A stitch in time...

>> Wednesday, 19 November 2008

I'm in trouble. I mentioned in a previous post that Boy #1's Christmas (i.e. Nativity) play is fast approaching. So far, so good, so sit in the audience snivelling a little at how he's grown, fishing desperately for a clean handkerchief in my bag and finding only a used remnant from some time last summer...

But there's a problem.

This play is 'in costume'.

Now, I can at least thank my lucky stars that unlike the mums / grandmothers / nannies / paid help of the families of the 3 little boys who need to dress as Elvis (the King), I don't have to spend the next 2 weeks sourcing a white jumpsuit and sewing spangles and sequins onto it. (What on earth are spangles, by the way? I think I first heard the term in a Ballet Shoes book around 30 years ago, and I still don't know... And no clever answers telling me they're a sweet from the 1970's and 80's either, please. Those I do remember - and can still taste the orange ones now.)

So, no Elvis.

No, Boy #1 is going to be dressed as a waiter (that well-known character in the timeless Christmas story). Which means black trousers, and a white shirt - both of which are easily found and can be pressed into service at Christmas lunch if we want pocket-sized help to carry complicated stuff into the dining room at my parent's. Complicated stuff like... napkins, that is.

It's the third item on the costume list we received by letter from the school that is bothering me.

He needs an apron. A white, waiter's apron.

Bearing in mind that at school my home economics teacher used to have the same reaction to my sewing that my sports teacher used to have to my tennis - to wander past slowly, sorrowfully shaking her head - you will understand when I tell you that my first instinct was to source this on the internet. Unsuccessfully, of course. I mean, who in their right mind would stock a white waiter's apron for a 5 year old?

And as my Mother in Law, otherwise known as 'she who can rustle up a child's kilt at a moment's notice' (which was lucky, as she had to do just that for last year's festive extravaganza - click if you want to see just how out of control a nursery drama teacher can get when her medication runs out) is out of the country for the next week or so, I can't even turn to her for help on this one.

I am, horrors, going to have to Make This One Myself.

It's just me, a new white tea towel that I plan to butcher into a suitable shape, and some of 'that tape they use on seams' to make the ties. You see, I'm so rubbish at this, I don't even know what the tape is called. They're going to laugh me out of the Peter Jones haberdashery department when I go there tomorrow to buy some...

Oh well. At least the tea-towel / apron will be washable to get rid of the blood and chocolate stains. Blood from my fingers, and chocolate, well, because why not? It is nearly Christmas, after all.


Tattie Weasle 19 November 2008 at 23:30  

No I promise it is TAPE, er I think it is but I was requested to leave the sewing class for slightly too enthusiastic an attempt at a school apron which did NOT open....please don't ask!

sharon 20 November 2008 at 02:18  

'IF' you are thinking of the same type of tape as I am, it's called webbing and comes in different widths. Will attach very easily to the tea-towel apron (you could even cheat and safety-pin it on). Good luck PM. Save the large G&T for after the stitchery though ;-)

I was lucky with my little thespians - the school had a group of helpers to do the sewing, we needle phobics just had to provide materials.

sharon 20 November 2008 at 02:28  

Ooops, just re-read your post and realised what you are thinking of is bias binding - but webbing would probably be better and easier to deal with.

ped crossing 20 November 2008 at 02:55  

There is an amazing product called Stitch Witchery and you just put it between the two items and iron it together. No sewing required. I think it would work beautifully for this project. If you wanted to guarantee that it wouldn't come apart, then run one row of stitches over the top. The product has other names as well, but it has been a life saver for me.

As a life long seamstress, it is one of my favorite products. Happy ironing. :) And I agree that a lightweight webbing would work better.

A Modern 20 November 2008 at 07:27  

He he he.

Good luck

I don't have to make or bake anything this year!

But I am in charge of a Christmas Bazaar stall and we have to come up with some "new" games. Not feeling very creative.

My school gripe right now is that I am helping the kids create a school blog. Somehow I got sucked into "running" an IT news club (I truly do not know how that happened).

I run it with the head teacher (he's Scottish) and he's a bit disorganised. Nothing went right yesterday, but he said it was OK because they kids should know that IT isn't easy all the time.

Sorry for taking up so much room here!

Anonymous,  20 November 2008 at 09:30  

Peter Jones haberdashery are a god send. Just turn up looking hopeful and confused and a large matron will sigh, look disappointed (like my dressmaking teacher used to do!) and take you under her wing.

Good luck!

nappy valley girl 20 November 2008 at 10:47  

Good luck! I would be hopeless. I was rubbish at needlework at school. Just threading up the sewing machine was hard enough for me to achieve. One of my school reports once said: "NappyValleyGirl has attempted to make a pair of shorts this term. She has not succeeded. "

Really lovely to meet you by the way...

Potty Mummy 20 November 2008 at 11:43  

Tattie, I AM asking...?

Sharon, which school is it? We may have to move.

Ped, I know just what you mean and had forgotten all about it. Perfect! (As for stitching along the top - I don't own a sewing machine so I think I may leave that bit...)

Modern, good luck to you with the bazaar - those can be rather thankless tasks... Have you posted asking for ideas? And I'm assuming that you can't use Bat the Rat because it's already taken (no bazaar is complete without it!).

Mud, I will be there asap. Was planning on doing it today but I have a sick Boy #2 (probably the subject of my next post), so have had to put it off. Pretty good excuse for not getting round to it though...

NVG, hilarious! Your teacher wasn't called Mrs Compton, by any chance? If not I'm sure she must be a blood relative of my old home ec teacher at the very least! Great to meet you too (e-mail follows)

Mom de Plume 20 November 2008 at 12:03  

I am very lucky in that my little girl's school just want confirmation that they will be taking part and then they provide the costumes! Possibly due to the fact that most of us are lacking in the sewing department! I think your idea is inspired and definitely go for the iron together stuff...

Iota 20 November 2008 at 15:20  

I think the tape is called tape.

Oh, I've just read other comments, and yes, I remember, it's webbing.

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