Monday, February 18, 2013

At the end of a five day holiday...

I didn't accomplish as much sewing as I wanted because somewhere between going to bed on Wednesday night and waking up on Thursday morning my sewing mojo went missing.  When it didn't show up the first day I thought it would arrive fashionably late on Friday.  

Friday rolled around and no mojo and absolutely no desire to sew anything on my list.  Which was pretty upsetting since I'd spent quite a bit of time thinking up that list, dreaming on that list and working out sewing directions for the pieces on that list. Hopefully they will come out of the dream state and into the real world...but at this point who knows?!

While I was wondering where my mojo had gone, I started to question the items on my "To Sew" list.  Because seriously, doesn't this Roksana Ilincic dress...



...look like this Dries van Noten inspired dress that I made a few years ago...




...even my Valentino knock-off is a take-off on the pieced dress.




Why am I continuing to remake the same dress? 

Then I started to question the leather/tweed jacket & dress combo.  Where am I wearing this too?  Would I really wear it to work after all of the hard work that I put into it?  Now I'm sure you're pointing to the leather/ponte dress I recently made. Well I actually wore it with a cardigan and toned down the necklace so it didn't come off as va va voom as it does on the blog.  The studded ponte dress was worn as it was shown with the brown cardigan. See I'm toning down my fashion forwardness for my job.  So did I want to make this combo to chase the fashion dream  or to actually wear?  More questions and still no mojo.

Saturday morning dawned and I decided that maybe I just needed to rest.  Maybe I wasn't suppose to sew this five day weekend.  Sometimes you do just need to sit still and let your inner creative voice speak so that you are being true to yourself and not just chasing an illusion.  Another day with no sewing but a whole lotta babysitting...which leads to Sunday.

After those grandbabies went home and I woke up five hours later, I realized that I needed to concentrate on some boring basics.  I need a couple more pairs of pants.  I need to repair the pants that I've started to dissemble...and it hit me. Basic, boring pieces don't bring glowing compliments in the comment section on your blog. Okay, I'm being real here people...beautiful fantasy garments interpreted into my everyday work life brings many comments and we all know that I'm a comment ho. My sewing list was designed to bring the most comments possible instead of being what I really needed in my wardrobe at this time.

Well dayum, maybe that's why my sewing mojo had fled. I wasn't being true to myself. I was chasing a comment. Are we all squirming now? I know I was when that realization smacked me up side the head! So I pulled out the wool crepe pictured in the last post and promptly started working on a new pair of pants. I also pulled out a rayon blend knit and I'll be making a cardigan too.  Why? Because those are garments I actually need in my closet. To be real, I'm cold and I need pieces that layer to protect me from the cold.

I honestly got a little lost. I fell down that hole that so many sewists fall into...sewing for the life we want instead of the one that we are actually living. Now this doesn't mean that we don't like our lives, it just means that sewing the special & distinguished is so much more fun (and comment producing) than sewing the boring and the basic.

So you will be seeing several posts about pants...making pants...mending pants...the challenges of lining pants for the plus size woman. If you need awe-inspiring, come back in the spring when I go back to sewing amazing dresses and interpreting designer gear because right now it's too dayum cold for that and I need boring, basic pants.

Okay that was my self realization and very candid confession...

...as always more later!





56 comments:

  1. Oh you are so right - basics can be so very boring. But you manage to make your basics informative and help to others reading and I appreciate that. g

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  2. Pants!! Yes, please. Pants are what I need a lot of in my closet; I've been wearing the same pants for about 4 years and they are looking a bit saggy-baggy. I know what you mean about sewing things that we think will get a lot of comments and then being left with stuff that we can't really wear to work (and where I work is REALLY casual, so even wearing a nice pair of pants gets me the 'oh, are you going for a job interview?' comment). But sometimes you just have to sew for the inside..not the outside, right?

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  3. Basics are needed and you can still style them up for the blog photos. Good luck and I'll be back to comment as they are completed. Cheers!

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  4. I really love this post Carolyn, becuase I was just saying to myself today that do I need this garment or is it one that will stand out.. I myself am trying to make things that I really need. Great post Carolyn!

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  5. long time blog reader, first time commenting.
    I've pretty much loved everything you've made, particularly the interpretations of what's fashionable on a stick figure to what works on a fuller figured woman.

