Shift the balance

Although both bowls appear empty, there is an absence of balance.

The inertia required to get anything off the ground carries a weight we can not see. For it is measured in the hours given to work, the plans that support the transition and the determination of the worthy soul charging endlessly forward. I’m quick to recognize the blessings of this work even though the scale seems ill-weighted for the time being.

Sewing makes me happy and there is only so much personal sewing I can accomplish. The repetition of making multiples of the same item in assembly line format truly satisfies my yearning for tangible results as so much of what I have done for real jobs leaves me with little to physically hold/claim. I like that I am finding a rhythm of working to the hum of my machines and the positive energy it builds in my spirit.
But while the scale tips to the side of work more, serve more, my inner summer child screams, “Play! Keep it for yourself.”  So the part of me that says, go ahead buy that new pattern and fabric wins, but also loses since my personal  sewing time is limited. It makes the #sewallthethings tag make perfect sense. I’m trying to work on one personal project at a time, and so choosing is difficult.

Luckily, I handed off another big order of yoga shorts for delivery to a studio yesterday and have only enough fabric on hand to make five more pairs. Say hello to some selfish sewing time until I reorder fabric and get numbers on the next studio orders! I’m also challenging myself to find uses for the scrap from the yoga shorts since it is a cozy cotton/lycra. My brainstorm includes: underwear, colorblocking panels, applique samples, and creative piecing as I design some modest yet feminine yoga tops/shorts.

I wish I had two of me: one to go to the real-world job and one to dedicate to getting my Lamplighter Stitch Co. off the ground. But as I can not split myself, I’ll work longer and with perseverance until that precious shift becomes possible. I’m thankful to finally recognize what I want to do, as the path feels easier now because the map is no longer obscured.

How do you balance your dreams and ambitions in the midst of the real-world grind? 


Duck, duck, goose! Or choosing a new fabric to sew

Looking back on what I’ve sewn since 2008 I’ve noticed a shift. Quilting cotton was a starter fabric. I didn’t know where to source anything so turned to ebay quite often and I began to teach myself by copying RTW. I wanted to use knit fabric, but didn’t know what to do.  Once the indie sewing world showed me the way, I’ve been on a kick of knit sewing for two years or longer. 

When I could find apparel fabric  goodies like suiting from NOLA, swim fabric, rayon, etc. I would be consumed by fear of messing up. Gradually I learned what different fabric thicknesses are suitable for in terms of sewing for, finishing techniques, opportunities to use different machine feet.

All this is to say I bought two fabrics I haven’t sewn with before and can’t wait to stitch them up! And continue to explore what works for my wardrobe, my body & the Texas summer swelter.

Charleston dress (jumping on that bandwagon) in Nicole Miller scuba.

And a stretch sateen or twill to make another Alberta Street, or something else? Ultimate trousers?

Also a challenge to myself to muslin. Keep sewing, keep learning.

Here’s to a new dress this week, somewhere between the real job, teaching yoga and sewing up orders for men’s yoga shorts.

Comment with how you learned to dive into using different fabrics?

Begin to finish

(Or keep the end in mind.) 

Confession: I added a third machine to my sewing desk. Its a coverstitch and I’m equally psyched and intimidated. Just this morning I finished the hem of a dress I made last summer before darting out the door for work in said dress.

Psyched because now I can make all the things and professionally finish them. This is good. This is very good.

Intimidated because now I must finish things. I am that lady, the one who wears handmades that are missing a finishing touch or two. Perhaps in my rush to sew with knits, I told myself it doesn’t matter because it can’t unravel or fray. Perhaps in my frenzy of knit sewing immersion (and subsequent unfinished projects) I just got lazy. So I am intimidated to bring my sewing chops back up to the level where I’m exhilerated to stay up late and follow all the pattern steps to produce an amazing new piece of clothing just for me.

Honestly, I miss that component in my sewing these days. I think I have too many half-finished things and in doing so created doubt that I can finish a garment from start to finish. The challenge I now present to myself is to finish these abandoned projects and complete a garment per week over the summer. (In addition to sewing orders for Lobo MPY shorts.)

The Lobo MPY shorts were the driving point behind my Memorial Day Sale splurge to buy the coverstitch. It feels good to collaborate on this venture with my yoga teacher. I have about 20 pairs to get out the door before a fabric reorder. But at my heart, I still want to be a selfish sewcialist. 

I need a return to sewing with woven fabrics and crisp stitches, but I also need to wrap up a Nettie, a Nautilus, a Lark and a Mississippi Ave top and Prefontaine shorts.

Wish me luck!