Friday, September 18, 2009

An Apology and some of this and some of that

First, let me apologize for the lack of a New Sewist Thursdays post!  It's been a long week at work and I just couldn't get it together to write a I apologize and New Sewist Thursdays will reappear next week!

Next, I spent an awesome evening last night with Elizabeth who writes the blog, "Sew a Beginner"  The great thing about it is that no fabric shopping was involved just two women having dinner and discussing their passion.  Elizabeth gives all the details, here!

What follows next are some thoughts I had over the week I was in sewing heaven...can you tell it's been a long week at work!  *LOL*

~Why do I line everything?  Because as a plus size woman I hate wearing a lot of layers under my clothing.  If a dress or skirt is lined it slides right over my Spanx and I don't need to wear anything else under it.  And let's not even talk about the fact that lining actually lengthens the life of a garment!

I read somewhere the other day, someone asking why do people line their garments and is it necessary?  The question stuck with me and of course rumbled through my mind as I sat and sewed.  

~When I'm sewing for long stretches of time...I get even more ideas for the garments I'm working on.  It's like being deep into the process gives me a clearer vision of what the garment should be.  Does this happen to anyone else?

~Again the recurring theme in my life...I have ALOT of fabric! *LOL*

~I think the reason I sew so many dresses is because I get more bang for my buck!  When I've finished a dress, I have a complete outfit to wear.  When I finish a skirt, top or pair of pants, I still need to make at least one coordinating piece to have an outfit.  So dresses have become a mainstay in my sewing time is limited and precious...I have to accomplish much in that time...dresses help me do that!

~My sewing machine is getting old.  I have to baby it more to keep it happy!  It's almost like an elderly relative...I'm always going the extra mile to make sure that its safe and working properly.  I've put off buying one because I thought I should own a top of the line version.  But during the sewing vacay, I've started to rethink this.  Christmas is coming and sewing machines will go on I need to actually do something about this...

~Do you realize that when constructing a garment that the least amount of time is spent at your sewing machine?  It just seems that I spend way more time at my ironing board or the cutting table than I do actually running my sewing machine.  Has anyone else noticed this?

And finally, I'm going to sew this weekend...what I don't know...but something! *LOL*  I have a lot of options for more pre-fall garments especially since the ones I wore this week worked so well.

...more later!   


  1. I agree with you about the lining, I also think that lined garments hang so much better and just look better quality than unlined ones. On the subject of dresses - I have only ever made myself one, which is a bit snug and was only ever meant to be a muslin anyway - I just didnt' get round to making another one in a slightly larger size. I would love to wear more dresses but don't really know for sure what style would suit me, I should probably just try one and see, trial and error and practise, I know that is how you got your TNT :-)

  2. I was just thinking I need a lot more knits in my stash so I can make more dresses. So funny you talked about the dresses = outfits issue. I hadn't thought of it that way until you mentioned, but you are totally dead on. Thanks again for a great night out yesterday! Let's do it again soon.

  3. Hi, Carolyn, Your explanation about lining garments makes sense. Question re: lining--do you use the same type of fabric for lining your garments (if so-what do you use)? Or if you use different fabrics for lining, how do you select? I'm asking because I have a stash of fashion fabrics, and I'm wondering if I should add fabrics for lining. Thanks!

    Rose in SV

  4. I agree about the dresses. I'm trying to get a TNT dress so I can make more dreses for work. A dress is a complete outfit but with pants or a skirt I have to coordinate something else to complete the outfit. I'm sewing a dress now for a jacket I completed. I think I've finally got a good fit on a dress. I really enjoyed your pieces you finished last week.

  5. How funny. Even my DH once asked me "why do they call it sewing when you spend so much time IRONING". Even he figured it out!

    Of course, then I had to explain the difference between "ironing" and "pressing", but he's a bright guy and he "got" it.

    I always line dresses and skirts. They hang better, hold a pressing better, and last longer. 'Nuff said. Tailored jackets, obviously, most jackets honestly.

    New machine? I don't know. As a natural cheapskate, I can't encourage buying a new machine just for the sake of having a new machine. But if it's what you really want ...

  6. I've definitely thought about the sewing versus pressing time issue! It's especially true with jackets - all that fusing, pressing, etc. I line all my jackets, but, since I've had children, I sometimes don't line skirts and dresses that I want to wash after something has spilled on them. Off topic, but I saw Valentino The Last Emperor tonight - what a great film, and the extras were almost better than the film itself!

  7. once you begin lining your garments you can't stop, its such a professional look that feel wonderful but physically and mentally, you really think that you have produced a quality item
    missed your new beginner's post, look forward to next week's

  8. I agree with your reasoning of why lining is good. But I'm afraid I disagree with the implementation :-). I get the same benefits of better sliding of layers (especially wooly winter layers) and less outward wrinkling from wearing slips, which take 15mn to make, work with all my clothes, and can be laundered much more easily than a lining. I line jackets, yes, that's different, but nothing else.

  9. I also enjoy your posts and especially those that require us to think more. I agree with the lining part. I don't line everything but at least 85% of the skirts, dresses and jackets are lined. I think it does extend the life of the garments as well.

    I can tell by the hours that are logged on my sewing machine that your statement has to be correct. I can go to the info section on my sewing machine and see the actual sewing hours. It is way less than I expected. I am constantly up and down while I am sewing, moving to the ironing board or my cutting table to pin some piece together, etc.

  10. I don't know what sewing machine you own, but if your considering a new on for Christmas, may I suggest the Bernina 430? (The 440 is very similar, but includes stitches for quilting). It's not the top of the line, but it's an excellent machine for garment sewers. I love mine.

  11. I certainly agree about the pressing/ fact I enjoy this time the most. I think its because my back gets unbent for awhile (LOL) plus this is the time I find I envision any potential problems or a way to embellish the garment that I hadn't thought of before.

    I have share with you that I recently purchased a Bernina 440. I had replaced my 1950s White with a new Janome high-end about 7 years ago and was quite happy, but this Bernina is a joy..a sew with. Before you decide about a new machine, I urge you to try out a Bernina for a project to see if its worth the extra price to you. btw, I got mine used from a Bernina shop at quite a discount making it just "expensive" instead of "outrageously expensive" I'm so happy I decided to get it. -- Karen :)

  12. At the ironing board is certainly where most of my sewing time is spent. Next would come handwork, then sewing, then cutting. With a rotary cutter that goes quickly.

    If your machine is acting up, maybe it is time. If I could have any machine, I am not sure it would be TOL. There is a lot I just might not use. Are you thinking embroidery? If I were to go that route it would be a separate embroidery only machine and then a workhorse with some good heirloom and utility stitches. A knee pedal would be nice too!

  13. Don't you just love Spanx? I don't feel like a trussed up Thanksgiving turkey when I wear it. I was surprised at the comfort for so much hold.

  14. I have to jump in on the sewing machine too. I love my Bernina and I don't have top of the line. I have a 440 since I do quilt as well as garment sewing but they are incredible machines. I'll never go back!


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