Friday, July 25, 2014

Ready to Throw in the Towel and Very Discouraged

One of the purposed of starting this blog was to if only to track my journey back into sewing.  Many things have changed and maybe I haven't given it enough time.  It just seems like I have more flops than successful pieces that I'm excited about.  When I use to sew years ago late 70s and early 80s, I don't ever remember having to sew a muslin.  The only changes I had to make pattern wise was just the length, patterns just seemed to fit.  Now, it seems like a guessing game even after looking at the measurements on the patterns.  It could also be a body shape issue as well, the ole gray mare ain't what she use to be, and have a few extra pounds and no longer the size 4.  It just frustrates me that not only am I wasting material, but I have also spent alot of time sewing something that has to be altered and altered.  By time I get the muslin made, I am not in the sewing mood any more.  I have a huge stash of fabric, and patterns, but I am questioning myself....do I really want to continue to sew or just throw in the towel?  I can't get back into the groove of sewing....frustrated and just venting...

12 comments:

  1. Oh my. I would say, please don't give up. I think that it is worth the time and effort. Try looking at it as education, with each piece you learn a little something new.

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  2. Oh my again, please don't quit. I feel you, and KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH. I've given this thing a lot of thought and I really think that #1, patterns are just not drafted they way they use to be when we use to sew in the 70's and 80's. I might be wrong about this observation as I have no scientific theory about the difference in drafting them and now, but I strongly feel that there is a difference. Secondly, as much as I hate to admit it, my body has changed, and that definitely makes a difference in sewing too. That is why I am a true muslin maker - even though it is a time consuming process, I can truly say that I've had more successes because of it. Of course I'd like to pick up a pattern and cut right into my fashion fabric (who wouldn't), but for me most of the time that is just not going to happen.
    I've sewn less this summer than ever before because I just can't seem to make up my mind what to sew. I need to get on the ball here. I love having new clothes and sewing is just the best way for me to have the quantity and quality that I want. Please don't give up, all those patterns in your stash equals so many unlimited possibilities.

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  3. You, my friend, need a quick win. Whenever I start to feel this way I make something insanely easy that I wear the heck out of. My go to now is McCall's 6654 - ponte pencil skirt with elastic waist. Find something really easy, and rock the heck out of it. I now have three of these and they get worn all the time, AND I feel totally sassy and accomplished.

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  4. I'm feeling you, hon. I'm in the same boat. I have a pattern, fabric and notion stash that would rival Joann's. I recently completed a black princess seamed bridesmaid dress that was 95% perfection. I was floating when I completed it. Yesterday I made my daughter a simple elastic waist maxi skirt and couldn't get the hem or waist right. I was so frustrated. I said to myself, why do I waste my time? OMG, our sewing history is similar.Late 70's, early 80's, I was a sewing sensation--sewing for myself and others. Thirty years later, I'm struggling with basics. I'm so close and so are you. Don't give up. I read somewhere a famous designer quote (paraphrased) "you will ruin a lot of fabric on your sewing journey". That is not a comforting statement but it is a true statement. I read a lot of sewing blogs and one thing I've learned is use your level of comfort and sewing knowledge to select your fabric. I don't use expensive fabric--even though most advanced sewists argue this point. I'm still in the wearable muslin phase. If it works out, score, if it doesn't, I try to see it as a lesson learned. I'm most likely to create a wadder when I am tired or trying to rush through, being careless. Go back to the simple, You Tube Videos, Craftsy Classes, online tutorials. I stumbled upon this website which was really helpful for me to refresh myself on the basics. http://sewingvideos.byu.edu

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  5. I agree, a quick fix to lift the sewing mood is needed - something maybe that you know works. I think Faye has said it all - I found that the old patterns seemed to work but maybe also that was youth: thinking I looked great just because I had made something funky I think RTW styles have something to do with poor drafting - people wanted things that looked RTW, and RTW is not cut well, and is often poorly shaped. So I wonder if this is another reason patterns are as they are nowadays. I muslin most things - sometimes in old sheets (I buy these from thrift stores), sometimes in fabrics I have stashed that I don't like. If they are not perfect, I wear them around the house,better than old worn out RTW. And sometimes I use cheap fabrics so not so much is lost. Small steps and slowly you will get there...

