Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Simple (successful!) sewing and some thoughts on longer term projects

I decided at the start of the week I needed to do some certain-to-be successful sewing to make up for the weekend's failtastic efforts and to reassure myself that it is worth keeping on sewing through the disappointments. I've therefore made two very quick repeats of easy knit patterns: one black t-shirt in my super reliable scoop-neck TNT pattern with three quarter sleeves, and a pair of dark purple yoga pants using Burda 11-2005-127. I've worn/laundered the other two pairs I made about a year ago with the latter pattern to the point where fabric destruction is pretty imminent but happily, construction destruction is not. Always good when your sewing outlasts your fabric! I'll probably find a new and different yoga pants pattern when I come to replace the original two pairs later this year but I was quite happy to use this one a third time.

There's absolutely nothing interesting about these garments except that I made them successfully, so all I really have to say about them in conclusion is: \o/

I'm posting these photos not because the garments are in any way interesting, but just to prove to myself that I did make something!
Both of these easy garments were in my sewing queue and in my wardrobe gap fill list, but I have to admit I changed up the order of my queue in order to sew them immediately. The rest of my queue is a mix of: knit patterns I am using for the first time and that therefore could potentially go wrong; woven tops and shirts that are more time consuming and fiddly; and outerwear. None of those were really good for basic confidence boosting sewing, so they got shoved down the list temporarily.

My queue, overall, is actually pretty short at the moment, mainly because of my wardrobe planning efforts. I am not really trying to have a minimalist wardrobe by any stretch of the imagination, but after spending all this time really thinking about what I wear every day, what kind of activities I do and what I want to sew vs. buy I've ended up with a pretty short list of things to add to my wardrobe in the immediate future. In some ways, the realization that I just don't need too many more garments is quite aggravating, because I do love sewing and pattern browsing (and pattern buying) and putting  limits on how many clothes I make/own is obviously in direct conflict with my frequent desire to Sew All The Things and own all the patterns and also my intention to sew up a lot of my fabric stash.

However, I've decided to view the shortness of my queue as an opportunity to develop some of my plans into longer and more complex projects. For example, I mentioned I have some woven shirts in my queue, at least one of which is going to be a casual button-front shirt. I had been vaguely thinking I would just pull out the Ottobre 05-2012-07 pattern I've used before. I like my two shirts from that pattern a lot and I'd probably end up with a perfectly serviceable shirt. However, I think I might get a better result if I start completely fresh with a new base size. Previously, I've made a size 44 with adjustments. More recently, however, I've been experimenting with starting from a size 40 in Ottobre patterns and finding it to be a much better fit through the shoulders at least, though requiring much more adjustment lower down the bodice. As I've become more confident in my FBAs recently, though, I feel like I am happy to do more pattern work and not just fudge it by starting with a larger size. It does mean though that rather than jump straight to cutting out, I'm going to have to start again from scratch with tracing out a new size, adjusting it and making a muslin etc.

I also bought (despite my general aversion to Craftsy) the all-access Craftsy pass for October. I'm planning to blitz my way through some of the pattern-making and construction courses, particularly the sloper classes by Suzy Furrer that seem to get good reviews everywhere. In the past, I've kind of shied away from those sorts of projects because it's a lot of effort without a specific result, but I feel like now is a good time to give it a try. So, I might be reporting more of a mix of my efforts in those directions and finished garments for a while (and since I was encouraged by a couple of comments, probably more detail about my wardrobe planning stuff as well).


  1. I have the same problem that my desire for (and acquisition of) patterns and fabric far outweighs my need for clothes. If I sewed up all the fabric I have stashed away, there'd be no room in my closet to store them. Thankfully I don't have to store my fabric in the closet!

    1. I have a lot of fabric that would make entirely the wrong KIND of clothes for my current lifestyle as well. I went kind of NUTS the first year I sewed and bought all kinds of things that I didn't exactly need but just really liked. If I were to sew it all up I'd have a ridiculously unuseful wardrobe!

  2. Someone commented on my Instagram how their recent fail zapped their mojo. And my recommendation was to sew a guaranteed win. Like this! :)

    It really is the best way to cleanse the palette. And now you have awesome new loungewear!

    I just pulled about 20 or so yards from the stash to donate to my husband's school. Yay!

    1. Yay for stash busting! :D That's a huge chunk of fabric to dispose of!