Sunday, January 13, 2013
Sewing in a rut
Dear readers --
How do you distinguish between sewing tried and true, the ever popular "TNT", garments and sewing in a rut? So far this year, I've made three dresses.
All in different fabrics and using different techniques, but with the exact same pattern. A self-drafted circle skirt with a princess seamed bodice front, darted back, and a side zipper that doesn't extend all the way to the armscye (which I generally think is the easiest way to get in/out of dresses. Two are lined, which I really prefer in the winter
For the first, the houndstooth, I created separate facing pieces and tacked them down by hand to the bodice itself. The other two are the ones that are lined. The purple dress is lined using the ever popular technique espoused by most pattern drafters where you leave part of the armscye unsewn and then flip it rightside out, finish the shoulder seam and slipstitch the armscye closed. The grey/copper brocade is lined using the technique that Green Apples advocates and is found in most Colette patterns. I remember thinking that it was kind of a genius technique when I made my brother's last Negroni shirt. Having done both methods in short order, I find that I still prefer the Colette roll-up the sides technique. I think it results in a stronger shoulder seam, which can be important when you're dealing with fussy fabrics. I also think that once you get the geometry straight in your head about how it works, it's easier to carry out and get a clean result.
It occurred to me though, that this may be a bit of a sewing rut for me. The dress is easy and I've gotten the kinks worked out of the fit. So, it only takes me a day or so to knock one out. It takes 2 days of actual construction, but that's mostly because I like to hang my circle skirts before I hem them so I don't have weird bias issues down the road -- especially with the lined ones. I don't think I'm worried -- I know that I can always sew other things -- but I find making these dresses to be a little meditative, which I'm not used to when it comes to sewing. I may even make another one (or two) since they've become a staple of my work wardrobe.
Since it's been getting colder, I have been wearing my mint green trench coat pretty much nonstop. I need to take it to the cleaners, but can't bear to part with it for the short period of time that they'd need to clean it up for me. Maybe I'll take it to the 1 day cleaner in my office building. They'll charge an arm and a leg, but at least I won't be without it. My next project may another lined/interlined wool coat so I can rotate them...
My next sewing project, I think is going to be to read all of the BabyLock-sponsored "Stretch Yourself" sewing with knits tutorials at madmim.com and onelittleminute.com and try to draft a decent t-shirt pattern for myself. I wear knits all the time, but have been way to intimidated to sew with them.
In other news, I broke the family motto and hired someone to do something that I could do myself. Only, I don't think that I could have -- at least not as well. The guys from Jose's Quality Lawn Care took my yard from this:
in one day! (and a lot of hard work). It makes me almost embarrassingly happy. Maybe I'm getting old? I feel like I can start my garden this year with a clean slate and don't have to spend weekends upon weekends digging out invasive blackberries and pruning things before I get started gardening. I've already gone online to Territorial Seed Company and Kitazawa. At a minimum, I'm going to re-do the automatic watering system so that it doesn't look parched by August.
It feels like this year is starting to open up with a lot of potential on a variety of fronts... which is lovely.