My sewjo is back! I had been completely tapped out sewing wise the last couple of months, and was feeling lackluster about not only sewing, but also what has become my growing dislike of social media in general. I also took some time to relax and focus on allowing my auto-immune issues to settle down. Unfortunately one of the side effects of having an extremely high immune system. My positive outlook to this is that I rarely get sick, but I very often require more rest than the average person as my body seems to be working like a war machine.
My creativity was at an all-time low. I have discovered that I’m like most artists in other mediums, that if I’m not in flow, I don’t create my best work. Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi wrote the premier groundbreaking book on the state of flow, a book that I read back in undergrad that I still reflect on often. Like all things in life, your heart has to be in it fully, otherwise you’re just going through the motions. Sewing is no different for me, which is why for my fall and winter makes I will finally be including some of my own designs. I love sewing ready-made patterns, but I’m not just a sewist only, so it’s time I actually start showing some of my own work. The designs that often come to me in my dreams are amazing. A lot of those are further down the line once I start showing off the couture side of my designs.
Dolman Sleeve Button-up Boxy Top: Butterick 6898. This is a new summer 2022 pattern from Butterick Patterns that was designed by Palmer/Pletsch, which honestly explains why I love it so much! Palmer/Pletsch is considered one of the premier sources in pattern fitting instructions and have literally written some of the sewing bibles of fit. I currently own a few of their fit and sewing books, as they are well illustrated and proves great instructions. This is listed as a summer top, but with the long-sleeve option of this pattern, I could definitely see myself making a few more versions even for Fall/Winter. I will probably select a smaller size so it’s not quite as boxy. Despite the number of pattern pieces for this pattern, it was really a very quick sew. This pattern included some of the best illustrated and through instructions I’ve ever seen in a commercial pattern, but then again, the pattern instructions were done by Palmer/Pletsch. Overall this pattern is excellent, with no hiccups. The lines of this pattern are what makes it unique and different from any other pattern that falls into a similar category.
Twill Pants – Simplicity 8701. This simplicity pattern came out some years back and was part of a series of hack-able patterns that Simplicity released with the fashion designer in mind I feel. Their idea was to give you good solid basic patterns that you can use as a base for hacks. There is a large number of amazing designers and sewist in the sewing community that have the ability to look at a pattern and use it to create something jaw dropping that I would have never imagined possible. This is one of those such patterns. The options are limitless with all the hacks you can do. I hacked this pattern to include pintucks down the front and single welt pockets in the back. I absolutely love pants with single welt pockets. It’s something that is done quite often in men pants, but not enough in women. With all that said, there is only one problem with this pattern. The waistband was drafted off. I oddly incidentally corrected this issue before I looked online and saw other sewists mention this issue. One of the first things I do during pattern prep now, especially after my numerous issues this year with bad patterns, is to actually take the pattern pieces and line them up against each other. If I spot gaps and things that are out of alignment, then I know to fix the issue before I cut out my fabric. Whether its pattern paper or fabric, the basic premises of pattern making is your pattern pieces should line up perfectly. Oddly this skill comes down to math. I remember one of my sewing teachers laughing when she told me that I of all people would choose a hobby that requires me to use my work skill set (accounting, math and numbers). She was right. A big part of sewing is math. When you are doing pattern adjustments, grading and measurements you use quite a bit of fractions and math. This is especially true in pattern making. A wrong calculation equals pattern pieces that do not line up or fit. When I went to line up the back waistband pattern pieces to the back of the pants, I noticed right off that the pattern was not as long as it needed to be. So I decreased the seam allowance for the sides so that I could get the full length I needed. Then the next glaringly obvious mistake was the difference between the right and left front waistband. There is no point in having a left waistband pattern piece with this pattern as the length was drafted completely too short. I looked at the pattern piece and threw it away. The right waistband pattern piece is the one to use. So I cut four of those and used that pattern piece for both the right and left side front waistbands. Everything then lined up perfectly. The result was great fitting pants. With the budget that the big pattern companies have, it’s rather head shaking to see such glaringly bad pattern issues. Indie patterns who don’t have nearly the amount of money budget wise, do a far better job of this.
FABRIC – I clearly absolutely love shopping in Downtown Los Angeles Fashion District, but more specifically my favorite store is a place called Angel Textiles. They hands down have the best selection of cotton twill and denim, and usually charge anywhere from $2 to $5 a yard for twill. I saw this beautiful avocado green twill that has a little bit of a cotton sateen sheen finish to it, and bought what was left on the entire bolt, since the width was only 45” inches. The result is another matching set that is a great transition to Fall/Winter sewing.
STYLE – My usual style of gold hoop earrings, plus a pair of Michael Kors platform Mary Jane shoes in a suede brown that I bought from a consignment shop.