Saturday, 17 December 2016

So far, in December

Over the last couple of weeks I have:

So many miles of curtain and lining hems. SO MANY.
1. Hemmed all of the curtains in the world, and all of the linings. It took an unbelievably long time to get them all done, but my mum was pleased to have them finished and hung before the Hordes of House-guests arrived. (The Hordes have now arrived and are occupying a great deal of everyone's time.)

New PJs in black cotton with a ditsy floral pattern

2. Made a pair of PJs, more to get myself going again making things than because I was desperately in need of more winter PJs. The fabric is the remains of a large piece black cotton with a tiny floral that I bought 3 years ago, and which I once used to make a horribly unsuccessful dress. The print is, I realize now, really not me at all but it was a great fabric for PJs. I had exactly the right amount left to make a pair of my old faithful PJ pattern, Butterick 5704. An ideal use of resources all round!

New Look 6303 (View C) in blue floral viscose
3. Made a New Look 6303 blouse in a blue floral viscose. This is one of those draped cross-front/faux-wrap blouses everyone has been wearing for about 2 years and I've been meaning to make at least as long. I have an extended family meet-up to attend this weekend and I made this blouse in anticipation of it. On the one hand, it came out beautifully as far as the sewing and the fabric/pattern match-up are concerned. I was a little concerned that the way you construct the front would mean the flowers on one half of the bodice were visibly upside down and on the bias. Well, I mean, they ARE upside down and sideways, but I don't think really noticeable unless you know to look for it and I don't think it's visually distracting even if you know about it.

However, I didn't make a muslin and the fit is all wrong. It's tighter than I like across the upper back and shoulders. I could live with this (as I frequently do with RTW) but while the front looks actually great if I stand still, if I move my arms around at all it all pulls completely open. I experimented with safety pins but that looks worse. To get it to fit properly I probably needed to go up at least one size through the bodice and/or do an FBA.

The basic problem is that my fluctuating weight (caused mainly by changes in my medication at the moment) has shot up over the last couple of months and it was very difficult to decide what size to make as a result. I thought I'd be OK with a New Look 16 even at my current weight based on the finished measurements but I didn't make a muslin and frankly have no idea how I'd have altered this pattern anyway given the pattern pieces. So, blah, not only do I have a perfectly nice blouse that I can't wear unless/until my weight wanders downwards again, but I also have to figure out something different to wear to my family event this weekend now. This is a depressing outcome. I try very hard not to let my weight/weight changes bother me, both because it's not important compared to my overall health situation and also for Serious Feminist Reasons about body acceptance and the importance of not making weight a factor in our moral judgement of people (especially women) starting with myself. However, I do think it would be easier to achieve body acceptance if I could have more or less the same body for more than a couple of months at a time. It's very frustrating when you sew to try to fit a constantly moving target and I tend to transfer that to frustration with my body rather than with sewing.

Cross-stitch kit: Ho Ho Ho ornament
4. Since making clothes is annoying at the moment, I have been having an intense flirtation with doing cross-stitch, which is a form of embroidery I have not done much of since my very early teens. I don't have very many Christmas ornaments at all because I normally spend most of the holiday period with my family and I tend not to decorate my own house. This year I put out the tiny collection of Christmas decorations I had and was struck by the desire to have a few more. Rather than buy some finished ornaments though, I decided I wanted to make some. I started with this little Ho Ho Ho placard using an inexpensive kit. For something I haven't done in years I thought the actual cross-stitch came out quite well and I really enjoyed making it. I got a couple of other kits to play with as a result - some more Christmas ornament type things, but also a larger kit that I want to stitch starting in January.

5. Other things I have been doing: knitting up a storm (some of it Secret Gift Knitting, so I shall do a knitting round-up once the gift giving season is done); writing my end-of-year review posts for this blog (so boring for everyone to read but I love writing them so, whatever, be prepared to skip them); and thinking about what I want to do sewing-wise in 2017 and coming up with all sorts of fun ideas for myself. :D


  1. The weight thing sounds totally frustrating. What's so great is that you just keep going on and making things. I think every project that doesn't come out quite right is just another step on the way towards the ones that WILL come out the way you want. A couple of posts ago you inspired me to go back to making some "basics" in neutral colors and I'm nearly done with a rayon/lycra t-shirt from my TNT pattern (very slow sewist here). It's still not going to be "perfect" but it is so much closer than any of my earlier efforts. Persistence pays off. Kudos to you for all the hemming, too, and I am wishing you a lovely Christmas holiday with your new ornaments!

  2. Oh, and I for one am really looking forward to your end-of-year review posts!

  3. I hope you have a lovely Christmas, and I for one, will be looking forward to your end of year post.