Friday, 7 March 2014

A change of plan

Just before the start of the month I posted about how my plan for March was to make a fitted blouse, and potentially enter it into the PR competition. I was, briefly, enthusiastic about this project, because the fit I get from RTW fitted blouses is execrable: anything that fits at the bust fits nowhere else, and vice versa. I genuinely, honestly want to make fitted blouses at some point this year as my frustration with RTW on normal fitted clothes that I wear every day is a big part of why I switched over to garment sewing from bag sewing in the first place.

However, having traced the pattern, I promptly lapsed into sewing apathy: the traced pattern sat on the floor of my sewing room while I used my daily sewing time to pick up and put down the refinement of my knit top block, try on dresses, re-organize my pattern magazines, and set up a new way to write and keep all my pattern notes (Evernote! I love it!). While perfectly entertaining in their own right, none of these things actually got me closer to having more clothes. I am now into the very last bag of 'too small' clothes that I had in storage, and apparently the last time I was at or near this size I mainly wore either t-shirts and jeans or else clothes only suitable for high summer. Since I am now working, and it is currently March, chilly and often damp here in Dublin, unproductive apathy is not the outcome I need from the time I can allot to sewing. I'm not exactly walking around in threadbare rags, but I don't have much variety and I see no point in having piles of fabric, time specifically allotted to sewing and no clothes to show for any of it.

Then a couple of days ago, it finally occurred to me that my apathy was actually well founded. Among the only useful things that were in the final bag of clothes in storage were three fitted blouses which, while no better than any other RTW I've owned, were not noticeably worse either. Plus I have several others that I suppose are technically too big for me but that are in fact perfectly wearable, so really, I don't need any more for the time being. The PR competition of itself is no particular inducement for various reasons. And finally, I just don't WANT to get into learning about collars and cuffs and buttonholes and everything right now. I don't feel like I have the bandwidth to do a lot of reading about techniques and methods right now, and I definitely don't have the mental fortitude either.

I therefore consulted the great oracle of my wardrobe planning spreadsheet for what I should make, and I concluded that in reality, what I need are tops that are NOT traditional buttoned formal blouses: lightweight pullover woven and knit tops that I can wear on their own or under a cardigan. Plus, I need to start making a few things that can transition to spring when (if) it arrives.

Somehow, just seeing how my wardrobe gaps were playing out kicked me back into gear: I put away one pile of fabric and patterns, and started a new one. Last night I worked properly on my knit top block again and figured out how to fix a couple of little problems I had with the first heavily modified New Look 6150 that I made based on it. I have another one mostly cut out and will probably get that finished today and tomorrow. It's not exciting sewing, but it's necessary sewing. I do get a charge from wearing my me-made clothes, and I feel like continuing to try to improve my sewing technique on these not-very-exciting garments can only help me when I try to make more exciting things later. Plus, I feel like working on fit in smaller chunks rather than jumping straight on to a highly fitted pattern will probably work for me better. Next week I'm off home for a few days so no sewing will get done, but after I come back, it'll be full steam ahead with my newest plans.

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