Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Loving the Clothes I Make

It seems like my last couple of posts appear to be piggybacking off my fellow bloggers.  This is because I've been so impressed with what they've written and their words have really inspired me.  Today, it's Erica of EricaB's DIY Style. Her post, "What I'm Wearing" had me nodding along as I read it. As I was crafting my response to it, I realized that I had more to say than I thought I should leave in the comment section.

However, it was these words specifically, "I've gone through transformations in the almost decade I've been blogging.  Which means, over the years I've learned the benefit of sewing things I'm going to wear all of the time and return to season after season." that touched me.

I strongly believe in this type of sewing. That's why even though I love the awesome and amazing dresses I've created, my sewing for the next couple of months will be basics.  Yes, I'm going to finish the last four pieces of the Crazy 8 wardrobe and yes, I'm going to finish up the Simplicity 3833 dress but mostly what I want is a series of sheath dresses, a few more pairs of pants, and a skirt or two.

Why?  Because when I go to my closet on Sunday evening to pull the garments for the week (yes, I'm one of those people!) I find that I have a lot of amazing, wonderful outfits to choose from but barely any basics.  I want solid colored sheath dresses in an array of colors that I can throw some pearls and a cardigan on top of and be ready for any work situation.

I need several more pairs of pants so that if I need to spend two weeks in pants due to weather conditions, I don't have to repeat and can dress them up or down for any situation at work.  Honestly, I've let my basics slide as I've made designer knock-offs and amazing patterns one after the other. Now I didn't start out this way.  I sewed the basics first and then went for the shock and awe.  My mistake, for lack of a better word, was when I retired a basic, I didn't immediately sew another one to replace it.

All of this is to say, that there will be a lot more basic sewing going on around here.  I need to plug a hole in my wardrobe and basic sewing just isn't sexy sewing.  It's not the sewing that makes everyone want to go oohhh and aaahhh over but it's much needed in this sewist's life.  Then when this sewing is done I'll be back to sewing things like this...



...and this...



or this...



and maybe even a new adventure or two.  I hope you'll stay tuned and hopefully I'll even have a tip or two to share that will inspire your sewing.

...as always more later!

















40 comments:

  1. I'm very thankful that my job doesn't require the same kind of basics that yours does. To date, I have not made a pair of pants that fit and honestly I'm okay with that. I would be happy to have a great sheath dress pattern that I can manipulate ala Carolyn. :) g

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  2. I agree with you about the basics. One of my goals is to make a LBD out of different fabrics. I want to create a set of TNT sheath dress patterns. I have one for knits but still need to get one nailed down for woven fabrics. The dresses are so easy to dress up or down. I worked with a woman who bought the same sheath dress and jacket in multiple colors. She looked great.










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  3. I am so with you on the basics. I badly need a new pair of jeans. My RTW have fallen apart at the seams. But my body keeps changing. sigh.

    You look fabulous in all those photos BTW.

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  4. I sew hear you about basics, all of a sudden I don't have any, they have all disappeared around the same time and I am finding it hard to find something to wear to work without repeating it during the week. I still enjoy seeing what you make, the details are always a place where I can admire and learn.

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  5. Oooh! Awww! Those are fabulous garments! However, I'm also looking forward to reading about and seeing your new basics, so please don't think they are 'too boring to blog'.

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  6. Your dresses are so beautiful - you have a fabulous eye for details and colours. I need everything from basics to work apparel (for when I get a job) but find myself making things I like - not necessarily practical for any purpose. I also find I like making really special outfits but I don't have the occasion to wear them. Although I do have a wedding coming up in May so I can satisfy that craving legitimately ..lol!

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  7. I need to make basics for work. Working on a TNT sheath dress at the moment. Look forward to seeing what you make. Love all those dresses too. A girl needs a bit of everything.

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  8. The basics are the hardest things to find I have always maintained. My hard one is finding a tank to layer that is like I want. I've bought lots but the couple I love are the ones I have sewn. You'd think having sewn for many years I'd have an array but not so. Ditto on sleepwear that I like and around the house clothing for everyday. I could really use some 3/4 sleeve knit shirts. Instead I find a thousand projects that are either fun or machine embroidered to waste time on. I can find a lot of rtw for dress occasions if I will do a few alterations and a variety of rtw pants but not much of it plugs holes in the basics part of my wardrobe. I don't see any of my type basics in the stores or online. I've about decided what I sew needs to be something I can't purchase which translates into basics. I should work on a tnt simple dress basic too. Try finding a good unembellished black dress or other dress out there to layer your jackets over. It's about like finding a tank with the neckline you need or the fit-just not happening in my size range.

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  9. Its funny- your basics are so not basics! The details, the embellishments- your basics are lovely pop pieces!

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  10. I am right there with you. I'm just finishing up a charcoal wool classic shawl collar jacket and sheath (which I've altered for my new TNT), and right after that will be the same patterns in chocolate brown. My ropes of pearls and vintage dress clips are impatiently waiting to be worn. Now if I can keep from being distracted by shiny things I'll be good.

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  11. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    I had two pairs of pants and two pairs of jeans that I could wear to work. I had to get focused and make more pants. I love dresses; but u can't wear a dress to work and considering it's still -15 in the tundra, they aren't getting worn on the weekend either. So I ooh and ahh over others' dresses but I must stay focused!!! :)

    I till need solid black and white tops. That'll be my next focus.

    Waiting patiently to see what you create!

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  12. I really understand what you mean. Classic clothes after all are the workhorse of any wardrobe, even for a retiree like me. But it's the special styles that we love to sew and daydream about..

