How to Win Friends and Shank People, and NOT Sew Knit Skirts

I had a post all planned for yesterday.  It was Youngest’s birthday party, and I figured I’d do a quick post before everyone arrived on How to Shank a Skank or a Douche.  This is part of a discussion I was having last week with Elizabeth of Flourish in Progress (, seriously, go visit her.  The girl oozes awesome).  Anyway, we agreed that this was a sorely needed skill set and that I should do a Monday Dare on how to shank people.  Because I’m clearly an expert — not on shanking,  but on my ego writing checks my body can’t cash.  So an hour before the itty bitty guests and their various parental units showed up, I was googling How to Shank Someone.  You know, like you do.

It turns out Google does not know how to shank people either.  There are the usual Youtube videos of teenagers goofing around, but the videos are so blurry, you’re more likely to get seasick than learn anything.  I did learn the definition of “shank” — to stab someone with a homemade knife as they do in prison.  I also learned the difference between shiv and shank.  A shiv is the homemade knife you shank someone with.  Good to know, I’d hate to get the usage wrong.

So this is my advice on how to shank someone: quickly, and not with anything that can identify you.  Shanking with a generic plastic comb, good.  Shanking with a letter opener with a carved ivory handle featuring the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil monkeys?  Bad.  Also likely to get you in trouble with customs, due to the ban on ivory.  Any questions?

The other thing I learned in the last 24 hours: it is better to sew a pattern you are excited about than to attempt to churn out a quick version of something you really can’t be arsed with.  I tried to sew two knit skirts this morning.  I now have two wadders, one of which was Simplicity 2368.  Another thing I learned?  Patterns for wovens that you don’t like are generally not improved by being done in knits.  2368 is the classic example of a pattern that is easy, that works on other people, and that looks like ass on me.  I am clearly not an easy person, and my pattern successes and failures prove the point, again and again.  So I opted to sew the pattern I REALLY wanted to sew:  McCalls 6328, View F.

This is how far I got today:

I pinned it on my dress form and the pleats are making it hang weird. I promise these shorts are not that pouchy.

I’m actually very pleased with View F so far, they seem like very practical shorts.  I did have some trouble with the pocket curve, even after trimming a lot and topstitching twice.  The curve is almost too steep to lay well, but I might use pinking shears to notch it next time and see how that works.  I cut a 14 because I wanted the extra room in the rise — I like my shorts baggy — but will need to take in the usual inch at the sides.  I’m also going to do a deep hem instead of turn up cuffs because I can’t stand the way cuffs bunch up around my legs.  Will I wear them in San Francisco?  Who knows and who cares.  I’ve learned my lesson…..don’t anger the sewing mojo.  It just might shank you.

(As an aside, Youngest had a fabulous party that lasted for 8 hours and Oldest fell down the stairs and got a nasty rug burn.  It’s not a real party unless someone gets hurt, ya know.)

Posted on July 19, 2011, in my weird sense of humor, sewing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. They’re looking good, good luck! Also congrats on your giveaway win 🙂

  2. first, i totally agree. the party doesn’t really get rollin’ till someone gets hurt. and…8 hours…woman, you are hero. or a saint. or, actually, you may be neither since you are totally down with this shank with a shiv thing. i learned something new right now- the difference between a shank and a shiv.

    thanks for the shoutout, yo!

    • I think I could pass for hero. Don’t heroes usually need weapons? Saints on the other hand, are all about the endurance. Pretty sure I ain’t a candidate for sainthood.

      An 8 hour party sounds bad until you realize all the parents stayed too, and hung out eating and drinking and chatting away. All I had to do was keep the refreshments flowing.

  3. Shanking, skirting, and hurting. All very nice things to combine in one post.

    Nice skirt. I am not a sewing person, nor do I wear skirts, although at some time in the future I may wear a kilt or something like that but not because I am a cop in boston or chicago or in the masons just because I reserve the right to do that at a future date.

    Nice shanking advice. Whenever I shank people, I try to do it with a sharp piece of plastic. It doesn’t show up on the metal detectors, and there’s something ghetto-artsy about turning your credit card into a weapon.

    Hurting kids. A must at any party at my house. It’s amazing how many times a kid can hit his head and not get brain damage.

    • Now I know what to do with my expired credit cards. AWESOME. Servicey and recyclable, that’s the key.

      We’re not sure about the brain damage, but Oldest has been to the ER more than the rest of the family combined and appears to be quite gifted. Just not at anything that requires his body to move in a coordinated manner. I look forward to the day he grows into his limbs….like, say, around 35.

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