Sunday, July 25, 2021

A Sewing Update - July 2021

Now that we're 16 months into this pandemic, it has affected my need to sew. Why you ask? Well my sewing was based upon me going to work outside my home everyday and other social events.  I was hopeful that with vaccines being widely available in the United States, that we would be further along in neutralizing the effects of the virus.  Sadly we're not and this new variant is on the rise globally. So I still primarily work from home and limit my visits into the unmasked, unvaccinated world.

Sewing Update ~

Since I have 10 great housedresses that I wear when I'm home and enough maxidresses and tunics to wear on the two days a week I work out of our office, I'm not inspired to sew more. This has caused my output to decrease and me to rethink what challenges me to sew.

This month as I've created a new cut pile, I've found that the challenge of altering patterns has encouraged my creativity. Of course this has slowed my productivity way down. I'm also only so-so on taking pictures of finished garments and all activities associated with it. I'm at a true turning point in my sewing life...

But, I have a few ideas that have provided flourishes of creativity...

...a great cut pile of maxidresses and tunics to sew for the rest of the summer and into fall...and two weeks of vacation that I hope will jumpstart that fire to create.

Sewing Room Update ~

The main sewing space is working well now.  It's well-lit. The last two purchases make it function better. The items I need to cut, press and sew are all stored well and easily accessible. There's plenty of space to maneuver and space to lay items without stacking them all on my cutting table!

However, the Resource Center still needs work.  I go back and forth whether or not to take the remaining boxes to storage (and forget about them) or figure out how to incorporate them into the room upstairs.  Right now I'm leaning towards seeing how much I can unpack and make work. Which means more purchases and time to spend on getting things moved around.  My current plan is to work on this during my two weeks vacation in August.

Sew Camp ~

I've missed Sew Camp at Carriage Corner B&B. I've missed spending time with other creatives, shopping, sewing and talking sewing 24/7 with a little current events thrown in. The last time I was at Sew Camp was 2019. I was supposed to go in September 2020 but my health issues stopped me. 

I'm linking to the schedule for the remaining Sew Camps this year, here. Though while I'm going in August, I'm not attending the one on the schedule. Five of my sewing friends and I got together and booked a private 5 day Sew Camp the first week of August. Did you know that you could do that? Well you can and if you're interested in sewing with some of your friends you should reach out to Gaylen. You can make your camp for as long as you want - a weekend, a couple days or like my friends and I, we're arriving on a Thursday and leaving on a Monday.

This will give us plenty of time to shop. Fabric Mart here we come! Explore some of the local quilting & notion shops and sew to our hearts content. I'm so looking forward to this. I haven't seen some of these friends in years, partly due to the pandemic and partly because we live all over the US. We're all vaccinated and ready to have a sewing good time! LOL!

Of course, I will be sharing the good times, here and on my Instagram account so look out for more on #SC2020 soon!

Next ~

Some of my cut pile will go with me to Sew Camp. I'm only taking three projects so that I can get them completed onsite. I want to take advantage of the beautiful grounds at Carriage Corner to get a few pictures taken. When I return home I will still have six days of vacation so I will be sewing and working on the Resource Center.

I'm ready to be settled in my apartment since it's been almost a year and just live. BTW, we're not going to talk about the state of my walk-in closet because that's another project BUT I can sew & create without it affecting me! Cause there's always gonna be a home project, right!?!

This is what's presently on my dressform.  While I love the fabric, the snug fit of the dress is challenging me to finish it. I think I'm going to move onto something else and circle back around to it.

So this is where my sewing is now...just wanted to share an update! always more later!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Circling my Shirt

I'm always inspired by external things.  Nature, people watching, RTW, designer gear, etc.  I see something and it triggers my creative process.  That's what this white shirt from Lafayette 148 did...

Now it's an inspired by shirt because the idea of decoration on the white shirt intrigued me.  In my mind, I began to consider how I could create that affect on my own.  That's when I turned to the Circular Attachment that's a common attachment on most high end sewing machines.  I, however, love the simplicity of working with it on my Janome 9450QCP.

The Shirt Construction

Supply List ~

Pattern:  MimiG Katie Top

3 yards white cotton/poly broadcloth purchased from Metro Textiles years ago 

10 7/8" flat 2-hole blue buttons from the button stash

Amann Group Isacord 100% polyester ombre thread or a rayon thread of your choice

There are no new garment construction techniques to share about this shirt. It's the same as all of the other Katie's I've made. However, the instructions on how to make the circle design for the shirt are here on the Janome blog. This shirt is one of my Janome Makes as a Janome Maker/Brand Ambassador.

To highlight the blue threads used for the circular decorations, I added blue topstitching to the collar and sleeve hems.  And of course, the blue buttons down the front emphasizes the blue theme - cause you know I do trim in threes!

