But I’ve been thinking about sewing a lot. It is comforting during this time of unrest in the US. I like to mentally plan all of the stages of a project, from matching fabric to a pattern to how the project fits together.
I haven’t actually had the energy to actually sew lately, though. The last few items that I’ve made have been duds; some of them I didn’t even have the energy to complete after realizing that they wouldn’t fit at all (I’m looking at you, Simplicity shorts). All these misfires have been discouraging. Normally, I would forge ahead and try again, but I’ve been rather down, so I’ve been dragging.
As I mentioned before, I’ve been working on losing weight for the past couple of months. This is for health reasons; all of my doctors have noted my weight and told me to lose it over the past four years. Unfortunately, all I’ve done is gain weight over the past four years. After suffering increasing joint pain, I decided to seek assistance, so I’ve been following a plan set by a doctor and have succeeded in losing some weight. I will continue to work on losing weight over the next few months, until I am no longer overweight. I know this has to be a permanent lifestyle change, so I am adjusting my outlook accordingly.
I’ve been changing sizes with every passing month. That also makes sewing a challenge for me right now. Plus, since I have gotten older, my body has become overall shaped differently. I still have a big derriere and thighs, as well as narrow sloping forward shoulders, but I now have a thicker waist too. I have to learn how to adjust for these things so that I feel less awkward in my clothes.
I’ve been wishing that more people would post in their blogs, as I love reading about others’ project details, but it occurred to me that I am not giving what I am getting. I feel badly about this. I want to share; I want to be as productive as others are; however, I am tired and uncertain. I’ve been reading books more as a way to escape.
How have you dealt with a changing body? Does stress make you turn to your handmade hobbies more, or do you deal with it in other ways?
Originally, I’d started out trying to make the shorts pattern (View E) included in Simplicity 2258. However, when it came to the basting and trying on stage, I realized there was not enough room in the seat to actually cover my whole bottom. There was, however, a lot of room around my upper thighs. 😦
So, I decided to try the shorter skirt pattern (View C) included in the packet, with a wedge added at the top back to accommodate the length I need to cover my bottom. I think it’s cute!
I particularly like the way the pockets are formed. They are one-piece pockets, where you fold over the fabric to make the pocket bag. Topstitching them keeps things neat. (My topstitching is not particularly neat here.) I like the curvature of the pocket opening as well.
I used a chambray from Joann’s, with Gutermann thread. I think I chose the size 20. This pattern uses very little fabric, even in the larger size range–1 5/8 yards of wide fabric. I would say, by that measure, that it is an economical sew.
By the time I was finished making it, I’d lost some weight, so now I need to adjust the elastic so that it stays up. The pattern has a good amount of ease as well.
I made the Sarah tunic from My Image magazine from a red ponte from Joann’s because it looked so cute on other bloggers. On me, I felt that it was meh. First of all, I could not seem to press the neckline flat enough. Secondly, the armholes were super deep on me. I thought to myself as I traced and cut, “These armscyes look pretty long compared to what I usually see,” and then I shrugged it off and continued.
Months later, I made the StyleArc Adeline with no adjustments (as I do every time I make a pattern for the first time) out of a blue rayon/linen mix from Joann’s and discovered that the amount of volume and length swamped 5’4″ me. I think it would be better shorter and one size smaller. You can see it on my Instagram here (I accidentally deleted all the photos off my device).
Honestly, I should just assume that I need to shorten every pattern and always size down one size from where any size chart tells me I need to be (except for Vogue, which seems to say exactly what they mean by those pattern measurements…as I can attest to with two too-small Vogue garments I’ve sewn).
My sewing plans include a mini-wardrobe consisting of black and white linen items (top, skirt, another top, and maybe shorts if I am being ambitious) and some pants. I also made a skirt sloper draft based on the directions of the Winifred Aldrich metric pattern cutting book (thanks, Linda, for recommending it!!) and I’m looking forward to testing that out in a muslin. I’m also on a diet now, which may slow up my sewing plans, since I don’t want to put in a ton of effort and then not be able to fit the thing I made.
We shall see! In the meantime, I love reading your blogs. Please share any interesting new sewing blogs you’ve found with me. I want more! I recently discovered Jasika’s sewing site and I absolutely love her fabric and pattern choices.
It’s my first time trying a Style Arc pattern and I am having issues with the 1/4″ seam allowances. It’s difficult for me to stay accurate to such a small seam allowance. I feel like I’ve messed up attaching the neck facings, but we’ll see. I’ve been sewing in extremely short spurts on the weekend and not at all on weekdays–I’ve been too tired in the evenings.
I’ve been feeling inspired by Cookin’ and Craftin’s and Thornberry’s pattern choices. I also live in a warm climate and I feel like the things they make (especially the Style Arc items) would be suitable to the Charleston climate.
