's mom comes back into town so she can show me how to use this thing. Or, alternatively, I could bring it to the sewing machine repair store and ask the guys there if they could show me the ropes, but I fear that they will laugh at me, or more likely, be really annoyed, the way I would get annoyed when people would wander into the ER during my shift demanding "just a checkup."

Tune in again soon for step-by-step instructions on how to make your own scrub hat. Actually, it may have to be either later today or not soon at all, since tomorrow is Monday which means WORK which means I will be sucked into the vortex, so lord knows when I'll surface again. However, we go on vacation at the end of the week, which at least insures you some nice post-vacation pictures of us burning to a crisp and being pecked to death by rogue seagulls.

Currently reading: "Wimbledon Green." Kind of a collector's piece, a little disorganized and sloppy but very handsome on the shelf.