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  13. I am looking forward to your basics!! It is the main reason why I re-read your blog quite often. Please show the insides/finishing techniques? I love to see the insides of your garments. They inspire me to better my own sewing.

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    1. Sure Beckie - I've taken a few photos and will make sure that I add them to the blog post!

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  14. I am looking forward to seeing your basics as I have just started sewing basics for myself. First a shirt of which one sleeve took a trip to the trash can. Thank goodness for extra material. Next on my list will be a tank top. As I am retired, I don't need dresses so love looking at yours.

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  15. I love your style and your sewing philosophy. But mostly I just love to follow your blog. Your garments are always so well made and you always look so lovely. Your 'basics' are always so pretty and stylish. You are such an inspiration. Its talent like yours that helps fuel my ambition to get better every day!

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  16. Learning to sew clothes that will actually get worn regularly and fit seamlessly into my lifestyle and wordrobe has not been an easy lesson for me to learn in 2013. This year I'm hoping to have a better grasp on what items I actually need and will love to wear, and to make those items.

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  17. Back to the basics is a great thing! I am sure there will be new tips and revelations as you are sewing the basics, and I can't wait to read about those things. As in all things in life, this is just about balance and you are getting your wardrobe back in balance.

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  18. As a newly retired gal I've had to change my mainly office-work geared wardrobe. I culled the closet and gave away many basic sewn jackets and dress pants. I'm now sewing more casual, relaxed clothes and love making "artsy" jackets ala the Tilton Sister patterns. As long as I can sit at my sewing machine and be creative, I'm happy. I'll also be happy to read your blog, Carolyn, whatever you sew!

    Karen

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  19. I hear you. What is on my cutting table right now? A brown top....to go with the brown pants I just made and the brown skirt I will be making.....kinda boring, but much needed. Thanks for the great post! ~Teri

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  20. I must be in the "shock and awe" phase of my sewing life. ;-)

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  21. Honestly, I have more basic pieces than I need.. I know that is normally a rarity. So I am creatively spazzing with my sewing.

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  22. I need more basics too! I'll be doing more of that too.

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  23. Yay for the basics! My goal for the new year is to really dig in and sew things that I will get a bunch of use out of, and to step up my finishing techniques! Can't wait to see your basics!

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  24. Love the basics here! Although I love to 'ooohhh and awe' at what others make for themselves I need to build up the basics in my wardrobe. Can't wait to see what you will be making.

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  25. I'll certainly stay tuned and your sewing always inspires me :)

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  26. We in NYS got spoiled by 2 mild winters in a row. We didn't need warm pants and heavy sweaters. This winter we sure do! It is 4 here right now- and I can't imagine wearing a dress in this! Basics is the way to go so you can layer and stay warm.
    I am tackling pants fit this winter so I can have a bigger basics wardrobe. I need some pants to go with my jackets and tops. While I can buy RTW, I like the ability to color match perfectly when I sew.

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    1. Patricia - we had 6" of snow at 5pm today and it's suppose to snow until midnight/1am. Then the temps are going down in to the negatives and the single digits for the next two weeks...it's just not going to be pretty commuting around here!!! So basics here I come...

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  27. I am super excited to see what you do with basics. Your blog is such an education and source of inspiration to me. (I am also plus-size and you really help me understand I can make pretty, well-fitting professional clothes.) Right now, I am sticking with the basics because 1.) I'm learning and 2.) I don't know what "shock-and-awe" patterns are me yet. I've spent so much time wearing ill-fitting RTW I need to discover my style. But I am excited to see what you do and what you learned from the first time around. I also hope you don't think it is "too boring to blog"

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  28. Oh. My. Yes. I am so with you...I jumped into the SWAP sewing this year to make boring basics. They're not going to get anyone excited or generate much voting, I'm sure, but it's what my wardrobe NEEDS. I even culled two fabrics from my set just because they weren't basic enough. Hooray for sewing boring basics! (small side rant...why does Blogger even put a 'sign out' button on the comment page??? This is the 3rd time today I've tried to leave a comment and clicked 'sign out' instead of 'publish'...sigh)

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  29. I have been re-evaluating what I am sewing as well. I get caught up in the "latest and greatest" dress that's going around in blogland, forgetting that I really don't wear dresses. Given that the nasty vortex is back in the picture again, I'd best be getting going on my pants.

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  30. So true! I really need to stock up on basics and was worried that my blog would be too boring (not that I sew very exciting things anyway, but I think you know what I mean). I've decided that these are the things that will see me through so many occasions that they really should be shared!

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  31. Yes, yes and yes. I am right there with you.

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  32. I have been thinking a lot about those things too! I love to sew dresses but I rarely go for the fitted ones when I go to work. I have already started to make more basic blouses and skirts. And I am already wearing them non stop!

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  33. Your dresses are lovely - especially the first one. I've just started sewing but have only made cushions so far! Hopefully one day I'll progress on to dresses :)

    http://cheekycherubcandles.blogspot.co.uk

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  34. I completely understand about the basics - and I've been thinking the same thing lately! I just got rid of my LAST white shirt! How does someone not realize they have no white shirts left until it's too late?! Can't wait to see your wardrobe updates :)

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  35. I enjoy all your sewing adventures-basics or designer! Looking forward to seeing what you create. I must say that I love that red dress. It looks wonderful on you!!!!

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  36. With you on the basics... plus where you need more trousers to counter the cold, I am finding I need for cool dresses to counter the heat (more than we normally get.)

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  37. Oh my Carolyn! You've hit the nail on the head with this post! I really need to join you and incorporate some basic sewing in my RTW Fasting challenge this year! (Actually, a lot of it!). During the work week, I find myself in the same situation, over and over...not having enough basics for simple dressing! Great post!

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