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Monday, September 2, 2013

Sewing Days: Taking a Necessary Break

I'm still in the process of learning to sew, so it's not an easy, natural thing to fit into my day. I have, since moving, made a laundry bag and sewn two (yes, two!) seams on the lining of a skirt that I had started in the spring. I've finally made peace with the fact that I won't be sewing much any time soon -- it doesn't fit into the sorts of healing days I've outlined for myself. I have hope that soon, as in within the next 6-8 months, I will be able to ease myself back into the learning process.

Part of why it doesn't fit in for me right now is because I'm at a bit of a loss. I have one project started, but it turned out to be too hard for me -- despite being labeled a "very easy" pattern. I might have been able to finish it if I'd stayed near my mom, who can help me worm my way through poorly worded pattern instructions. But on my own, I just don't know what they want me to do, and I don't have enough experience to work it out by myself. As a stubborn and prideful individual, I do so hate to admit that, but there it is. I have a handful of other "easy" patterns that I've collected over the mulitple $1 pattern sales at Jo-Ann, but I am quite afraid that they will prove to be just as difficult, just as poorly worded as the one I have stumping me right now. I've thought of taking a sewing class, but can't currently afford it -- either financially or energetically. I also don't, ahem, like people telling me what to do, and I like to move at my own pace. So the answer has turned into choosing nice patterns from indie pattern companies who have a reputation for excellent instructions. If I know what it is I am supposed to be doing, I can look up tutorials and figure out how to do it. The problem with my McCall's pattern is that I can't even tell what it is I'm supposed to be doing half of the time. Neither can someone as experienced as my mom...she just knows how to make a skirt or make a dress and ignores the pattern instructions entirely.

Since I can't share what I'm working on, I thought I'd share what I want to be working on. These are the patterns I'm coveting (I've only singled out the superbeginner ones, or this post would take days to read), and hope to purchase soon:

Everyone on the internet loves Colette, but while they do hail from the Pacific Northwest, their style is very Portland exclusive, and I am not a Portland girl, I am a jeans-and-hoody-and-sneakers Pacific Northwesterner. A few of their patterns do appeal to me, however:

The classic Ginger skirt:

I do love skirts, tights and boots, and this is just the right sort of skirt for fall, winter and spring. It's very similar to the Simplicity 1717 pattern that I have made, but there are tutorials for working through this, as well as good instructions. It would be nice to get a basic like this down pat.

The Juniper pants:

I rarely wear pants that aren't jeans, but I want to make jeans eventually and before doing that, I should probably learn how to make pants. And maybe I'll wear pants if they actually fit well!

I'm also quite obsessed with Sewaholic patterns, as any pear-shaped lady in their right minds should be. I don't think there is anything from her that I wouldn't make...even though most of it isn't my everyday style. The stuff is just that cute.

The Tofino Pants:

Look, these are not just pajama pants! I love that they accommodate for, well, those of us who need extra space in the back. My mom has made me pjs for a long time, and I always like them because they're adorable, but, um...they don't exactly cover me when I sit down, if you know what I mean. I have plans for adapting these into nice, functional and comfy pants to do qigong in. The idea being that I could go for meditative walks afterwards without necessarily having to change into "outside" pants. 

Minoru Jacket:

Technically this isn't a beginner's pattern. But I don't care. The Oregon girl in me is dying to have this. Whether it's useful or not in Ohio winters is really not important. It's useful to my heart.

I only recently learned about Named, but I've fallen in love immediately. It looks like the designer spent a lot of time looking at Pinterest and Forever 21 catalogues and is aware that ladies who sew aren't just into vintage, retro, or frumpy looks. It's refreshing. I don't look good in a lot of trendy stuff, but these three are easy for me to wear and just a little bit more exciting than a tee-shirt, but not enough to make me feel too fancy:

And finally, but certainly not least, I've just discovered the Jamie Christina collection. It's is California chic almost fine enough for Oregon wear! I kid, I kid. Only a little.  

I've never seen anything I want more than the Hi Lo Raglan pattern:

Anything that is jersey, slightly baggy, has a hood and covers my arms is top-notch stuff. 

This Hooded Scarf thing is a little odd, but wins me over:

As an Oregonian, even when I put on a pea coat, I still put on a hoodie underneath. It seems to be genetically encoded. I can't help it...even when the pea coat no longer fits, and I sweat like a pig, I still do it. This might make me feel safe while wearing a normal coat. 

And to top it off, and make my arms feel like they're wearing a hoodie too, these Dalliance Gloves will do nicely, peeking out from under my worrisome wool pea coat.

I am aching to get started on sewing my way through all of these, but patience must be found! Besides, I am starting on some new knitting projects soon that should take my mind off of sewing for a little while at least. More on that later!

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