Friday, May 29, 2015

Thoughts from a Sewcation

For this sewcation, I decided to handle my blog posts differently. Usually, I write and post them as I've sewn each garment. This time I'm waiting until everything is done, including photos, and will post then.  This means there hasn't been much shown here since the start of my sewcation.  My reason is that I just wanted to sew uninterrupted...

These are a few of the thoughts that rambled through my mind while sewing this last week... 

1.  I know why I have nice skin.  I use so much steam when I'm sewing that my pores are constantly being flushed by the steam. Yeah sewing facials! *LOL*

2.  Is it sewing growth if I really like hand sewing now? It calms and makes me feel as if I'm invested in my garments. 

3.   I need to learn to sew more quick and easy garments! The amount of steps involved in complicated garments, while necessary, seems to make the process so much longer!

4.  Are you like me? Do you read through other sewists' blog posts looking for techniques that will help you take your sewing to the next level? I love finding a gem that I can file away to use on a future garment.

5.  Do you use just one set/size pins when you're sewing? I noticed during this sewcation that I used several different sizes of pins for my projects. Just wondering if anyone else is that obsessive too?

6.  Same with carbon paper - I have several different types and use them based upon the fabric. Again am I the only one that does that?

7.   Ever since I realized that I can purchase just about any sewing supply from Amazon - it's been my go to source.  Tracing paper, pins, sewing machine needles and now waistband interfacing. Amazon is like the Walmart of the Internet! *LOL*


8.  I was wondering, does anyone else press their darts over their pressing ham? Okay seriously I know that other sewists do but does everyone?  Do you realize that you get a much better press ~ one that follows the contours of your curves if you press darts over a pressing ham?  Just wondering...

9.  There were a lot of skirts made this go around. So when I was reading Shams post about her awesome new pants, I realized that I do the same thing. My skirt fronts are considerably larger than my skirt backs. I'm just bigger in the front and need more fabric there.


10. Have you ever dropped your scissors/shears and they just fell apart? That happened to me once...I bought multiples of everything after that to make sure I was never without scissors/shears again!

11. BTW, I pretty much own multiples of everything ~ seam rippers, pins and pinholders, seam gauges, all of my scissors, etc. I'm sure that I'm not the only one with a considerably overstocked sewing spot?

12. Do you sit and sew for 4, 5, 6 or 8 hours straight?  I just realized that I sew in bursts.  An hour or two here...some computer time.  Another 15-30 minutes and a trip upstairs to do a task...my biggest bursts of straight sewing time occur from 10pm to 2am when there are no distractions. So what about you? How do you sew?

13. I think you need to fail when making a garment. Because when you fail and figure out how to fix it, it gives you the experience and the belief that you can make it work the next time you're in that situation. Failing makes you a better sewist...well at least to me!

Butterick 6183 top & TNT skirt, Butterick 6183 sleeveless top w/maxi skirt, 
2 TNT skirts in prints, Vogue 8209 Jacket and TNT dress

As of now I've finished 8 pieces ~ number 9 and 10 are on the cutting table. I'm working on a top and matching pants...those will probably be the last items...even though I keep thinking maybe I can squeeze one last TNT dress in...but probably not. Cause let's be real, I still haven't taken pictures of me in all of this stuff!

Anyway, I went with simple pieces...the most complicated was the Vogue 8209 jacket but that was me and not the pattern. I chose to sew these garments to give my wardrobe some variety since it's been quite limited lately. The posts about the garments and my journey will be up on the blog next.

...as always more later!


30 comments:

  1. So many of your thoughts ring true for me but so far I've managed to keep away from Amazon, the postage isn't my friend.

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    1. Sharon, I always forget that companies may operate differently outside of the U.S. Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. I used to use Amazon a lot until they have clamped a minimum spend before postage. I especially relate to 2 & 9. Thanks about the dart tip, only just got a tailors ham and not used to it yet. looking forward to the big reveal.

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  3. You are certainly having a productive sewcation! Love what you've made so far and look forward to seeing them on.

