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Sew Sew

     How are you? I haven't felt like writing much recently because I don't know where to start. I'm pretty comfortable saying that I know how I feel about this global pandemic. It's assured me that my emotions are very much functioning, as they have run the gamut over the last month. However, what I am still trying to figure out is how to think about this global pandemic. How to come up with a thesis or a framework. Not having one makes it difficult to process the crushing amount of information that you could consume, daily. All of that to say, I don't have any answers, mostly questions, but I hope you are doing alright.
     When I want to fully concentrate on something else, I have been turning to sewing, which is a new hobby for me. My mom is a talented quilter and sewer (sewist?) and she taught me the basics of the sewing machine when I was young. However, I promptly forgot everything and didn't really engage with sewing until a year or so ago when I attended a 3 hour sewing workshop a friend got me for Christmas. I loved it so much that I bought a sewing machine that week (I have the Janome 2212) and made myself a few lackluster pillows. I didn't have a lot of space in my apartment then for setting up the machine, so I didn't sew much at all. Jump to January of this year, where with a bigger space and more free time I decided to tackle sewing clothes from patterns. The same friend (which btw Jess, I'm so glad you seem to get me every year in Secret Santa) got me a Bluprint subscription and so I watched a few tutorials about how to use a pattern and other basics and I was off. 

      This skirt is the first piece of clothing that I ever made. It was from the Simplicity 6346 pattern and it is pretty much a mess. The lines are crooked, I couldn't figure out how the part of the pattern that was a waistband was supposed to attach, I didn't have a buttonhole foot so I added one sad button by hand, and I didn't know what interfacing or binding was. 
      Thankfully, I kept at it, and this was my second piece. I bought a buttonhole foot (although it kept jamming and made me want to scream while I was working on this) watched some videos about how to add pockets, and overall just did a better/neater job. 
These tops soon followed:

     What feels like my first big breakthrough came with my 10th piece, which is the red shirt first pictured up top. It's from a free pattern from Peppermint Magazine that you can download and print right at home (if you have a printer). I made a toile (aka a tester) the day before with a pink fabric I don't like very much (although it turned out surprisingly cute) and then decided to attempt it in this red fabric that I do like. I would say that this was the first piece I've made that I thought was acceptable and won't re-purpose for fabric (of which I am currently running out quickly). Things just really clicked for me on this project and there are a lot of elements I finally understood (like armhole binding and figuring out how to use a zig-zag stitch as the poor man's serger).    
     I took the same top pattern, dropped the ruffle, lengthened it and used it to try and make a pajama top. I love the way the pocketed pajama shorts came out (those are a keeper and also free from Peppermint, although the written instructions made no sense to me so I just looked for YouTube videos of how to sew shorts) but the tank still isn't quite right. 
     I have particularly enjoyed learning to sew clothes because it is basically like solving a puzzle. The garment starts in literal pieces that you have to put together, but you get to have all of the input (you pick the color, texture, etc.) and when you're done, in addition to the sense of accomplishment, you get to wear the puzzle! (I'm not sure that analogy holds up all the way but I hope you get what I'm saying.) I am so happy that I pursued this hobby and can't wait to tackle a few new projects once I get my hands on some more fabric.
Do you sew? If so, what are you making? 
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I’m glad my gifts have been appreciated! You’re tough to shop for, esp when in a different country :) are you going to repurpose skirt #1 fabric? My next sewing projects are fixing/repurposing things: the most exciting will be this alpaca blanket that just started pulling apart in the middle- going to use my overstitch foot to make 1 medium blanket and 2 small ones!

    1. Haha very much appreciated. Also, skirt #1 is already no more. It got turned into bias tape and also a tester tank top.

      Can't wait to see the blanket!

  2. Oh I also have a friend who emphatically prefers “sewist” which I had never heard before.