A few pictures of the finished garment ~

It was interesting to use some of the decorative stitches and the circular attachment to "interpret" a RTW design. It's one of the things I love about top of the line sewing machines, the extra features allow you to easily create any flights of fancy you may have.

One other thing to note - we took these pictures in 100 degree weather and the poly in the shirt was stifling. This is very much an early spring or fall shirt...not the summer shirt I was envisioning. There are some sleeve issues that I believe are caused by my fabric because I didn't have this pulling in any of the other Katies I made.

I am slowly sewing...recently posted my cut pile to IG. I have a few more items to add to it but hopefully another make or two will make it to the blog before the month is over. always more later!

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Half way through Twenty Twenty-One

This post is a compilation of thoughts, updates and follow-ups. 

I have a four day weekend generously offered by my company because we've been working from home for so long. In May I started going back to work regularly in NYC for 2 days a week. Overall my vacation, personal time off, situation has been greatly enhanced by my company due to Pandemic Fatigue.  And while the world is opening, I think we can all admit to Pandemic Fatigue and how it's affected our mental, emotional and physical health.

This weekend I'm sewing in the new and improved Sewing Room.  I've lived in my apartment for 10 months now. I've either been moving in, unpacking, determining how I want to live in this space or recovering from health challenges. It's just starting to feel like "home." I believe all of the above have affected how much I sew. 

What I'm Working on This Weekend ~

Today is a cut day.  I've been pulling fabrics and patterns for the last week and a half trying to determine what I want to make going forward.  Because need is no longer a word I associate with my wardrobe. Due to the pandemic I've been home more and need less of a wardrobe.

I have nine summer/early fall dresses I want to make.

    - Helen's Closet Reynolds Dress (hacked)

    - Christine Haynes Verano Dress (summer version)

    - Cashmerette Roseclair Dress

    - 3 Style Arc patterns

        o Nova Midi Dress

        o Hope Woven Dress

        o Jules Woven Tunic that I'm maxifying (yes I made that word up!)

    - Simplicity 8875

    - McCalls 7969

    - McCalls 7943

I've chosen a variety of fabrics to use - some new to the collection.  A piece holding it down in the collection for 24 years, purchased in 1997. I'm even using a piece given to me from an old work friend that's 17 years old and from her grandmother's stash. Fabric venders are: GStreet, Mood, StyleMaker Fabrics, Fabric dot com, and of course Fabric Mart. LOL!  Always Fabric Mart. I love how my fabric collection has so many back stories to tell as well as reflects my sewing journey.

Pieces Completed Last Month ~

I finished four garments last month with only one making it to the blog.  I was planning on taking pictures of the t-shirt and cardigan but honestly it was too dayum hot the day we chose to take pictures. Those pieces will be up next on the blog on Daphne my dressform. I want to get them shared and move on!

Here's what I made last month...

A Swingy Version of a Pembroke Top

Cardigan from Simplicity 8059

Vogue 9299 in a border print

Outtake of this MimiG Katie Tunic
Love this photo its just very dark and 
the garment's not posted to the blog yet

This Weekend ~

I will be spending the next couple of days altering patterns and cutting them out.  Probably will make 2 or 3 this month, then take 2-3 to Sew Camp (yes, I'm headed to Sew Camp but more about that in a later post), and the rest by the end of the summer.  Which should be about right since I'm averaging 2-3 garments a month now.

Sewn Garment Recap ~

I've sewn 13 pieces this year. I honestly haven't been very motivated to sew.  My sewjo has come fast and furious in spurts...and I've gone along with it. While I have purchased some fabric, it hasn't been enough to track. Whenever I think about purchasing I do remember what it was like to pack and unpack my collection.

Not to say I haven't self-medicated with fabric from time to time.  In fact 17 yards will be showing up this week because last week was a rough week. However, I have plenty of storage space and no desire to overwhelm it.  Though if I sew through my plan, I will have sewn down 33 yards so it works out.

Future Sewing ~

I have a fancy wedding to attend Labor Day weekend and I'm trying to decide if I will have time to make another dress.  Or just wear this one since I've worn it exactly ONCE!

Something in me is pulling for fresh and new which means I will have to shop for fancy fabric. That is one fabric I don't store because you never know what the special event will require.

There are some other ideas floating around in my head but unless I become the sewing maniac I was prior to the move, they're just not gonna happen. Which makes me a little sad because they would be great garments but it's not earthshattering if they wait a little longer to be born!

Finally, when I have pictures of the finished Resource Center, I will share them. I'm looking forward to having it done because it's a lot of space that's not being used right now.

The cardigan and t-shirt information will be up next... always more later!




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