Recalculating – Once Again

recalculating me-made, Sewing

Every now and then I feel it is too much: I have too many clothes, everything is in a big mess, and I still don’t have all the garments I really need. I also feel I have too many patterns I didn’t use at all, or I didn’t alter enough to fit perfectly.

So I then stop and call “recalculating-me-made”.

I start organizing. I start planning. I alter and mend existing clothes.  I mainly recycle and upscale some garments. I feel all good about myself. But pretty fast, as if I’m on a sewing diet, the discouraging thoughts in my head starts howling:  “I am lazy for not using the machine for so long”. “My stash is not getting any smaller” and the worst one: “I will never conquer the pile of clothes I planned to recycle“.

So yes, I need to balance. After all, recalculating-me-made is not only about stopping to sew new garments. It is about taking the time to learn more techniques (craftsy here I come) so the quality of what I make will improve. It is about planning a wardrobe that I will actually use giving the non-dress code at work and the Israeli weather.

While on recalculating mode, I sometimes feel I have done “nothing”. But I realized, it is not true at all. What I did in the last month or so:

  • Added hanging loops to all my garments to better arrange my closet.

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  • I went through my closet and got rid of old stuff I never use. I also reorganized it.

 

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The t-shirt party! Belcarra Sorbetto and Akita

 

  • I made 2 new skirts out of old pants (got tons of compliments on them from family and colleagues). In addition, I also learned about construction and fitting through this process!
  • I mended some armholes and some zippers on old me-mades.
  • I cleaned and oiled my machine (I love doing it!)
  • I stopped my seamwork  magazine subscription. I still love their style, but I don’t need so many patterns. will probably go back one day.
  • I made pencil skirt sloper, tested it with cheap fabric and  also tried to make a knit pencil skirt:

Some (Jewish new year and birthday)resolutions

  • To use the fitting method both dresses and pants. (My brother arrives today from the US with the Create The Perfect Fit . I had a nightmare he forgot to pack it)
  • Pants trousers and jeans: I tried a few times with the Thurlow trousers  but it never worked . I also got this pattern McCall’s Perfect Jeans M5894  , and I think I even made muslin a while back, but then decided to use the denim I got for a simpler pattern.
  • To improve my waistband technique. I use waistbands all the time, and I suck.
  • To improve my neckline techniques for both woven and knits (I can’t make a coal collar every single time. Or maybe I can….)
  • To plan ahead. I don’t like the “fashion” part of sewing. But I will have to try a little harder.
  • Making knickers and bras. Come on, it is not that hard. I also need more Manila leggings and Savannah

 

 

 

 

Recalculating My Me-Made

Sewing

I’ve been sewing a lot, and I learned a lot through it, and about it. But even though sewing made me more patient and I feel my skills are improving, I’m still too reckless and fast on the (sewing machine) paddle. So I am  taking some time off constantly sewing new garments in order to rethink my habits, my goals, my path. There are a few things I feel I  should change:

  1. Using all my scraps and reusing old clothes.
  2. Refashioning my old  me-made items. I already had to let go some of my first me-made items on the move back to Israel. Some were made with a poor choice of fabric when I had no clue what I’m doing. Some are just not practical anymore.
    I should plan my wardrobe. As much as I like spare of the moment choices at the fabric store, I should also balance them with planned color pallet and buy more solids, not just prints.
  3. Organizing my patterns,  and alterings the ones I know I should alter. I should also try and document more on Textillia
  4. Polishing skills. There are a few details I keep doing, and I keep doing poorly. It is time to tackle yokes finish and necklines, both with woven and knit.

How sewing changed me?

body image, Sewing

I have a craft, I have a super power. I am now the gal how sews her clothes

I never had a craft, never considered it part of what defines me. Most people remembered I liked to bake and cook, even when stopped. If anyone asked for my hobbies, I would reply “I don’t know, maybe baking?”  But now, people don’t have to ask. They knew I sew. I talk about, I brag, I bring it up all the time.

I wear dresses. I have a cardigan.

I have never bought those things. A dress was something I looked for only if I had a special occasion coming and I never considered it for work. But with sewing I dare more, and I realized that dresses are way more comfortable in the summer heat and humidity, they are easier to match (== no match required) and they fit my body well. When it comes to cardigans, I always felt the absence of them, but they look so weird hanging in the store, so I never bothered. But when it comes to sewing, it makes sense to dare.  The same goes with so many other things: floral prints, mustard colors, bottom down shirts. I just never dared. I guess that in the shop, I will always play it safe and will not experiment.

As an engineer, I just love finding the trades off of sewing. I need to balance between new adventures and well-proven pattern. I need to balance between planning what I need in my wardrobe and t enjoying spontaneous adventures. I have to find my comfort zone between my own voice, and outside inspiration.

I love my body, and I’m not alone on that

I love my body. It is no longer an obstacle. It is what it is, and there is so much I can do with it. It was not intentional, but a wonderful empowering by-product of this hobby. The sewist blogosphere exposed to so many women, with different body types and at different ages, each so lovely and real. I no longer wish to have a different body, narrower hips or flatter tummy. If anything, I might wish I was a little curvier, so I can make Cashmerette Patterns’ Washington dress…

I’m visible (or the RTW big mistake, huge)

The RTW fashion industry doesn’t see me. I am a 33-year-old woman, with an average body size and shape, and a wallet full of money, but if I happened to find clothes I like in a store, it is pure luck. In return, I don’t see the RTW industry. Looking at the advertisement, I see ridicules trends and weird styling. Ofer the feminist can’t stand the way women are depicted in those ads.  The practical woman in me can’t imagine herself in most clothes out there. The sociolect in me can’t give in to buying expensive clothes, the kind I’m supposed to be looking into given my age and status. I ended up not caring much. I was frustrated when I didn’t have what to wear, but I just didn’t try anymore. While living in the US I was buying my clothes mainly from Walmart.

But for the sewing industry, especially the indie patterns companies, I AM the target. I am constantly exposed to styles I can relate to, that inspire me, that I think ’I can pull this off, fashion wise and sewing wise’. When a pattern company launches its campaign, it speaks my language. When a company chooses models of all sizes and colors and ages, they are not just marking the V in “diversity”, but also showing me how this pattern might look on me. When a designer sends her patterns to bloggers for testing, it is not just a publicity stunt.  It allows me to get an indication of the pattern quality. So I buy (too much, see below), but at least I feel I know who gets my money, and what they did for their business.

Fashion revolution

I am a privilege to make my own clothes: I have the time, the money, and the peace of mind. Sewing my clothes is a personal revolution: I wear comfortable clothes, I love my body, and I’m in control. But it will not change the world. I consume more than I did before. I want more than I have. More fabric, more patterns more clothes. Before I started sewing, clothes were insignificant, a source of constant frustration.  But now, when I enjoy them, I am just another capitalist consumer that buys too much. #Whomademyclothes ? #imademyownclothes. But I didn’t make the fabric. I didn’t mine the coal to import it from oversea. Also, most people around me are not privileged enough to make their clothes. They work too hard to make a living.  #I amprivilegetomakemyownclothes