Random Sewing Stuff

Jane sews and notices that one of her dresses kinda, sorta looks like a Star Trek: TOS uniform. Only more modest. More like what you would expect a professional officer to wear for goodness sake, so I say Jane’s is more realistic than the real one. Anyway, welcome to my links page, Jane. (Whenever I get around to updating it again, which might be a really long time.)

I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about “stash busting” on the sewing blogs. My own stash is not that large. No, really – it’s not. Mercury Handmade Fashion has been doing a “Show Us Your Stash” series. I feel like such a small-timer. So… (I hate this word) conservative! But anyway, I do have my vices. I have a rather large volume of fabric but the biggest part of it is scraps. I usually buy a little bit more than I need, “just in case”, but I rarely need it so I have all these little half-yard or so pieces of fabric that are “too much to throw away” and too small to do anything with. One reason I started quilting was to justify keeping all those little pieces of fabric but when I plan a quilt I usually end up buying new fabric for it. When my boys were small I could use leftover fabric, if it wasn’t too feminine, to make little shorts and shirts out of it but kids do grow up and it takes a lot more than half a yard to make them anything now. So the self-discipline thing I need to do is to let go of all the little pieces I can’t use.

Another thing I need to do is to repair or refashion several things hanging in my closet that I don’t wear. I had thought about declaring this month “Fix it or Toss it Month” and I did “toss” a few things – meaning I took them to Goodwill. And I got a head start on the “fixing” with this back in late January, but I haven’t done any of that sort of thing since. I made another blouse for myself and a shirt for the husband and now I’m debating with myself about what to do next and I’m leaning toward another new thing. So much for “Fix it Or Toss it Month”.

The Material Lady has been doing some refashioning. Those all look great.

Another vice I have is patterns. Like fabric, I’m rather conservative with pattern buying but I have a bad habit of using a few favorite patterns over and over again and the unused patterns have slowly piled up over the years. When I have a fabric that I really love (and I love all of it) I want to use a “safe” pattern instead of risking it on something I have never tried. And yes, I know, that’s why you make a muslin but I’ve never done that. Neither did my mother. It’s just not a part of my sewing routine or my thinking and it’s hard for me to think about making something just for the purpose of seeing how screwed up it turns out. And, usually, things do turn out fine so one way or another I need to use those neglected patterns.

The other day I came across this Fearless February Sew-along at Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing, another new-to-me sewing blog. I’ll let Victoria explain Fearless February:

I’m sponsoring my first ever Sew Along—the “Fearless February Sew-Along”. The purpose of this sew- along is to encourage myself as well as other to take a big step with their sewing and venture out into some uncharted territory.

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to have a month set aside where I could attempt/tackle sewing projects that I’ve always wanted to but have always been put on the back burner due to reluctance, intimidation, or plain laziness. Come on, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the project that you ALWAYS find an excuse not to sew—for one reason or another.

I think the only thing I haven’t tried in sewing is drafting my own patterns from scratch. I not only find the very idea of doing that very intimidating, I wouldn’t even know how to begin. I have made a couple of patterns by using other patterns as a guide but completely from scratch? I don’t know if I’ll ever do that.

Other than that, I have always been mostly fearless when it comes to sewing. I can’t think of anything I haven’t made, except a fancy evening dress, for which I would have no use. And there are some fabrics that I have not tried sewing for the same reason. I have no use for anything made of silk or sequined fabric.

To those who are new to sewing and afraid to try, I have a few words which I hope will be encouraging. First of all, just do it. No one is grading you on this. No one has to see anything you make unless you choose to show it off. So buy a simple pattern and some cheap fabric from Wal-mart, or wherever you can find cheap fabric, and just practice. Second, even if it looks bad to you wear it in public, show it off. People who don’t sew won’t even notice and will be amazed if you tell them you made it and people who do sew will be nothing but encouraging. Trust me, I’ve been there. The little details, the crooked seams, the little tucks and wrinkles where they shouldn’t be, all the little things that look so bad to you will not be noticed by anyone else. Even people who sew probably won’t notice unless you tell them and point out the flaws yourself. People don’t pay attention to small details. (If nothing else wear it to Wal-mart where you know there will always be people who look much worse.) Third, don’t be afraid to ignore the directions. If you try following the pattern directions and it doesn’t work for you try doing it differently. Work out your own methods. It doesn’t matter if it’s not how the professionals do it. Whatever works for you is right.