Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Brief Summer Review and Thinking About Fall

As I have said before, I don't like being tied to a sewing plan but I do find it useful to have a list of maybes, then if I don't have anything I'm especially excited about sewing next I can just pick something from the list. I had 20 fabrics on my list, as updated in June (I called it a plan at the time but it wasn't really a plan.) Of those, I have sewed 12. That would not be good if it had been a plan but okay for a list, and considering that I also sewed several things not on the list.

Of course, summer is not over yet and I might still get around to one or two more but I'm going to sew the tropical print next. I would have started it already but I decided to work on a quilt top and go ahead and get that done instead of piddling around with it for the next six months.

I'm a summer person and I hate to think about summer being over. And it's not over yet. We still have at least another month of warm weather here but I have, almost involuntarily, started thinking about fall sewing. Here are a few things that are on my mind.

These are two pairs of fabrics that go together. The pattern has contrasting collar cuffs and placket. The local quilt shop always has a bunch of two yard cuts of fabric. They're not really bargain priced and sometimes it's hard to think of what to do with just two yards but for some reason they're fun to buy. That's what the fabric on the top left in the photo was. It took me quite a while to decide on what I wanted to do with it. I was originally thinking something for summer but as soon as I started thinking about fall this completely clicked and I think this might be my first fall thing. The piece on the top right I've had for two or three years and was always going to use this pattern but I originally had a different purple fabric that I settled on and wasn't satisfied with to go with it. But then last week I found this tie-dye purple and it's almost exactly what I had in mind in the first place. So, yay! I'm ready to go on these and just need buttons.

This second photo is all cotton knits that I got at the Hancock Fabrics going out of business sale. At first I was thinking t-shirts but it seems a little too thick for t-shirts and I have enough of those anyway so now the plan is for cardigans. I already have an orange (RTW) cardigan so the orange might stay in the stash for a long, long time. I'm thinking I'll start with the green, which is more gorgeous than it looks in the picture. It's a really green green, almost like a John Deere green or the green crayon in a box of eight crayons only prettier. The pink is not a very useful color for fall so it can wait until late winter or early spring.

The last two are stretch twill, originally both destined to be trousers but the blue is not as stretchy as I like, in fact, it's hardly stretchy at all. How they can get away with calling this stuff a stretch fabric is beyond me. But it's still a nice, non-stretch fabric and I already have another idea for it, which I won't reveal yet. The orange is nicely stretchy though and I will go ahead with my original plan for it even though orange trousers in my size are a little scary.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Colors! My Colors! (And a Monstrous Run-On Sentence)

Have you ever decided that you are absolutely not going to buy any more fabric for a long time because you are suddenly slightly horrified to realize how much you already have, but then a local quilt shop has a 30% off on everything sale(!) and you remember you actually do need a few small pieces to finish or refashion some things, like contrast for a couple of shirts you're planning, for example, so you go just to buy those things and you leave the store proud of yourself because you only bought what you went there for but then you keep thinking about that one really gorgeous fabric that you didn't buy because you were determined to be good and you go back and buy some because, what the heck, it's 30 percent off!?

Yeah, that's what happened to me. (This is actually lighter weight than "typical" quilting fabric, perfect for a summer dress.)

I am so excited about this fabric, I was going to cut it out today but then I realized that I do not have a zipper or thread to match. The only place within an hour's drive of me that has sewing notions (other than quilting notions) is Walmart and they probably have the right color thread but no chance on the zipper so I'll have to order that. :-(

For the most part, it seems like I have been sewing some uncharacteristically subdued colors lately. I mean, I like all the garments I've made this year. I like a wide variety of colors - sometimes it's the print that's the main thing - but I have been craving some real COLOR! Summer's last fling, perhaps. So for now I wait and look through my stash for something else colorful, though I know I have nothing else quite this bold.

What's In a Name?

I had an epiphany yesterday. Well, not really; I just like the word "epiphany" and this seemed like a good excuse to use it.

When I first decided to start a sewing blog I wanted the word "sew" in the title but it seemed like all the good sewing blog titles were already taken so after much thought I settled on "And Sew It Goes". I actually sort of like it. It's not bad for something I settled on and I was satisfied with it but yesterday I thought of something that is both more meaningful and more "me".

I enjoy attention and praise as much as anyone. In fact, sometimes I think I might crave attention a little too much. But, to be honest, I do get a little tired of non-sewing people always being SO AMAZED that I sew. Yes, it is nice to be able to impress people but I feel like a bit of a fraud - like I'm getting praise that I don't deserve. Sewing is really no more impressive than a lot of other things people routinely do, such as driving in a large city, using computers, baking cookies, or keeping house plants alive. (The first and last of those are more difficult for me than sewing.)

