Five Reasons Why I Haven’t Been Blogging Lately

I run out of steam when I am finishing projects.

For whatever reason, I procrastinate on completing hems. The dark blue linen Zadie jumpsuit I started sewing this summer has been sitting on my work table waiting for sleeve and pant leg hems since sometime in August. I got to the point of marking and folding over the hem on one sleeve and have one pin sticking out of the fabric to show for it. The black linen Simplicity shorts I started in August have been sitting without a waistband (elastic, so it should be so fast and easy, right?) and leg hems since then. I have pattern tissue and pieces of possible items heaped on the work table, draped over the back of the rolling chair, tucked under the table, and everywhere else. I walk into the sewing room and am embarrassed by all of it. I now avoid the room, which doesn’t help with finishing anything. I could blame it on the sewing room being unbearably hot during the summer, but that’s not the full reason why.

I want to keep the focus of this blog on sewing.

If I don’t complete items, I don’t have anything to write about. There goes my writing goal for the year! 

The items I actually finish don’t fit me.

I finished a white linen Simplicity dress in record time this summer, buying myself white fabric early in August and finishing in early September. I made the size I made the last time, forgetting that I’ve gained and lost and gained and lost and, ultimately, gained weight since then. I felt annoyed with myself as I struggled with zipping up the back zipper. I would wear it if it fit. I don’t wear the black linen Butterick culottes I made last year, either, due to the weight gain. This also discourages me from sewing and writing about sewing.

I don’t have a lot of time or energy to sew.

I work full time; I do an exercise and stretching routine every day; I do the majority of the housework. By the time I’m done doing the things that have to be done, I don’t have anything left over for sewing. Sewing is a physical act: leaning over the table to cut out pieces, using the iron to press seams and to iron out crinkled pattern paper, and leaning over the machine while sewing are all tiring. Sewing is also a mental act: planning what will work, going to the store to browse and buy fabric, selecting the correct size and second-guessing the correct size, and researching the pattern to see if it worked or didn’t work for other people all take time and effort. I don’t have a lot left over after planning and managing all the pieces of my day.

Other interests take up the spare time that I do have.

When I’m tired, I just want to read sweet novels, watch adventurous TV shows, and do research about random topics online. When I have energy and it’s a weekend day, I just want to roam the streets, go see art, try new snacks, buy more plants. I just want to be as expansive as possible. I work from home and I like to get out on the weekends. I don’t want to sew by myself at home.

So, for now, I’m giving myself permission to not sew and to not feel guilty about not sewing. I plan on setting achievable goals for where I am right now in my life. I still feel the urge to write, though, so I will focus on writing about other topics. I’m not going to post about other topics in this sewing blog, so it will be quiet for a while, and that’s okay.

Easy Strip Quilt

Easy Strip Quilt in Progress

I’m working on the Easy Strip Quilt by Made by Marzipan–my first quilt! I’ve taken some liberties with the width of the strips, reducing the strips to 3″ instead of 4″. Here is the quilt top in progress:

Easy Strip Quilt

Easy Strip Quilt top in progress

As you can see, the quilt is science-themed. The majority of the fabric is from the Kaufman Science Fair line; I don’t recall what brand the astronaut foxes fabric is.

I plan on doing a grey backing. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the binding, but I’m pretty sure I want to use a solid fabric for that…maybe a dark blue or dark grey. I’m making it up as I go, which is sort of a scary way to go about doing a project that takes many hours to complete. I’m finding sewing all these straight lines to be pretty relaxing.

The quilt will be a gift for a friend’s first baby. It has taken me so long to get started that I can only hope to finish it before he turns one year old. We will see!

Simplicity 1668 elastic waisted pants

Simplicity 1668 Trousers in Corduroy

I made Simplicity 1668’s pants in a lightweight red corduroy in size 18. They were a pretty easy sew, having an elastic waist. They’re basically like pajama pants, but with a slimmer fit. These pants were not a win for me (for many reasons). First, I chose the wrong size for myself; I should have chosen a smaller size.

Simplicity 1668 elastic waisted pants

Simplicity 1668 pants–too big.

After trying them on to check the fit and the elastic length, I didn’t bother to hem the legs or to finish sewing in the elastic (after untwisting it). It’s hard to tell the front from the back from looking at the pants, which is automatically a bad sign. There are drag lines galore, and the hip shape is too curvy for my actual hips. I’m not sure if sewing a smaller size would make these more appealing on my body; these pants have a dated look.

If you have any recommendations for an elastic-waisted pant pattern that has more seat room and a more modern fit, please share in the comments.

Resolutions for 2019

I partially achieved my goals for 2018. Here are my revised goals for 2019:

Sewing Goal

Sewing comfortable items that fit my style

I have very little time to sew, so I want to sew things that are for the life I lead. I travel a lot, so I don’t want to worry about wrinkles. I would like to explore knits more. That’s what I buy when I go to the store. On the other hand, I have a stash of mostly wovens, so maybe I need to think about a destashing sale.

Social Goal

Meeting new people and making friends where I live now

I’ve met a couple of people where we live now, but I would like to build a community. There’s nothing like having someone to hang out with on the weekends!

