When May 2020 ended and June began, I floated for a few days not knowing which direction this blog would continue in. #Memademay2020 had anchored me very strongly with posting almost daily most of the makes that I’ve sewn since I started 2 years ago. It was a way for me to share my handmade wardrobe that I’ve been building slowly but steadily. While going through each piece and writing about it, it was my way of thanking the various pattern designers that have provided me an important starting point to launch off into this creative adventure.
In addition, I discovered that each garment had its own story to tell. And the sharing of these stories in this blog was an important step in the creative process for me that brought each project to its completion. Sewing as a craft is a very fulfilling endeavour for me, but at the same time I found that as a closet sewer, it was also quite an isolating or “isewlating” activity. Most of the time, my excitement and discoveries of the craft remain secrets that only my machine could empathise with. My friends and family showed love, encouragement, and support for my makes, but none of them really wanted to hear all the nerdy, technical jargon related to sewing. They are impressed that I made a shirt with a collar, but none of them can fully appreciate the exhilaration I felt when I found the best method for turning out the pointy ends of the collar.
There must be a community out there that shares my strong affection for what needle and thread can do. And that’s how I decided to reach out and take my makes out of the closet – literally and metaphorically. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I am not social media savvy at all. Taking pictures of oneself with clothes that one makes means putting oneself out there – for praise and persecution. It is quite a vulnerable thing to do. It means taking a step to make all these private projects public. All these thoughts that I have in my head while sewing become spoken, or written out loud. On one hand, I harboured fears of being judged, but on the other hand, I yearned for a fortifying sense of connection and camaraderie. So here I am writing about how this blog was birthed.
I’m glad to report that most of my fears are unfounded. The sewing community is kind, generous, supportive and incredibly inspiring. A couple days ago, Closet Case Patterns (@closetcase.patterns on Instagram) shared my Blanca Flight Suit post (my review here) on their Instagram. I am truly overwhelmed and blown away by all the lovely comments and responses that have flooded in. I am also grateful that I am now connected to an endless supply of inspiration from other makers. This elation and enthusiasm for each other’s crafting journeys is contagious, heartening and nourishing. My hope is that this blog will encourage other makers to start or continue crafting, to connect with the joy of making (anything!) with their hands, and to share that love of creating with others. Unlock your superpower!
Currently, my June sewing plans are as follows:
1) Finish my third Kalle Shirt, also by Closet Case Patterns. I am happy to report that this is done!
My first two Kalle shirts can be seen here. I had the fabric cut out at the end of May but only finished this 3 days ago. This shirt is made from scraps and I am quite psyched about the print-matching of 3 different fabrics here. This time I added 1” to the front and back shirt pieces for the cropped version of the shirt. I don’t usually lengthen bodices. In fact, I often do the opposite, but from the previous makes, I decided that I like an inch more length so that it’ll make my short torso look longer.
I also wanted the collar to be very structured and added a second layer of interfacing to the top collar piece and collar stand. Here’s a photo of me with another pair of Closet Case Ginger Jeans (my review here).
2) Blanca Flight Suit #2: I am almost done with the last bit of sashiko that is meant for this garment. I will spend the weekend putting it together, and hopefully by the beginning of next week, it’ll be done!
A big discovery for sashiko: use a tailor’s ham to secure one end of the fabric for embroidery.
This way, the wrists can a have a comfortable pivoting and resting point. When I post about the finished garment, I will also give more tips (as a novice) for doing long hours of sashiko. I have now spent the greater part of the first ten days of June deep into sashiko stitching.
4) If there’s still time left in the month, I would love to start on a bra by Madalynne Intimate Patterns. There are many free patterns on her website and I haven’t decided which beauty to start on.
So it’s a busy June for me. If I’m still unemployed, I think I’d be able to finish all these projects. In the meantime I’ll keep posting about these projects. Wish me luck! I secretly don’t want to get back to work. Don’t tell my boss, who also happens to be my hubby.