Selfish Sewing Week

Technically last week was Selfish Sewing Week but I had a midterm, class, reading to do, all those school shananigans and then we were away over the weekend. I did manage to get some sewing done but since this week is spring break for me (meaning I’m just working full time instead of working and going to school) I’m calling this Selfish Sewing Week. Not that I really need one. I spent some time last week writing a list of all the garments I’ve made, it’s on my Makes page if you’re interested in perusing, and realized that 13 of the 18 garments I made last year were for me. I’m not pointing that out because it’s a bad thing, simply to say that I’m pretty sure every week is Selfish Sewing Week for me.

Last week I made a Sutton Blouse, did some work on the Natalie Top I started ages ago, and worked on some pattern alterations for my Ginger Jeans.

I’m really on the fence about the Sutton Blouse. I thought the seersucker would be so nice and airy, a perfect late spring/summer shirt but the seersucker is just not draping the way I wanted or expected it to. That, combined with the pattern being intentionally boxy, and the voile that I used for the contrast yoke draping so much more than the seersucker, means it’s just looking a little off. It’s finished now, just needs threads clipped and a final press. I’ve been forcing myself to finish it because otherwise it’ll just sit in my sewing cabinet making me feel guilty every time I start a new project. Hopefully once it’s totally done, and I’ve tried it on with a more summery bottom I’ll like it more.

Unfortunately the Natalie Top I’ve been working on is also not feeling totally awesome right now. I started it quite a while ago, not totally sure when but it was definitely in 2015. I was a bit skeptical about the pattern, not feeling totally sure that the front placket/pleat dealio was really for me. But because it came in the Indiesew Fall Collection I felt I should try it at some point. At some point in January I was surfing through the blogs I follow and I came across Teresa’s Natalie Top and realized how much I loved her version and that I had the exact same fabric. I’d seen her version last fall when the collection came out but when I saw it again and realized I could make it without needing to buy anything I was pumped. This seems to be a bit of a trend for me. I’m checking out sewing blogs over coffee on Saturday or Sunday morning and decide I have to, absolutely have to, make a version of an awesome make I saw on someone’s blog. It means I am not thoroughly thinking through how much I like the garment for me, whether I would really wear it, or whether the fabric is right. I think if I could break this habit and do a better job of psyching myself up for the projects I’ve already planned I would be infinitely more productive. And probably lacking in UFOs, which would be a miracle.

Anyway, long story short I got the pattern and the fabric cut out and was zipping along. The only modification I made was to lengthen it, perhaps 5 inches, I can’t remember right now, and give it a shirttail hem so that I could wear it as a tunic. This may be where I went wrong. I think I could look good in tunics, and I like the idea of them, but there something I’m just starting to explore fashion-wise so perhaps making one from a shirt pattern I wasn’t 300% sure I liked was poor planning. So I was cranking it out but then I was having a really hard time sewing the plackets/pleats at the front so that they met really evenly. I finally finished what I thought then was an okay job. (Definitely wasn’t upon more recent inspection.) I tried it on after that and was just not excited at all.  After deciding to just finish it up and make a decision on it later, I managed to sew on a sleeve inside out. So I ripped the sleeve out, folded it up and in a slightly more adult way said something like, “oh let’s just forget it,” which was 2 year-old Hannah’s favorite phrase.

Last weekend I was grabbing a few projects that I was hoping to finish up during our trip to Vermont and I grabbed my Natalie top along with my Sutton. I got my sleeves pinned in correctly and sewed those. But the front pleat was still really bugging me. I ripped that out and I’m thinking now that I really just need to hand baste it. When I was pinning it I was either sewing too close too the pleat or too far from it. I’m also bugged by my topstitching right at the top corners of the pleats. I’ve ripped out one of those and I’m going to try that again. At this point I just need to fix the front pleats to my satisfaction and then figure out whether I’m keeping the tunic length or axing it. Then a hem and some buttons and buttonholes on the sleeve button tab. Not too far away but I’m going to have to keep pushing myself to not toss it in the back of the cabinet.

One last quick project update. I’ve been wanting to recover my ironing board for a while now. The padding is basically disintegrating and the cover has water stains all over it. On Monday I was at the store and noticed a nice think pad intended for ironing board covers. I tossed that in the cart along with some cheap but adorable fabric and that night I banged out a cover. Nothing terribly impressive but it’s been on my mind for a long time and it’s nice to have it finished.

That’s my Selfish Sewing Week for now. Hopefully it’ll be a productive week!

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