Confessions of a Craft Hoarder

I’m a craft hoarder. It’s true. I collect spindles, fabrics, yarns, needles, fiber…you name it, and I probably have a collection of it. I’ve been trying really hard to curb my hoarding tendencies but honestly, it’s not working. So, I thought I would share them instead.  That makes it more acceptable, right?  Look!  I ordered some new patterns!

First up – shirts! I don’t sew many shirts, but I’m not too fond of most of the shirts I buy, so I figured a few patterns were in order.

Then I thought I should make a jacket or two.  Again, not thrilled with the jackets I own.  Either too tight in the arms or in a material I no longer want to wear.  These could look very conservative so I’ll need to be careful with fabrics and detailing.

And Oh My!  a fitting shell.  My Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing suggests it, but I haven’t been able to find one for sale for the past year.  I bought one in a 14 for my torso and a 22 for my lower body.  Should be very illuminating and help with fitted dresses!

In anticipation for all the perfect fitting I would now be cranking out, I figured I’d need some more fitted dresses.  You know, cuz I have no fitted patterns already.  Sigh.  The starburst dress is at least for knits, so that’s a little different.

And then I bought some frou-frou patterns.  I have no idea where I’ll wear these dresses, but I really want to make them, so maybe I’ll go grocery shopping in them or translate Latin in them.  You know, glamorous stuff.

And no pattern purchase would be complete without vintage numbers!  These were too gorgeous not to buy.  And now that I have an idea of how to make a circular, dirndl skirt, I don’t even really have to bother with the lower portion of the first of these.  Only the bodice.  Woohoo!

And this one I bought for the shirt in the bottom corner.  I mean, look at it!

So there you are.  I’m now up to 60 sewing patterns.  I’ll gradually reveal all my collections and additions to them.  Hope this made you feel a little better about whatever hoarding you do 🙂

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Confidence Gathering

When someone first begins sewing clothing, they’ll likely start with an easy pattern.  Something simple with a few pieces, little to no fitting, and gathers.  If you’re learning to sew on your own without the help of YouTube or a live human being, however, gathers can be a source of frustration and confusion.

“Why can’t I get these gathers to look decent?  Ack!”  What should take you two hours has now taken several, because you just can’t figure out how to do it well.  It’s bunched up over here, flat over there.  And then your thread breaks, and you toss the whole mess out of your line of sight.  Ask me how I know?

Everyone tells you gathers are so much easier than tucks or darts, but after a few more projects, darts are practically your BFF and tucks have saved a sleeve cap or two.  Gathers, however, still strike fear.

Confession time.  I have modified not a few patterns to avoid gathers.  But I decided that as a 1-year old seamstress, it was time to master this beast.  Of course, I took to my newest sewing guru to find tips.  Gertie never disappoints.

The Cord-Method basically eliminates the thread issue and gives way more control in the gathering process.  The whole method involves zig-zagging a wide stitch over a thicker piece of crochet cotton or cording.  You then pull on each end of the cording to gather the edge to the desired width.  You slide the fabric along the cording as necessary.  Everyone says it’s magical.  And it is, sort of.

The trouble I had my first go-round was keeping the crochet cotton in the right place.  It wanted to migrate, and so did the fabric underneath.  I didn’t pin it, so perhaps it was my own fault.  On 4-5 occasions, I sewing over the crochet cotton!  I was trying so hard to steer the cotton in the right direction, but it had a mind of its own.  So, I stopped sewing, pulled the errant threads from the cotton, and repositioned my edge.  It was annoying to say the least.  I had my machine on its widest setting.  I was also sewing really slowly, so I’m not sure what else I can do.  If I’d had two sections instead of 4, it probably would have been much more successful.  That said, it wasn’t half bad!

Stay tuned for pictures of the finished skirt!

Moody Lace

Sadly, I fell victim last week to an email blast sent from MOOD.  It was an innocent enough suggestion to look at some new laces.  Laces?  I don’t have a clue how to sew with lace fabric.  But what could it hurt to take a gander?  6 swatches later, my checking account is wishing I had just deleted that email.

Behold:

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Swatch #1 (FC3309) and Swatch #2 (FP22186C)

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Swatch #3 (FC21709) and Swatch #4 (FS22611C)

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Swatch #5 (FP22299C) and Swatch #6 (FP22208C)

The only one that is a little weird is #6, because it kind of had a 3D shaggy lace thing going on, but I still heart it big time.  I could buy all six of these, but really, I should not do this.

I’m thinking I will underline them to give them some structure, one in black and one in another color.  I also kind of want to make bodices out of some and then add plain skirts…Sigh.  Help me, internets!  Which are your favorites?

Well Look-y Here!

Howdy!  I’ve been recovering from my first year of high school teaching by doing almost nothing crafty.  I’ve been hanging out with friends, seeing movies, tutoring a student, dating a smidge, and that hasn’t left much time to organize my disaster space.  I’m an organizer.  I need order in my home to be productive, and since moving back from school, there has been very little order 😦  I need to buy things to put things in and hang things on and that stresses me the heck out.  I tried to ignore it and avoided doing things at home…like sew.  Then I realized crafting would help the insanity.  So I moved all my boxes to the floor whence they came, and got down to business!  I’ll have an FO post for you soon an I’m starting another project as soon as I hit publish!  Summertime, and the living CAN BE easy!

In case you’re wondering what my craft space looked like…here you go.  Shudder.

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My First Dining Room Table

Towards the end of Fall Term last year, I was having a difficult time.  My job was making me unhappy and I was dating someone inherently wrong for me.  No matter how hard I tried, nothing made things better, until I convinced a little old man to let me make a teeny tiny dining room table at the school wood shop.  I would sneak away for an hour or two and lose myself in the sawdust and sandpaper.  Today, I am happy as a single girl, contracted to join an amazing school in the city, and just a week’s worth of work away from having my first piece of handcrafted furniture.  Amazing what creating things with your hands can do for your psyche!

I apologize in advance for the picture heavy post.  Just wait until I finish it!

Sniff, sniff

On this, the 16th day of May, I fell off the MMM wagon.  And I fell off due to brain fart, not due to lack of clothing.  I only had to teach one class today, so rather than waste the outfit, I decided to wait and wear something different after school.  I forgot, and instead put on my yoga outfit, which is decidedly not me-made.  Sadface.  I suppose I should be happy that I made it 15 days in a row, and I will jump back on tomorrow with a dress I finished before class this morning.  O, the irony…

3rd Times the Charm!

MMM: Week 2

It was a crazy freaking week last week, and honestly, I cannot recall what all I wore every day.  I do know that I repeated some things, but I also wore my cream, pink, and brown NL6803, a blue and black pencil skirt I finished, a green and black pencil skirt, the blue and green pantaloons, and my V8469 dress (below).  So in 6 or 7 days, I wore 6 new things!  I finished a black Sorbetto, and am feverishly trying to finish more things so I don’t have to repeat quite so often.  It’s getting tougher!

How are you doing?