This summer, instead of going to the shops to add to my wardrobe, I want to make my own. Back in April, I made a start with Colette’s Sorbetto. It’s a free pattern for a loose fitting tank-top with a box pleat in the front. I love a tank top, but am no longer in love with spaghetti straps. It has something to do with feeling a bit older and spending the past few years in seriously supportive nursing bras. Those aren’t straps you want the world to see! So, I downloaded myself a pattern and got sewing!
This week, I did some special order sewing. It was exciting, so exciting that I decided to share lots of pictures on my Facebook page. Then, of course, it didn’t work out and along came my crisis of confidence. What kind of silliness led me to get showy about my making and arrogant, too? It’s so nice to share things that work and so hard to share things that don’t. But the truth is, sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes it’s going to be private, sometimes it’s going to be public, sometimes it’s going to be epic.
I’ve been sewing a lot of clothes lately, for myself and for Pumpkin. For the past few years, I’ve slowly been teaching myself to draft patterns and sew clothes. When my serger arrived in December, sewing knits became a very attractive option. In the months since then, I feel like my personal t-shirt pattern and my comfort with using it have come a long way and I’ve got a few different shirts to show for that. But the ultimate in sewing at home is, of course, when your child requests a piece and you can make it happen. That’s exactly what happened last Sunday morning.
A quick look at my Flickr feed revealed a surprising fact. I haven’t been blogging about my products! That’s complete silliness, because look at the groovy stuff I’ll be taking to the Open Dag at de Lindenberg in Nijmegen on Sunday! The bibs are lovely and that wool card holder – let me tell you about the wool card holder.
Remember my Bag Making Bible Challenge? It’s the one where I want to make all the bags in the Bag Making Bible. So far, I’ve finished three different styles of tote bag. They were good preparation for the workshops I’m offering at Studio Jurk. The clutch, however, put me into entirely new territory and it was a bit scary.
Here she is, my usually willing model wearing her latest new dress, a Music Box Jumper in baby rib corduroy. Note to self: must take more better pictures of projects. I’m particularly unwilling to step into the model role myself, but have done a bit of sewing for myself, so you see the conflict. At any rate – it’s been a good sewing month for me in part because I’ve stepped away from the incessant work sewing. For me, a lot of the joy in sewing comes in experimenting, learning, and exploring. A lot of that hasn’t been happening since I started sewing for markets, so I’ve been working on bringing it back. The true list of things I’d like to sew would startle myself and the world, so I’ll keep that to myself for now. In the meantime, here’s an overview of my April sewing.
I love the idea of being able to throw together a t-shirt for myself. A couple years ago, I got a copy of Cal Patch’s Design-It-Yourself Clothes, which covers the basics of pattern making in good, simple language. Carolyn’s website, Handmade by Carolyn is also full of good tips. The internet in general has a lot to offer for anyone who wants to play with pattern making and adjusting. So what have I learned?
I took some bag pictures last week to get ready for posting this bag on Etsy. It is my favorite bag. Well, it’s a new, lined and better version of my favorite bag, which I made in 2009 and still use every summer. It’s a soft, squishy pile now, but my favorite. It’s linen, a combination of new and a vintage British home furnishings fabric I found way back when and have been hoarding! Anya’s gotten some design adjustments for production. The pockets are properly put together and the handle is as well. Neither has raw edges. I miss the rough look, but this is a sturdier bag. The interfacings are different as well, so it has some body and the handle is sturdier. It’s really neat to see how much I’ve learned about construction techniques just over the past few months. This one will go up in my Etsy store in the next week or so. If you’re interested in buying it before then, email me, and we’ll work it out!
There’s a pattern emerging as I continue to participate in markets. The week before market is a mad dash of staying up late and sewing at every available moment. The week after is one of moving slower, but also finding some kind of non-work sewing project to stay up late about. All my plans to take pictures and write fabulous blog posts are put aside to reflect and recharge. So much has happened this past month that I can hardly wrap my head around it. I’m a bit overwhelmed by trying to figure out what to work on first. This week, doing something entirely different felt like a good way to cope, and hopefully a good way to get a bit of perspective.
In Dutch, there’s a phrase “klein maar fijn.” It refers to things that are small, but oh so nice. This has been a week of klein maar fijn sewing. Little wrist straps using my scraps and mini-totes to do some workshop marketing. If you follow Earth Apple Studio on Facebook, you’ve been treated to my making and mini-tote tour. It’s all in preparation for de Linden Market this coming Sunday (6 April) and workshops at Studio Jurk starting on 14 April!