That’s how Rusty lost his finger.

I really don’t know how Rusty lost his finger. I have it sort of narrowed down, but it’s one of those things- like a woman’s age- you never know for sure that a person isn’t lying to you about it.

Freshman year, when I was in Fibers 1, on the day that Dr. Shoaff taught us all to use the sewing machines, she warned us not to get our fingers too close to the needles. “You know, that’s how Rusty lost his finger.” I believed her for two reasons. One, I was a freshman. Two, it was Dr. Shoaff. A few weeks later, in Design 2, Matt had us making these awful sculptures that involved cutting hundreds of 1/4″ strips of foam core. He warned us never to use a dull xacto blade. “You know, that’s how Rusty lost his finger.” I believed him, because there was a higher probability that Rusty’s wound was inflicted by an xacto knife than by a sewing machine. My theory of what actually happened involves neither a sewing machine, nor an xacto knife. The important thing is not how Rusty lost his finger- but that he lost it. The reason I’m thinking of this is because of my own recently inflicted finger wound. It has stopped bleeding (mostly), but it still hasn’t closed up yet. I decided that even if I though stitches were necessary, they wouldn’t work, because the location of the cut means that one would have to stitch into or underneath my fingernail in order to do any closing. Trust me- I know a thing or two about sewing. I also have something specific to blame said injury on, besides the possibility that I was rushing (I would argue that I was not rushing until about half an hour after the cutting happened, but I was a little bit perturbed at the slow printer by that point…)…The ruler! The ruler didn’t have a cork backing. That wouldn’t really be a problem, except that I’m so used to my rulers having cork backings. I didn’t compensate for the lack of non-slip cork, and slippage occurred. Bloodiness ensued.

Guess. What’s. Cool.

Pants! Pants are so cool! I recently mastered sleeves in my flat patterning independent study, and I’ve moved on to pants. I drafted from the instructions of two different sources last night, two pants patterns, and it is positively incredible the differences in the meanings of the words ‘basic pants’! first, one fit me much better than the other. Second, one didn’t even have front darts! odd, indeed. I do love pants. Pants were the reason I started sewing in the first place- I kept growing in the strangest directions, and store-clothes just weren’t cutting it. Still aren’t, really. I’m really a fan of the whole independent study process- it’s enough freedom in the choice of what you do to be termed as fun, and yet enough structure that there’s really no temptation to not work, and shirk deadlines. If I had tried to do this whole patterning thing on my own, first of all I wouldn’t have gotten very far without the (very patient) guidance of the costuming professor, but also it would have been overshadowed by all the ‘actual school work’ I had to do. By making it actual school work as well, I am forced to have fun, basically. Plus, it’s a 400 level class, looks great on paper, and did I mention I am learning like a crazy person? Today at our meeting, Joan said ‘you’re just using me for my library, aren’t you?’- it’s true, she has some incredible books, but I’m using her just as much for her brain, I would argue. Whatever worries I had in the beginning about not being able to access all the information I wanted to learn have been alleviated by all of the awesome independent study opportunities!

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