    I think you have hit the nail on the head about sewing basics and while I don't blog, I certainly like to make what is fancy rather than what is necessary. So when I know I need to be working on something useful, my mojo does a runner. Still, basics don't have to be boring. Cheers.

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  6. in my book, anything you make is awe-inspiring, informative. just sharing your thoughts while you go about making your basics will give me some aha moment most definitely as i plug along learning my way to sew!

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  7. ...so many sewists fall into...sewing for the life we want instead of the one that we are actually living.

    No, I just buy fabric for the life I want instead of the one I am actually living... ;-)

    Great post!

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  8. I love this post— it is so true. My most-worn and loved garments I've sewn have been pants— because where are you going to find pants that fit perfectly? Nowhere! Good for you for figuring out what you really want to make.

    (And i agree about the cold. I've been wearing the same sweater and sweatpants around all weekend!)

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  9. Your insight is terrific! Here's a comment for your candidness.

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  10. Great reminder that, just cuz you can sew all the fun, fancy things doesn't mean that's what you should be doing all the time! Pants are good :-)

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  11. I agree with you about sewing the basics. I've been working tweating a pants pattern for too long. One of the biggest lessons that I had to learn was to sew for the life that I live.

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  12. So impressed with your blog today, I read your blog all the time..Love the beautiful things you make.. But today was really awsome.
    Sewing things that we wear every day, and need in our daily lives doesnt necessarily get comments and compliments.
    I find my self wondering if I should stop blogging because it makes me want to sew for it???
    thank you so much for sharing the real Carolyn.. And I look forward to seeing the needed pants, and what ever else you end up sewing.

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  13. Nothing wrong with basics, and especially lining basics, in particular pants. You know how many women blog about the elusive well fitting pant. So maybe you'll be doing a sewing public service talking about your basic pants, eh?

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  14. Excellent post. Well said and from the heart. I love your posts. I learn something each and every time. I'm looking forward to hearing about pants. I won't be boring for me!

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  15. ack, carolyn!!! i am torn! you know i love the fantasy sewing.

    but, i think the most important thing is that you're sewing what you WANT to sew. if that's pants (even...shudder...khakis....) your joy in making it will come through, and that's really what i want to read about :).

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  16. Oh, I so agree with the idea if making clothes for the life you lead and not the life you want to have. I think we are drawn by the creative and unusual and forget that we need clothes for every day wear too. Looking forward to your pants!

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  17. Oh, I so agree with the idea if making clothes for the life you lead and not the life you want to have. I think we are drawn by the creative and unusual and forget that we need clothes for every day wear too. Looking forward to your pants!

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  18. I feel your pain - I always feel as though the time is wasted when I don't feel like sewing because you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as I am back at work . . . my mojo returns!!

    Good to get some basics done though!

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  19. Absolutely true!! I have a closet with many (read MANY) items I have purchased or made that are unworn because my life is not the life of those garments. So,every now and then, off to the senior center where unneeded clothes go to find a new home:)

    I await with pleasure your pants pants pants. I need said pants and a configured rather like you are. I hope to learn a great deal from watching your "boring" clothing evolve. And if you crave complements (who does not), you can jazz up the photos with some of your office inappropriate fancier accessories/tops.

    Cheers!!

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  20. Very thought provoking post. I will take it to heart. And I will read whatever you write about sewing, always!

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  21. Really great post -- thanks for your candor! I can't wait to see how the pants turn out. :-)

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  22. I love to see what you sew and how you adapt the patterns to your style, but I am pretty excited that you are going to sew pants and basics. I am pretty sure there are lots of us out here looking forward to pants fitting tips. I know I am.

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  23. Your so funny... I tell you what, you keep writing your thought provoking blog and helping us enjoy your sewing adventures... we will keep commenting!
    Hugs... Seems besides starting to work on a couple of quilts (two nieces just got engaged!), all I've been sewing lately is mending and doing refashioning. So... a girls gotta go somewhere to enjoy reading about someone sewing! Hang in there!

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  24. Oh I hear you about the cold and needing warm winter clothes!

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  25. Food for thought indeed, and thank you for your insightful post. Yes, I fall into the trap myself of sewing for the fantasy rather than the reality life, and sewing for my blog, too! What I need also is new pants, and as I find that difficult I await your pants posts with much enthusiasm. You have the BEST sewing blog of all!

