Sewing Top 5: the 2018 misses

This was a little tough for me this year. Honestly, I feel like I’ve had a good sewing year overall, and even the things that weren’t 100% the way I wanted them still got worn multiple times. And I don’t want to be the person who’s critically nitpicking apart my own projects, you know? But here’s what I do wish had gone a little better this year.

2018-03-03_08-55-56 1. Taking time for muslins. My Easter Deer & Doe Reglisse dress was wearable, and I’m actually really happy with how my hacks went (lengthening the skirt and adding pockets!) But there were some fitting issues around the armholes, and they’re a little deeper than I would like. I was sewing this on a deadline for the Day & Night dress challenge, so I didn’t feel like I had time to test anything out, but if I had taken that time, it might have resulted in a better dress. I still wear this during the warmer weather, but I might need to take a second look at that area and see if I can fix it.

 

 

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2. Notions sourcing, specifically for my swimsuit. Again, I was overall happy with this project, particularly the shorts. The only foam cups I could get around here were awful, though. I couldn’t figure out how to sew them into the meshy pockets, the shape of the stiff foam was completely unnatural, and they were a real pain to deal with whenever I washed the suit. I’m coming to find that I’m having trouble finding even notions that I need at Joann’s, as they’ve been cutting back on buttons and trims and such. It makes me sad, as it’s literally my only sewing store around. As for this suit, I did find an older swimsuit with softer sew-in cups that I can recycle, if I can just figure out how to stitch them in. At this point, my only guess is to put the swimsuit on inside out and literally hand-sew them to the mesh so I can mold it to myself. Which means it’ll probably wait until a warm spring day next year, because I can not sit around in a strappy top during the winter.

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3. Leaving room for my hips. Oh, hi, Akita! (I had to get at least one picture of this on my own blog, since this was from a Sewcialists post.) To be honest, this wasn’t really so much of an issue for my from-scratch projects this year, as I’ve gotten better at blending between sizes. But for my refashions lately, it’s like I’m forgetting that my hips are a full 3″ bigger than they were before childbirth, and it’s not looking like they’re ever going to go back. The print camouflages it well, but I ended up having to go back and insert a triangle in the sides to give myself a bit of extra room, despite checking the pattern sizing. I had a similar problem with this top, though I used basically the entire width of the print fabric so there really wasn’t much I could do. It’s wearable, but a little more snug in that area than ideal. So that’s something I’ll need to do a better job of factoring in.

4. Overplanning. This is honestly something I do in every area of my life– I always think that I can do more than I have time for. And then I get really down on myself for how lazy and unproductive I must be. Yes, I could probably do better on things like actually cleaning something instead of scrolling Instagram, but a big chunk of this is just my life stage, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. As far as sewing goes, this manifested in pulling out more patterns than I’d have time for in a season, planning projects for challenges that I didn’t even have time to start, and in a few cases, not actually finishing a project until the season it was wearable in had passed. Lately, I’ve been feeling like it’s ok to cut back and slow down and try to simplify things, especially since I’m in a season where I really do need to focus more on things like building relationships with my kids (and making sure they’re not scribbling on the walls while I’m distracted.) So while I did pretty well with things like my Make 9 board, as long as I stick with having switched a dress hack out for the jeans, I’m seriously wondering if this might not be a bad year to skip that long-range planning and just focus on something more like the Seasonal Sew 3. And then I can just focus on what I need or want to make now, rather than tying myself to a list that might not end up working for me.

Hmm… I think I’ll just leave it at 4, actually. Because the only thing I can think of for #5 is maybe keeping my sewing closet neater, but let’s be honest, that will probably never happen!

Next up, my favorite of the roundups: Goals!!! (Though, due to #4, I’ve been having trouble evaluating that. And I’d really like to see what sewing goodies I get for Christmas before I try to do any actual sewing plans. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Sewing Top 5: the 2018 misses

  1. I’m nodding along to all of this as if you wrote it for me. I’m in the baby and a toddler phase of life and I think it just impacts everything. Time to make muslins, forgetting to pattern adjustments for my ever changing body… I’m also finding I’m such an over planner these days. I think I dream up plans while I’m breast feeding or trapped in a nap where I have lots of time and then the reality of free time is much smaller. Even planned sewing time gets easily thrown by teething or the flu. I too am trying to be gentle on myself about this though. If kids are *relatively happy (toddlers moods are a bit finicky) and healthy then I’ve accomplished a lot.
    I don’t know if you find this but because of my frustration with trying to sew in small time chunks to a new shape that would take muslin time, I tend to see a lot for my kids. They are so cute while I’m in a stained nursing tank. Time to find some TNTs for me.
    And yes, I’ve also had some really pointy swimsuit cups…i always feel silly in them. I’m thinking about just inserting an old bra instead.

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    1. I’ve done so much mental sewing while stuck under a nursing/napping baby, so I completely get that!

      I haven’t sewn for my kids a whole lot, outside of Halloween costumes, because it’s honestly a lot harder to find exciting patterns for boys and we were given a ridiculous amount of clothes. One of my cousins is currently pregnant with her first boy, and while we weren’t ready to downsize all the baby clothes yet just in case, we were still able to pull out two entire kitchen trash bags full of excess clothes from the 0-12 month sizes! Plus it was hard to motivate myself to sew clothes when they were moving to new sizes every 3 months or so, but now that they’re slowing down and we’ve reached the last of the ridiculous secondhand stash, I may do a little more for them this year. We’ll see, since it may partially depend on opinionated preschoolers!

      Since sewing is pretty much my self care, I wanted to keep making stuff for me, plus nothing really fit and I have some RTW fitting issues that didn’t change, like long sleeves always being too short and all. So I’ve been doing a lot more knits and stretchy waistbands these days, because they’re more forgiving.

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      1. Yes. I now have a son and there is definitely less marketed towards boys clothing. I use a lot of easy/modern knit patterns from brindille and twig for my kids but my daughter will likely size out of them in the next couple years as she is large for her age and they go up to a 5-6T.
        I know what you mean about bags of clothes. It feels crazy how much they go through in the first year and how much baby clothing exists in this world already.

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