It seems I am late in the blogging world with my "year in review" post, but whatever. Obviously I have been silent for a few months (longer than I realized). Our life is in crazy mode right now as we are waiting to find out if we will be allowed to adopt our foster son and all the meetings and emotions that entails. Not that I'm trying to use that as an excuse for not blogging...but it is a good one. Another reason I didn't blog much this autumn was that most of my projects were failures. Everything from sizing weirdness to fabrics falling apart after a make was finished. Really frustrating! So I kind of gave up and spent some time thinking about what my purpose in sewing is and what I want to get out of it. Also, I spent a fair amount of time watching Netflix and crocheting under a blanket in a sulking state of "I suck at sewing". I got over it.
So 2012 was a big learning curve year for me. I started following a few professional sewing blogs as well as non-professional experienced seamstress blogs. I have learned a ton! Some of the highlights that I am choosing to focus on this year are:
1. Trace patterns, don't cut them. This does add extra time to the process but it is worth it because it is so infuriating to have cut into a pattern, only to find that if you had made the size your instincts told you to then you would not now own a too small pattern and a too small garment.
2. It is much easier to fuse cut fabric pieces to interfacing and then cut the interfacing, rather than cutting the interfacing from the pattern piece and hoping it matches up with the fabric. I have found that a tea towel works wonderfully for this.
3. Full bust adjustments are a necessary evil. Hopefully they will become less evil as I perfect this skill.
4. Slow down and enjoy the entire process of garment construction. Before I started making clothes I made a lot of quilts. My favorite part of the quilting process is the cutting of the fabric. There is something so exciting about using the rotary cutter, watching the squares piling up, and beginning to see the quilt's potential. Cutting fabric for garments is my least favorite and the most frightening part of garment making. I suppose this is because a quilt doesn't need to be exactly perfect in dimensions when it is finished, it still will serve its purpose but if garment fabric is cut incorrectly it is a waste of both time and money.
5. Don't sew when I'm tired! Staying up late to finish a project that night just to be able to put the sewing machine away is not worth the mistakes that are inevitably made.
6. Do not obsess over sizing! Part of the cause of so many failures this year is that I have not been honest about my body shape. For example, I have larger than average upper arms (made much bigger from carrying a 27 pound 10 month old). Patterns are not made with this consideration so I need to check the sizing and allow for it in the construction.
2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year for sewing. We have three weddings this summer which will all need to have a dress made. There are at least two baby quilts on the horizon. I will hopefully need to make a tiny little Easter suit! as well as my dress. I am determined to give more thought to my wardrobe and create garments I love and will wear. I hope that by the end of the year most of my wardrobe will contain clothes I have created, enjoy wearing, and reflect my style. I'm starting off with my two favorite designers: Colette and Sewaholic, and will be looking into Lekala's revolutionary and amazing approach to pattern design.
I am off to a good start. I just finished this top. Post coming soon!