The Sewing Blahs

Last week, I was on vacation or staycation, where we have the kids, but don’t really go anywhere except maybe to the beach. I usually use this opportunity to sew all the things, but this time not so much. I sewed a couple of things. I finished two things completely and sort of half-sewed two other things, but am feeling rather not thrilled about both of them. I have the sewing blahs. That’s not to say I still don’t want to sew all the things, but meh…not these things… Ever feel that way?

While on vacation, I did sew a couple of things:

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This progress picture shows the mint colour a little better:

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Two Jenna cardis in mint and in white. I’ve sewn this particular pattern so many times that I don’t really need to take pictures of me in them, but they will likely show up in future photos as layering pieces. These are sewn with my serger except for the top stitching and the buttons. They turned out so well this time.

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I really love the look of the solid colour. I’ve previously created lots with colour blocking, but they don’t get a ton of wear. The weight of the fabrics is also perfect for the Jenna cardi and my other ones don’t match them. These are both medium weight stretch knits. The white is a white jersey with lycra and is so amazing in terms of recovery that I am going to get three more yards pretty soon to make a white jersey dress. The mint is a cotton interlock. My experience with interlocks is that they don’t usually have great recovery. This one holds the shape a lot better than others I’ve dealt with, though, even if the recovery could be similar to the white jersey. I’ve already been wearing these two non-stop. Basics for the win!

Update: Here is a picture of me wearing the white cardigan

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The other things I half-sewed were my M6887 and then got upset because it doesn’t look right on me.

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It’s very cute and has some really nice details in it. The piped pockets and princess seams are really great.

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The drape of the skirt, however, throws the whole thing off. It’s not circle skirt enough and just seams to hang in horrible ways. I will probably be getting rid of the cute piped pockets, sadly, switching them for side-seam pockets, and then cinching it in again at the waist, because there is too much room there.

I’m also working on another M6696 in a gorgeous brightly coloured linen floral with green and orange accents:

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I used the burrito method to put the yoke in. Something I didn’t take the time to learn previously. I’m never going back to another method again; it makes for such a good look. I like this dress and I know it will fit, but I feel pretty unmotivated to get ‘er done. It will happen eventually, though, because I love my M6696 shirtdresses!

I’m also about to lose my sewing room. The carpet needs to be replaced after several leaks in the basement room. After the carpet is replaced, we need a roommate for a while. I will be moving my sewing stuff up into our bedroom. Part of me is excited for that since I really like the light in our room and it will be a vast improvement from the darkness of the basement, but the other part of me…is just not feeling the amount of work that would go into moving up two floors. I’ll be doing it, though, with the help of my fabulous husband in the next few weeks. I plan on moving my stash upstairs first so my sewing room also looks like this:

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The bonus, however, is that there is a cupboard currently on the top floor in one of the kids’ rooms that I can move down into the hallway and use for my stash. When my sewing area was in that room, I used it to organize my stash. It’s a great way of seeing what you have as well instead of having it in a suitcase, which is my current organization method. I think I will also get a couple of clear plastic containers for scraps and my wool. I don’t want any of my wool infested with moths since we consistently have a problem with them in our house. Any tips on getting rid of those? :/ I’ve tried everything!

The issue was the sewing plans I made back before the wedding. I didn’t really anticipate how exhausted I would be post-wedding and how much trouble I would have functioning again. Even after my week off, I don’t feel much more rested or better. My pain has been flaring up really badly over the last couple of weeks as well. Part of that stems from not controlling my diet as well lately and having some things that bring on fibro flare ups. It’s just so difficult to stay away from the tasty things! I’m planning on getting back on track this week. Less sugar is the plan, but when farmer’s market vendors sell gluten free whoopie pies covered in chocolate with peanut butter icing in the middle and gluten free peanut butter cookies covers in chocolate with peanut butter icing in the middle….well….. the rest is just crumbs on the counter.

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I also made a few too many desserts this past week. Rice Krispie squares and peach crisp.

Okay, I am making myself hungry!

Back to sewing. Sewing plans were the problem. I just have no desire to sew what was on my list. I feel like sewing comfy fall clothing rather than the long list of wovens and summer dresses I had. If they are woven sewing plans, I want to sew super loose-fitted clothes. I also crave some slower projects, like jackets.