I really would like to blog more, but my glacial sewing speed is keeping that from happening. I am really enjoying keeping up with other sewing blogs. If you have any sewing blogs you really enjoy, please share them with me in the comments.
It turns out that starting a new job and dealing with health issues at the same time takes a lot of energy and time. Throw on top of that managing a household and you have very little sewing going on. I’ve been working on a Simplicity dress off and on for months. I cut out a Butterick shell two days ago, intending to sew it all in one afternoon, and here we are–days later–with no progress. I get easily frustrated. I’ve gained more weight and now I’m rather lost as to adjustments, etc. I’m hoping things settle down soon so that I have time to create. In the meantime, I’ve been loving seeing what y’all have made.
I’ve decided to bring my site on back to https://freshlysewn.wordpress.com. In the end, I decided to not add advertisements to my blog, for multiple reasons: I don’t post very often (because I sew incredibly slowly) and I also stopped working in the online market research space.
I worked at a company where I managed the affiliate marketing portion (along with other stuff) for a while, and I wanted to see what it was like on the affiliate side, as opposed to the market researcher side. The affiliates at Affiliate Summit West inspired me, I guess. I never got around to it, though, with work and traveling and all of that. I don’t work at a market research company anymore, so my interest in seeing what the affiliate side is like has waned.
I have become more interested in the loose/lagenlook/arty patterns that bloggers like Thornberry and Catherine Daze make. This morning, I ordered the Style Arc Hedy dress pattern. I’ve never sewn or worn anything like that, but I’m drawn to the interesting shape, especially since I’ve gotten so thick in the middle. I love dolman sleeves and I am enjoying dramatic silhouettes more.
I’m currently working on several things at once: another New Look top, the Sarah tunic from My Image magazine, and the vintage Simplicity dress pattern I mentioned on Instagram. I went into a frenzy of fabric cutting before Christmas and then just didn’t move forward. I’ve had pretty low sew-jo since we moved into an apartment that is always dark, like nighttime dark. I have lots of lamps in the sewing room, but to no avail.
I decided to get a domain for this blog, since I already have one for my professional presence/writing blog. (I changed my name when I got married, so I needed to establish my voice online with my new name.) You can find me at http://www.freshlysewn.net now. This way, I can upload videos, too!
Yesterday, I decided that I was going to tackle my pile of unfinished items. When I get to the end of a project, I make a mistake, and I get really frustrated right away. So, it goes in the drawer. I moved across the country with this one, unfinished. I made Simplicity 1716, view D, starting in 2012 I think. The problem here was that I sewed the armbands on the wrong way and then I doubled down on that decision. My solution last night was to cut off the armbands, since it would be really really hard to unpick the stitching, and to sew on new armbands. I left the hem unfinished, as the slinky jersey and my sewing machine were having a fight, even with the walking foot on.
Looking at these pictures, I have some serious posture issues. My shoulders are uneven, and my high left hip has become even higher after having physical therapy for my right knee. This means that every skirt or dress I make gets caught up on my left hip, and hangs lower on my right hip. I need to learn the adjustment for that. I also have forward head and forward shoulders from using a computer all day for…years, plus a nerve impingement in my left shoulder that the posture probably doesn’t help. You don’t realize the toll time takes on your body until you look at pictures of yourself.
On a brighter note, I took these pictures with a camera and tripod that my kind and generous mother-in-law has lent me. The camera doesn’t use a remote, so I have to use the self timer. I need to learn how to use the setup better.
One thing I like about this pattern is the pleat detail that helps to make the cowl neck. One thing I don’t like is the lack of waist shaping. I also think that the shoulders should be narrower, although that might be a personal issue and not a pattern issue.
Have you made Simplicity 1716? If so, how do you like it?
I’ve been working on figuring out what my ideal measurements are to produce a garment that I would like and that would fit me the way that I would like using Bootstrap’s software.
The first time I put in my measurements, I got this wacky picture that looks nothing at all like a human. I don’t think I know of any humans you have a pointy stomach that points upwards. Here is my 3-D model:
I sewed their three seams skirt pattern from it. It was actually too large for me; I had to take it in an inch on either side. Also, the hips on the pattern were an exaggerated womanly shape; my hips are actually relatively straight, but my bottom is the part that takes up most of the circumference of my hips measurement. Then I realized that the waistband was too short, as I cut off part of it to accommodate the revised skirt. However, I hadn’t really changed the waistline of the skirt, so now it doesn’t fit.
After taking it in…
Waistband too short 😦
Yesterday, I remeasured myself. For the under cost measurement, I put the same as my waist measurement. I figured having a dramatically different under bust measurement from the waist measurement the first time around is what produced the exaggerated stomach shape. I also included a full bust adjustment, since I felt that the dress that I made the first time around was too tight in the back and smooshed my boobs. Now, the avatar looks more like me:
I’m going to reprint the pattern and make the skirt and the dress again with these new measurements. We’ll see how they turn out.