Monday, August 19, 2013

UFO Sighting

Inside Out style Hawaiian Shirt

This shirt is older than my 22 year old son, yet I just finished it. How does one end up with 23 year old UFOs?
Way back in 1990,we lived in Southern California. I had a little sewing room and I would put my cut out projects in a little basket on my desk,to keep all of the pieces together until I was ready to sew them. In this basket I had a simple blouse, the Hawaiian shirt and a pink batik sundress for my daughter, then aged 5. But that Spring, Mr.Hunting Creek got a new job in Washington, DC, so we had to move. The mover people came and packed up everything, wrapping our items in copious layers of packing paper, and labeling each box with their own inscrutable codes. .They labeled boxes "Fragil" , "Dinning Room", "Book" and my favorite: "Things". When we arrived in Virginia, sewing was definitely not a priority. Also I had a new job, a five year old, and I was pregnant. The sewing projects box was neglected.
I didn't even have a sewing room. Then I had a new baby, a demanding job and there was no sewing for a while...but I missed it. I had Mr. Hunting Creek find my machine and supplies. I made Christmas Ornaments, sewing on the kitchen table. I made my daughter's First Communion Dress. The little basket of cut projects lay packed in a moving box, forgotten....for years. Fast forward to last year, when finally I had a new, improved sewing room of my own. Not in the basement, not in the kitchen, not sharing the TV Room downstairs but upstairs, next to my office. Mr. Hunting Creek found boxes in the garage full of my old patterns and my basket of projects from 1990. Just cut pattern pieces, no notes as to what pattern it was. At least I had marked the pieces. The 23 Years ago me assumed that I would remember what pattern the pieces were from and use those directions. The 23 years ago me didn't match the pocket. Could I put a shirt together without instructions? I assured Mr. Hunting Creek that when you've made one shirt, you've made them all. You know what? That's actually true.
This shirt, and the following one, count against my goals this year of both Sew a Hawaiian Shirt and Finish Something. A twofer! 
Surfer Girl Shirt

Surfer Girl Shirt sighting in the Wild
Here is a recap of my yearly goals so far:
January: Sew a scrap quilt - done!
February: Make something out of silk - done
March: Use a  border print - in progress, lost buttons, so need new ones
April: Sew a Hawaiian shirt - done - made THREE
May: Make something formal - totally flaked out on this due to lack of formal occasions
June: Make pajamas- done - made two for me, two for Mr.Hunting Creek July: Make T shirts - they are cut out but not sewn, got distracted by non-sewing life
August: Make a Baby quilt - in progress. The baby is born, so I have to finish the quilting part by the end of this month
September: Finish something -hooray! Two unfinished projects shown above, FINISHED
October: Use a Vintage pattern
November:Use a new pattern

December: Make a Holiday decoration

Seven out of nine isn't bad. I still have some August left and I already did September's. I'd like to finish the year having completed ALL of these.

What UFOs lurk in your sewing life? Does it feel like they will never be finished? Do you need to declare UFO bankruptcy and start over? Are you the kind of person who doesn't even have UFOs?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Perchance to Dream

Our friends at Simplicity think that we are either getting very sleepy or that all that we require for our fall wardrobe sewing projects are Pajamas. Twelve Pajama Patterns!
I blame myself. Earlier this year I made a list of sewing projects, and one of my projects was Make Pajamas Simplicity must have  misunderstood and thought that I wanted to make nothing BUT pajamas. Of course, with the world becoming much more casual, Simplicity might think that pajamas are all we need.
It is a little known fact among sewists that you do not really even need a pajama pattern at all. Anything can be pajamas. Basically they are nothing more than loosely fitting pants, a T shirt top or a basic shirt. My kids wear their pajamas all the time when they are home. I've seen teenagers wearing them to school, and my daughter reported seeing people, both men and women, wearing them around campus when she was in college.
I hate to buy pajamas because they are so easy to make, but I seldom make them because they are so simple that they are boring. Therefore my existing pajamas had become somewhat threadbare. I've made three pairs this summer, two for Mr. Hunting Creek ( I had to surreptitiously seize and destroy some of his old ones) and one for myself. I dd not use an official Pajama Pattern; instead, I used an elastic waist pants pattern that I designated Pajamas, by virtue of using classic car fabric for Mr. Hunting Creek and a pretty paisley cotton print for mine.They are are boring to make, yet so amazingly useful.Like the potholders, lap quilts and pillowcases I sometimes make, these get used all the time. (there's a message there somewhere about utilitarian sewing,but I am willfully ignoring it. I like to have fun in the sewing room. I like a challenge. Pajamas are not remotely challenging to make .Not even silk ones.)
So why did did Simplicity make the majority of their fall patterns "loungewear"?
Is it because many new sewists don't really know how to sew anything more complicated? Are they dumbing down their offerings? Do they think that all we want to make for fall is sleepwear?
If I could tell them what I'd like, my fantasy sewing list would include a chic winter coat, a stylish jacket, cute, different t shirts that remind me of the stuff at Anthropologie and J Crew, a dress or two and a nice men's shirt and pants pattern. Is that too much to ask?
Instead all I get is pajamas..Thank goodness for Independent Designers.
What would be on your fantasy sewing list, if you could have any pattern you wanted? I'm betting it's not pajamas.