Monday, March 31, 2014

10,000 Hours

Another pair of Simplicity pants and a modded Lady Skater t-shirt.

I've had this thought in my head for some time now, the idea of becoming a master at something by spending thousands of hours doing it. Ten thousand hours, give or take a few. It was an amalgam of different thought threads, one was of a conversation I had with a dear friend about how, as we approach our fourth decade of life, things keep getting easier. Like, we really have a handle on it. Things like cooking or driving, writing, reading, running a household, games, and our chosen professions.

And those thoughts led to a phrase I hear all the time. You might have heard it yourself "Gosh, I wish I could sew like you do, I'm just no good at it". And I always want to tell these people that I didn't start off being good at it, I worked my way toward it. In fact, I'm still learning more as I go. Lately, however, I've found myself coasting just a bit by making more knit clothing than anything else. Granted I've hacked and slashed any number of patterns without much anxiety because hey, knits are very forgiving. But then I found myself putting off things I NEED because I didn't want to challenge myself anymore. So, I pushed myself by taking my serger in for badly needed repairs and facing the wedding sewing head on (which is not a complaint about sewing for a wedding).

I had forgotten how much I liked the challenge.It also made me realize just how much I have learned about fitting a garment to myself in the last year. The non-euclidean topography that is our bodies is making more sense to me. I think I even have started wrapping my brain around fitting trousers. And here's the funny thing, its not all from doing, a lot of it is from actively working the problems in my head. I suspect I am not the only one that uses idle brain capacity for solving the complex geometry problems that making a garment can create. In fact, I think it is a trait found in most creative people that gets applied to computer programming, science, math, engineering, and domesticity.

Which leads me back to the hours I've spent in my head thinking of creating. For a while now it feels like there was some sort of block between ideas and action upon those ideas. I want these things to materialize out of thin air but it doesn't work that way. Finding a way to make myself visit challenges head on and start DOING again has felt like a huge hurdle. I'd like to say that kids, husband, job are keeping me from doing it, but really its my own anxiety of feeling like I'm shirking everything else.

Which is totally crap because when I create I feel better. That's the whole reason my tagline is "Sewing to Stay Sane". I really should learn to take my own advise. I'm halfway to 10k, I just gotta keep going, learn to take the time for myself.

Because if Mama ain't happy, Ain't nobody happy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Trifecta Two and a TNT

I did not make just one Trifecta, I made two! In fact, if my main serger didn't need to go to the sewing machine doctor I'd probably have cranked out another  two or more. And a whole slew of Simplicity 2369 variations. But for this post we're going to focus on view D, the pants. But first the top.

Is this how I smile? 

Contrast lace sleeves! In fact this is almost an exact copy of one I made for Felicity and failed to blog about it. I did put it up on Instagram sometime last summer though. The stretch lace I got in 2011 at the Sewing Expo. The black fabric is a medium weight bamboo knit from Its 5% lycra so has great recovery and doesn't grow like most bamboo knits which is awesome.  They have several basic colors that are re-orderable. I want all of them because they are so soft and snugly. I could just throw them all on the bed and make a fort.

I think I might be scowling at the neighbor's screaming kids.

Uh, I'm not sure how this one got so washed out but hey, at least you can see my butt clearly. And now would be a good time to mention the pants. I love them! I can actually pair them with a nice knit top and wear them to work, like this set, and be comfortable. Like I said, I want to make many more of these along with the view C tops from the Simplicity pattern. I could wear them and feel put together at work even during The Monthly Visit (its really the worst four days of the month).  In fact, a few more fancy stretch laces and such and I could get away with the Trifecta as well.

Almost bitchy resting face.

Did I mention that these pants go perfect with Kitschy Coo tops? They totally do. The blouse didn't require anything special other than elastic along the arm seams. I also put clear elastic in the crotch and inseams of the knit pants to help them keep their shape.

My husband posed this one.

Ya know, I'm not getting any kick backs or anything for telling you how much I love Kitschy Coo patterns. They really are just that awesome.

p.s. I just got my Espresso leggings and Riff shrug in the mail and its killing me not to start on them RIGHT NOW. I have to make some frosting.

Monday, March 17, 2014

KitchyCoo Trifecta Top!

Have you seen the latest Kitchy Coo pattern yet? If not, there's a whole lot to love here! This is a raglan sleeve knit shirt that has lots of customization as shown above. The top I'm showing you here was my first test, straight out of the package. Its a bit tight in my shoulders but I think that's me going off old measurements*.

This is a poly ITY knit from Fabric Mart. I also made a pair of slacks out of this, I'll show you that one later. My favorite thing about this pattern is that I didn't have to do a large arm adjustment. WOOT!!

I could probably do with a sway back adjustment. However, I usually just make the hips wider. This does not always turn out as planned.

I put the neck binding on in the round, as well as the sleeve bindings. I just turned under and cover stitched the hem.  That's about it, really. The whole thing took me about an hour after I was done fiddling with the fabric to cut this out of leftover scraps. So, not counting my time this shirt was basically... .50 cents worth of material.

So you really need to run and get this pattern RIGHT NOW. Its easy to put the pdf together, not very many pages at all and there are endless variations. Ok, not endless, its actually 27. TWENTY SEVEN VARIATIONS FOR A SINGLE KNIT TOP!! Holy crap. So if you take the $7.20 UK (11.98US) and divide it by 27 that's .27uk (.44us) per variation.

So what I'm really trying to say is "BUY THIS PATTERN".  Ok, that's all for now. Love all y'all crazy folk.

*new medications and new diet have had me swinging widely on the scale. I'm currently at the heaviest I've ever been outside of pregnancy. I'm NOT happy with it largely for health and pain reasons.