My ridiculous year of sewing

Oh… did I have big dreams! I thought by now my wardrobe would be so different. I thought I would have at least 2 or 3 absolutely gorgeous dresses, although admittedly nowhere to wear them but my living-room, some puffy sleeves shirts, comfy yet stylish tailored trousers, maybe a deshabille or 2, and even some glorious 1950’s riding pants to wear when riding my Indian motorcycle

I also thought that, by now, I would be proficient in using complex patterns, boldly taking on new projects, having mastered even the most mysterious of my Singer’s attachments and their sometimes finicky temper.

Alas, reality is different!

Indeed, I have face-masks! Hooray for that.

When your life expectations are crushed in such a way, you either give up, or keep going!

Well, I’ll keep going because giving up isn’t an option.

2020 sewing achievements

Learning to sew takes patience, it takes practice and commitment

Yes, I knew it would take time to learn. I had come to realize it, a while back actually and was admittedly surprised back then! Yes, silly me! However, I still had not truly (big big emphasis on the truly) understood that sewing was going to be so time-consuming.

Because time just seems to suddenly shrink. When I decide to sew, I enter another dimension where an hour feels like 10 minutes, even maybe less. Just another couple minutes in this alternate reality and the day is gone. It isn’t fair. It should be the other way around because I seriously don’t want to age in front of my machine!

You may think that it would go faster if I had a modern machine but you see, it isn’t the actual sewing that takes up most of the time, it’s all the rest. All the preparation, the measuring, cutting, pinning, bating, ironing… Put together, it seems I spend more time doing these things, then spinning the wheel of my machine.

Maybe I’m just not talented enough. Maybe sewing isn’t for me after all.

Still, I won’t give up!

It still doesn’t always produce the expected result

No matter how patient I have tried to be, how diligently I have tried to respect the patterns’ instructions, I don’t always end up with the expected result.

I know, I know, me “trying to respect the patterns’ instructions” and me actually doing blindly & trustfully what I’m told to do, are completely different things! But I swear, I am trying my best.

Want proof of how diligent I am? I iron when I’m told to nowadays! Impressed, I hope?!

OK, I still almost always forget to mark on the fabric the indication of the pattern, but now I realize it and go back to them. Ok now I really hope you are impressed by my progress!

In truth, a better recommendation, is that novice shouldn’t try to improvise!

“Don’t improvise” is basic rule one shall follow wether trying to cast magical spells, handling a sharp weapon, fiery tools or a sewing machine!

It’s really hard to follow such recommendation because…

Sometimes it pays off to be daring!

Oh but sometimes it does pay off to be daring! Look at the welt pocket down below! I dared!! I watched a youTube video and went for it and I managed to sew 2 of them… at the same height!! Incredible!

I was so surprised by the result, seriously.

Sometimes you have very little to lose by being daring. In which case, just go for it!

The finger buddy taping devises I sew are the things I wear the most. Every day! Even right now, while typing. These were made with little scrap of fabric. No risk taken there.

With the welt pockets mentioned above, the risk was much higher. I could have ruined a project that was going well so far, so it wasn’t a brilliant idea to do such pockets directly on the coat. I should have probably do a try out. But then again, managing a mock up piece doesn’t guarantee the success of the final piece. At least not for me. So on to the next daring pocket… I guess!!

The highlights of this sewing year

Despite a disappointing overall sewing year, there were a few achievements.

I dared wear my first skirt in public! No one could tell the lining had torn appart and that the finish inside was less than desirable! It was a hit, I felt glorious and it was incredibly confortable. I wore it several times since then although I still have to repair the lining… I know, I know, it is an actual sewing achievement but it still is an achievement. Wearing something you sew yourself is the end goal after all!

I also finished my most glamorous creation so far, or almost finished it. Safety-pins were used to hold the belt! Yet it was dazzling, or so I thought! It was a pant skirt. I didn’t sew the pant just the skirt part which was made of black satin, with a top of sheer fabric on which I painted, on the bottom, all the constellations that could be seen in the sky, on that very special day. As I was walking, I could feel the air making the train puff up and it made me walk like a princess (maybe)! To be honest, my outfit was lightyears away from the level seen that day. Beadings everywhere, shiny, fitted, revealing… The level of fake was impressive too, although somehow glamorous I suppose. I was asked about my necklace: “Oh I saw the same one at (insert cheap store name I can’t recall)!” to which I had to reply slightly embarrassed and mostly annoyed: “No, I didn’t get it there. My jewelry is mostly vintage and the necklace, like the earring, are real vintage from 1920’s“. I was probably the only one to no wear fake jewelry, or fake lashes and fake who knows what else.

Hand painted stars on a dress
Some stars are a bit like shooting stars! why not!!

The very few people I told that evening, that I had sewed such dress were more than impressed! Maybe not by the result, but surely by the commitment! The main disappointment for me was that I had bought non organic fabric.

Granny panty wise (!) I added 2, to my slow growing collection. One additional one was a total fail. One of the approved ones was miraculously saved from disaster.

How can one mess up granny pants?! Not sure but I have come to realize that a vintage zigzagger and stretchy fabric are not a match made in heaven.

Sewing granny panty
I am sparing you the picture where I am modeling my granny panties. instead please enjoy this view of my machine. You are welcome!

Granny panties are the only kind of underwear I have managed to sew so far. I did a mock up (with old bed sheets) for a 1950’s bra and it didn’t go so well. Really not sure what I can do with such experiment or where to go from there.

Trying to sew a 1950's bra
This is not a Singer advertisement despite what it might look like!

There is the new coat mentioned above, in production. Being totally irresponsible, in addition to the pockets, I now intend to add a fancy lining to it. Oh well…

Sewing welt pocket! OMG
THE pocket!! Still have to sew the sides but it’s going to be ok!!

There is also a mermaid skirt in production but it is well underway to join the 2021 disaster list…

And masks of course! Did I mention this already! 😉

Sewing a not completely disastrous sport bra
And maybe I didn’t completely mess up the sport bra I’ve been trying to make with no pattern. It’s weird but quite comfortable. Look at that dart!

Of course there was a lot of mending… quite a few yoga pants were indeed mended again and again! For lock-downs have not been kind to them.

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So you see, my wardrobe isn’t overflowing with the incredibly beautiful, original creations I thought I would be sewing all year long. I have zero new dress and no puffy sleeves. No sexy deshabille either, just a couple granny panties… and these do not even match my face masks!

On to a new year of sewing projects!

No, I’m not giving up. So on to new sewing projects!

Let them be precisely made, using beautiful organic or vintage fabric, perfectly fitted and yes, done in a timely manner!

Oh yeah, I need magical scissors for that! The kind that cut through fabric with this perfect sound and finish. Scissors so sharp that they would instantly be considered as the most probable weapon, into any murder investigation. Beautiful and vintage of course – the scissors not the murder!

Needles management - got to do better
I also need to do better with my needles. I had no clue I had so many.

*****

If you are just starting on your sewing journey and are slightly disappointed with your progress, I hope this post will have, at least, shown you that you are not alone!!

Happy sewing!

Learning to sew on a vintage sewing machine is a rebellious act! You should try!