Shedding some light on a dark subject

Head torch
I am time-starved. Especially when I get home from the office. Even more especially when it’s dark and my energy levels have dropped through the floorboards.

It’s frustrating mostly because I function fully from morning to afternoon, busily beavering away, designing, revising and artworking books like there’s no tomorrow. At lunch, I compose lists on Post-it notes. Lists of what I fully intend to do when I get home. Sewing projects mainly. Finishing off WIPs, drafting new ones and watching YouTube tutorials but then, as I walk through the door, adorned with Sainsbo’s bags, check on the homework, prepare the dinner, feed the masses, wash up and put the children away… someone or something sneaks up behind me and blatently steals my ‘get up and go’!

I find myself making excuses to myself. My best one is: “These damned energy efficient lightbulbs are rubbish. I can’t see a thing!”

I offloaded this woe to a work colleague on Wednesday and she suggested a head torch. Genius! Bhavini always has the best ideas. (Apart from Helen who invented #TuesdayCheeseDay!)

By Thursday I had completely forgotten that my half-circle skirt had already taken 5 evenings. And I had nearly forgotten that I had to unpick the hem already because I stupidly didn’t level it before stitching. Even when I did try to level the hem, apart from the light failing and it being virtually impossible to see where I was marking on a black fabric, the dress-form was slowly sliding downwards every time I twisted it round. So by the time I got back round to the first pin, I was pinning higher and higher! I said nearly forgotten!

Because thanks to Bhavini and her brilliant suggestion, Mr Ooobop’s head torch worked a treat. I could now see what I was doing, without a care that I looked like a complete fool, and that self same evening, my perfectly levelled half-circle skirt was finished.

working with head torch

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had the displeasure of a bias-stretched hem – honestly, two and a half unnecessary inches longer at the front more than the sides! – but I will never ever wing it again.

To get it right, I first measured the length I wanted with a tape measure from the waist, down the side seam to the hem and placed a pin. I then measured up from the bottom to the hemline, using a metal rule and continued pinning the new hemline all round. I rotated the whole dress-form instead of twisting it on the pole this time!

I then marked with tailors chalk, 1.5 cm all round, below the pins and once I’d double checked the markings, I cut off the offending excess.

I used black bias tape to complete the hem. Worked a treat!

I don’t have a shot of the finished skirt to show you as yet – I’m hoping to persuade my trusty photographer to take some at the weekend. But I do have a handy new device in my sewing box… hoorah!

0 Replies to “Shedding some light on a dark subject”

  1. I totally understand the get up & go disappearing. I’ve been exhausted lately – I must be pitiful as Mr SewBusy agreed to tape together the Archer PDF for me.
    I love the idea of a head torch, I often find that when machining the shadow I cast is frustrating as the room light is overhead. I did have a lamp but it takes up precious space!

  2. Oh my gosh, I totally understand… I have the best of intentions during the work day, and make lists like there’s no tomorrow, but after the commute, making dinner, cleaning up, tending to chores… ugh, i got nothin’ left, sista 😛

    Sadly, a head torch won’t fix that problem lol, but it IS a really cool idea for when the days start getting super short, especially when i need to do hand work; I can NEVER see what I’m doing in my poorly lit apartment 😛

  3. I just got my first pair of reading glasses. The fact that everything was blurry was putting me off my sewing too. I long for the day when I can just ‘check on the homework ‘ and not be hand holding during homework! I might give the head torch thingy a go! It’s hard to sew after work after an exhausting day – well done x

    1. I only got mine recently too. Was a bit reluctant at first but it does sharpen up the edges. Don’t know how I managed without them now. I think I have been in denial for a very long time! I’m sure I am supposed to ‘hold hand’ still. But his level of maths is way beyond my skills now:-/

  4. I have one of those daylight lamp thingies angled right over my sewing machine but it does tend to make the rest of the room look gloomy so, when I move away from the machine to do some pinning or something, it feels really weird.
    Can you imagine what it must have been like in the days before electricity when people had to work by candlelight?

  5. Genius idea! It’s been so gloomy all week I’ve found it hard to get motivated at all, really not looking forward to the nights drawing in and it being dark at 4/5. I know my sewing productivity is going to take a hit!

  6. I have stolen my other half’s head torch in the past, but now I have a handy daylight lamp that swivels & doesn’t take up much room. Hope you find your get-up-and-go!! 🙂

  7. Hemming is my least favorite task. But, the light is a fantastic idea for all sorts of sewing tasks. I’m working on my first bias blouse, I don’t know if its the bias that’s making it fit weird or something else. I need to bkmark your tips for hems.

  8. ha – I am pleased to see I am not the only one who sews with a head torch, I thought I was mad, but it really helps, especially with dark fabrics. The circle skirt looks divine too, so evenings well spent!

  9. If you think about it logically, of course the hem will dip at the front, we are not circular in the waist, nor n below the waist. Hips stick out x much, and bums stick out y much, and so it is going to do something strange if we are not careful. I do not have a dress form to drape a skirt on, so there is a little green eye going on here! Superb skirt!

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