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  4. A very productive sewcation by the sounds of it! Yes, I use a ham while pressing my darts but I need to get better at the actual sewing of them to get better results. I don't have access to all the notions here even through Amazon.co.uk and postage, VAT and import duty make some things absolutely prohibitive. Plus the charges are based on the total of value of item and S&H!

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  5. Fantastic. Love to see you happily sewing along! Amazon is a wonderful resource. I spend so much time in the district, I forget they are an option!

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  6. I use a ham to press my darts too. Two hours tops at the machine - after that my body gets restless and/or some pressing domestic task to attend t.

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  7. Wow, you've been productive! That's a lot of pieces! I can tell you are totally enjoying yourself and the zen of it all has you into thinking and coming up with these very cogent thoughts.
    #13. Failing is ALWAYS an opportunity. It is a chance to learn, grow and succeed the next time. Often what we consider failures in sewing other people don't even notice and our failures can be worn or at least donated to the thrift shop or charity store.

    #2. All sewing is growth, no matter the technique, as each fabric and pattern is different. Hand sewing is delightful and relaxing and I'm glad you are enjoying it. It is great thinking time.
    #5. I use various types of pins, but mostly the big yellow heads and silk pins, sort of opposites of each other.
    #8. I use my ham a lot and like you for darts. I also use it from my side seams where my hips widen out. It makes a difference.
    #12. I definitely sew for hours on end in my cave where there is no computer. I do have my tablet rockin' with the tunes though. My sewing for hours is not sitting. It is more a constant up and down from the cutting table to the machine to the ironing board but no non sewing interruptions other than food and at times I even do without that!


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  8. I waffled over that red, white & blue swirl fabric for ages, then opted out, convincing myself the print was far too large for a skirt. Now I see just how wrong I was.

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  9. Your sew productive! (har har) I order a ton from ebay for sewing supplies. Shipping is slower than amazon, but I've gotten multiples at low prices and never had an issue with quality. I should get another pair of sheers now! You've got me scared that I will be without! :/

    I always press darts over a ham. Makes for such a beautiful dart and you can really make the point nicely shaped. :)

    I sew for hours on end. I forget to eat and go to sleep! I've tried the short bursts before, but then I look at the clock and oops....4 hours later.... ;)

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  10. Amazon prime has earned its keep many times over for me!
    I've stopped trying to up my skill game with harder projects because I just don't end up wearing them- I like my rut, style wise!

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  11. Fine long glass head pins are all I ever use anymore. I used to use different sizes, but find that I am always reaching for the long glass heads now. Looks like you are having a very productive sewcation! I am loving the blue water color print skirt!!!

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  12. You are being quite productive during your sewcation. Love those cute skirts!

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  13. Yes on buying sewing notions through Amazon and yes on pressing darts over a ham. I used to sit for long bursts; but now that I have six children, I sew a bit here and a bit there, 30 to an hour at a time usually. Every so often I can squeeze in a couple of hours at a time. I used to do the late night thing, but I don't have the energy for that anymore. And thank you, iron, for those steam facials.

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  14. You need to hop on the knit top bandwagon for your fast and easy garments! Less fitting and faster construction than wovens.

    Yes, of course, I press my darts over a ham. With darts my size, I can't imagine getting a decently pressed dart any other way.

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    1. Michelle - I don't know why I don't have much success sewing knit tops...maybe I'm too lazy to put a lot of effort into fitting "easy" garments!

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  15. I, too, love ordering sewing supplies from Amazon! Wawak is also a great place to shop as well. I always press my darts over a ham. It makes life much easier!

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  16. This is an interesting post and I look forward to seeing the reveal. Variety is why I like to sew pieces; of course I have no need for much in the way of dresses. I have multiples of everything too, and I still can't find things sometimes since I end up moving them to other places instead of leaving them where they reside and using the ones that are in other locations! I can't imagine, with my bust and hips not pressing on a ham! I use it for hip seams as well as darts.

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    1. Nancy, surprised that you haven't seen the peeks on Instagram...

