sapotesews ([personal profile] sapotesews) wrote2010-04-18 11:06 am

Sewing things I want to tell you about.

So I have the kind of job where I spend some time waiting for things to happen - our workload ebbs and flows with the academic year - and over spring break I was filling some time listening to Jane Austen audiobooks while removing staples. And I discovered that the perfect visual stimuli to accompany Jane Austen and staple removal was online fabric shopping, given as it's just lots of repeating squares of appealing colors and patterns and does not distract one overmuch from either Emma's exploits or the mechanical difficulties of scraping off barcodes without getting them under your thumbnail.

And if you've ever engaged in Crafts, you know what happened next, which is: I bought a lot of fabric because it was on sale. Some of it was good value (I'm planning to start on a book of t-shirt patterns as soon as the living room is slightly clearer of moving detritus, and the ten yards of lovely thick blue jersey were a good investment) and some of it is ridiculous (lime green flowers the size of my head, why did I buy you, and when will I learn to judge pattern scale from pictures?).

I measured it all up a couple of weeks ago, and I have 36 yards of fabric total. And then I bought some more, which I swore to god would be my last fabric-buy until I actually sewed some wearable clothing. And then I was sad that I couldn't have any more new fabric, because most of what I owned I had already mentally assigned to projects that fell further along my learning-to-sew skill progression then where I am currently at. Because that's sensible of me.

Enter: my neighbor L, who understands the joy of Stash so much that she has an entire room of floor-to-ceiling fabric shelves which she is trying to pare down sometime before she retires and has to actually face the prospect of sewing all that stuff. She gave me fabric! She gave me crazy vintage fabric, among other things, and here are some pictures of the best:

My sister and I were just bemoaning that there's probably no more deadstock of fabric like the stuff on this envelope (those pants!) and then whoom, dayglo paisley polyester falls into my lap. What do you do with it? I do not know. Is it pretty great? Why yes. Yes it is.

Anyway, that's about a third of what she gave me - the rest was in the washing machine at the time - so I think with the addition of, yes, vintage deadstock giant paisley I can consider my stash to be complete for now. And thusly yesterday I actually sewed.

In theory what I'm sewing is this: (Sencha blouse), but of course I'm me and I can't wait to actually learn to sew properly before I start messing with whatever it is I'm making, and now I've got a vaguely empire-line (and kind of excessively maternityish, I shouldn't have increased the hip so far) scoop-neck pullover top with short kimono sleeves (not cap sleeves) in an extremely loud print that was part of the same experience in how it's hard to judge scale when fabric-shopping online. And as of now it has a weird improvised back yoke that comes from taking the extra fabric that was created by a combination of messing too much with the tuck positions and my Extremely Erect Back (apparently), pinning it, and sewing it down. Without measuring. This can only end well.

So now that I have explained how badly I sew, I should clarify that I have tracing paper and I use it and I take very good care of my patterns (... now) before I link to my current vintage pattern baby from my recent why-yes-I-do-need-a-box-of-old-patterns-for-$12 incident. IT IS SO SENSIBLE I MUST HAVE IT. Let us not fail to mention that it is at least two sizes small and will have to be graded upward, and that its instructions are extremely mysterious. I plan to learn a lot. Also possibly waste some fabric. But first I have to finish sewing the once-was-a-Sencha-blouse about four more times, because any day now I swear I will get it right.