My husband does all the laundry and is pretty strict about what gets done first. The bolt of muslin I put in the queue did not get VIP priority. So, with less than a yard to work with, I cut out only the front and basted in the pleats of the self-drafted skirt pattern I shared earlier. The process revealed that I’d forgotten to fold and true the pleats in paper, leaving no room for turn of cloth. The laundry delay was either serendipity or clairvoyance, because I’ve got another patterning playdate before I’m ready to lay down my iron upon a mile of clean muslin.
Speaking of playdates, I just registered my three-year old for preschool. All of the feelings and paperwork involved remind me of sewing.
I was glad to rediscover Christine’s thorough instructions for drafting and sewing a knit peter pan collar. Portia’s jeans refashioning challenge has me mapping out thrift stores to stalk. The hilarious review of Fendi’s 2017 resort collection on the Pretty Grievances blog features a pair of wider than wide culottes that I should’ve laughed at but actually enjoyed. My neighborhood pool closes in a week, so I missed my chance to make a new swimsuit —but next year…Amanda’s legendary Wonder Woman bathing suit (with drafting instructions) will be my guide.
Quotes to Sew By
Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself? ~ Lao Tzu
A garment may begin with design or fabric, but its ultimate success depends upon the compatibility of the two. ~ Susan Khalje, Linen and Cotton
I recently updated my about page. If you’re a new follower, the short recap of the key turning points in my sewing life should be a nice Wanna Be Sewing Something primer.
There’s a new ritual in my sewing life. I make a date with my skirt block every time my favorite sewing teacher opens up registration for her Skirt Skills e-course. Sometimes I even re-take the course (alumni get a discount) to inject some organized sewing motivation around a new custom skirt project. Sharing with other students in the forum and the chance for one-on-one support from a couturier is almost irresistible every time.
When Brooks Ann announced another course starts on September 5th, I got ready to sew-along by pulling out my skirt inspiration sketches (like this one), poster board skirt block (which gave birth to my bifurcated trouser block), and self-drafted denim pencil skirt pattern (with original construction samples) to help me plan and design a second denim skirt (the first one I made is the highlight of my wardrobe right now). This one will have plenty of features to warm me up for jeansmaking.
Skirting the issue further, there’s Ebi’s purple animal print pencil skirt released into the wild just before her birthday (too damn cute). 1 out of the 18 sewing meet-up activities Kate shared on her blog includes draping and drafting a bodice using cling wrap! The difference between flounces and ruffles, as explained by The Cutting Class, has unruffled the subject in my mind. That time Eliza rotated the back darts of a pencil skirt to the side seams, I vowed to do the same one day. On her blog, Brooks Ann explains how she learned to sew without ever using commercial sewing patterns (its how I knew she was the right teacher for me). The 5-minute video interview with a Levi’s Master Tailor about making bespoke jeans that re-fueled my fire for the process.
Quotes to Sew By
The quest to create something from nothing is a wholly irrational act, do it anyway. ~Jonathan Fields
I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match. ~ Mia Hamm, double Olympic soccer champion
I shared a simple hack on Instagram for assembling a set of 1 lb. pattern weights with hardware store washers and plain white glue. Let me know if you try it!
Today, I bring you my first, semi-weekly anchor post, Moving the Needle. It will serve as an in-blog newsletter of sorts to share what I’ve been working on and what’s been inspiring me.
My needle has been moving in and out of mockups while I worked through a belated adjustment to my original trouser block. Drafting only to the knee saved fabric and time and helped me focus on solving a crotch length mystery that only showed up while walking. I love all of the anatomy lessons I’m getting from pattern drafting. Speaking of anatomy, I used the only scale in my house (the balance board of my Nintendo Wii) to confirm I’d lost 8 lbs since January. Now I know why I had to remove an extra 4cm from my skirt block in May! The discovery has me re-thinking some of the garments I’ve been planning. Elastic waists, wrap closures, and alteration-friendly seaming might be the best way to cloth my changing body.
The t-shirt dresses Carolyn made to keep cool this summer have given me ideas for adding breezy-ease to a lengthened version of my fitted t-shirt pattern. The drape and floral print of the gorgeous charmeuse dress on the Clothing Engineer blog put silk back on my fabric shopping list. A mix of vintage and modern methods (and an eye-catching African cotton print) went into this 13-step tutorial for sewing a button fly on trousers. Krista of Man Repeller’s series on styling for fuller bosoms woke me up to the layered, ruffled skirt as a real option for me; and this simple how-to stopped me from overthinking how to sew one. Star Trek the Next Generation meets the 1940s in the best group costuming project my Halloween sewing plans have ever seen.
Quotes to Sew By
Success consists of going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill.
Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends. ~Kate Spade
After watching this movie on Netflix about how our bodies handle over-consumption of sugar, I stopped drinking soda. My healthier, shrinking body is the excuse I didn’t need to sew more clothes.