Check out the slideshow and let me know if you have any questions about how I spent my November and December! Also, feel free to give a shout if you would like info about any of the patterns I've used for these. I'll talk about my adventures in heat transfer vinyl and my discovery of custom fabrics another day. Stay tuned!
Yep, it's been a while. But hear me out before you judge too harshly? I've been making the rounds. Getting to know more about the amazing online sewing community and exploring just how many resources, options, and how much inspiration is available at the touch of my fingers.
I've learned a lot during my 'travels,' far too much for only one post. So today I will share just two:
#1: I like sewing with knits. Who knew? Not me, but I sure know it now! We all know that knits are comfy to wear and easy to care for. I always thought they were hard to sew and not worth the effort. Boy, was I wrong! Which leads me to:
#2: I enjoy testing pre-released patterns. It never occurred to me that sewing to help test and fine-tune patterns before they are released to the public was a thing. Seriously. I already enjoy sewing. I like a fair challenge. I can keep a secret. Seems like a perfect fit!
The top in this pic is a prime example of pattern testing for a designer. It's the brand-new release from Itch to Stitch and it's definitely a keeper! The pattern is available on the ITS website starting today.
A brief disclaimer: I received a copy of the final pattern in exchange for my testing of this top, but all of my opinions are my own!
The Arenal Top is a sweet and simple sew. It is designed for knits, has a contrast yoke, two sleeve and two bodice options. I'm wearing the 3/4 sleeve, handkerchief high-low hem. This top is very comfortable to wear. It is drafted for a 5' 5" person, I'm almost 5' 9", so I lengthened by 3 inches. I did a slight (1/2") full bust adjustment using this method to give the girls a tad more space and thus keep the front hemline from riding too high. I also elected to deepen the "V" neckline slightly with this version (I made three!) and like that this neckline depth is just right for showcasing a necklace without showing off the cleavage :)
If you're looking for something new to spice things up, or maybe want a simple sew to get your mojo going, I happily recommend the Arenal Top by Itch to Stitch!
I learned to sew at my mother's knee. She helped me understand when to zig zag, how to pin and cut a pattern, the importance of backstitching(!), and much, much more. I have many things to be grateful for in my life, and my mother is at the top of the list.
I've recently begun helping a friend learn to sew. She had no exposure to sewing in her younger years but is very eager to learn now, and to perhaps pass it along to her own kids as well. She is nearly done with her first garment, a pair of cotton capri pants in a bright and cheerful print. As we spend time together with this shared task, I marvel at the joy that something so simple -to me- can bring someone else. Her wide-open beginner's mind, her curiosity, and her willingness to entrust her learning with me are all reminders to me about things that we humans all benefit from: deep curiosity, staying non-judgemental, and trusting the process.
Thank you, Caroline, for the reminder, and for the memories!
Today is about a well-deserved shout out to the wonderful, brilliant women at the Curvy Sewing Collective. When I was first contemplating this dive back into apparel sewing, I traveled far and wide -across the digital globe- to see what resources and support I could find. While there are many wonderful websites with tutorials, blogs, and tips, this is the one site I keep returning to. Again, and again, and again!
So much freely shared knowledge, positivity, and encouragement. All from -and for- women with curves, bumps, and bulges that don't always line up with what the ready to wear clothing market wants to offer us.
I see women of all shapes, sizes, and ages working together to help empower others to own our own brand of beautiful, weather that's in a pencil skirt, t-shirt, or a swim suit. And I see, in the comments left behind, the impact that these gifts of sharing are having on others.
Thank you, CSC. I know that I am stronger and will grow even more along this journey with you beside me!
How times have changed! Barbie has had more face-lifts than Joan Rivers. I've evolved as well, although not as dramatically. But somewhere along the way I lost track of sewing for myself. Sewing has still been an occasional part of life: mend this, repair that, whip up Halloween costumes for kids (and Grands!), some quilting here and there. But nothing just for fun, just for me.
It's time for a change!
I've recently rediscovered sewing for myself. What I want, how I want, when I want. Here's what I've already learned:
1. I want fun, stylish, comfortable things to wear.
2. I want those things to fit well.
3. I want it.....well, all the time! Who doesn't want to look good and feel good in what they wear?
So I'm off on a grand adventure. I'll be sewing whatever catches my interest, altering and adjusting patterns until they barely resemble the original, if needed. (Hint: My StyleArc Stacie Jean Jacket saga - post coming soon!) And I'll be sharing the journey with you. The good, the not-so good, and the downright ugly. Hopefully my own learning journey will inspire you to embark on your own creative journey as well.