I am replacing all my sewing plans from last time with three new projects:

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M6754 in a navy ponte knit with grey and white polkadot knit bias tape for the neckline, princess seams, and waist. If this goes well, I will also make this in a royal blue quilted knit without any bias tape, however. It’s heavier weight and lush. I bought it when I went to Hamilton on Thursday last week to meet Gillian, Sarah, Andrea, and Leah. I also got a few other things and managed to stay below budget! Shocker!

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Sadly, the royal blue doesn’t really show up well using my cell phone camera, but you can check it out in action on Gillian. The right picture going clockwise from the top right: orange and white drapey knit fabric, neon orange sheer and solid striped knit, purple “knit” print rayon knit, and the royal blue quilted ponte. The left picture is what I bought at Bra-Maker’s Supply: orange duoplex and royal blue duoplex, orange/pink/black stretch lace, and pink strap elastic.

The next project is M6555:

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I’ve never tried this silhouette before! After seeing Nicole’s Papercut Sway dress, I became pretty obsessed with tent dresses. Leila added to that obsession recently with her trapeze dress. I found M6555 and really love the potential in it with the yoke. I plan on making this with white poly crepe and aqua poly crepe de chine:

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In the above, the white crepe and aqua crepe de chine are in the middle. All are from fabric.com. The aqua crepe de chine is really drapey and the crepe has more structure to it, which is perfect for a suit jacket…

I plan on making Simplicity 2340:

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This is using the coral satin for lining in the above fabric picture with the white crepe. I will need to do an FBA on this one and a muslin, but if it works out, I think I will make a couple more in some wool suiting I have been hoarding for ages from thrift store finds and some interesting lining fabrics, too. I have a mint satin and some other lovely satins that would work well for some of the fabrics.

Speaking of thrift store finds:

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This past week, I found two poly crepes and a cotton denim-look sheet the last time I went and a huge amount of sock yarn for some fun slouchy thigh highs for the Fall/Winter. I’ve never knitted socks before, though, so we’ll see how this goes! Of course, I meant to just find a cotton and get eggs and bread, but I came home with tons more…. #fabricaddict

I still plan on keeping some of my plans and I have other quick projects to add to the queue. I definitely want to make another bra, especially after being inspired by Gillian’s lovely versions. I also crave quick projects: I want to make some Barrie Briefs for me and some boxer shorts for my husband. I got the denim-look cotton sheet for his boxer shorts and plan on cutting them this week. Another project would be a ponte knit Sophie Cardigan with a V-neck and the rectangle pockets. On the slow project front, I also still have Dale’s shirt cut out and will be getting that done sometime in the next month or so. Other than that, I have to get some Star Trek costumes done for my show, Holodeck Follies! I’m really looking forward to that project as a quick and fun thing to do.

I think changing course on my plans will help me get out of this sewing slump.

How do you get out of a sewing slump?

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32 thoughts on “The Sewing Blahs

  1. Well, for someone who is feeling burned out, you have an awful lots of plans and projects! 🙂 Maybe that’s a good thing, or maybe you should give yourself permission just to take it easy for a while.
    Your Jenna cardi looked great in person – and congrats on digging up the project I made with that blue fabric. You must have had to dig deep in the blog to find that!

    • Plans or Ooh shiny! Lol. This is sort of me saying I’m taking it easy and doing whatever. 😉

      It did take a while to find that entry. Lol. I knew I could though. 😉

  2. Cant wait to see how the tent dress silhouette works out for you. Personally, I don’t think anything is a comfortable as a tent dress and i tend to want to wear them all the time, flattery be damned! I need to make a few more and I really like the one you show above. I was in a total sewing slump the last few weeks, but I think I’m getting back into it. I started with an easy project I really wanted to wear (the mojave dress from seamwork, another total sack dress!) and now I’m doing some pattern testing that I need to wrap up asap. After that I have a trip planned that I would like a few new items for and well, I’m sure you know how that goes!

    • I don’t even know what “flattering” means… I think ill-fitting is something (like shoulder not in the right place or pulling at the bust, etc), but flattering… I think it’s such a weird thing and totally based on personal preference.

