Thursday, April 19, 2007

Learning Something New

I love that dress I just made because I have a new dress but more importantly, because I learned something about myself. Not just about my sewing habits but about how I think about things. I was sooooo reluctant to do that fba, because as I said I never want to take the time. When I don't do those necessary steps though, the clothes just don't fit right. I am constantly tugging at my tops which aren't long enough or don't provide enough coverage. Because I actually wear these clothes, I look at the hems and the necklines and wrinkles in the arm. I never like it but I won't do the work to prevent it. Two days ago, when I was putting the steam a seam in the skirt hem, I kept telling myself "Oh who cares, you don't need to do this. Just sit there and hold the fabric steady" But I know from experience that if I do use the steam a seam in the hem basting process, I get much more control over the coverhem. I also know that if I were making it for someone else, I'd be much more careful. I'd make sure every thread was snipped, every hem was even. I have been de-valuing myself through sewing.


I fully intend to take the time to re-thread the serger for the perfect stitch, I'm going to mark those pattern indications perfectly, I'm going to measure the hems. I'm going to hand baste when needed. It's those little details that make the wearer look and feel really good. It's one thing to spend a bunch of money on a dress or a jacket, but it's a whole lot cooler to have made one that looks like you spent a bunch of money. I love wearing clothes with those little details that I couldn't afford otherwise. If I'm going to go through whole process of making something, I should make it as well as is possible.

Next up on the cutting table:

Butterick 4914

I figure I'm having good luck with the wrap dress, hopefully this one will work out well. I may also start work on my leather purse. OOOH!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Did It! Butterick 5001

I started this some time ago and now I've finally finished what I started. I didn't think I'd be able to do it. I know how I am and I'm quick to move a challenge to the back burner to be dealt with later. I finally finished my dress. Technically, speaking this is a super easy dress to sew. It doesn't take any special knowledge and it isn't a difficult design. What was challenging for me was the FBA (or full bust adjustment). I always need to do one, yet I rarely do. I never want to take the time. This time, I armed myself with Debbie Cook's FBA instructions, a copy of Fit For Real People, a bunch of tape, tracing paper, rulers, pens and some liquid courage.

It was really intimidating to cut into that pattern piece, not because I was afraid I'd ruin it, I only paid a buck for the pattern. I was afraid I'd ruin it and I wouldn't know how I'd ruined it.

All in all, even if the dress hadn't been fit to wear, I'd have learned something and that was worth the money and the time spent. Now I feel like making another wrap style dress and doing all of the necessary adjustments, why not?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sewing Just For Fun

Lately things have just been too heavy. I decided that I needed a break, a big friggin' break. I kept trying to work on my dress but that was causing me all kinds of body anxiety. I realized I was being a big idiot to keep punishing myself like that and one day I just lost it. Julie came over because she's a good friend and we were going through some of my stuff in the sewing room and I showed her my cat quilt that was in process. She made the good point that it looked really cute and cheerful and I had to admit that she was right.

So I started working on it again. It's been nice. Fun, no pressure, no deadline, no cost sewing ( I already have everything I need). I got much of the fabric from various fabric swaps on the quilting forums and the quilting forum. The last swap I did was a year long 10" fabric swap. It was really fun to get all the different fabrics every month. I think the 30's fabric swap was last march or april. I got like 40 10" squares of fabric. Here's a cute cat closeup:

I've so far made 20 blocks but I've decided to make nine more. Raquel's having a baby boy and I've cut out 5 blue cats for that and 4 more cats for mine. I swear it's totally saved me. Lisa spoke of "zen" sewing and this experience was purely that. I plan to get back to my dress today. I feel much less overloaded (maybe it was because of tax time). Every once in a while I get sad about things but I'm super happy and super lucky to have wonderful people in my life who help pull me out of the emotional quicksand. You guys are great and love to all.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Alanis Morissette - My Humps

Julie and I wondered out loud yesterday after watching this wonderful parody by Alanis; "When did it become cool to be SKANKY?" Yes I said "skanky" Obviously you can't help but think of the original song when you watch this and it's, umm... well skanky. I appreciate that at least Alanis gets just how ridiculous a song with the lyric "my lovely lady lump" really is. How did this become popular? What the hell is "they buy me lots of icy"? UGH! I appreciate that it's just another pop culture tick but, damn. I find it amazing that we live in a society where gay people can't get married and FERGIE is a role model -- so what's the rule? As long as everyone is straight, you can do whatever you want, however SKANKY. Paris, Fergie, LiLo, Britney et al. Maybe we can gain control of ourselves, make skankiness illegal.

O.K. I'm off my soapbox for now.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Is No One Sewing?

Least of all me. Well that's not entirely true. There are people posting new fabulous garments everyday at pattern review and artisans square. I've been looking around at the blogs and it seems to have gotten rather quiet. What's the haps everybody??? Why no sew? While I, at the moment, am far too bloated to sew or even contemplate taking measuring tape to form, I challenge you, the unbloated sewer, to show me what you got. I go trolling around the internet at all hours of the day and night looking for my fix of more hand sewn fabulous garments, so if you've got 'em point the way. I know that some of us went to various sewing expos during the course of the year and bought enough cool stuff to make a newbie sewer bop themselves in the head with the takeup lever. I fully intend to challenge myself with my sewing this year (and really, if I say it enough it will be true) but I want to see what's going on with the bamboo fabric I've heard people are now getting into. What about surface embellishment and draping experiements. Alright, I know I'm projecting a bit and I promise to finish my dress and make some good junk as soon as my back works again and I'm a little less moody. But in the meantime, please, let me live vicariously through you, prolific sewers!