All the bits and pieces

I’ve been having a bit of a sewing block lately, and a blogging block too, so I’ve decided to make a clean sweep and blog about all the boring little things I’ve made or done recently! Buckle up folks – this promises to be bland! (But hopefully cathartic too – I often find I need to get things off my chest before I can settle down and feel relaxed and creative!) 

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1. While in Ottawa over Christmas, I stopped by Fabrications, which is now the official stockist of Cake Patterns in Canada! It was fun to see Cake patterns on a store shelf. I told Steph about Fabrications ages ago when she was looking for online/in person indie fabric stores in Canada, so I felt like a proud matchmaker to see that it all worked out! (Double bonus: When i got dressed that morning, I realised that one of the two tops I’d packed was a Cake Pavlova, so I got to be a total pattern fangirl!) 

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2. Lately I’ve been wanting all my skirts SHORTER! I mean, if I’m going to wear leggings under every skirt ever, then why not have a little more fun? I hacked of the bottom of this double knit skirt (seen on the right in MMM two years ago). It was actually my first ever knit project, and one of the first things I ever made! Now that it’s short it is getting a lot more wear! I tend to wear leggings and top around the house on the weekends, but having a basic skirt like tis to pull on when I leave the house allows me to avoid the dreaded leggings-as-pants! 

3. I remade the Jalie raglan top in the drapy turquoise rayon (worn with the skirt above). I’d made a version in cheap jersey to match the bacon cowl my sister knitted me, and a lot of you suggested that the crappy fabric might be the reason I wasn’t happy with the fit. I do think it works better, though I’ll probably keep playing with the fit. 

shorter dress

4. Refashioning. Along with shortening the skirt, I’ve also been digging around my finished projects for things I could remake or improve. I’d make this Renfrew dress two years ago, and ugh – look how frumpy! i never loved this dress. I’m much happier with the new shorter version. I also turned the back neckband to the inside, which makes the neckline a little more open and makes it feel a little less casual to me. Really simple changes, but now it’s getting worn more than ever! 

j dresses Collage

5. Digging up old clothes from my days in Japan!  When I started to think about shorter skirts, I remembered these Japanese dresses that I haven’t worn much lately. (Except for the polka dot one – I wear that weekly! ‘Cause it’s knit, lined, with chiffon underskirt, and dammit, it’s got polkadots!)

There are a few issues with these clothes though – the colourful dotty one shows half my bra now that I’ve become magically better endowed, and the two on the right are actually a bit short in the rear. No allowances for a big tush in Japanese clothing, let me tell you! (My recent navy and green polkadot dress started as a knockoff of the colourful spotty one, but I decided not to give a bubble hem in the end.)

What interests me is that all of these clothes are 3-6 years old, but seem pretty on trend now in Canada! Further proof that the Japanese do everything first in fashion! (Including colourful jeans, big top knot buns, and skinny pants on men! So interesting to see all that trickle across the ocean several years later!) 

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6. Plantain – because who can resist a sewing fad? I sewed this up on the weekend, and yup, it’s a great! Not really so different from a Scout knit tee, but hey, that’s one of my fav patterns. I made the front in a drapey knit that I got at a local fabric swap, and the back is some crappy cheap fabric from either Girl Charlee or Fabric.com. You can see on the elbow patch how see through the stripes are! On the other hand, my tee *did* get a compliment from an 8 year old girl today at school! (Dangers of hanging out with kids – you start having the same fashion sense!) 

7. Wearable Wardrobe Burnout. I’ve been finding it strange lately that I’m feeling burned out on my practical wardrobe just as lots of people are getting excited about Colette’s Wardrobe Architect project or setting goals to sew more wearable clothes. I’ve got things I’d like to make, but lately when I think of cutting them out and sewing them, I just think “Why bother? I’ve got 5 of those already…” I even have another Plantain cut out in really lovely red stripe bamboo jersey, and i just can’t be bothered to spend 30 min sewing it together. 

New patterns aren’t the answer either – I’m scared silly of all the pieces in Archer, and the thought of cutting them all out in fabric just overwhelms me. I mean, how on earth does one not lose all the tiny pieces in the process? Even the thought of finding and using the right interfacing seems too much. On weeknights I tell myself I’ll work on it when I have a full day to sew, and on weekends I’ve been avoiding it by working on my quilt! 

The other day my local friend K-line posted asking how on earth she could speed up her meticulous process – well, friends, I need to ask the opposite! How do I get started and stay organised on projects that are going to take more than 2 hours? I could really use some advice! Where do you start? How do you keep track? And how do you get over irrational sewing-based fears? 


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