Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Now what?

I've been thinking about my crafting priorities for the rest of the year.  While looking through A Verb for Keeping Warm's website, I came across a group endeavor called Seam Allowance.  The members pledge to work toward increasing the number of handmade items in their wardrobe to be at least 25% of the total.  Practically speaking, they are talking about being able to wear at least one handmade item every day (this includes accessories, such as scarves, jewelry, and headbands/hats/fascinators, etc.).  This seems like a very worthy goal and a good way to be a bit more thoughtful about your wardrobe and your creating. 

For instance, if you are hoping to wear one handmade item a day and you don't usually wear a lot of dresses (and don't want to), then your sewing goals should reflect that.  Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch has been talking about this issue as well.  You may really enjoy sewing dresses, but if you never wear them you might want to curb your enthusiasm a bit.  Likewise, you should think about sorts of clothes you wear everyday and if they are the kind of clothes you want to wear or are you looking for a change.  Then, you can plan your sewing/knitting/crocheting/weaving/jewelry-making appropriately.

Right after I had Cate, I really tried to dress thoughtfully most days.  I was (and still am) worried about "letting myself go."  It's so easy, after having a baby, to wear yoga pants and a t-shirt most days, just put your hair in a ponytail, and forget about make-up, but it seems to be difficult to break that habit.  So, I worked on wearing business (very) casual most days and tried to put on make-up everyday.  However, I let that slip somewhere along the line.  Maybe it was because as Cate became more aware of and involved in her surroundings, it was harder for me to find time to put myself together each day.  Whatever the reason, these days I throw on whatever's handy and rarely wear make-up.

I want to get back to being more thoughtful about my appearance.  I almost always feel better (happier, more self-confident, less self-conscious) when I feel I am dressed well.  I want to put on clothes that make me feel good, not just whatever is easiest (and still clean!).  This is going to take some thinking about what I would like to wear and what is practical to wear (since I spend quite a bit of time on the floor with Cate, or chasing after her, or having her suddenly start gnawing on my leg).

My Meringue skirt was a step in that direction.  I made it out of navy blue cotton sateen with no embellishments beyond the scalloped hem.  It's comfortable, practical, looks good, and, because it's fairly plain, it can be worn more than once a week.  It's a neutral color so it should go with most of the shirts I own.  It's lined (or rather, it soon will be) so that I can wear it with tights in the winter.  I need to finish up this Meringue, however.  I barely got it wearable in time for the launch party.  I did that by not lining it and choosing to ignore a few issues (like the puckering at the hem).  I still need to cut, sew, and attach the lining, fix the puckers, finish some seams and fix a couple of issues with the zipper.  I'm hoping to get that done by the end of the week.

But, what to work on after I finish the Meringue?
  • Meringue v2.0:  I should have done a swayback adj. for Meringue v1.0, so I'm going to try to do that in Mv2.0.  I'm also thinking about playing with some piping and using contrast fabric for the facings and attaching them to the outside.  I have a khaki cotton sateen similar to the navy I used for Mv1.0 and I was thinking of dark brown gingham for the facings.  That will make it different enough from Mv1.0, but still neutral/basic enough to wear with most things in my wardrobe.
  • Renfrew:  The weather in the bay area is such that I could probably spend most of the year wearing 3/4 sleeve shirts, but I don't often find 3/4 sleeve t-shirts that I like.  Therefore, I purchased the Renfrew pattern from Sewaholic which comes with three neckline styles and three sleeve styles.
  • A button-down shirt:  I'm trying to get away from wearing t-shirts all the time.  I don't want to get rid of them completely (which is why I want to make a Renfrew or three), but I would like to be able to wear a fitted button-down shirt once in a while.  Unfortunately, my bustline makes it difficult to find a RTW fitted button-down shirt that actually fits well.  Sewing to the rescue!  I'm not sure what pattern I'll use for this project.
  • Thurlow trousers:  Another Sewaholic pattern.  I would love to wear skirts every day, but, realistically, that's not practical at this time in my life.  However, I have a helluva time finding pants that fit properly.  Between having a curvy figure, large thighs, a super-long crotch depth, and a swayback, it's really a miracle I can find RTW pants that fit at all!  Fortunately, I have one pair of jeans that actually fits fairly well and since I know the rise/crotch-depth is right on these jeans, I'll measure them and use that measurement as a starting point for my muslin.  The pattern is geared toward pear-shaped women, and while I'm not exactly pear-shaped, I do have all of the issues the pattern is supposed to address.
So, that's my current sewing queue.  Next up:  my knitting queue!

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