My sewing machines have been whirring lately. I’ve been sewing things that I can’t share with you though. I’ve been hired to do technical editing, which means I get to see and sew sewing patterns before they are released. I really love the work, helping a local company (Colette Patterns) to review and edit patterns and the instructions that go with them before they are released to the public. I have always loved editing, and of course I love sewing, so technical editing is a perfect fit for me, and work that I’m quite familiar with.
I have been able to do a bit of sewing for myself as well. I am slowly working on a bunch of cat head quilt blocks. Yes, cat heads! I saw this quilt pattern (called The Kittens) that Elizabeth Hartman designed, and sent a message to two other bloggers who I knew would love it. Elizabeth was kind enough to send me the PDF of the pattern, and it is wonderfully written, as all of her patterns are. My swap partners and I are swapping blocks sometime in the near future, so I hope they love bright colors in their quilts!
Em’s quilt top is finally pieced as well. Of course, who knows when I’ll get it sandwiched and quilted. I think that will be a fall/winter project. Maybe I can get it done by his first birthday? Ha! I do love to machine quilt when it gets colder out. It gets pretty warm in my sewing room in the summer, because I have two big windows that light streams through, warming up my studio very quickly. Add in the additional heat from pressing and steaming and having a lap full of wool batting isn’t so appealing.
I couldn’t resist cutting out another one of my favorite tank top patterns. I have the instructions on this site for making your own pattern and sewing one up if you’re interested! These tops are definitely a staple in my summer wardrobe. I had held onto this fabric for a long time, waiting to design or find the perfect sewing pattern for it, and I finally got tired of seeing it in my stash but never getting to enjoy it. It’s so much nicer to get to wear this rayon print instead of stare at it in my stash.
Most of my sewing is being done with items in my fabric stash. I honestly only own maybe 25 pieces of fabric that are uncut yardage, waiting to be turned into garments. Even most of Em’s quilt fabrics came from my stash. It feels pretty good to start seeing some bare spaces on my shelves. I have two large stacks of fabric that consists of remnants, leftover pieces from dresses and shirts. It may be time to cull through those and be ruthless, throwing out anything that doesn’t have enough yardage left to cut out an actual project. There are lots of little bits that I saved thinking that I’d make baby clothes out of it, but I realize now that most of the pieces are not large enough to even cut out a shirt for Em.
Have you read the Wardrobe Architect series on the Colette blog? A year ago I told myself I was going to do the exercises that they have written up, but I still hadn’t found time for it. Now, as I am beginning to use up my “good” fabric, I want to make sure I am making style choices that I am going to enjoy wearing for a long time. I’m a pretty picky person when it comes to what I wear, but too often I give up on finding a garment with the fit I actually want and then I buy something inexpensive that I don’t love. Couldn’t I buy yardage instead and make what I want? Of course I could. I have false story in my head that I’ll be able to find what I want with the fit and fabric that I love. How often does this happen? Basically never. It’s time for some detailed sewing planning and cleaning out my closet.
I have been wanting to pick up some new sewing techniques too. I have quite a library of knowledge in the ole’ noggin, thanks to working with such a diverse group of people over the years. But I’ve been trying to find techniques and methods that are new to me, to spice things up. I’ve been looking through the Craftsy sewing catalogue, and I’m going to watch a few classes to see what I can glean. I’ll let you know if a particular class has any really good tricks!
Speaking of Craftsy, they are having a 50% off sale this weekend, through September 9th! If you purchase a class with my affiliate link, I receive a small portion of the proceeds, to help me restock my fabric shelves.
So please tell me, how do you decide what kinds of garments to make out of your “special” fabrics? Do you plan a lot in advance, or just sew it up and hope for the best?