      I’m so glad you are getting out of the sewing slump! I feel like I get in this slump every summer. Just need to switch gears and get back on track.

  3. I definitely know what you mean- I get in some major sewing slumps sometimes. And I generally find that if I sit down and make out a list of ideas for sewing project I will never actually make any of them (unless they are VERY thought out). I am a much more ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ seamstress who will make something as soon as I get inspired. Generally I’m inspired by pinterest- a new fabric I just bought- or a family/friend project request. Right now I’m so conflicted between sewing up some beautiful lace bras and bralettes- and sewing some lovely knit things for the fall, or sewing some summer clothes before it ends- maybe another swimsuit. Too many choices! I hope you get through your slump!

    • I’m the opposite, actually, the lists help motivate me. This time, though, I think the issue was making the list before the wedding and then being super exhausted and not in the mood for summer sewing. I should have waited! 🙂 Pinterest is awesome for inspiration! I love seeing what people make and finding fashion inspiration there, too. I hear you on the too many choices! I’m waiting for your etsy shop to open and then I think I will finally tackle swimsuits! 😀 😀

  4. I ave so many plans I made that got tossed out for new ones so I totally get you on that one. ANd you may come back around to some of those down the road and they can go back on the list! You sewed ALOT pre-wedding so I can also understand a slump. I always felt like that after finishing a bunch of Dance Competition costumes or a slew of bridesmaids dresses. Sometimes it is best to get excited about something new to get back on track. PLUS you have the added burden of moving all your sewing! ACK! I feel for you! I like your new plans. Especially the navy blue ponte knit dress you will be making! I loo forward to seeing it!

    • I think I will come back to a lot of the plans I made after I get past the blahs. A few quick projects that excite me will do the trick and starting that blazer. 😀

      I think I’m starting the muslin of the knit dress tonight! I have some purple knit that will work well for it and then I will cut out my navy ponte. I can’t wait!

  5. I love the cardigans! So simple, so practical. 🙂

    Regarding the socks – socks really aren’t that hard, though they took me two years to figure out. It might have been because I really wanted squishy socks to wear with my Dr Martens and never focused on other projects.

    Anyway, I can advise toe up for a project like this, as you can adjust while you go. Specifically, I suggest looking into Wendy Johnson’s toe up socks. Her basic patterns are free.

    Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you make! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the tip! I am definitely going to try her patterns first and adjust while I go. Do you prefer using DPNs or circular needles? I keep asking and getting a different answer every time!

  6. Oh no, such a shame you’re not feeling the love for that dress! The fabric and piping is gorgeous. I’ll be hoping you can rescue it and be happy with it at some point.

    Loving all the teal and white in your current colour palette – so pretty! 🙂

    • I have a few ideas that will save it. One is ditching the lining. Another is cinching it in further at the waist. I also think I might recut the front panel or putting in a couple of godets and give it more volume in the circle. It’s not a full circle skirt, but a 3/4 and I find that just doesn’t work well for me. Since the fabric is pretty stretchy, I am also going to forgo the zipper. I will make it work! 😀

      Teal and white are my colours. I need more white in my life!

  7. It’s a hobby and it’s supposed to be fun, right? If part of it stops being fun, stop doing it. There’s no sense going on guilt trips for a hobby, IMO. A wedding takes a lot out of a person, especially when that person made their own wedding dress–you deserve a good breather.

    That said, I also know what you mean, and for far less reason. I made another pair of jasmine shorts in July (which I still haven’t blogged), and then, that was just it for me. I’d done a ton of summer sewing and there were no more gaps to fill and I was just like, yeah, I’m going to take a break and then get into fall sewing, and do other things in the meantime. I already have a job–and a house and a kid and a dog and a yard etc.–sewing is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

    Once I’m done my Dragon Ball sewing, next up is finishing my pants sloper and making myself a few pairs of work pants for the fall. Then back to the suit jacket. That should take me to January, frankly.

    • I definitely lost the fun of it for a bit in the past month. I feel better after this post, though, and am cutting out a knit dress tonight after work to further energize me. I have no clue what it is about this summer, but I just don’t want to sew anything summery! I might return to summer stuff after a few fall projects, though, but I’m not going to feel obligated to do that.