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  26. I'm delighted you are sewing pants. I always need pants, and try to sew them. But it isn't easy, so I'll be keen to hear any tips or hints you have along the way.

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  27. I must admit I often feel a need to apologise for my blog post if it is about a plain old t shirt or skirt, but the fact is if we are choosing to make and blog about all our clothes then there has to be some of that stuff in there (and in our closets!). I still learn a lot from other blogs on these kind of posts so I'll just keep on doing it and I hope you will too.

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  28. We've all got to bite the bullet sometimes and sew what we need and not just what we'd like. I've been up to my arms in home dec sewing which isn't going to get me glowing comments either but will make my day to day life better.

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  29. I always go 'ooh, ahhh, awesome' when I see your glamorous, fashion forward pieces, but I don't comment. What could I say that someone else didn't say first? But if you want comments on your 'boring basics' I'm there. Maybe I'll even find something original to say if you don't get too many other comments.

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  30. I think you will still be able to give many great hints and tips with sewing pants and basics so go forth and be warm! I think you are right and some people, some of the time, sew for the attention factor (which we all do at times) rather than just what we need.

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  31. People like to read your blog because you are "real." They sense it whether you are talking about a leather fantasy dress or a plain ole pair of pants. That being said, it takes a very self-aware woman to identify something in herself that perhaps she isn't that happy about, but strong enough to admit a flaw and move on. Those traits are what folks respond to in your writing and your sewing. Great job, Carolyn.

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  32. Awesome post. Yeah basics can be boring to sew and not so exciting to blog about. I love comments too. But, your posts are always interesting. You come through as you so strongly. Keep blogging about everything! Even pants...
    -sewingelle

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  33. to be fair, I kind of gloss over the fashion-forward posts as that isn't my life or what I want for it

    I look forward to your posts about The Basics since that is what brought me to your blog in the first place (practical sewing tips for a plus-size woman)

    don't get me wrong, i admire your skills in interpreting the Designer Look...but I use the idea you put forth in the basics posts

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  34. Yes please on the pants - I'm in the same boat - it's cold here, and pants (especially lined pants) are really necessary. I'd love any and all tips about getting them to look ok when lined - mine are always a bit of a disaster!

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  35. It's so true. When you make basics you wear them to death. But I've always loved sewing Prom, Wedding and any special dresses that are worn once. Go figure.

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  36. I seriously doubt that you will write a boring post. In case you do, I promise to comment anyway. Here's to pants!!

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  37. I so appreciate you and your talent and your honesty. I do not blog, but I find myself sewing now and then for parties and special occasions when I am really a stay at home heart and need pants for work!

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  38. It's an interesting thought - what will we do (what do I do) for a positive comment. I've wrestled with that a few times and always come back to the need to write and sew what I want to write and sew for the authenticity. It never works when I try to be someone else.

    If you want to sew something complex because that's what your heart needs or if you want to sew something basic because that's what your heart needs, it's what your heart needs that's important. No matter what you're sewing, you share and we learn and it's fabulous.

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  39. hahaha I feel like this post was written for me... because I am a comment ho too :)

    I definitely get bored sewing basics, but on the flip side - I use my TNTs for that, so I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they'll fit (unlike the fancy new dress pattern that, despite multiple muslins, I am forever basting and trying on and crossing my fingers until the very end). So I can focus my attention on making the insides pretty, or fun, or whatever.

    Not to mention, some of my most boring basics are the ones that get worn and loved the most!

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  40. Honestly I'll be thrilled to read about pants!! You are my biggest inspiration to think about TNT patterns..

    My main goal for this year to come up with a TNT knit top pattern and a TNT pants pattern... So, bring on the pants please!!

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  41. you can make a dress out of a burlap sack and will still inspire comments. You're fabulous.

    ~Sewjourner

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  42. great post and stay warm, spring is on its way - I hope:)

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  43. I'm going to paw through my closet and remove all the "life I think I want instead of life I actually have" garments and donate them, so that some other woman can buy them to fill that hole in her own closet, lol. Or some costumer can buy them for a high school production that includes a crazy, middle-aged woman (Steel Magnolias, anyone?)

