Friday, January 17, 2014

Stash Busting and TNT's (Tried and Trues)

I have spent the first two weeks of 2014 contemplating my very large stash of fabric. I can't even remember how I acquired all of it, well mostly I can. Its called working graveyard shift and being the first to receive sales flyers in my inbox. For the record, buying fabric does not replace talk therapy and anti-depressants, just so you know.

Though, I can't deny the tactile pleasures that come with a new box of fabrics. I'm sure if I did some digging there's be research on a small endorphin rush that temporarily satisfies the mind and body. But I'm totally feeling lazy so lets just pretend I might know what I'm talking about, k? 

But what I wanted to talk about is actually sewing up all this fabric using Tried and True patterns (TNT - patterns that have already been fitted and can be made up again and again. The Hawthorn being one of my example). It was after reading Cation Design's post about continuing the stash busting into 2014 that I sat down and made a list of all the patterns I've done the work for and will probably make again. I was kind of surprised at the list. Here they are in no particular order.

Current TNT Patterns:

Simplicity 2369 Wrap Dress
Lady Skater (and a million variations)
Vogue 8747 Princess Seam Blouse
New Look 6564 cropped jacket/bolero
Vogue 8701 raglan sleeve dress 
Vogue 8679 raglan sleeve knit sheath dress and a-line skirt

Wow, that's actually a lot now that I think about it. I mean, that's what I thought to myself after writing it all down. But I also decided there were several gaps to fill in and made another list of patterns I WANT to become TNT's. 

TNT's To Be:

Which, looking at it on screen instead of my Sewisit's Notebook (Thank you Dad!) its seems like a way bigger list to tackle. I think I'm going to focus on separate for a bit. Those being Jasmine and Thurlows first. 

And here's the thing, the majority of my stash was bought with one of the above patterns in mind already, with several one off statement pieces on the back burner. Some of them have been on this back burner for years, waiting for me to level up my skills, I may not have been prolific but I certainly had a lot of DING! moments (gamer humor, i can never escape it).

I, ladykatza, in an effort to be frugal with my purchases pledge to sew with stash fabrics at least 85% of the time. I shall continue to expand my TNT pattern selection as well as use existing ones thoughtfully to make a more cohesive and functional wardrobe. 

I also want to get back to writing process posts on my works in progress so as to help other sewists along in their journey to a self-made custom wardrobe that will make them happy.  Oh, and be better about replying to comments. I LOVE COMMENTS. Seriously, I read all of them. I want to get better at keeping up with other sewcialists as well.

So, what patterns do you have that you want to make into TNT's or are already TNT's. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Take care and have a wonderful day!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 - A Review

I've been meaning to write a year-end post for weeks now but I never had both time and energy at the same time. And since I tend to be contrary I'm only going to kinda follow the format for this. There's been a lot of things on my mind, things I haven't quite figured out how to share. I lost my stride in blogging this year because I found I didn't have the energy for the type of photography I felt I needed to keep up, which made Carolyn of "Diary of a Sewing Fanatic" post so very timely. Most of the time all I have of my makes are selfies on instagram. Speaking of, she follows me on Instagram and I'm always psyched when she comments. I love her corporate style of sewing, I tend to lean that way too but I have more artistic leeway being in the IT world. So put her on my Inspiration list.

Another of my early inspirations rose from the ashes like a phoenix and gave us this post. I can't tell you how much I've missed Miss Snug Bug and her ingenious writing. Even now while she goes through one of life's tougher lemons. This gives me one more person to visit in Nashville which I hope to do this year.

And there are so many more that have become special to me. Oona and Tanit-Isis have been there since the beginning cheering me on. The last year I started Twitter and Instagram and the sewcialists were born and through that endeavor I now have Leila, Katie, Gillian, Heather B, and Joost, just to name a few. Much like the friends I made years ago through the Neil Gaiman fans I found another wonderful little corner of the Internet that is full of beautiful people in thoughts and actions.

Speaking of tough lemons (I know, bad segue here, just go with my stream of thought, k?), 2013 was all about getting myself back together. I know I did a video blog about chronic pain and depression and your response was so unexpected and supportive. These things are slowly getting better and more manageable,
setting hard boundaries of what I can and cannot do and expectations has helped a lot. I've had to learn to say no even when its someone I love to bits. I've lost friends, reconnected with lost ones, and made new ones, and have the sort of steadfast understanding relationships that weather all storms. I'm watching in amazement as my children grow into adults, I cringe as they make mistakes, I get angry, I laugh, I cry, I sigh in exasperation, but most of all I just love them.

And my husband, who is always there, I love you.

When it comes to sewing this year I didn't have a very high output but just about everything I made and loved was something that was a challenge. I made a button down blouse, a cropped jacket, a shirt waist, plackets, hacked patterns into something I want, and a coat!  And lots of other quick projects that I never got around to officially blogging, so for the interlude of this post I will deluge you with selfies.

Wow, that was a lot. 12 months worth of photos, and not all of them the most flattering. I can see where I started to lose weight when I had to take gluten out of my diet and then gain it back after a series of steroid injections into my spine, that was kind of a blow to my confidence. But, its still forward. I started walking again, and yoga and my basic core strengthening exercises. The key is to not give up.

And you can see the evolution of my hair color.

In this coming year I want to sew more from my stash. I want to make jeans, a trench coat, twin set suit, a ball gown, and a pants suit (lightly tailored). I'm sure there will be easy projects in between, and of course, sewing for the kids.

I also want to work on more resources for the website. And meet some in real life. I have a cruise in May for a close friend's wedding. We're all looking forward to it.

And I'm looking forward to getting to know you better and I have so many thoughts and ideas to share with you. Life is rarely predictable or easy but at least its never boring. All of time and space is just behind this door, who wants to come along for the ride?