Internet Highlights

I’ve been busy enough actually sewing the last few weeks that I haven’t done an internet highlights post in a while. But good stuff has been happening, here’s what’s caught my eye.

  • True Bias released her newest pattern today. It’s called the Southport Dress and it launched at just the right time for me. This tank style dress has two length options and, depending on the fabric, can be worn as a beach cover-up, as an around town dress, or anywhere in between. I’m in the process of planning out my summer sewing goals and I’ve been a little stuck on how to use some gorgeous linen I got last month. I should have enough fabric for a maxi-length version. I’m loving the idea of an airy maxi with a waist is cinched but not elasticated. Sometimes I find elastic waistbands to be a bit uncomfortable when it’s super hot, which presumably is what we’re in for here in Boston this summer.
  • I really like Lauren’s latest post over on Lladybird about why she sews. It’s great to hear about why other people sew, how they got into it, and what role it plays in their life. When I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas two and half years ago I had absolutely no idea the effect it would have on my life. I figured I’d hem some pants, do a couple craftier things, make a couple cute things when kids came into the picture. I’ve still never hemmed pants. But now I’m consumed, in the best way possible, by planning a handmade wardrobe, sewing for friends and family members, and just generally enjoying being able to express myself creatively. I find posts like this particularly inspiring when they come from someone who is as good a seamstress as Lauren. It’s helpful to remember that we all started somewhere.
  • Jenny over on Cashmerette posted today about figuring out your sewing benchmark. That is, what level of sewing are you attempting? Are you trying to make clothing that is more original versions of RTW brands? Are you going for finishing that is at the level of RTW or above that level? Are you trying to create really high end clothing with hand-finished, couture-level details? I think I’m still trying to figure out the answer to those questions, and I assume that they will continue to evolve as my abilities increase. As I study RTW garments more it’s become clear to me that it doesn’t take a particularly high level of sewing proficiency to accomplish garments that are made and finished to a RTW standard. I think this says more about how crappily some clothing is put together than it does about how how advanced a seamstress I am. At this point my goal is to create clothing whose finish says high end RTW, but whose style says handmade. I don’t want people to look at how my clothing is put together and know right away that it is homemade. But I do want my clothing to fit in ways I can’t get at a chain store.

Such good questions and good food for thought in some women’s posts this week. Damn it feels good to be a maker!

-Hannah

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Why this, why now?

For Christmas 2012 I received my sewing machine and spent the next year trying out quilting and accessory sewing. For Christmas 2013 I received a serger after a few months of being to try garment sewing. I’d say I’ve been seriously interested in constructing my own handmade wardrobe for about a year now. But I’ve resisted starting a sewing blog for several reasons.

  1. Does the world need another sewing blog? Is there really anything new I can put out into the sewing blogosphere?
  2. I’m really busy. I’ve been much more interested in spending the time I have sewing garments instead of talking about sewing garments.
  3. If I have a blog, I want a blog that looks really good. Without having much expertise or money to spend I’m not sure I’m capable of creating the look I really want.
  4. Is my sewing good enough that I’m confident showing it off to the world? I don’t expect crowds to flock to this space anytime soon but I still want the work I’m showing off to look good and (hopefully) accurately reflect my abilities.

Now that I’ve listed the reasons not to start a blog, here’s why I’ve decided to start one now.

  1.  Who cares if I don’t have brilliant new insights or techniques to share with the world. I’m thinking about this space as a way to document for myself the work I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned, the progress I’ve made and will hopefully continue to make, and yes, the mistakes.
  2. I’m sharing this because I know how much I like reading about other people’s sewing adventures. It’s possible that no one will ever want to read about my sewing adventures, but it seems unlikely.
  3. Now that I’ve been sewing fairly regularly for two years I’ve gotten decent enough that I work faster than I probably should be. I think I’m probably an early intermediate seamstress at this point but I think I’m capable of much more if I can slow myself down. Because my sewing time is fairly limited it’s hard to spend three or four chunks of sewing time on one project because that can end up spanning several weeks. I like finishing garments. I do really like the process too and I would like to learn to slow down, perhaps make fewer things but make things that look professional and that I really feel comfortable replacing my store-bought clothing with. My hope is that if I’m trying to more closely document my process I will learn to recognize the places where I need to slow down and really focus on the details and “the right way” to do things.
  4. No one’s blog and no one’s sewing was perfect to begin with. There are plenty of blogs that started out as basic pages written by someone who wasn’t a great seamstress and just wanted to keep track of projects that have since turned into professional sites filled with patterns, tutorials and expertly crafted projects. I’m not sure that I’m interested in writing patterns or making this my job but who knows what will come.

So here’s my goal. At least a post a week that includes photos or info about the projects I’ve been working on, the things I’ve finished or the sewing plans I have. If I succeed at doing that for a while maybe it’ll become more.

-Hannah