sewing mojo

Other than a quilt commissioned for the most adorable baby on the planet and a slouchy sweater, I’ve not sewn much since September. I’ve been frustrated by this.

Perhaps because of the epic (near-infinite) length of my Fall Sewing Wishlist – had I been fair, I would have called it a Cold Weather Sewing Wishlist, at least to give myself some more time.

Perhaps because indie designers keep releasing amazing patterns. (Both of those are somewhat daunting. Both have been added to my infinite list.)

Perhaps because I’ve started following more awesome makers on their blogs and instagram, and now I’m surrounded by people who are making thing after thing, and it’s like this new, uncharted, internet-induced version of working retail and trying not to be influenced by the fact that every day at work people are buying things. (I called that Retail Vision.)

Of course, I have had very good reasons to not be sewing on weekends. My schedule looks very different than it did a year ago. And, realistically, I probably didn’t sew as much last winter as I assume. (One of the reasons I track things like this on the blog is because my memory is so untrustworthy. I either over-inflate past accomplishments, or forget about them entirely. This blog is an attempt to track, and maybe even understand better, the real rhythms of my life.)

I ATTEMPTED to sew something a few weeks ago, and have a lovely idea of a winter work dress sitting in Time Out until I’m ready to revisit my mistakes and come up with solutions. This made me nervous. What if I forgot how to sew clothing? Will I ever gather the momentum needed to tackle some of the daunting projects on my sewing list? My mom is eventually going to ask what happened with that fancy stretch denim she bought me for Christmas.

Tools. #crafterday Pile of projects. #crafterday

Having said all of that, I’m thrilled to announce that I REMEMBER HOW TO SEW THINGS. And I managed to make some this past weekend!

Shown above, and on instagram, are two of the projects I started and finished. A floral Plantain Tee, which finally (FINALLY) had a neckband that looks like it’s supposed to. (Something finally clicked.) And a bright orchid wrap cardigan, made by altering the Plantain Tee pattern, to relieve the black one that is in constant use (and is constantly being complimented).

There will be photos of those finished items in the future, though I’m thinking about dyeing the wrap so it’s a darker, more neutral color. What do you think would be the best overdye? Maroon? Navy? I don’t mix colors often enough to know what’s going to happen. This might be an impulse decision, since my plan is to dye it in my parents’ laundry room this coming weekend, since I’ll be visiting and they have an unfinished basement and laundry sink that will reduce my fear of dripping colors.


And THEN, as if two start-to-finish items in one weekend isn’t exciting enough (I even remembered to pre-wash them, which is nearly miraculous), I KEPT GOING. And I made this Lady Skater in a lightweight sweatshirt knit! This fabric and pattern have been sitting in my room for weeks, taunting me. I assumed this would be my Holiday Sewing Project, along with the dress that is currently in Time Out.

My ONLY complaint about this dress is that the elastic on the waistband is all wobbly. I’ve not had this problem before, and I worried that maybe I was supposed to stretch the elastic while sewing. That wasn’t it – the instructions clearly tell you not to stretch the elastic. I THINK that happened is that the fabric was stretching, but not the elastic. I’m going to unpick the zigzag stitch I always add to stabilize the seams, and see what happens. If it’s still wonky, I might have to trim out the elastic. Or even (gasp) attempt to unpick the whole waistline. But I’ll have to work fast, because this dress is going to be in weekly rotation until spring!

One thought on “sewing mojo

  1. Hi, I’ve found your blog through your friend ‘Little Stories’ – great to see sewing your own stuff, I’m a big fan, usually adapting charity shop (thrift store) garments in some way. I’m interested in your successful stretch stuff – I’ve always been terrified of it :)

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