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  44. Carolyn - My motto is 'make the dress; the party will come'. Go ahead and make those necessary boring pieces, but don't give up on the fancy stuff. Not only is it fun, you look great in those dresses. Last weekend, I wore a dress that I made about 15 years ago. It was only the 3rd time I wore it, but it still looks great. And, I got tons of compliments. Sew what you need, but don't stop making what you want.

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  45. Oh Goody! I've been wanting to see how you make your elastic waist, lined pants. Can't wait. I think I'll sew along. :)

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  46. I needed to hear this! I feel like I've been going through the same thing. It's good to have a balance between the pieces you need and those that really make your creative heart skip a beat. Thanks for sharing all aspects of your sewing adventures!

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  47. My blog has been known to wag the dog for my sewing projects, as well. This year, I have resolved to quiet down my projects to keep that from happening.

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  48. Really interesting post! I know my opinion will be in the minority, but sewing frosting fuels my creative fire, and I find that dressing for the life that I want/social life that I want has been a great strategy in helping me build that sort of life for myself. I guess it's like the adage "dress for the job you want, not the one you have".

    That said, sewing is happy time and you should sew what brings you joy! For me, it's frosting. That's what makes the world go round and the bobbins spin. I'm 100% certain that whatever you create will be fabulous!

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  49. I love this post. Can't wait to see how to re-line pants. I like everything you do!

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  50. My sewing now is so boring since I am actually sewing stuff I need and wear but I am loving using it a lot. I can usually find rtw to wear to a wedding or church etc. but the stuff I wear all the time,it's misery finding pjs, nightgowns, tees,blouses, cardis etc. that can hit the washer or an occasional shell to match something that I own. I can't find a lightweight everyday 3/4 coat that I like and I had to retire the one like that I loved. That is somewhere down the road though it won't be fun. We'll still love your blog if you sew everyday pants and basics since we all probably need to sew that as well(I do). You keep us up to date on trends and getting tnts and it is inspiring to see you work and still sew so much. Family time and not sewing is good too at times. There'll be another sew weekend down the road.

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  51. I love how you're so true to yourself.
    Sew for you and your needs. They're still going to be great outfits, because you need them and you'll wear them, and they'll fit beautifully.
    Good on you Carolyn.

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  52. Thanks for sharing your "ah ha" moment. We certainly can get wrapped up in making things we won't wear much, rather than what is truly useful. This post is an excellent reminder of that. Kudos to you for listening to that inner voice!

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  53. I love all the dresses you make, but i am delighted that you making some pants and cardigans. I really need pants and eagerly waiting for any morsels of knowledge you share.

    Thank you.

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  54. I am all about brushing up on basic pants techniques. I desperately need pants and have several different yardages of really nice fabric, so this came at a time when I really needed it! I'll probably be making pants right along with you, and come spring, well, I've got several lengths of fabric that needs to be made into pretty dresses too! Really, this basic sewing realization couldn't have come at a better time.

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  55. Wouldn't it be cool if you could work out the artistic expression in garments that you wouldn't have to tone down for work; make them however you like, in the time you want to put into them, and then have some like minded, appreciative non-sewer give you money to take the item away? Every time she gets a complement, she repeats your name. You have digital proof of your work but don't have to store any of it. You're already thinking about coordination and seasons, it probably is not that far a stretch to consider perhaps a different complexion and color palette.
    OK, I know the flip side of this fantasy, I'm an artist and know what it is to work for clients. There is the horror of compromising your vision, the horror of not getting paid, or having to work on deadline or having a tough time fitting. All this to say that I don't think you're going through all this just for blog applause. To me it's clear you're an artist and you want/need to create.
    I only sew basics. I don't need outfits, even church is very casual or at least my boho/color inside jokes pass for dressed up wherever I go. (hmm... maybe they don't but I just don't care?) it's all about making the material (fabric, paint, yarn) do what it wants to do.
    http://pinterest.com/bananaoil/pins/

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  56. Oh, gosh, this is a good post. I'm definitely guilty of sewing for a fantasy life instead of my real life. I like making fun, exciting things, but sometimes I feel like I sew all the time, but I still have nothing to wear. I also definitely treat sewing like a second job, and you can forget that it's OK to NOT sew in every spare minute! I forget what it's like to have down time on the weekend!

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