Archive for October, 2005

Give This Man a Stick

Part of what makes me like a band, apart from the actual music and lyrics, is their passion. What I mean by passion is, of course, when the singer – during a particularly exciting song — picks up an extra drum stick and starts hitting everything in close vicinity, including himself, and once he realizes that it hurts to hit yourself with a drum stick, he starts banging cymbals and screaming until he can no longer stand it and throws the damn thing on the stage.

Add comment October 31st, 2005

Ripe

He sings sweet blessings around my head
Buzzes like a fruit gnat

In two days his love has multiplied tenfold
I see his caress in the corner with the tomato stain
His biting kisses tangled in my hairbrush

There is no coming down from here.

Tomorrow his blue eyes will open to
Ethiopian beans.
Hidden in a pink canister
Our love
Is safe from harm

Buttercream spattered on the toaster
The heat of his breath sends cinnamon twirling.
Above our heads
There is light,
Soft, hazy

Words in the oven now
When the timer dings
Send me home.

Add comment October 31st, 2005

How to Hem Jeans

beforejeans
I found this fabulously perfect way to hem jeans on the Cavaricci site, which has since been taken down, so here’s the lowdown. This method keeps the original hem in tact and is especially helpful now that all jeans are made to be 34 inches long for mammoth supermodels. Plus, it took less than 30 minutes.

A couple notes: It’s best to do one leg at a time, so as not to have too much undoing to do in case something goes awry. Also, it’s good to know the length that you want each leg to be. Sometimes, one leg will be a bit shorter or longer than the other before you hem.

Step 1: Decide how much length you would like to take off. Divide that number in half. (Hems should fall just below the bottom of your ankle. Also, if you generally wear high heels, or a certain height of heel, you might want your hem a bit longer – it should fall an inch to a half inch above the floor at your heel.)

foldcuff
Step 2: Cuff the jeans. I wanted to take two inches off my hem, so I measured one inch out from the original hem line and pinned. (Do not include the distance from the hem to the end of the jean in your calculations.)

pin
Step 3: Pin around the rest of the cuff, taking care to measure each time you pin.

mindtheseams
Mind the seams while you’re pinning. Make sure that the stitching lines up at each seam.

stitch
Step 4: It’s time to stitch. You want to place your needle and continue sewing right next to the original hem. Stitch on the right side of the hem, or the side farthest from the bottom of the jean. Sew all the way around the cuff. Be sure you don’t sew through both front and back sides of the jeans (making it so that the foot hole is sewn shut)!

ironin
You can either cut the excess off, leaving about a half inch for fraying, or iron the extra material in.

ironout
Turn the leg right side out and press the new seam flat, revealing the old hem.

After Jeans
Voila! No more slouchy, unflattering leg.

Updates: I’m glad everyone has found this tutorial useful. I wanted to answer some questions here that continue to arise. If you are still having trouble, just leave a comment; I usually respond within a few days.

1) Yes, this trick works just as well with jean skirts, good point!

2) If you have already cut your hem off and still have it, no worries. You can still follow these directions. After you have decided on a length, do not divide in half as Step 1 suggests. Move on to Step 2. You will essentially be reattaching the original hem in this step. Pin the stiched line at your desired length (for instance, if you want your jeans to be 30 inches long, measure 30 inches from the inseam and pin the disconnected hem to that length on the jean leg, right sides together) and follow the steps from here. If you have already thrown away the hem I am sorry to say you’ll have to try and recreate the look from scratch.

3) If the jeans leg is flared, cut off the hem about an inch above the stitched hemline. Measure the circumference of the jean at the desired length you’re hemming it. Take in the hem that you cut off to the same circumference as the jean at the desired length. Reattach the hem portion following the directions in No. 2 above.

4) This method can easily be done without a sewing machine. Follow the directions, just use your hands, needle, and thread.

5) If you are having trouble sewing over the seam with your machine, try a thicker needle. If this fails, you can always sew up to each side the seam (be sure to backstitch) and sew over the seam by hand. It works just as well. Also, a zipper foot may help.

6) I hang dry my jeans and tuck the excess fabric at the bottom up before hanging them, so I don’t need to iron the bottom flap each time. Alternatives to this, would be to use some Stichwitchery (a bonding, iron-on product) to adhere the excess material to the inside of the jean. Or, you could cut the excess off to 1/2 an inch and apply Fray-Chek a glue that keeps the material from unraveling.

7) If you want to turn your baggier jeans into skinny jeans, put them on wrong side out. Pin them to the desire tightness, starting at the crotch. Use a marker to note where the pin is hitting on both front and back. Still with right sides together and starting at the crotch, sew along your marked lines from the crotch to the hem, and then repeat with the other leg.

Thanks for stopping by and happy hemming! -Dacia

613 comments October 30th, 2005

Hard Candy

A short story by Dacia Ray

Her melted glass of iced tea was sitting by the window, taking in the cool fall breeze when it happened. She watched the brown liquid shake as he slammed the door, like that scene from Jurassic Park when everyone knew that the Tyrannosaurus would come and some wouldn’t make it through the night. She’d imagined this day more than once. How it would play out. How the screaming would rouse the neighbors. How his thick hands would bring the house down once and for all.

1 comment October 23rd, 2005

The Front of Me

The breeze coming in through the window next to me smells of fall, of change: new town, new home, new kitchen countertops. One has a ring of wine that I can’t seem to scrub out.

The word unemployment comes to me now, like a haunting sound or the death of a family friend. I’ve quit my job reporting the facts to be a woman. Today I will vacuum the carpets, draft a dinner (with more than one course), and fluff the pillows. There will be clean towels, clean sheets, cupboards stocked with food, and freezer dinners prepared by my hands. I will relish the details, the straightening of life, the order of a house well kept.

Add comment October 23rd, 2005

Taste of Chinatown

We still get the New York news in here in Connecticut. In fact, we get news for New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. It’s our own personal corner of the world. This is why I found out that on the very same day we had plans to get dim sum in Chinatown, the neighborhood was hosting a “Taste of Chinatown.” For $1 or $2 per dish, we feasted on the courses served by four vegetarian Chinese restaurants: roast pork, fried tofu, spring rolls, mango pudding, and bubble tea. We spent $9 and our bellies were more than full.

Add comment October 23rd, 2005

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