Category Archives: sewing


Also, I’m nearly done with the skirt I’m hand-sewing following the
pattern Tita Gay helped me with before. Actually, I started off
following the pattern, but then got frustrated by the tracing paper I
used. I guess I really need to do pattern tracing on a hard floor, not
some cardboard spread over the carpet in my room. I can do it on the
kitchen table next time.

Anyway, the skirt is shaping up to be a skirt.

It felt very appropriate to be sewing that skirt while watching the
BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Awesome show, by the way. The
woman who played Elizabeth Bennett in that one had such beautiful
eyes, and she fit the role so well. Definitely like it more than the
recently released film.

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Random Japanese sentence:

我々は犬や猫や鳥などを飼うことができる。 We can have dogs, cats, birds, and so on.

Sew what?

When I noticed the rip in Shane D’Costa’s
shirt, I insisted that he change into a bathrobe robes so that I could
mend the tear. It’s nice having a sewing kit handy. I find few clothes
that I particularly enjoy, so I like taking care of them. It’s also
nice to be able to do little things for other people.

I know a number of people who know how to sew.
Leigh Honeywell made her own prom dress.
Totally impressive. =)

I don’t have the space for a sewing machine just yet. I’m tempted to
learn how to sew well enough to make things that I’d consider
well-made. I suppose I wouldn’t do too badly with some sewing and
embroidery skills, though, because I can then embellish basic forms.

I enjoy wearing clothes that say something about me, whether it’s my
appreciation of traditional culture or my quirkiness when it comes to
computer T-shirts. I like being able to maintain such clothes and
maybe even modify or create new things. Besides, sending something as
simple as that out for alteration or tailoring is expensive,
especially considering how little time it takes to fix something. =)

So yeah, sewing. S’fun. I like knitting, too, and look forward to
picking it up again this winter.

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Learning sewing and French

Sewing is turning out to be surprisingly fun. I finished the wool jumper-dress (Simplicity 4097), learning how to work with wool and lining. It’s amazing how even my not-quite-matched-up work looks better with a little bit of lining. In a burst of confidence, I wore my jumper outside the house yesterday. It didn’t fall apart on me (hooray!), and it made me smile. And I didn’t need to unpick nearly as many seams this time around. I think I only ripped out one mistake.

I’ve started working on a matching blazer. It’ll be my first time working with interfacing (to stiffen the jacket front), reverse facing, and sleeves. I’m a little nervous about the sleeves, but I’m sure I’ll figure them out. I’m half-way through the process and the blazer is looking pretty neat.

W- and I passed by a fabric place earlier. He picked up some black-and-beige cloth for reupholstering the dining room chairs, and I picked up 2 3/4 yards of 60″ red wool. I think I’ll make another jumper with a different neckline. =)

I’m starting to really enjoy carefully measuring and cutting the fabric because I know that the attention I put into the early stages will pay off later on. The boxes we bought from Ikea yesterday have also greatly helped me organize my sewing corner. I was planning to get a sewing machine cover just to make sure Leia doesn’t get tempted by the thread, but the universal sewing machine cover looks clunky. I may just have to sew a sewing machine cozy. ;)

When I told Stephen Perelgut about my new hobby, he laughed and joked about my having too much free time. That’s not really true. I could always find plenty of things to do. I can be using this time to draw, write, cook, exercise, code, tidy up, fiddle with things, play with the cat, read…

I’m glad I added sewing to the mix, though. I enjoy creating things. Sewing is teaching me more about thinking in three dimensions with different colors and textures. Constructing my own clothes teaches me about the techniques used in the clothes I wear and the clothes other people wear, developing my eye. I’m getting better at accurately following instructions, deviating from the pattern where necessary. I think it does me good. In fact, it’s so enjoyable that I’ve started setting limits on how much time I spend sewing at any one sitting. (Leia also helps me keep track of time. Yay for cuddly cats!)

I’ve also been doing French lessons in the background. Of course, since I’m learning from Pimsleur language CDs (hooray library!), the example dialogue’s like this: “Bonjour, madamoiselle. Est-ce que vous voudrais bois quelque chose chez moi?” Aiyah. It was like that for Pimsleur Cantonese, too.

Still, learning is lots of fun. =)

Sometimes you just have to do it

Last Wednesday, I was definitely not a happily sewing kitty. I was halfway through the blazer I was sewing, and it felt wrong. The darts had bubbless. The sleeve I’d attached was crooked, and when I tried the blazer on, it looked boxy. I tried taking in the side seams, but I had no idea how to do it without making the fabric do weird things. It was frustrating. I was tempted to put that project on hold and switch to making either a cotton mock-up of the same pattern or an easier pattern.

After taking a day’s break from sewing, I revisited the project. I took my time in basting the pieces of cloth together, and then I sewed the sleeves on even though I wasn’t 100% confident yet. And you know what? It actually looks like a proper blazer now. It’s a loose fit and the darts are still somewhat puffy, but it looks somewhat like the illustration, and that makes me happy.

Note to self: next time I’m plagued by self-doubt, it might be worth following the plan all the way through and seeing what happens. =) Sometimes things end up much better than they looked like in the middle.

Sewing: Wool jumper, blazer

(blazer not pictured). This is the jumper I made following Simplicity 4097. I also made a blazer from the pattern. It was my first time working with wool, lining, interfacing, facing sections, and sleeves. My conclusions? Wool was pretty easy to work with, lining made everything look terrific (even if my seams didn’t quite match up), and sleeves were difficult. Mine still pucker a little. But it’s not bad at all, and I’ve worn it outside the house already. Whee!

Sewing: Red jacket, V8343

I’m working on a red jacket now. I’ve been meaning to pick up a red jacket, but I’d never found a dark red jacket with clean and simple lines… so now I’m making one. It helped that there was a sale on Vogue sewing patterns, and that I’d stumbled across this deep red wool while W- was picking up fabric for the dining room cushions.

In other news, sketching is so much easier in a vector drawing program where I can edit my mistakes. Thank you, Inkscape!