Live Long and Stitch

Well hey there laddies and lassos!

My how this summer has been hot and also rainy. The fair city of Denver has enjoyed scorching hot days and delightful afternoon rainstorms in intervals this summer. If only we could all be on the same page with the weather. I’m open to some heat around the noonday hour then let’s switch to rain come 3 o’clock. If we can get enough petition signatures, I’m certain the weather will take our requests into consideration.

In other non-weather related news I’ve just returned from a trip to the fabled state of Oregonia. Of course, before going I had to collect three keys, a bronze, a silver and a gold. Then I had to unlock three locks that were not clearly labeled. Thus, I was able to enter the kingdom of Portland and visit the nearby coast. It was a delight! The trip’s highlight was an outdoor performance by the Trek in the Park acting troupe. They staged “The Trouble with Tribbles” and it was absolutely fantasticulous!

Mr. McCluckin’ and I had the privilege of attending a performance the previous season (2012). Knowing that this outdoor fanciness would make or break the trip, I prepared accordingly. I made the mister and I Star Trek shirts. I also spent roughly 60 hours stitching up a tricorder bag for my rooster. Initially designed to hold vinyl records securely when traveling, it turned out to hold his laptop perfectly as well.

It was a feat to sew this beast but well worth the effort; he loves it so! Made of black and silver pleather primarily and lined with Kirk and Spock fabric, I can honestly say it is my crowning achievement of 2013. I researched the original tricorder screen and recreated my own to fit the bags size. I had to add in buttons and grommets and mesh to make all the tricorder bells and whistles. It was quite fun figuring out how to remake the bag using only products at ye olde craft shoppe.

When we attended the performance I asked Spock to model the bag for me and he lovingly did so. He was so enthusiastic about the bag, it was incredibly flattering. All in all, it was well worth the effort, because we were well loved at Trek in the Park. Plus we were in love with Trek in the Park, so win win!

I learned a variety of important lessons from preparing for the Trek in the Park trip. Want to discover them with me? Of course you do (if you hate lessons just skip the next bulleted section):

1) Pleather aka vinyl is tough on a sewing machine. Adjust the pressure foot tension, use tape on the underside of the presser foot and above all insult the machine readily to convince it sewing through 7 layers is necessary.

2) Get out a marker and draw carefully on the pleather wrongside, it will make cutting things out so much easier. Side note: remember you are drawing on the wrongside, it will be reversed when you turn it over.

3) Use quality thread. It might cost more right now, but in the long run the sewing will be easier and the final product will hold up like a champ.

4) Women that sell vinyl are wacky, don’t listen to their back talk and make sure your pieces aren’t permanently creased or otherwise marred.

5) Strap findings are hard to come by, luckily I discovered this fancy gal on etsy and all the strap sewing notions I could ever need.

6) Dial up your upper thread tension (meaning set it to a higher number) for easier sewing of all things bulky.

7) No matter how much you want the zigzag stitch to not be a douche, it will be so be prepared.

There you have it! All the lessons one could expect from such a fine bag. Perhaps the one lesson I didn’t learn is that love lifts us up where we belong. Maybe I didn’t need to learn that lesson, I just needed to learn to use a leather needle and bang this project out.

For now, I bid you adieu. I must mix up my daily anti-aging brain tonic and feed it to my immortal cactus. Have yourself a merry little evening.


Henny Penny