Friday, June 29, 2007

More from the deleted scenes warehouse...

Last week, in response to many emails I've received from fabulous readers wondering when they can read more about Mara's life, I decided to post a deleted scene. Initially, one of Mara's to-do items on her OM list (a personal pathway to perfection) is to learn to sew so that she can create fabulous one-of-a-kind outfits. Unfortunately, it seemed that Mara had enough to do, what with learning to cook and getting a promotion at work and throwing fabulous parties, that learning to sew would just be impossible. I mean, I've been learning to sew for about three years now, and still, I can't seem to make a straight seam. So instead, Mara got to just shop for more unique clothes, which means that the sewing scenes are now deleted scenes for you to enjoy!

If you didn't read the first deleted scene, you can read it here, so that you'll know what's happening. The following deleted scene picks up where the first one left off.

Happy long weekend!

I was running short on sewing time, so I called Mrs. Freudel to find out the lesson plan for my second class. She informed me that I’d be ironing my seams flat and serging the edges so they wouldn’t fray. I decided I’d be further ahead if I skipped the class and taught myself to sew. Surely the library had a Sewing for Dummies book. And I intended to find it.

It was while roaming the aisles of the old Yorkville library searching for the Sewing for Dummies book (seriously, what is up with kids using the lookup computers for IM? Isn’t there supposed to be a rule against that? And why weren’t the librarians enforcing it? Is the Dewey decimal system still in effect? And how are sewing books categorized when one doesn’t know the last name of the author of Sewing for Dummies?) that I discovered the video section – and more importantly yoga videos – and picked up Yoga Instant Calm. The back of the DVD cover promised me that the video would help me improve my asanas, honor my body and bring a sense of peace to all aspects of my life.

The girl on the cover was wearing all black and sitting in Salutation Seal pose, which seriously isn’t the most flattering position in real life because it’s like sitting cross-legged except if you’re not super thin and super flexible then your knees aren’t down on the ground and so you’re sort of awkward looking and your belly’s sort of hanging over the top of your yoga pants and even though you’re supposed to be focusing on your hands in prayer position at your chest, it’s much too distracting to see your toes in front of you and wonder when you’ll remember to take off the chipping polish on your toes because you only seem to remember during this pose or cobbler’s pose when your toes are right beneath your nose.


It couldn’t hurt to practice yoga at home – especially if it promised to help me make peace with those around me. Plus, it was fulfilling my multitasking requirement – I was getting items to help me with more than one item on my checklist, and by doing yoga at home, I could have a pot of ratatouille simmering on the stove, completing several domestic tasks at once without even living the house. Or I could do it before work, something I couldn’t do at Bikram due to the inability to wash my hair with the hideous tea tree oil shampoo.

After considering the integration of yoga videos into my schedule, I headed to the help desk to find what I really came for.

“We haven’t got a Sewing for Dummies in book form in the library, but I can order you a copy from one of the other branches,” the lovely nanny-type lady with blue-tinted glasses said to me. “Or,” she said, looking back at her computer screen, “we have it on tape. Would that do?”

I should’ve ordered the book and waited an extra day or two, but listening to Sewing for Dummies on tape sounded like a much better idea. After all, I’d need my hands to sew, and if I had to read through the book and then stop, do what it told me, stop, read the book, and so on, all day long, I’d never get the dresses made. But if I listened on tape, I could sew as I listened. It was a perfect solution.

Perfect, I thought as the librarian handed me Sewing for Dummies on tape.
Perfect, except for one small point, which didn’t dawn on me until I got home – I didn’t actually own a tape deck.


“That’s because tape decks went out of style along with Rick Springfield and Debbie Gibson,” Bradford explained bluntly. “So did my car, though, so if you really need a tape deck, you can come over here and listen to it in the Skivvy” he said, referring to his beloved purple Honda Civic.

I wasn’t sure that was going to work, but what other choice did I have. “Where can I plug in my sewing machine, though?”

“Do you have an extension cord?”

I walked over to the kitchen and pulled the extension cord that allowed the fridge to run, and unplugged it. “Yep.”

“Then you’re in business.”

And that’s how I came to sit in Bradford’s driveway, with my pink sewing machine set up on a TV table outside the passenger’s seat in his magenta Honda Civic.

Bradford was no help at all, since once again, he lacked in a typical gay flair for fashion. He touched the interfacing that I pulled out of the bag and made a face. “That’s sort of scratchy, isn’t it?”

I handed him Pumpernickel to take inside, and shut the door to the Civic. Then, I pushed Play and the tape started to whirr away. The beginning was quite simple, explaining the parts of the sewing machine. First we wind the bobbin.

No problem – I did that in Mrs. Freudel’s class and my bobbin was already threaded with silver thread, ready for the dresses. Next, I was supposed to put my bobbin into place in the machine, then thread my needle. Over and down and up and down and through the needle. A cinch. Then, catch the bobbin thread. Catch. The. Bobbin. Thread. Why wasn’t it catching? Was it still down there? I was afraid to actually open the bobbin compartment because, truth be told, I didn’t actually remember how to thread it through. There was something about a waterfall and it going down the river and the bank on the left. Or right. I wasn’t sure, and I was pretty sure if I opened up the bobbin compartment it would be worse than a can of worms scenario. So I kept rolling the side dial toward me hoping the thread in the needle would eventually catch the bobbin.

Finally, it did, and I exhaled heavily and then felt proud of myself for keeping my yoga composure. I had just worked through a difficult pose – call it “waterfall besides a bank” and pushed through.

The instructor, however was already talking about stitches and moving the dial to 10. 10? I only had pictures of stitches on my machine and orange dots to match up. Was 10 the stitch on the end? Or were there 100 numbers on most machines and 10 was near the beginning? Or 50? Now the instructor was telling me to put two pieces of fabric with the right sides together and pin them in place. Then to place the material 2 cm over from the foot, backstitch and then start sewing. I didn’t even have the right stitch figured out. And 2 cm? I only had fractions that I was pretty sure were inches. What was I going to do. I looked for the STOP button on the tape deck but there was only an EJECT. I pressed the button and the tape popped out. I pushed it back in and hit REWIND. Then PLAY. This was going to be a long afternoon.

Around five o’clock Bradford opened the door to the driver’s side of the car and sat down beside me, holding Pumpernickel in his arms. He nodded, surveying the scene. The patterns were spread out across the car, but there were so many lines and pieces to cut I had abandoned them long ago. After all, I knew what a dress looked like and since the patterns required zippers, something I had no idea how to make, and something I wasn’t sure where if at all the instructions would be on the Dummies tape, I decided to boycott them and instead, make tank dresses. Thankfully I had been wise purchasing cotton with a bit of spandex, so surely the girls could wiggle their way into the dresses. I had one dress pretty much complete – okay except for the unhemmed collar and bottom – I held it up for Bradford to see. He nodded with approval.

“So these are armless girls?”

I looked at the armpits. I’d sewn them shut.

I wanted to cry, but Bradford pulled me out of the car before I could work up the tears.

“How about a cocktail?”

1 comment:

tasneemdasoo said...

Your blog is making me want to continue working on mine, which started as a school project. I was planning to continue this summer but I just havnt had time. I'm wondering how I can make my blog more available so that people can read it. Your blog is amazing, and I have only read a big of it. please check mine out and also, are the lables for when people google seach a certain word? because I'm not sure what that is for and i would love to use it!