      I’m all about the suit jacket right now! Other than the loose-fitting Simplicity, I also have a Vogue jacket in my sights. Are you drafting your suit jacket or using a ready-made pattern?

      • I’m using the first Claire Schaeffer vogue pattern (V8333)–the fitted one with the pleats on the front. I have some major surgery to do on what I’ve sewed up so far and have been procrastinating for months, but I’m almost ready to get back to it. Which Vogue jacket are you looking at?

      • That one! LOL. Great minds! I can’t wait to see your version. I’m probably going to start on the muslin for this soon, too. I anticipate it will take quite a few before I get it right.

      • Yes. And I’d also suggest reading through the instructions a few times b/c her order of construction doesn’t always make sense and there are cutting instructions buried halfway through.

        It’s a beautiful jacket, though.

  8. Ugh, the curse of the sewing list! I went back and reread my 2015 list and I’ve made ONE, literally JUST ONE, of the things I planned. Sometimes I wonder if that level of planning almost makes us feel as if we already made the garment, and so when it’s time to make the garment several months later, we’re kind of over it? I think that’s my sewing problem anyway, and I notice I do it with recipes too. And of course when you start acquiring even more new patterns and fabrics, it just becomes easier and easier to set your plans aside.

    But I say, be gentle with yourself, and do what feels good for you. When I try to force myself to do something I’m not excited about, it’s, well, hard to be excited about it! I don’t want to have MEH feelings about a garment because I felt pressured by a to-do list. I’d rather sew what I truly feel like sewing that day, because I know it will bring me more joy. Maybe you’ll come back to those other plans in a few months, maybe in a year, or maybe you’ll find a totally different use for a pattern or fabric and you’ll be glad you ‘saved’ it for later. I’m really excited to see your tent dress, and that ponte M6754 sounds really lovely too!

    When I’m in a sewing slump, I either like to sew something really easy that makes you remember when you love sewing, or I like to take on a totally new challenge and learn something I haven’t before. I also think trying a new silhouette like the tent dress is a good idea because it’s something different, and my brain tends to crave new experiences so it motivates me to make the garment.

    And sometimes the best thing when I’m in a sewing slump is just to step away for a while. I’ll cook from a new cookbook, or knit more, or pick up a good book. (Btw, just finished Stir which I recommend, and now I’ve started Judy Blume’s newest book for adults and I’m really liking it so far.) But keep reading sewing blogs so that you still get those dose of sewing inspiration. Usually after a week or two of that, I feel ready to get back in the sewing room!

    • I think the major issue was planning before the wedding was over. I’m still so exhausted. lol!

      Definitely going for quick projects now. 😀

      I haven’t read a book in forever. Such a shameful thing for a former English Lit major to say… 😦

  9. Oh, and I forgot to mention that refocusing on your diet might help your sewing slump too! When I’m not eating my best, I tend to feel pretty low-energy and notice that my activity levels go down too because you just want to sit on the couch and eat the delicious treats you baked! When I’m eating better, I tend to have more energy and want to do things like sewing more.

    Also, maybe have some fun experimenting with desserts without refined sugar? That way you still get to be creative and bake, but you’ll know the treats will be the kind that keep you feeling awesome. I love Minimalist Baker, The First Mess, Oh Ladycakes, and Edible Perspective for healthier desserts.

    • I’ve experimented without refined sugar a lot, but recently have just been turning to comfort foods. 😉 Damn comfort. Better eating will definitely help out my mood since it always improves my fibro pain which gives me more energy. And I just followed all your blog recommendations! 😀

  10. I just got some cotton interlock to make a Muse Jenna cardigan–it’s pretty resilient so I’m hoping it has enough recovery to not bag out with wear. We’ll see how it turns out. I’m definitely inspired by all of your versions of the Jenna!

    I’ve been sewing, but am in the middle of a blogging and knitting slump. I think it’s mostly a result of a busy/stressful summer. Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to rest and recuperate, I can feel the interest starting to slowly bubble up again.

    • With cotton interlock, it’s definitely a quality thing. Some can be pretty bad, but I find you can tell with recovery issues pretty quickly by just testing the stretch. If it recovers well, it should be good. I hope your slump goes away! 🙂 I love the Jenna cardi. Can’t wait to see your versions.

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