Friday, November 8, 2013

Night night, sleep tight.

     I'd been wanting to make myself a sleep mask for a while now, for a totally First World Problems-esque reason: I like to fall asleep with the tv on, because listening to it keeps my mind just occupied enough to stave off my nighttime anxiety/racing thoughts, but not so occupied that I can't fall asleep. That's not the first world problem, though. It's that my tv is kind of too big and bright. Yeah, I'm sorry that I even made you read me saying that, because I realize what a jerk it makes me sound like. But it's true! It's a great tv for daytime, but when I'm trying to fall asleep, those bright white commercials can be a little jarring (somebody call the Waaaah-mbulance). So I decided I'd whip up a quick little eye mask to wear at night. Well, it would have been a quick project, were I not completely and utterly incompetent. But we'll get to that. First, let me get to the point and show you what I made. 

     As you can see, it's pretty simple. It's assembled from these pieces...

     I would have taken pictures of the assembly process, but as I mentioned, it was kind of a shit-show for me, so the documentation part slipped my mind. Basically I just cut out two pieces of a soft stretchy-ish fabric based on a template I made of paper, then cut out two layers of batting in the same shape, but smaller so they'd fit inside. For the straps, I made my life way more difficult than it had to be by making them out of fabric, sewing a long rectangle into a tube and turning it (the unfinished edge ended up inside the seam of the mask, so I didn't have to worry about that). In hindsight, I wish I'd just used ribbon. To assemble, I put the two pieces of the mask right sides together and sewed around everywhere except the sides, where I wanted the straps to attach inside. Then I turned it right side out, shoved the batting inside, lined up the straps, and sewed them in, closing the open spaces on the mask at the same time. To make the mask stay on and actually, you know, function, I sewed a bit of elastic at the back (you can see it in the top photo if you look closely; it's right underneath where the two straps overlap at the back). Finally, for the cheeky eyelashes and winged liner, I used some scrap lace and ribbon, attached with hot glue. 

     Did I make that sound simple? It really should have been. But nooo, I had to make it involve literal tears and blood. See, originally I was going to make the whole mask out of that blue fabric the straps are made from, but it turns out that fabric is a complete and utter bitch to sew on. It kept shredding and turning into this fine blue fuzzy dust in my hands. Absolute misery. Eventually my frustration got the better of me, and I decided to switch gears. The animal print fabric I chose instead was somewhat easier to work with, but since it's stretchy, it still gave me a few issues. I also somehow managed to gravely wound myself with a pin when placing the straps, which necessitated a ten minute break to hold a paper towel on my finger (I considered adding a picture of the bloodied paper towel for drama, but decided that was probably too gross and vaguely serial-killer-y). How do you hurt yourself so badly with a straight-pin that it bleeds for ten minutes? Hell if I know. Blind luck, I guess. So that's where the blood came in.  

     After that I figured I was in for a massively traumatic hot glue gun burn or something, but surprisingly I managed to traverse that minefield safely. Where it really all went to hell was when I was about two minutes from being done, as I was sewing in the elastic piece at the back. Remember those nice straps that I went to all the trouble of making out of that God-forsaken blue fabric composed of a heretofore unknown form of matter that is apparently only a solid mass until I touch it? Just after I finished sewing the first side of the elastic, I went to cut the thread using the little blade tucked away on the back side of my sewing machine. But somehow I managed to get the strap caught in the (seriously, freaking microscopic) blade instead, and in that one quick motion I'm used to doing to cut the thread, I SLICED RIGHT INTO MY BEAUTIFUL OVERLY COMPLICATED STRAPS LIKE GODDAMN SWEENEY TODD. It was at this point that I completely lost it. 

     I couldn't decide if I wanted to laugh or cry, so I kind of did both? It was that fifty-fifty split of sobbing and hysterical laughter that's generally reserved for disturbed lighthouse keepers. I'm sure it was frightening to behold. Especially because I did it while sitting in the middle of this mess:

     Not exactly the kind of beautiful, clean, organized, naturally-lit workspace all the other DIY bloggers have, but I'm pretty sure they're just photoshopping out all the candy wrappers and fabric schnibbles and bloodied tissue scraps. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself. 

     Anyway, after taking a tiny project and somehow turning it into a massive ordeal, I'm gonna go take that sleep mask for a spin and hope my next project goes more smoothly! 

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