Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Some Thoughts and Some Totals

July was full of challenges.  I got really sick the 4th of July weekend and lost 5 days of sewing.  I got myself together along with gaining my sewjo back and started working through my summer sewing list. I made 3 garments this month and 2 are left over from Sew Camp in June.

Monthly Totals ~
I decided to participate in projectfabricfast to help curb my growing fabric collection. Not because my collection makes me feel guilty but because there are so many goodies in there that I really want to sew more of them rather than holding onto/collecting them. All of my makes this month came from the fabric collection with no new fabric purchases! 

Of course this helped reduce my in/out numbers for the month and the year. Especially if I only have fabric out and no fabric in. 31 days without a fabric purchase makes me happy. I only have 6 more weeks to meet my goal and I have faith that I'm going to hold out and get there!

Here are in my in/out totals for July:
In - zero yardage!!!
Out - 28 yards

YTD totals are:
In - 246 yards in
Out - 208.5 yards out

Dayum those are some large numbers of fabric moving in and out of my sewing cave!

I have 6-7 more weeks to sew for summer. I have a cut pile that reflects me spending quality time at my sewing machine...never mind that I also have a few social commitments for August.

A Few Thoughts ~
This spring/summer I made a to-sew list full of new sewing patterns I wanted to try.  I've realized that I like a woven dress more than I like a knit one.  So most of my Concord tee dresses have been donated. Well in truth, most of them don't fit anymore since I've gained back all the weight I lost.

I also really love sewing a pattern quite a few times.  No matter how much I try to sew it once and move on, the pattern kinda lodges in my brain and I do creative somersaults with it. It's also interesting to note that I think I'm becoming out of date/trend/season with this way of thinking/creating/sewing.

Now that the pattern companies are actively involved in social media it seems that the pressure is on to always sew the latest and greatest pattern. Even though we purchase so many of them from each pattern company, and have to fit making into our daily lives, which of course means that sometimes a pattern can sit in our stashes for several seasons or years. 

I understand that pattern companies are businesses that need to sell their new products, I just wish they celebrated the making of ALL their patterns (no matter the season or year) as much as they celebrate the shiny new ones. Especially since patterns can almost always be found on Etsy, eBay, Amazon or several internet sites that sell vintage and OOP patterns.

I've cut and sewn four new patterns this season ~ 

1. Vogue 9371
I've made 2 versions and I'm probably done with this pattern for the year.

2. Cashmerette's Holyoke Skirt
Three versions have been made of this skirt. Two have been blogged. I still have to blog the last one.

3. Simplicity 8871
Two have been made, both will be coming to the blog in August. But this pattern has me in a creative whirlwind. I have fabric set aside to make two more so the finished dresses will show up in August or September. I've worn one to work and it's everything I want in a summer dress. I'd truly love five of these, just don't have time to get them made! It's my pattern crush of this season just like Myosotis was last year.

4. McCalls 7774
Two versions of this dress are cut out and waiting to be sewn. One in a border print (another idea I've worked out this season) and one in a stripe.

Also I'm continuing my Myosotis Dress love. There are presently three versions cut out and laying on my cutting table.  All maxi length versions.  All hacked or using some type of embellishment.  All coming to the blog in August and September.  Because the Myosotis love continues!

That pretty much sums up the rest of my summer sewing. While I've made a good faith effort to use more of the new sewing patterns I've acquired, in actuality I LOVE the journey of a pattern. I love using different fabrics, embellishments and hacking it to see all the things a pattern can become. I'm really not into the shiny and new.

Last thing ~
I've also decided that I need to "Make Do" more. Participating in #projectfabricfast has allowed me to see how often I run to one of the trim stores in the garment district to purchase things. This is something that has gradually developed because I'm now working near the garment district.  When I worked uptown and couldn't make it to pick things up, I stashed ALOT of notions. I need to turn to that notions stash now and "Make it Work" instead of dreaming up new things to buy. 

With that in mind, I'm setting myself a two month goal of "Make Do." I will try my hardest to use a notion/trim/button that's already in my notions stash rather than run to Pacific or Joyce Trimmings to buy new. By not buying new, I've already challenged myself to make my own piping. The next Simplicity 8871 dress features this embellishment and will be coming to the blog soon.

That's all! (said in my best Miranda Priestly voice)  It's an all sewing weekend. My last for the month of August so I want to see how much I can get accomplished.  There is a new dress coming to the blog next! always more later!


  1. I have great anticipation for what emerges from your sewing weekend. I prefer a woven dress in the summer as well (no cling, no no no) and am digging in the closet to search out the ones I whipped up last year.
    I feel competent to comment on the fabric fast and the 'make do'; my beloved source of sustenance Pacific Fabrics closed the store I would visit on my way home from pay day. Now that site is closed, and the other in town is not on the car route, I have Bought No Fabric. OR notions. I just don't need any because what I'm sewing is out of the stash OR brought to me to make or mend something. Notions included.
    It's thrifty but .... sad. I don't have to buy anything to shop.

