Somehow, March always ends up being my busiest month. And to prove it, I haven’t done much sewing at all. But I’m committed to keeping up with the Make a Garment a Month challenge, so even though there’s only a week left in the month, I’m still planning to whip something up. I had initially planned to try a slightly more challenging pattern for this month, but the fact that there’s only a week left in the month tells me that I need to keep things simple. So my revised plan is to make Maria of Denmark’s Day to Night Drape top, although I’m planning to add some sleeves since I think I’ll get more wear out of it that way. I’ve read that people have had good luck using the sleeves from the same designer’s Brigitte tee pattern, so that’s probably what I’ll do. I’m planning to use some burgundy slub knit jersey fabric from Girl Charlee to make this up–it’s a cotton rayon jersey blend that’s a bit more purple than it appears in this (crappy phone) photo.
Even though I haven’t been doing much sewing, I’ve definitely had sewing on the brain. Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated over the weekend with a little shopping spree at JoAnn Fabrics, where I picked up a bit of fabric for an upcoming project, as well as a bunch of sewing and pressing tools that I’ve been wanting for a while. So now I am the happy owner of a tailor’s ham, a seam roll, a set of bias tape makers, some new marking tools, a clear quilting ruler and a new pair of bent-tip embroidery scissors. Unfortunately, JoAnn’s was beset by a huge group of nasal-talking sorority sisters who were buying lots of satin and tulle and ribbon for some sort of mystery event. They were ridiculously annoying–young people traveling in groups have a way of losing all sense of consciousness about what/who is around them–and they kept giving the ladies at the cutting table instructions like, “Measure her head. That’s how much we need.” I was relieved to see that none of them were my past or present students. Still, I’m really pleased to have a tailor’s ham, so it was worth it.
I also picked up a copy of Christine Haynes’s new book The Photo Guide to Clothing Construction. I’ve seen a lot of reviewers say that this is a book they wished they had when they started sewing, which made me think that this book is exactly what I need. When Craftsy had a big sale on classes a week or two ago, I also bought Gail Yellen’s 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know. I haven’t been able to dig into the book yet, but I have watched a few of the Craftsy class videos, and I’m totally in love. It makes such a big difference as a new, self-taught sewer to actually see a clear and accessible teacher demonstrating good techniques. Gail Yellen is the kind of person who is a proponent of taking a bit of extra time to do things right, which is what I’m all about. (Unless it’s something stupid, in which case I think you should totally rush through it. There’s no reason to give your all to washing the dishes—they’re just going to get dirty again.)
I hear so many seamstresses gush about fabric and while I certainly like shopping for fabric, it’s really sewing tools and reference books that make me geek out. I have to keep reminding myself that my skills don’t require owning a sleeve board or a bunch of books about tailoring just yet. But I’m going to get there!