Sunday, 28 August 2016

In which I complain a lot

The last week and a half has been very frustrating. I have been ALMOST well enough to sew, but not quite. As a result I kept starting to work on things and then having to keel over in a heap for a while to recover when I suddenly felt horrible. This is not an optimal way to actually get anything done.
Jalie 2908 on my cobalt blue fabric
I did mange to get a couple of things cut out by working in short bursts, but they are now both lurking in a pile of pieces waiting for me to get on with the actual sewing. One is just a basic knit top, very dull, but I am also working on is a pair of Jalie 2908 stretch bootcut jeans (a.k.a that pattern everyone and her little dog too made circa 2009/2010) in a cobalt blue stretchy twill. Unfortunately, I can't seem to muster the concentration span to start sewing, particularly since the early stages are all fiddly things like the pockets and the fly. Hopefully I'll have more success with that this week.

Finished body of Il Grande Favorito minus the neckband; with the neckband that I knitted on today
One thing I have managed to get on with is the sweater I am knitting, mainly because knitting mostly involves copious amounts of sitting still, and my pattern requires almost no concentration, being mainly stocking stitch. The pattern is Il Grande Favorito, which is perpetually at the top of the "Hot right now" list on Ravelry and deservedly so. I recommend it highly, especially if you're looking for a low stress sweater pattern. So far, I am reasonably happy with the actual jumper, although I feel like my knitting overall still looks really clunky and Happy Hands At Home. Some of that though is that I keep choosing to knit in cotton which I'm now informed tends to show (bad) stitch definition much more clearly than wool. I've therefore decided to buy a wool yarn for my next sweater though I'm going to make some socks first I think.

The other reason I am frustrated is that I have been planning my autumn sewing. Ordinarily, as anyone who has read this blog will be aware, planning what I am going to do brings me great satisfaction. However, combined with not actually being able to get on with anything, it's mostly just been a source of disgruntlement this last week. Here are some reasons for my frustration:

1. My inability to spend all of my time sewing. I just want to SEW ALL OF THE THINGS! I have 100s of patterns earmarked to use! I have 200m of fabric, give or take, lurking about in my sewing room! Curses on the necessity of doing other things like sleeping, eating, housework, and (one day I hope again) earning a living! Every time I flipped through my patterns this week to pull ideas for the autumn I seemed to see a dozen more things I'd like to make and found myself whining but whyyyyyyyy can't I just sew all the time :( :( :(

2. Why did I ever start trying to plan a wardrobe and keep the size down to a reasonable number? You can't make all of the things if you also have a ceiling on how many things you own. This restriction is so frustrating to me some days and the biggest irritation is that it's entirely self-imposed. I wibble constantly between telling myself it is OK to go over my self-imposed limits (which I know it totally is -- nobody is going to come and arrest me, or even frown at me, even if I own twice as much as I do right now) and remembering why I decided on a generous-but-consciously-limited wardrobe to begin with (many reasons, enumerated at extraordinary and tedious length in my wardrobe planning posts).

3. Why do I not have a more varied life that I can sew more varied things? This is actually mainly frustration with being sick. I just hit the three year anniversary of the first time I was hospitalized with my present illness and everything started going downhill, so this annoyance developed extra force and drama this last week. I am sure I hardly need to inform you that it is very boring to sew for a frequently-housebound way of life. I don't really get to go anywhere or do anything even when I'm moderately well and there's only so many different types of outfits you need when your main activities in life are sitting on your own sofa, sitting on your mum's sofa, and going to the grocery store once a week.

Burda 09-2010-120 -- one of my more ambitious plans for this autumn!
4. Why am I not a better sewer? I have a couple of projects in my plan that I really want to try that are probably above my skill level. I mean, it won't stop me trying them, but I dislike having to brace myself for failure.

5. Why do I own the stash I own? I am frustrated that I own: fabrics in fibres I do not like (polyester chiffon, eek, the horror) even if I like the print; fabrics in colours I like in the abstract but in practice never wear and that go with nothing else in my wardrobe; fabric pieces in lengths that are either too long or too short for their most likely use (too long meaning I would end up with an unusable scrap at the end); fabrics too precious to use (why?!); and fabrics I just outright do not like.

6. Why am I such a stick-in-the-mud about what I'll actually wear? I made two summer dresses earlier this year and we've had some actually nice days of weather this summer. I could have worn my sundresses, but in fact I only wore one of them once. I sort of thought that might be the case, which is why I didn't make more than two. I feel so self-conscious in dresses even though I know that no, really, other than my mum, nobody gives a single damn what I am wearing, or even often sees it (see above re. my rather restricted life). I just don't reach for dresses, it seems. I've been sort of planning to experiment with some very slightly different trouser shapes and top lengths, and also with making slightly different loungewear this autumn, but now I am second guessing myself as to whether I'll actually wear it.

In conclusion: I am in such a whiny mood at the moment, and I've achieved very little, sewing-wise. I will be back in a more cheerful state of mind AND with finished garments soon, I hope!


  1. I feel for you, I buy fabric on impulse and later regret it. I have quite a stash, too, and due to my problems with my health have to pace myself, though not as much as you do. I know what it's like to get frustrated with your abilities or lack there of. Just remember, we sew because we want to sew, not because we must. When you decide you are ready to get rid of the fabrics you don't like, there are sewing guilds that would love to accept them. Take some deep breaths, and step away from the sewing until you can enjoy it again.

    1. You are right! Sometimes it's hard to remember this is my hobby that I do for fun because I get caught up in the nitty gritty of it.