Sewing Pains

So I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Friday.   It was definitely not the most pleasant experience of my life and the week that followed was really hard on all fronts as well.  I wanted to get back to sewing and had gotten this lovely gauze type fabric that I could not wait to begin working with.  I cut out three of the same shirt in the same fabric from a trusted self-drafted pattern.  I planned on binding the edges in a cream colored stretch lace.  The first one I botched-I cannot even remember what I did to it-I think maybe I  sewed the bias tape onto the back instead of the front first.  The prospect of ripping that out while enduring my horribly swollen cheeks was not one I was looking forward to.  Depressed, I started in on the second shirt-and what do you know, I applied the lace as if the arm holes were the neckline!  Bleg, such a dumb mistake.

Finally, I took the last bit of the gauzy fabric I had and cut out a racer-back tee for myself.  At last some success!  This top was very easy to put together, although the armholes and neck do require quite a bit of bias tape if you choose to finish it that way.  The pattern was two pieces (front and back!)-I rounded out the bottom so it would curve up at the sides and then put in a couple of darts for better fit at the top.

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I don’t know what it is-I think I must have some kind of sewing diseases.  After I finished this top, I continued work on a circle skirt I am making of brown crinkle voile for a friend for renaissance festival.  The skirt is split at the front and I thought it would be nice to finish the open edges with some satin ribbon.  Epic fail number 3.  I now have one lovely summer top and three things which I am dreading ripping out.

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Over the past few years, I have gotten really good at making mistakes and then ripping them out directly-but I normally don’t make so many stupid mistakes in a row on multiple garments.  It is so hard for me in times like these-I do not want my frustration about these projects to hold me back from other things I have to finish.  And I also hate to leave a project feeling defeated, but I am seriously contemplating re purposing the fabric from those two tops into something…smaller.

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Thanks to my husband Woody for taking the pictures!  We took them at his grandma Linda’s house and her Clematis was blooming like crazy.  Does anyone else think Clematis sounds like an STD?  I can’t say that word without thinking it!

Maria Denmark Day-To-Night Drape Top

I have had my eye on this Maria Denmark pattern for a while.  Honestly, I do not buy patterns often.  I have been drafting so many patterns myself for Zoe and I that I really do have more sewing projects from those patterns alone than I know what to do with.  But I have seen so many cute variations of this top, and I do not have anything with a cowl neckline in my closet.

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The fabric I used came from Denver Fabrics (I never actually go to their website, but I did want to post their link).  Anyways, I find the best stuff at their shop.  They had a sale which was 40% off of already discounted fabric.  They sell fabric by the pound too, so this lightweight gray jersey that I used came from several yards I bought from that bin.  I spent $3.00 total on several yards of fabric by the pound, so with the $6.00 I spent on the pattern plus the $.50 I may have spent on this fabric, I would say this top was a pretty good bargain.

The top took under an hour for me to sew.  I did not have FOE or invisible elastic as the pattern indicates, so I just made some  bias knit tape using the same fabric.  The longest part was just taping the pattern together-for some reason it printed up super light so I had trouble matching the corners of the pages.  I think i am developing a love/hate relationship for those pdf patterns.  My size was between a small and medium, so I a medium and then just planned to use a bigger seam allowance.  Then I actually read the directions which said you must add your own seam allowance (blegh I am so bad about reading directions).  But it all worked out since I had cut out the medium and stitched it up with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Whew!

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…and a nice shot of the back.  I must be looking at a bird or maybe I am just thinking about how much I hate having my picture taken!  I am coming to realize that this is probably going to be the most difficult part about my having a crafty blog. I suppose I just need to embrace my awkwardness in photos.  Oh and that weird thing on my back is a batman band-aid.

I absolutely love this top-it is super comfortable and appropriate for me to wear to work in the summer.  Here is the other one I have made so far-I have two more cut out to make for my mom and sister (guys, if you are reading this, act surprised!)

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We all went to the zoo today-which makes it our third trip since Zoe has been born, and definitely the best visit so far.  Zoe was super excited to see all of the birds and kept saying ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to all of the animals we passed.

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I have been sewing a lot of clothes for myself lately as well as clothing and toys for Zoe.  But it has occurred to me that if I am ever going to start selling things on Etsy, I really need to get moving.  So hopefully I will have some items to show you for my shop within the next few posts.

The Little Prince Embroidery Art

This is a project I probably should have posted a long while ago.  I made these for a friend as a  wedding present.  The text comes from the book Le Petite Prince and it means one sees well only with the heart. If you have not read this book, definitely check it out-it’s a classic!

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When I made these (my computer tells me that was back in August…yikes!) I kept seeing such beautiful embroidery work with French knots, which are oh so fun and easy to make.  For a great tutorial on French knots, checkout Sublime Stitching’s website…which also has super cute hand embroidery patterns by the way.

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I love these little dandelions, they went together really quick.  The text in that gold thread I used is, however, another story.  I hate to embroider words-it is just so difficult for me, and yet I keep doing it.

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To be honest, I am just not very faithful to the art of embroidery; I just dabble in it when it suits me.  I am a seamstress at heart!

These embroidery hoops turned out so cute I really wanted to make a set for myself…they just looked so nice on my wall.

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And here is the set hanging on my wall before being shipped off.  Sorry about my picture quality-I am a work in progress in that arena.  That, and my nice camera broke so I am down to my little Sony Cybershot until we can work something else out, which will probably take a while.

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Domesticity: the new feminism?

The other day, I stumbled across a book on goodreads which is a website I use to track what I have read and what I want to read (I love it!).  The book is called Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity.  I am waiting to get it from the library and have yet to read it, but it did get me to thinking…

Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity

Many of you may not know this, but I was a Feminist and Gender studies minor in college (CC if any of you are wondering).  I wrote my final paper on feminism in the Bible.   Feminism and gender relations have become an interesting topic for me to observe in my line of work…I am always interested to hear the commentaries people make without even realizing about motherhood, male/female relationships, gender roles, etc.  I try to challenge people’s perspectives on the big F word when I can.

Despite being a self-proclaimed feminist, I love so many things that are stereotypical of docile female women.  I love being a mom, a wife, and a seamstress (sorry, I just can’t get on board with the whole ‘sewist’ thing).   My love of handicrafts did not start with the recent resurgence of crafts-I did not pick up sewing because my friends were doing it, in fact it was something I was made fun of for as a child. I began sewing before the age of 10 because I wanted to.  I have always loved creating. Radical and liberal feminists might criticize me because in many ways because it would appear that I conform to societies ideals about domesticity and beauty.  I know about social constructs and the male gaze; I know that many people would say that I did not choose to be like this.  But I am an agent in my life…I could go on to explain how I feel that I have come to be a lover of the domestic arts of my own accord, but I think that is a conversation for another day.  In the mean time, I am excited to hear what Emily Matchar has to say about it and I am happy that there is a conversation!