And yet fanfiction is an inherently transformative work which, by its very nature, strives to address or change some flaw that exists in canon, even if that flaw is “why isn’t there more of this thing?!” Fanfiction has addressed the lack of gay men by making straight characters gay; it’s addressed countless cultural misappropriations with wildly varying AUs; it’s addressed canon plot holes and timeline issues with fix-it fics and crossovers. Fanfic is the show your show could be like, if only you dared to dream.
But for all its transformative nature, fanfiction and fandom still suffer from a real dearth of femslash. Beyond the simple fact that very few girls exist in canon materials, the societal emphasis on the male gaze seems to have affected fanficcers’ creativity to such an extent that even in our own fantasies, we cannot give women a fair shake. Just as the answer to “Why is there so much slash?” cannot be boiled down to “ Well, straight girls are horny”, the answer to “Why isn’t there any femslash?” cannot be boiled down to “Well, straight girls don’t care.” The bias against female characters and female pleasure is an ingrained, institutionalized problem which won’t go away on its own.
I’m writing this because it’s taken me months of being confused, and of having to look up blanket stitch every. time. I. start. a new line, and of being thoroughly lost whenever I tried tailor’s stitch. And then the cycle repeated itself. So, now I’ve finally figured it out, and because I’m not the only person who finds pictures/diagrams a little confusing, I’ve written this out. If nothing else, the next time I’ve forgotten, I’ll have this to look up.
The most important difference – and this is the root of all my confusion – is that blanket stitch (the plain edging without knots) is made with the needle pointing towards the hem. You go down into the fabric and up in the solid line.
Tailor’s stitch (the edging with a knot) is made with the needle pointing towards the fabric. You go down into the solid line, and up into the fabric, pointing away from the ‘legs’ of the stitch.
Once I got that, everything else fell into place.
I’m stitching right to left, adapt as you need.
Also, apologies for the quality of the cellphone pictures. I don’t own an actual camera.
After anchoring your thread, bring the needle up in line with where you want the solid, knotted line to be. Insert the needle at the next point on the line. Bring your needle up at 90 ° making the ‘leg’ of the stitch as long as you need.
Take the working thread just below your needle, and slip it under the needle’s point, right to left (or left to right if you’re sewing in that direction).
Pull your needle through the fabric, and allow the knot to close. You’ll see the knot forming as follows:
Pull on the working thread in the direction of the ‘leg’ of the stitch. You might need to wiggle the thread a bit to get the knot in place, but finish the tension in the direction of the leg (you can see that I’ve only just got this, because my tension in the Aida fabric is slightly off).
And repeat as needed! So simple I’m kicking myself :)
To finish off, insert your needle in the same hole (for Aida/evenweave fabric) or just underneath the knot, and weave in the back.
I hope this helps you as much as it will, guaranteed, help me the next time I forget.
Daylight Saving Time is upon us, and we’re (theoretically) headed into spring. Personally, I find it hard to welcome spring when there’s still a half a foot of snow on the ground and we had flurries again this morning, but the calendar says it’s almost spring, so we’ll go with that. With the advent of spring comes the truly obnoxious concept of “spring cleaning.” While I understand that some…