The latest sewing assessment

23 Nov

I’m posting this mostly for myself for reference. It’s a very long post, you’re welcome to read it though!

Last year I did a comprehensive sewing assessment which helped enormously. Although… *grins* yeah um riiiight before a pandemic blew up!

However we have been SO LUCKY in the NT and Darwin, that I haven’t had much of a lockdown lifestyle. I just haven’t been able to fly anywhere. No family visits ow ow ow! Technically I could have gone anywhere in Australia but my health, especially my mental health wouldn’t cope if I got caught up in a quarantine scenario.
So apart from no cold weather travel sewing, my sewing and wardrobe have been rocking along normally.

Last year’s sewing audit definitely made a few things clearer. Namely there’s a disconnect between what fabric I like to buy, what I like to sew, and what I like to wear. Happily I’ve been having fun all these years anyway!

Fabric I like to buy –

  • Pretty bright florals in pretty much any natural fibre, usually on sale from Spotlight. Like this!
Shop Utility Fabric & Material Online

Patterns I like to sew –

  • Vintage and historical patterns like this elegant nightgown or day dress!
Pin on revistas vintage señora
1950s fashion – The Vintage Fashion Librarian
  • Granny style nighties with yokes and trimming and full skirts in wovens.
  • I like drafting-lite. I have blocks that fit me nicely that I can adapt, or use to adapt a pattern I already have I often use TNT patterns as a ‘block’ for drafting-lite.often using a diagram off Pinterest. This was my faves. I was like ‘Hmmm how does that work?’ And… I made a top out of it!!! WOW!!!

  • I enjoy adapting all sorts of patterns to my tropical climate.
  • TNT patterns, coz zometimes I just want to slap a pattern on pretty fabric, cut it out then sew it.

What I actually like to wear –

  • Fabric in plain colours or patterns that are textural more than pictures. (Except floral. I LOVE florals. But I don’t particularly want to wear florals most of the time. I just want to enjoy floral patterns. And real flowers!) and linen. I needs me this jumpsuit, but in linen! Complete with new pointe shoes actually as my current ones are dead.

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  • Cotton is the staple given it’s breathability and availability, but my favourite cottons tend to have an interesting texture.
  • Rayons are ok but can be a bit clingy which can get hot. But their floatiness is divine.
  • Also there’s a bit of a recycling issue here. Straight cotton is easier to recycle than mixed fibres are. I know fibre recycling is in its infancy but hey, I’m trying here, argh!
  • I DON’T like synthetics.
  • I also refuse to buy any more stretch cotton poplins. No matter how divinely appealing their prints the lycra deteriorates and the clothing stretches out long before I’m ready to say goodbye to it. It pretty much gains a size, which then looks loose and depressing on me. so, with a heavy heart I have been extremely careful to avoid stretch wovens. It’s very hard. The struggle is real guys!

(I’m making this dress out of rayon one day ok?!)

Style –

I discovered my favourite way of dressing is a Thing! Historybounding. Such fun! Taking a retro or historical style and adapting it to a more modern (and in my case cool) aesthetic. I love it!

Issues –

  • Basic! ie underclothes and exercise gear – I need them. I don’t like sewing them, but it’s been hard finding what I need in op shops, or rtw I can afford. And all this within as environmentally and socially responsible way.
  • Covid… I’m hanging out at home more, I’ve done no travelling in 2 yrs.
  • I’ve been writing that book I planned to do by age 50. Sitting at a desk, I tend to prefer light dresses. Sitting at a desk in trousers/shorts just isn’t my thing.

What I did about it –

  • Went and bought some new rtw basics. A friend put me on to this company, which makes clothes that allow for bigger glutes, basically. That’s me! Horse-riding and ballet, give you big glutes, and thighs.
  • I’ve also worked out if I get long trousers from an op shop that fits in the hip and waist, I can cut them to 3/4 length, and use the cut offs to create a gusset sort of affair that isn’t really seen but add extra space for my glutes, making them much more comfortable. Not as good as if I had sewn it, but hey, it’s something, right?
  • I sourced some decent undies, rather than buying easy to find ones and adjusting the fit.

