Sewing challenges

I don’t have a lot of crafting friends in real life.  Sure, I have friends who sew, and friends who knit, but none with quite the obsession I have.  That’s one reason why I value the online crafting communities I am a part of.  The great thing about the internet is that there is a little place for you, no matter what you are interested in.  I would never have had any idea that there were other people who loved vintage sewing patterns, or that I am not, in fact, the only one who is appalled at the lack of quality in store-bought clothing today.

Personally, I always love a good challenge as well.  Knit-alongs abound, but I haven’t seen quite as many sew-alongs.  A few weeks ago, I became aware of the Grosgrain blog, and the Frock by Friday sewalong – they’ve been sewing a different dress each month!  I’m sad I missed the coffee-fate dress, which is somewhere on my list, but this month the dress is an altered version of the Tara top from Burdastyle.  It looks right up my alley – it has a nice empire waist, and I like the flowy skirt.  It is a bit low cut, but to be honest I am not busty enough to be much bothered by that.    I’m planning to use a rayon batik print that I got from Waechter’s.

I always admire the pretty saturated colors of batiks, but in general they aren’t my thing (too much like tie-dye – my parents were all about tie-dye when I was growing up, and I just can’t go there again!)   I love this one though – the colors are gorgeous, and I think it will make a perfect tropical summer dress.

I’m also planning to participate in Self-Stitched-September, and here is my pledge: “‘I, Jessica, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item(s) of clothing  every day for the duration of September 2010.”

I’m not going to pledge that everything I wear has to be handmade – just one item each day!  I’ve already taken stock of my wardrobe and am engaged in planning.  I’m going to make the pants I posted earlier this week, and hopefully at least one basic skirt.  I can get away with wearing my dresses most of the time, it’s the weekends that will be a challenge for me!  I plan to keep on making dresses and skirts – now that I have more, I find that I had really missed wearing them.  For some reason I keep imagining that it’s going to be cold here, which is ridiculous since we rarely see any cold before Halloween.  I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I hope it inspires me to wear the articles of clothing that I usually avoid!

My vintage dress hit a tiny snag this week – after underlining the whole thing, I decided it just wasn’t melding well with the fashion fabric, and I ripped the underlining out.  I know!  It nearly killed me to undo all that work, but it’s fitting much better now!  I still need to cut the lining out – I am not sewing it the way the directions instruct, so I’m taking my time.  I can’t decide if the front is twisting or not – I may end up recutting that piece only.  I also decided to eliminate the skirt vents (I will use a slit instead) so I had to redo that.

Today I’ve been working on plain curtains to cover the skylights in my sewing room – the a/c cannot keep up with the heat wave we are having, so they have to be covered!  I hope to have plenty of time to sew this weekend – I had a busy week, and feel like I’ve been running the whole time!

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11 thoughts on “Sewing challenges

  1. I like the Frock by Friday sew alongs too. I’m working on the shirtdress from last month – it’s taking a little longer than a week, but oh, well… I love the fabric on the dress at the end of your post!

  2. I realized I have been reading your blog for quite a while, but have never said hello. So, (waves), hello. I recently discovered Grosgrain as well; such good inspiration there! I will look forward to your September challenge–I don’t think I am quite ready to do that, but maybe after my summer sewing I can try a month next year…that sounds like fun. Anyway, I love reading about your projects and seeing the photos.

  3. You’re sounding more and more like an expert seamstress…that’s awesome. I’m going to look into the Frock by Friday group. Sounds like something up my alley. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  4. I really *must* start sewing again. I used to, then stopped when I started knitting. To remind myself, I keep the sewing machine out in the living room, but all it does is make me feel guilty that I’m not using it!

  5. I’ve pledged Self-Stitched September too… now I have to get busy sewing because I will be super busy Aug/Sept and won’t have time to sew! :)

    I missed the Coffee Date dress sewalong on Frock by Friday too, but was considering the Tara dress. I love having a community of like-minded people on the internet, no one near me sews! They all think I’m nuts! :D

  6. I haven’t yet been brave enough to participate in a knit-along or sew-along. I’m not sure I have enough handmade items for one a day in September either, unless I wear a scarf or shawl every day. :) Love your blog!

  7. Dani says:

    I’ve always enjoyed looking at your blog for the last 3 years. It’s very inspiring to see your knitting and sewing projects. You’ve inspired me to continue sewing. And I love your choice of knitting projects. Keep it up!

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