Promise to Sew

As the editor of Stitch, I have the incredible pleasure of working on a publication that celebrates my passion for sewing. If there has been any downside at all, it’s that I’m often working on the magazine when I want to actually be sewing. And being the Type A person that I am, I’ve been bound and determined to do both.

Thoroughly inspired by Nicola Prested’s mission for her Wardrobe Refashion, which challenges participants to commit to sewing or refashioning clothes instead of buying new (see Nicola’s essay in Stitch Spring 2010), I made a New Year’s resolution to make or refashion all my clothing for this entire year. Now, I know what you’re thinking–a year of sewing all my own clothes is a huge commitment. And just for the record, I love to shop and I love clothes! But I was excited by the challenge of really making time for sewing every week, plus pushing myself to be more creative and daring with my projects.

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Now I’m halfway through my year of sewing. How am I doing? Pretty good, actually. I’ve been obsessed with making dresses, so now I have a closet full of them. And I’ve been improving and learning new sewing techniques along the way. I can’t wait to get to my sewing machine every weekend. If I want something for a special occasion, I make it. It takes discipline, for sure, but it’s been so empowering and creative.

And what about shopping? Okay, I confess that I had one weak moment and bought one dress (darn that Boden catalog showing up in my mailbox!). But that’s the only clothing purchase I’ve made in six months–not bad, considering the shopping therapy I used to engage in every weekend. I’ve found that shopping for sewing fabric is just as much fun, and possibly even more addictive!

So what’s on my sewing goal list for the summer? First, I’ve become obsessed with sewing with knits and jersey fabric. See this yummy stack of cotton, silk, and bamboo jersey knit fabric on my sewing table, above? We have a date to create draped dresses and tops, inspired by my current favorite Japanese sewing book, Drape Drape (for additional sources for Japanese sewing books and blogs, see the “I Heart Japan” article in Stitch Fall 2009). I’ll be spending summer days draping my dress form and making muslins. (When sewing with knits and jersey, by the way, I use a ball-point needle, baste seams first, and then sew with a stretch stitch–usually a zigzag with a short stitch length–or a serger.)

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Second, I plan to spice up some items from my closet and do some refashioning. This is the perfect spring cleaning activity. I’m taking items that have great fabric or fun design details, but don’t fit well or seem a bit outdated, and giving them a makeover.

So that’s what’s on the docket for me over the next few months. In my next post, I promise to show some works in progress. Meanwhile, let me know your summer sewing plans in the comment thread, along with anything you’d like to see in future issues of Stitch. I would love to hear from you!

Tricia Waddell

Stitch Editor-in-Chief

 

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