Sunday, 29 October 2017

Some progress, at least

October has been, on the whole, very dull. The weather has been mostly grey and wet, I have recovered disappointingly slowly from last month's major health setback, and in general very little worthy of note occurred. I didn't sew at all the first two weeks of the month as I really didn't feel well enough to do anything that wasn't lurk miserably under a blanket most of the day. However, the second half of the month was MUCH better and I was much more able to do things.

I decided that in order to get back into a sewing routine I would pick out all the least taxing projects from my autumn/winter queue, in terms of physical and mental effort required. While this approach was very successful from getting-back-into-sewing point of view, I have to admit that it makes for very dull blogging. Honestly, most of my 2017 sewing output so far has been deathly boring even to me -- I'm hoping the end of the year improves a bit!

Top row: StyleArc Estelle cardigan in green ponte, Butterick 5704 PJs in checked shirting. Bottom row: Burda 01-2017-124 PJs (simplified) in hideous red fabric and my t-shirt sloper in green.

Briefly, then: the four things I made this month were:

1. Another StyleArc Estelle cardigan, in dark green;
2. A green three-quarter sleeve t-shirt using my basic t-shirt sloper;
3. A pair of my TNT long PJ trousers, Butterick 5704, in a blue checked shirting fabric,
4. A simplified version of the wide-legged PJ trousers I made at the start of the year (Burda 01-2017-124), without the piping or separate cuff pieces. I described these on Instagram as hideously ugly and seriously UGLY! Yet, I love this pattern and the fabric is silky and delightful to wear, so I don't really even care that the colour is a revolting tomato-y red, weirdly tie-dyed and overall fug. :D

I think I am going to retire the StyleArc Estelle pattern for now as I've made it six times. I've loved the ones I've made and they've all been in constant rotation. One of them, in plain black, I wore out in under a year and it has already gone in the recycling. Two of the others are likely to follow shortly as the fabric is starting to look shabby. As much as I like my remaining Estelles and the pattern in general, though, I think I'd like to make a different pattern now.

The only other thing I have to say about making these four things is that I briefly came to loathe my recently purchased overlocker while sewing the knits. I was having SO MANY problems with it. It kept missing stitches and the thread kept breaking, so I was having to rethread the loopers every few minutes. You know how it is when you're ill and tired and not at your best overall; little annoyances seem a thousand times more dramatic and difficult than they really are. Well, I was so much in that state of mind that I was literally crying over the stupid overlocker because it just wouldn't WORK. I felt like I had tried EVERYTHING -- different thread, different tension settings, completely rethreading the machine a million times, checking all the settings, etc etc etc. Then, paging through the instruction manual "Troubleshooting" section, I realized I hadn't tried one of the most obvious things of all: changing the needles. Two minutes of effort to do that, and hey presto, everything worked perfectly again. I felt like such an idiot! /o\ The only positive is that I got a LOT of threading practice and could now probably thread that machine in my sleep!

Overlocker-related dramatics aside, now that I am back on track a bit I have been making plans for November. First up, I want to make some more knit tunics to go with leggings for lounging around the house. I've got four new-to-me patterns all picked out and ready to start tracing, fabric and notions lined up and ready, and I'm keen to get on with those garments. I also picked up both my cross-stiching and knitting. And, over the course of several of the recent lurking-feebly-on-my-sofa days, I did a little more fine-tuning of my wardrobe plans and spreadsheets, which I will probably write about a bit more soon. One of these days I might even post my years-in-draft post about my colour choices!


  1. Aww I was reading and thinking, change the needles! Haha!! Glad you got it working!

    I love all of your Estelles!! And nothing wrong with utility - even in weird tie-dye :)

    1. I know, in retrospect I can't even imagine why I didn't change the needles straight away when it started missing stitches! I'm going to use the "I'm kind of sick" excuse, and uh, pretend I wasn't just having a very dumb day :D