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  6. Oh please don't throw in the towel. What the others have suggested with a quick, easy, fun sew is maybe what you need. I'm a new garment sewer for myself and it gets oh-so-frustrating at times but when I analyze what I want for a hobby, this fits the bill. Also, maybe switch out your sewing projects? For instance, I'm needing to take a little break from garment sewing, so I'm starting a baby quilt to work on an easy piecing/quilting project. I enjoy seeing what you make and hope you're soon on the way to good sewing again.
    P.S. Have you ever thought of making your garment with long basting stitches, instead of a muslin? You could tweak it here and there and voila!, it would be your finished garment after all.

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  7. So many of us have been where you are! I used to sew a size 10 and go. But that was when I was in high school. Either it fit well, or I didn't know any better, and thought it fit well............today...40 years later...doesn't go that smooth. The 'ol body ain't what it used to be. Hang in there! Please don't give up.

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  8. I agree with everyone about you not quitting. One suggestion might be to look on the back of the pattern for the finished bust and hip measurements or on the front pattern piece. Also, I would suggest using a RTW garment that fits well and lay the pattern pieces on top for sizing. Start with something simple like a A-line dress or Tee. Happy sewing!

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  9. Work on one thing...and get that one thing fitted. Start with a muslin, sure, but then you can move on to wearable iterations that, while not perfect, will still be better than what you can buy off the rack. Once you get a TNT (tried-n-true) pattern, you've got something golden and can make it up whenever you want. Then you can start on a second garment. It'll take some resolve not to cut and run to a cute complicated untried popular pattern, but if you stick to basics for a season you'll catch on to the ins and outs of fitting while you're getting yourself some wearable things. Then, when you move on, you can start by comparing the new garments to the ones you've fitted, and you'll learn what your 'standard' set of alterations is and you'll make them quickly.

    It's a learning curve, but if you hang in there and don't give up you'll be able to make what you want and it will fit. Just take it one step at a time and don't give up because you're not where you want to be...yet. ;-)

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  10. This is sooooo off topic, but I could find no way to respond to one of your comments you left on my blog about the Road to Oklahoma quilt I am making. I've copied and pasted my reply here for you. Thank you for leaving such a nice, encouraging comment and it's nice to know we have a connection of Oklahoma roots.

    My mother was born and raised in the Sapulpa area.... (a little town near Tulsa for those not familiar with Oklahoma geography) and she was about the only one in her family to leave Oklahoma when she and my dad married, thus the reason I was born and raised in Alabama, though now live in South Carolina. I recall many many happy times visiting my Oklahoma side of the family during all my childhood years. We would sometimes spend a month of the summer's out there. My husband's son and his wife are in Oklahoma City, so that's a neat connection now too. My cousin, who this quilt will be for, is around Sand Springs. If you click http://pieceworktreasures.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-road-to-oklahoma.html you will see a couple of old Oklahoma photos of my grandparents and I wrote a little more about the history. You might also be interested to know the block I am using for this quilt is called 'Road to Oklahoma' and dates to the mid-1800s. At that link I also included links to more historical information about this particular quilt block. It seems our world is small and connected in so many ways!

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    Replies
    1. It such a small world how lives are woven together. I do know where Sapulpa is. Like you have so many sweet memories of summer and holidays spent with family. Most of my family now is in Sulphur, OK.. But my grandmother Gladys, who recently passed away lived in Lamont, Ok which is close to Enid (well I guess its about 30 miles away.

      I love the Road to Okla quilt, and oh my the colors are so perfect for the story. The green trees, and the red clay dirt. You have done a brilliant job and what a treasure for your cousin. The history make you feel like the reader is part of your family.

      My Grandma Gladys who just passed away gave me two quilts about 10 years ago, ones that she hand qullted, she added batting and the back, but was done by machine. I still need to have the edges bound if I can find someone local and can do a fantastic job. On of the quilts she won 1st prize at the County fair when she was 11.

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    2. You have priceless treasure in your grandmother's quilts!!! A tangible connection to her always and for generations to come. With your sewing expertise, you could do the binding. I'm new to quilting too, but found a great video that I paused and watched frame-by-frame when binding my first quilt for a charity children's home in Alabama. It turned out great. I'll be using the same techniques on this one too. All the links and info are here:

      http://pieceworktreasures.blogspot.com/2013/12/alabama-quilt-complete.html

      I tried the technique out on a couple of samples to get the hang of it first. Seriously, you can do this. Then your story would come full-circle of how you completed your grandmother's quilts. I'd love to see what you decide to do!

      We're leaving for Oklahoma next week and I am SO looking forward to seeing everybody!! Haven't been back in many, many years. Thank you so much for your kind words about my quilt. It has been a labor of love..... though I am ready to get back to a little garment sewing too. Have a good day!

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