Serving Kitten Realness

I can’t let myself have a Tumblr account for the same reason I can’t have Pinterest. I need my life. If I were to sign up for either of them, I’d be doomed to forever sit in front of my computer reblogging grumpy cats and men’s fashion. I would be pinning things all day long. I saw a picture of myself on Pinterest a while back, that amused me. I assume it means I’m famous. Where are the fan letters?

I don’t entirely understand either website. Pinterest seems to be a digital collection of clippings, and I can’t let that happen, it sounds too wonderful. I have a bulging folder in the lounge stuffed with clippings from cookbooks and interior design magazines. I need to organize  it over Spring Break. It’ll give me something to do if the weather sucks, which seems likely. Winter will not go away this year. I hate it. I’m moving. I don’t know when or where or how, yet, but I’ve got to get out of here before my whole life vanishes. Anyway. What is Tumblr exactly? People don’t seem to do any writing on them, they just post pictures of places they’d like to see, food they’d like to eat, annoyingly filtered Instagram images, naked people, and quotes. Oh, and tattoos. I see an awful lot of tattoos on Tumblr. I need to get to the point.

I was on a Tumblr loop the other day, that’s where you click a link and click a link inside the link and then click a link inside that link and it’s a chain that never ends and all of a sudden it’s two o’clock in the morning and you need to get up for work in a few. Dreadful. I saw this, and squealed with delight:

tumblr_mbwwxkW79y1qcugwpo1_1280That is the most stunning thing I’ve ever seen. KITTIES! You know how I feel about cats. I’m a total cat person. I’m obsessed with cats and can’t wait for the day I get my black market lion. We’ll have such fun. Since I’m a competent sewer and could probably be an excellent tailer if I practiced more, I decided to recreate this shirt at home. You can buy the one above for like $25 on Etsy, but…ain’t nobody got time for that!

It was not as simple as I’d thought it would be to get the fabric. All of the bolts at the fabric store were too cartoony and I needed something more realistic like this one. So, I searched online and found the perfect yard of fabric on Etsy for $8…I do got time for that.

2013-02-17 18.49.40The cats are bigger than I’d hoped, but whatever. It was still perfect. Look at the blue eyes of the kitten next to my little scissors. My heart melts.

I grabbed a shirt out of my closet that I never wear.

2013-02-17 18.05.58

God, that’s a dreadful photo. My camera is really hit or miss when it comes to quality.

I’ve never been a fan of this shirt. I bought it for like $2 at Target one day on a whim. It was in the clearance aisle, and I can’t turn down a good bargain–I almost never pay retail, it’s just a waste. I think I’ve worn it once, but never again. Yes, I wore it to the International Food Festival in Des Moines last year. I gorged on EVERYTHING. A delightful variety of vegetarian food. Des Moines really is an alright place. The shirt fits okay, but it has no pizzazz. It’s got nothing going for it, so I decided it would be the perfect candidate for a kitten update. What’s the worst that could happen? I’d be out $2 and have more room in my closet. Sounds like a win to me. Can we still say #winning? Is that over? I was over it, but I’m ready for it to come back.

I measured the existing pocket and made a template out of an old Cheerios box. Recycling makes you sexy.

2013-02-17 18.23.45Of course, my seam rippers were nowhere to be found. I dug my sewing supplies out and tore them apart, but nothing. I even searched through a junk drawer downstairs. It really wasn’t that surprising that I couldn’t find them, I never can find tools of any kind, it’s a family curse, so I just made do with a sharp pair of scissors.

2013-02-17 18.31.28And before long, the pocket was off. I think the scissors worked better than seam rippers would have.

2013-02-17 18.48.21Suck it, ugly pocket!

I used my template and cut out my new, sexy, kitten pocket.

2013-02-17 18.54.25I squealed for a little bit after this. It was just too cute.

I got out my sewing machine, which I’d like us all to admire for a while. It’s gorgeous.

2013-02-17 19.09.20My grandmother gave this to me years ago. It was nonfunctional, so I had a sewing shop in Des Moines fix it up for me, but I think they did a terrible job as it never did work quite right and before long stopped working altogether. I was poor for a while, so I didn’t want to take it in for repairs. A couple months ago, I found some videos and instructions online about how to fix old Singer Featherweights and managed to get the thing running all by myself. I was ever so pleased. It doesn’t have a thousand fancy stitches, but it works so well. Besides–look at it. You can’t get machines like this anymore. Singer released a cool machine a year or so ago and I was obsessed:

I was going to buy one until I saw it in person. I had just assumed that the body was made of metal or a quality plastic, but it was so cheap looking. Very shiny, easy to scratch, just crap. I was so disappointed. For $500, they should make something that is a bit nicer. Someday I’ll get one of those machines that does custom embroidery. I’d like to design a logo and have it put on all of my clothes. And, if I ever get my Penthouse, I’ll come up with some emblem for it and put it on all the linens, curtains, towels, and stationary because I’m a classy bitch.

I want to get the Featherweight restored sometime, but it’s so expensive! I think I can do it myself, but I worry that I’ll ruin it. The finish is not in great condition, so I wouldn’t really be hurting anything, but I don’t like messing up. The process doesn’t look all that difficult, just time consuming. Maybe I’ll try it this summer.

Back to the kitten shirt.

I did a bit of ironing, then affixed it to the shirt where the original pocket had been.

2013-02-17 19.20.45I love these sewing pins. I saw them on The Martha Show years ago and had to have them. So much nicer than regular pins with balls on the end. (Balls!)

Sewing the pocket on was a little tricky because my sewing machine doesn’t have a lot of room for the material to fit in on the right, but I made it work. Tim Gunn would have been proud.

You can pretend that you’re not jealous of my kitten pocket shirt, but you’d just be “lion” to yourself.

2013-02-17 19.50.19My shirt was a terrific success amongst both coworkers and children. They talked about it all day. Whenever I walked past, I’d hear them whisper, “CAT!” I need to add kitten pockets to more shirts or maybe make a kitten tie. That would be so elegant.

So, if I never end up being a fashion designer, I can kind of be a fashion manipulator and turn unappealing or dull clothes into something with vivacity and life. Then I can sell these things for a higher price and make money. Did I just come up with a business? Methinks so. We’ll see.

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