Personal Improvement Goal

Improving my Spanish vocabulary and strengthening my ability to have a conversation

I’m keeping this goal. I now live in a place that has more hispanohablantes than any other place I’ve lived before and I would like to be able to better communicate with people who speak mostly only Spanish. I would like to try to take a night class this year.
Professional Development Goal

Learning HTML and CSS, then perhaps JavaScript

Creating a portfolio of original work

I started working on learning HTML and CSS in 2018. I would like to continue my studies there and create some samples. If I feel comfortable with progressing at any point during the year, I will start working on learning JavaScript. It’s so important to build a skillset!

Simplicity 8179 Pajama Pants, Again

I haven’t been sewing very much lately, as I’ve been busy with work. I did, however, manage to sew another pair of Simplicity 8179 pajama pants:

These pajama pants are to replace another pair of pajama pants made from the same fabric (but a different pattern). The only modification I’ve made is to leave off the cuff and to take a 2-inch hem, since the pants are quite long.

I’ve already given them to him and he likes them. I personally love the giant pockets.

I haven’t made any progress on the quilt or on the Sew Over It skirt. I actually am thinking I would like to make another pair of Butterick culottes.

What I’m Working On

I have a few things in the works right now:

  • A quilt made of scraps (my first attempt at quilting) (I like the Diary of a Quilter strip tutorial, but I’m trying out sewing strips together with no backing to see how that looks first)
  • A Sew Over It Tulip Skirt in mystery suiting from a local fabric store
  • Simplicity 8179 pajama pants for my husband in cat-printed flannel, using the same pattern that I used last month

I want to start New Look 6261, a sheath dress, but I also don’t want to have too many unfinished objects around. The end of the year is busy with work and family time, so there’s not a lot of time to sew. I’m hoping that I can make the New Look dress into a TNT for a work dress to wear under a blazer…we will see.

How do you plan for sewing time when there’s not a lot of time left over?


Resolutions Followup

In January, I posted my resolutions. I would like to revisit those resolutions and see where I am with them now, in October.

The resolutions:

Social Goal

Meeting new people and making friends in the town we are moving to

I’ve made some progress in this goal recently. I have met several people in my area via an app. I’ve also connected with old friends who live in a nearby city.  I started a sewing meetup in my town and have met people through that channel as well. I hope to keep meeting new people!

Personal Improvement Goal

Improving my Spanish vocabulary and strengthening my knowledge and use of the complex verb tenses by taking advanced classes or going to language exchange meetups

I haven’t been able to take a Spanish class, since my work schedule involves unpredictable travel, but I have been using apps and going to language exchange meetups to practice having conversations. I would like to do more of this…I still feel very awkward when I speak, and I understand what people are saying to me much better than I can respond to what they’re saying.

Professional Development Goal

Learning how to use Adobe Technical Communication Suite programs, probably by taking classes (this can be on-going and go into 2019)

I have not made progress here, but I have learned more about Visio and about ERP systems, so I feel like I’m achieving the spirit of this goal.

I also want to make so many things, but I don’t seem to have enough time to take care of everything I need to do and have time for all the things I want to do. I want to do fun stuff outside of the apartment; I want to read; I want to watch my shows; I want to take walks in the park. We’ll see how I balance it all.

Simplicity 8179: Lounge Pants with Pockets

I’d been looking for a pattern for pajama pants with pockets for a while when I found Simplicity 8179.

I like the way the pocket is formed, with a pocket facing and topstitching.

Simplicity 8179 Lounge Pants

Simplicity 8179, Lounge Pant Pocket

I sewed a size Large. The fabric is a flannel from JoAnn Fabrics. I decided to not add the leg facing due to the pants already being more than long enough for me, a woman 5’4″ tall. I plan on sewing these again for my husband in the same size.

Simplicity 8179 Lounge Pants

Simplicity 8179 Lounge Pants

I do like how the pockets are large enough to hold a packet of tissues (essential for the winter sniffles) or a phone. This was a “regaining my sewing energy” project, so it’s not perfect, but I am so happy to have the finished product. I’d like to find an easy top to sew to match.

Eileen Fisher Style

I’ve been drawn to the Eileen Fisher aesthetic lately. The fabrics the brand uses   are lush and the shapes are relaxed. It seems like the brand is meant for people who want to be comfortable, yet elegant. Can anyone suggest a store where I could find merino wool knots and silk knits? I want to add that lushness to my wardrobe.

Butterick 6178 Culottes in Black Linen

I started on these Butterick 6178 culottes about three months ago. I promise you that they don’t actually take that long to sew. With the one-two punch of my sewing room being uninhabitable due to summer heat and me being on travel for part of the summer, my sewing pace slowed considerably.

Butterick 6178 culottes

These culottes are made of black linen from Ebad Fabrics in Manhattan. The linen is flowy and slightly see-through. I sewed a size 18 and added about an inch to the back rise of the culottes to allow for more booty room. I did not follow the directions for the waistband; I didn’t interface it and I folded it in half before sewing it to the pants. The waistband is finished with a zigzag.

I enjoy these culottes and I am excited that I finally finished them!