I don't have much patience with people who say they would love to learn to sew but they "can't" or "could never learn". Look - for most of the history of civilization not sewing was not an option for most women. The only women who could get away with not sewing were those who were wealthy enough to pay someone else to do it for them, so anyone with two functional hands can learn to sew. Now if you really don't want to or "don't have time" that's fine. That's disappointing but I can accept that. Just don't act like sewing is some kind of strange superpower. It's not.

I must admit that I do have a selfish motive for wanting more people to learn to sew. The more people there are who sew the more local fabric stores there will be, but seriously, I don't expect everyone to know how to sew and if people are impressed that's cool too, just not so much over-the-top, OMG-you-have-superpowers impressed.

So anyway, sorry for getting preachy. I know the people who really need that sermon will never see it. Anyone who comes here will most likely be someone who already sews or who is seriously interested. I just wanted to explain the name change and why this one is more ME.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Brand New Sloppy Old T-Shirt

Fair warning: this post contains the worst photos of me you will ever see. I'm talking driver's license photo bad. In fact, I've had better driver's license photos. But for this garment that seems sort of appropriate somehow. So anyway...

First, about the fabric - I went looking for some hemp fabric to make my oldest son a shirt for his birthday because I knew he would get a kick out of having a shirt made of hemp. (One thing we have in common is that we are both easily amused.) I found Hemp Traders. This jersey is 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton. It is wonderful! It's soft and drapey but really well behaved and a dream to sew. The cut edges don't even curl up like most knits do. You've gotta get some of this stuff. It comes in more that 20 colors.

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of that t-shirt to show you. As I said last week, when the kids get to be six feet tall it's just about impossible to dress them up and force them to pose for pictures. But it really turned out great. I'm tempted to say perfect. And he liked it so, yeah, perfect.

I bought almost twice as much fabric as I needed (It's 64 inches wide) so I had enough left over for another shirt. I thought about making one for my other son but I decided he would probably like a different color better so I made one for myself. I used this really old pattern, upsized and lengthened it just a bit.

I will never wear this in public but that's exactly what I intended - a comfortable shirt for housework and just lounging around. So we'll start with an "action shot".

Yikes! I don't look like that. No, seriously, I don't, not even when I'm zombied out in front of the TV. I refuse to believe it. Anyway, you probably want a better look at the shirt. Here ya go.

The hem is straight; it just looks that way because of the slouchy style and the way I'm standing, I think. Anyway, it feels great and I love it and I'm definitely buying more of this fabric, and making some things that can be worn in public.

By the way, the pants I'm wearing are a very old pair of L.L. Bean Perfect Fit(tm) Pants. I highly recommend them if you want some nice, practically indestructible RTW knit pants. Sadly, the color selection is very limited - what I like to call six shades of dull - but, to be fair, they are all useful "go with everything" colors.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Regrets? No and Yes

I don't regret this dress. I like it. It's another Simplicity 1803, view C this time, and it's the best fit of these princess seams so far. (Bodice only; I don't like the extra seams in the skirt of this pattern)

But as I started sewing it I noticed that these are fall colors and I started thinking what a lovely fall tunic it would have made.

I have been obsessed with these scoop back dresses though and I want more, more, more of them.

So I don't regret the dress but I regret not having the fall tunic that might have been. Does that make sense?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Brief, Unillustrated Notes

I made a t-shirt for my oldest son. I will probably never get to show that one to you. When kids get to be six feet tall it's kind of hard to forcibly dress them and make them pose for pictures. But I do have to say something about the fabric. It's a 55 percent hemp/45 percent organic cotton from Hemp Traders. It is wonderful to sew with - very well-behaved on the sewing machine - and it feels like it would be very comfortable to wear. I have some left over, maybe enough for a tank top for myself. And I'm definitely buying more.

I am almost finished with another dress. No surprise - another scoop back. I love it but at the same time I'm not without a minor regret regarding the fabric. More on this and some photos, probably sometime in the next few days, maybe a week.

I am getting really close to finishing a quilt that I started several years ago so now I'm getting excited about quilting again and I'm so full of ideas. That's not 100% a good thing though. I have more ideas than I have time or money. Most of my ideas involve buying more fabric, unfortunately, but I do have a lot of scraps that could become a lovely quilt. In fact, scraps are taking over my house and I really need to make a scrap quilt. I just need to decide on an interesting pattern.

Finally, I want some of this fabric SOOOO bad but I don't know... I can't picture what to make of it. It's quilting fabric, so obviously I could plan another quilt, but I was actually thinking something to wear but I'm having trouble coming up with an idea for such a large print. Oh well, sadly, I'll probably just let it go.