And then…

  • I focussed more on the kind of fabric I like to wear AND sew – linens in beautiful colours, slithery rayons, soft textural patterns in colours that made me drool over them.
  • I paid a bit more to know the provenance of the fabric. Eg or some Etsy sellers. The idea of course was to buy less fabric, but of a higher quality and clearer provenance. But I think I just bought as much fabric as I always do, just the more expensive kind. Ah well…
  • I did try to buying some deadstock sheets to use for clothing, but, ahhh, they ended up on my bed instead. Buttery soft. Mmmm!!!! Best $40 cotton sheets you ever met!

Anyway so here is the latest sewing assessment

Top Three Items That I Wear For Home: Floofy dresses. Pinafores with sports bra underneat. Fitted top and shorts. Tunic and shorts.
Top Three Items That I Wear For Work:
Ballet teaching: pilates trousers and close-fitting top. Occasionally going all out with the leos, tights and pretty skirt.
Writing etc: floofy dresses again!
Top 3 items for exercise:
Pilates/bike riding: Leggings, t-shirt, soft bra. I often just chuck on some leggings under the dress I was wearing that day for bike riding.
Ballet (when I am doing class, not teaching): leo, skirt, tights, sturdy bra
Horseriding: socks, boots, jodhpurs, UPF 50+ shirt, t-shirt if under cover, sports bras x 2. My akubra my family bought me for christmas
Top Three Sewing Talents (go on, show off!):
Making unusual styles of garment. Like my Anne of Green Gables dress, which always gets compliments every time I wear it.
I’m not afraid of experimenting. I’m saying this because a lot of people seem frightened or hesitant to just get in there and try something unfamiliar.
I have a wide range of sewing skills – basically I’ve been well taught. Thanks mum!
Top Three Sewing Weak Spots (ouch!):
Terrible at finishing projects. It’s just those last few steps. They take me forever to get in there and finish them.
Messy. That annoys me. I prefer a more tidy work environment. (That’s a whole nother post in itself!)
Doing too many projects at once, I can feel overwhelmed. A friend did suggest I stick to only 3 things to sew at one time. It does help with the overwhelm – if I can manage to stick to it.
Top 3 weather oriented styles
dry season: whatever I feel like coz it’s cool enough! when cold, my snuggly merino cardy. Skirts and tops, trousers and tops.
Build up: floofy, nothing touching my body. I prefer Lagenlook rather than nightie look! Empire line is a perrenial fave. Higher necklines for sun protection
Wet season: shorter clothes so I can splash in puddles and not get a wet hem eg shorts rather than trousers, shorter dresses and skirts. Loose is still good due to the high humidity but full floof is heavy when wet. And just as the name of the season implies, it’s impossible to not get wet. For me, anyway.
Top Three Sewing Goals:
1) Not buy any new fabrics for the last half of 2021. Well, you see, I got a new dog, adopting was very expensive, and I reeeelly don’t need more fabric at the moment, right? Right! er, uh, yeah. Right?
2) work on being a bit tidier with my sewing. Including just doing less projects at once
3) Not sewing – crochet! Finish off mum’s crochet blanket.
Top Three People Who Enable Me: Mum, Spotlight sales assistants (!) A
Top Three People I Enable: , mum, S, V, anyone I can!
Top Three Reasons I Can’t Sew:
1) Overwhelm
(2) Not being able to envision how to proceed
(3) Lack of energy
Top 3 things I hate sewing:
(1) Synthetics
(2) Sewing for other people – except mum, since she taught me, I like giving back!
(3) Curtains!
Top Three Reasons I Can Sew:
(1) it is easy to do in little pieces of time or energy
(2) strong motivation because what I like to wear isn’t easily available
(3) I just love fabrics!!!!
Oh lets be honest, I just love doing it.
Top 3 things I LOVE to sew:
(1) pretty, nice feeling natural fabrics with gorgeous floral prints.
(2) nighties!
(3) retro dresses
Make a nice ‘going out’ dress from that embroidered lace and the white rayon.

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