Monday, January 19, 2015

Obsession hopping

I have been a bit of a sewing fiend in the past few months. Friends roll their eyes when we have conversations and anyone says "So what have you been doing?" My favorite project of the uber-patched jeans? There are now 11 patches. Heh.

At times, however, sewing and herbalism go together, just ask my Christmas gift recipients. Five or six or seven of them received custom-made dream pillows. Now there's nothing difficult about making a dream pillow, but some folks have not heard of them.

If *you* have not heard of them, they are like sachets (well, they are sachets, yeah?), filled with herbs. You can put herbs you like, herbs you need, any combination you like ... just so it's not explosive. Then you put it inside your regular pillow, lay your head on/near it, and the heat from your body releases the essential oils of the herbs inside. That's it. The aroma and the essential oils in your personal space are therapeutic and work in various ways.

This here herbal thing is something I did in ... October? It's called Fire Cider. Look it up. Especially the stuff by Rosemary Gladstar.

Have yaself a big jar, quality apple cider vinegar, onion, fresh horseradish, garlic, ginger.

There's a thing about digging horseradish that I didn't know. The thing is that you do not know where the roots are. There's the plant, and it comes up in the same place every year, and yes, the roots are underground, but that's all. Be carefulcarefulcareful when you dig it, it's easy to assume where those things are. They literally head off in all kinds of wacky directions. And being careful is a pain in the buns. Arduous. But the result is awesome.

 You can add herbs you think will be useful to ward off flu, in case you did/did not look up fire cider. Here is some thyme.
We had garden onions, despite not having taken care of the garden. Sometimes gardens do that for you. They are generous that way.
I added lemon balm. (The recipe calls for lemons or lemon zest, I can't remember which.) This is the last of the stuff aboveground. I also added yarrow, since it is persistent and beautiful and stunningly useful.

And I had three sinus events, and each time I had a few spoons full of this stuff. It's great-smelling and awful tasting. OMG. But I am telling you that it WORKS.

It works. My sinuses have a friend. Wow. I went from impending several-day events of drippy and runny nose, to breathing *through my nose* and clear. I'm not kidding. In hours. I was better in hours and went to work. And I was fine.

Herbalism obsessions can be useful!

So anyway, back to my sewing obsession. I have a '56 Singer sewing machine, the carrying case kind. I love Etta. I've sewed and sewed with her for ... ahhhhmmm ... a lotta years. But there are some things she can't do.

Zig zag stitches. ... She says no.

Going through thick material. ... She says no.

Sewing stretch material. Well. ... I can trick her into it, but it's a pain in the buns.

Sewing in small places. Well, it depends, but it's limited. And it kinda depends on how many hands you have.

So I got a new sewing machine, a Janome 2012. Very basic. And armed with all kinds of hope and a zigzag stitch and some serious torque on Ethel, I can do harder work in more difficult places.

So on this thick Carhartt coat, I was able to put a jeans patch on a twill coat, sewing through the whole coat on the important places. Then I had to hand sew across the top of the patch so that ... you know ... I didn't sew it shut. I also sewed around the hole in the actual coat to allow the guy to use the coat and not make the hole bigger from the inside.

So while it does not look good, it is SOLID and functional. And you can see the rest of the jacket, it's not pretty. Its pretty days are long gone. It's one of those jackets you lie on the mud driveway to take a drive shaft out with.

And it will probably last another several years. I love this shit!