I’ll admit this has been a tough week, and the last two days have been really hard, because I was driving myself to meet a self-imposed deadline, and things kept slowing me down.
Yesterday I sewed until time to meet my friend Robin for lunch. We had a good lunch and a good visit, but it went long enough that I had to cancel an errand I had planned to run, because I knew I really had to take a nap before driving to Waxahachie to pick up Lucy from ArtLife.
I had been told to pick her up at 7:00 as there would be no program this year. Secretly, I was relieved because that meant I would be home in time to get some sewing in before I went to bed. First I had to get there though. I was more than half an hour late due to a massive traffic jam caused by an accident on the interstate. I went two miles in half an hour!
Then, when I arrived, it turned out that there was a program after all, and Lucy’s part of it was already over! *sigh* I’m glad the kids got a chance to perform, but I’m sorry to say I couldn’t enjoy it because all I could think of was the sewing time I was losing. By the time we pulled out of the parking lot, it was after 10:00 and I was in tears. I knew that all hope of making myself a costume for the banquet was lost. I’d be lucky to finish the cloak by tonight, and it HAD to be finished before dark so I could photograph it!
We made it home at about 12:40 a.m. and I just stayed in my clothes and slept on the couch for a while before getting up at 5:00 to sew some more before going to Walmart. Then I had to go to Walmart again when the pharmacy opened to get insulin for our trip, and after that it was all about sewing. The design I dreamed up over the last two years was very labor intensive. I went through two large spools of thread.
I wanted to quit sewing, because I was hot and sweaty and exhausted, but of course I could not quit because that would be failure. In my head, I believed the deadline had to be 7:30 at the latest, because there had to be enough daylight left to take pictures. (Since we are leaving in the morning, the cloak had to be finished and the photos taken before we go.)
I sewed and sewed and sewed. This is not the most labor-intensive cloak I’ve made–that honor goes to the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcloak–but it was certainly a great deal of effort, and I have no plans to ever make another one! Believe it or not, I finished with 30 minutes to spare and I commandeered Jasper to model the cloak so I could get the pictures up. He loved it and now wants one!
This cloak features the following:
Zippered arm openings that can be opened or closed as needed
Two knife/pen pockets
2 D-rings that you can clip your keys to
A large map pocket
A veil that hangs out of the way when not in use, but can be brought up to cover the wearer’s face
18 loops that can be used to turn the cloak into a shelter of some sort
2 rod pockets so you can use a staff or sword hilt to hold up one end of the cloak
8 narrow pockets containing lightweight aluminum tent stakes
2 pockets which each contain 30 feet of military grade paracord
So why did I go to all this trouble? I donate a cloak to the raffle every year but I’ve never put so much effort into it before–and am unlikely to do so again! Sure, I hope it brings in a lot of scholarship money, but the real reason I did it was for the creative challenge. I had the idea two years ago and spent the intervening time puzzling out how to make each feature work and planning the design. I literally spent hundreds of hours thinking about this cloak. Now the process is complete. I dreamed up the design and then I made it work! That’s what I enjoy.
Tomorrow, we leave for South Dakota and spend the night in a state we’ve never been to before–Nebraska!
Some cloak photos, for those of you who don’t have access to the Facebook album.
The cloak from the outside. A lot of the stitching shows on the outside, but it couldn’t be helped.
Pocket contents–paracord, knife, tent stakes
The whole cloak spread out, showing the inside and all the loops.