  2. Like you, I use a pattern several times perfecting the fit and play with fabric. That said I'm not as prolific as you and can hear your mind spinning, Do you always cut multiple garments and set them aside ready for the machine? Karen

    1. Karen - it's become a thing this year because I have soooooo many ideas floating around in my head that I get creative anxiety. Like I'm never going to get to them and it started to paralyze me a little. When I went ahead and started cutting things out and having a cut pile (usually 3-4 pieces - this month's is a little larger!) I found I lost the anxiety about what to sew. The patterns were already adjusted, fabric cut out and edges serge finished - all I had to do was sew. I also don't feel like I'm tripping over ideas that will never get made anymore. This is the first time in my life that a cut pile has worked for me. I tried this when I was younger and ended up with alot of UFOs so gave it up.

    2. The creative anxiety, the fear of a pile of UFOs- you really nailed it for me too.

    3. I'm listening to you, Carolyn, and currently have 3 garments cut out and ready to sew. Fall sewing is fast approaching so I need a plan to keep the juices flowing!

  3. Your blog always get my sewjo back.
    I too, have a fabric stash that needs to be reduced.
    Cotton is my go to in the summer. In my younger years it was whatever was in style, now I prefer more comfort and a bit of style.
    Do you have any good hacks for adding sleeves to a sleeveless pattern? I struggle with that.
    Love your blog and your makes!

    1. I'm not a sleeve guru. I struggle with that too. If you're on Instagram, I would follow Grace at wzrdreams. She is a fit technician in the garment district and her job is sleeves. She gives excellent advice about how to adjust and work with sleeves.

  4. I think your observation about the pattern companies emphasizing the newest patterns is so apt. I feel that way - they should occasionally spotlight a not so new pattern as many of us buy them but are not able/don't need to make right away. They marinate in the drawer for a few seasons and then are just the right one for a particular fabric.

  5. Here, here! regarding the pattern companies. I know social media makes it seem like they have to do what the “popular” indies are doing but really, highlight your patterns regardless of when they were released. With the influx of posts, they could have daily digests just showing off patterns. They don’t all need to be the latest release. Especially since the release tend to come out a season early. Wah.

    While I don’t precut projects (I’m much too fickle!), this summer was one of the first times I basically stuck to my plan. And I truly love each piece. Knowing I spend time on the front end planning, I think it’s better this way. It allows me to sew some “shiny” pieces but then they tend to work with the broader plan rather than being outliers. This summer after making my plan, I gathered the patterns and fabric and notions and made a nice little pile. And I’ve been picking from that pile. I’m going to try the same for fall.

    Hooray on sewing from stash! Good job on a successful July!

  6. I've made 2 Simplicity 8871 dresses for myself (I cut one at Sew Camp), and one for a friend, and it's a great pattern. I only buy fabric at Sew Camp these days (unless I need something for a specific project, like a baby gift), and have a wonderful time letting those lovely cuts tell me what they want to be. You had a very productive July despite being sick for almost a week. Looking forward to seeing what emerges from your Sewing Cave in August!

  7. OMG! Your thoughts on pattern companies is the same as mine. I've also notices that they recycle the designs too soon. Like you, I also like to make a pattern more than once. After all the fitting, it only stands to reason that you use the pattern more than once.

    You've had a great spring/summer sewing season. My hat is off to you on your goal to do a fabric fast, concentrating on sewing the fabric already in your collection. Anyway, my dear, keep up the good work. ;-)

  8. I am finding the last few things I have made have been repeats as well. I LIKE doing repeats, it seams. It's like " how can I make the next one more interesting, fit better, a little different? etc" It's a fun challenge and I am not always ready to move on to the next new shiny thing. It feels good. Three seems to be my magic number than I move on. I think part of this is I am using simpler, more classic designs, therefore easier and more interesting to change up. As much as I love heavily detailed designer looks, I move on from these quickly. Congrats on some great summer sewing!

  9. Replies
    1. Unknown wrote: "They are very nice I congratulate you!"
      My response: Thank you very much - Muchas Gracias!

  10. When I focus on sewing from my own collection, I notice that I get more creative. I love how sewing is really and truly an art form. Thanks for sharing. Happy sewing!

  11. Great review. Stumbled onto this blog through Google now bews feed. I shall be following this blog as im learning to sew.

  12. I would like to participate in a project about fabric fasting but it looks like it is on instagram? Therein lies the rub. I don't have an account or play much at all in the social media sandbox. Talk about feeling left out of a latest thing! Not following much social media has its downside, that feeling of missing out, but it also has an upside, which is more time to sew and figure out my personal style. I have probably over a hundred patterns, most are from the BIg One pattern company (aka McVogueRick and Co) partly because I am afraid to dip my tow into the independents. I have enough. Even so...I buy uncut patterns from thrift stores and occasional sale patterns from big box stores to inject something new to me. I really don't miss all of the fuss I hear about for named, independent patterns, or Big One patterns either. I understand the pull though.

    Thank you so much for your monthly recaps, they are always so thought provoking, and this one is no exception!

  13. Hey Carolyn, as always I enjoyed reading your post. Wow, your numbers of fabric out are fantastic! I just wonder how in the world you have room in your closets for all your wonderful makes!? The new Simplicity pattern 8871 looks lovely. I must say though each time I see a pattern that has the side slit like that it takes me back to patterns from say the 80's and 90's. I'm not into side slits, I always seem to look for a way to make a back walking slit and close up the side slit. But, that's just me. Looking forward to seeing the next post. Hope you get time to sew this week. Take care. Sewing for our granddaughter right now. Then onto something for me...


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