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  17. Great post Carolyn. I have duplicates of nearly all sewing supplies, use my ham and sleeve roll for pressing extensively, prefer long, thin glass head pins and sew in spurts of time. Right now I'm doing some slow sewing involving lots of hand stitching which I find very relaxing. I'm anxious to see pics of you modelling all your new garments.

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  18. Lovely collection and you have definitely been productive.

    1- I am a maniacal presser and steam is my best friend. I just have to remember to remove my glasses... lol
    2- My venture into sewing started with hand sewing (I did a lot of embellishing back in the day - MJ Trimming was my go to spot), once I started garment sewing I stepped away from it, but have learned I have better control with hand sewing certain parts of a garment.
    4- I enjoy reading other sewists' blogs and have learned a lot from trimming seam allowances to darts, which are my best friend.
    7- Was an Amazon fan for a few years, but have pull back as of late.
    8- Yes, although it took some getting use to using my ham, I finally learned the importance of using it for my darts.
    10- Dropped my gingham shears and was surprised that they broke that easy... have yet to replace them. Same thing happened with my embroidery scissors and immediately got 2 more.
    12- I sew in spurts & bursts, however, there are times I can plug away for several hours on a garment. Today was a prime example.. I finished a dress.
    13- My middle name is failina...It has helped me tremendously.

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  19. Wow! You have been most productive and like the glimpses of the items you posted. Looking forward to the modeling of each garment.
    Answers: 1-I steam a lot and perhaps it helps my face but wreaks havoc with my straight, fine hair. 2-Perhaps it is growth, I am still immature as I find every means I can to sew with my machines, not my hands. 4- Yes I do and bookmark those post that teach me something new. 5-Yes, 6-No.7-I am a Amazon Prime member but have yet to purchase sewing supplies except for one or two items from them. 8. I use my ham for pressing darts, neckbands, etc. 11-I do have multiples of several sewing gadgets as I seem to misplace them throughout my sewing room. 12. I use to sew in long periods of time, now it is in spurts and not much longer than 2 hours at a time, cause my neck and shoulder can't handle long periods anymore :-( 13-I have failed numerous times, got myself back up and on to the next project, learned a lot by failing.

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  20. Yes,I love Amazon (we have a new saying at my house "Amazon is the greatest!!") As a matter of fact,I just received Dritz pins,a purple thang,and a bound buttonhole maker (oh my very complicated and will probably never be used) from there.I sew in one and a half hour spells to avoid getting a fatigue in my neck, but I can keep that up til very late evenings. And Wow , Carolyn,you are so productive. I can just imagine you relishing your sewing time which I know is so precious to you!

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  21. So many things to ponder, and a glimpse of the gooseberry botanical in action! I finally made myself a pressing ham, and I still use the overpadded (think stuffed animal overpad) point on the ironing board - it's there. It doesn't roll under the table!

    Amazon is not your friend in the long run. Please shop from other online suppliers before Amazon drives them out of business.

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    1. SJ, now you know that I use more than Amazon as an online resource! All of my thread comes from Wawak - definitely wouldn't change that! And let's not forget that my patterns are bought online!

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  22. Wow! So many good thoughts and questions.
    1. I love the steam facial, such a great way to think of it!
    5. I only use one set/size of pins. After doing industrial manufacturing sewing for the last few years I rarely use pins when sewing. Mostly just for holding seam allowances, pleats and darts down.
    8. Speaking of darts, yes, I do use my pressing ham for them for that exact reason. :)

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  23. You should invest in prime if you haven't already. For 99 a year you get free 2 day shipping.

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  24. But what happens if you fail and then can't work up the nerve to fix your mistakes?! I've got a dress and a sweater that both need some magic worked on them and honestly, what I REALLY want to do is throw them straight in the trash can! It's a pity because I really like the fabric in both cases but I just. don't. want. to. fix them!

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    1. ...but what did you learn from them? There had to be something you learned that you can or can't do, or that fabric will or won't do, or even a technique that you thought works and now doesn't? That's what I'm referring to...and I too have had things that didn't work and sat. Hey I have a couple of pieces now!

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