January 16, 2014

Renfrew #4

I think this is my fourth Renfrew, and I'm pretty sure I've finally gotten this pattern out of my system.  I love the way the side seams are drawn, and the ease of the band finish on hem and sleeves, but to really make it my best t-shirt pattern, I need a serious FBA and a couple inches of length in the torso.  I might go back and play around with my altered Kwik Sew pattern instead.

Of course my photographer didn't tell me that the hem band was flipped up.  Geez.
    I hadn't tried the 3/4 length sleeve on this pattern yet, and I'm not thrilled with where it sits on me. It's more like a 1/2 sleeve.  I also don't know why I keep trying to do the V neckline on terribly flimsy crappy polyester knits.  One day, I will use up all the crappy fabric I have and will be able to buy beautiful cotton jersey or something that will actually stand up to making a nice V.  I almost scrapped this project with how the neckline turned out, but I remembered what Lladybird said about finishing every project, so I soldiered on.  Once it was all put together, I decided it wasn't quite as hideous as I thought, though it is still a pretty flimsy material.

  Regardless, it filled the role of letting me finish something easy to cleanse my palette and get me ready to go for Round 2 with the Steampunk Monstrosity.  This is how it looks right now (the white part is the stuffed bra on the dressform :)

It looks like a lot of progress, but I'm only on step 16 of 32!  I may need another easy project before that's done...I'm thinking another Simplicity 1888 skirt?  Better get the BF cutting it out! ;)  (I swear, I don't use him as a cutting slave.  He really is nice enough to offer so that he can enable me to do something that I love in the limited free time I have....I'm a lucky girl.)

I also may have wasted a little bit of time playing around with this bad boy...

That is a Janome Harmony 2049 that I found in a box by the dumpster a week or so ago.  It looks like someone lovingly disassembled it (this picture is after I got the main part of the plastic casing put back together) and saved all the screws and everything, then just gave up on it.  It turns on, but the needle doesn't go through a full range of motion.  I'll probably give it my best shot to get it working, then decide if I want to invest the time to send it in to get fixed.  According to Pattern Review, these are a solid basic machine, and depending on what's wrong, it would still probably cost less to get it fixed than it would to buy a new backup machine.  I hear good things about Janome machines, so we shall see.

Halfway through January with one piece of clothing completed is a good place to be. The more I sew, the better I feel about everything else, which makes me want to sew more. Here's to more sewing!

January 11, 2014

"I Just Can't Quit You"

So remember the part where a while I said I wasn't blogging anymore because I didn't have enough time and I really couldn't invest the emotional energy to do this?  Well, forget I said that.

What's changed? A few things.  For one, I've more or less got my head back on straight.  I'll be honest, the last few months of 2013, I was in a really bad place mentally.  Grad school is more a test of grit and drive than anything else, and I was dismally failing.  Even after I came back from going home for Christmas, the first day back felt like my own personal circle of hell.  I decided I couldn't live this way, and actively changed my outlook, and so far it seems to be working.  Things that would have sent me into a days-long downward spiral a few months ago can be looked at more objectively, and I can really choose to be okay with them.

The new year is full of inspiration for everyone, of course, so I've really gotten back on the sewing horse hardcore.  I'm really trying to follow the tips that Lauren lays out in this post, and in combination with all the things I've learned lately on how to trick yourself into forming good habits, I've done some amount of sewing every day of 2014 so far (No, this may not be a big deal for some people, but it is for me.)  The thing that surprised me was that the more I force myself to sew, the more I want to sew.  The more I want to sew, the more I want to share it.  Even when I wasn't blogging, I share things on Craftster, and I'm also the leader of the sewing guild on HabitRPG, but it's just not the same.  As I was working, I was also thinking about what I want to share, or document for myself for next time, and I was sad when I realized I wasn't going to be able to do that.

So moving forward, what's going to be on here?  Whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it.  I'm relearning how to take control of my life instead of letting my circumstances control me, so if I am only able to publish once every two months, that is okay.  If I keep up my current sewing rate, there will definitely be more finished items to share than in previous years.  I have the additional motivation of knowing I will be moving sometime in 2015, so I really need to sew up some of my stash!

I've got two things currently in progress on my sewing desk: the Simplicity 2172 steampunk coat, which is easily the most complex thing I've ever sewn, and yet another Renfrew top, which I'm using to break up the larger coat project as I need to.  I'm not giving myself any deadline to complete them, but I'm guessing you'll be seeing something before the end of January.  But if not, it's all good. :)  Happy sewing!