I haven’t felt like sewing much these past few weeks. I got into a funk and can’t get out of it. I have a lot of projects I want to try, but no energy to get started.
What to do?
Here are some ways I have passed the time while I wait for inspiration to return:
- Unpick It!
I made this Jalie Drop-Pocket Cardigan last January as an entry for the first round of the PatternReview Sewing Bee.
I had earmarked the linen knit for the cardigan, so the contest fit my plans well (although it would be months before the weather was warm enough to wear it. But to ensure I got past the first round of the contest, I needed to bling the thing up a bit. So I did some split-stitch embroidery and bead work in the shape of a coral branch.
While it coordinated with the RTW dress and fit the “coral” theme of the contest, I didn’t love this. For one thing, it was heavy and tended to drag the pockets down. For another, it was an awkward color to coordinate with … pretty much my whole wardrobe.
So one night I turned on a Project Runway rerun and got to unpicking it:
The job left a couple of small holes and snags:
But they mostly pressed out or were easily repaired.
Close inspection betrays a few goofs but who’s going to look that hard (except me, of course). I feel like I got a whole new garment for almost nothing!
2. Organize it!
I keep my fabric stash pretty well organized – I pin a note about the yardage, fiber content and weave on each piece and catalog it all in a photo album. My scraps are another matter. I have been throwing them into a wicker hamper for a while. Time to go through it!
I decided to only keep pieces that were big enough to make a pocket out of. That may sound arbitrary, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I just can’t get too precious with a bunch of odd pieces and little bits of things. I am recycling the rest.
I also organized my pins, separating the fine pins from the regular ones, and throwing out any that were rusty, dulled or bent. Any that seemed salvageable took a couple of trips through the little strawberry-shaped sharpener on my pincushion.
Yes, my friends, that’s what the little strawberry is for! It’s not just a pal for the fat ol’ tomato. It has some grit in it that can file off little burrs and bits of rust on pins and needles. Try it!
Quite a few didn’t pass inspection! I realized I needed new pins.
Since was buying pins, I figured I might as well inventory other notions in stash. I was all set for needles and buttons. I needed more black lightweight interfacing, clear elastic and basic 1-inch elastic. I got a little shopping list started.
Finally, I took inventory of my zippers. I have some real oddballs in here. “Find a use for your weirdest stash zipper” would be fun challenge. As it is, I have a pretty good selection of basics that I bought cheap from a secondhand store a few years ago. Maybe someday the bronze zipper with the purple tape will inspire me. Until then, it can keep the ordinary zippers company.
3. Take Stock from the Season
Summer’s O-V-E-R. And I realized I needed to say goodbye to some summer clothes – me-mades as well as RTW – that were pretty worn out. So long, my pretties! Anything decent I donated to Goodwill.
While I was at it, I asked my husband if he had anything to donate and he came back with a giant pile. So I made a big trip to the donation center.
4. Reap It!
A few things unsuitable for donation were going to be thrown out. This bra for instance:
Then I realized that the sliders, hooks and other findings were perfectly fine! A minute with the scissors and I had a good start on a new bra kit:
I also cut buttons off a few of my husband’s old dress shirts and harvested a drawstring from a pair of old sweatpants. The textiles themselves will be recycled.
5. Clean Up!
Finally, I gave my whole sewing room a thorough cleaning. It looks pretty good, right?
I am hoping to get inspired to sew again this weekend. I needed to finish a project and get started on a birthday gift for my mother (her birthday is in December). I also really want to get started on a winter sewing plan. I feel that these things are more doable when I have a clean, organized space to work in.
Finally, about my sewing funk… I went to a sewing retreat a few weeks back and I had a terrible time. The event itself was an action-packed, high-quality experience, and I am happy with the project I (almost) finished, but I found it very stressful. It was very much “not for me.” But I learned a lot about myself. Maybe I will write about it someday.