Summer of Sewing + Destashival in full swing

Hello, hello!

Whew, what a summer it’s been. We’ve been traveling here and there, often in the form of short road trips. Senior year of high school starts for K in less than a week and I’m feeling that surge of energy that comes with September and the beginning of the academic year. I’ve been looking forward to this.

It’s been a great few months, though. As you can see, I’ve sewn a lot. In fact, that image above isn’t everything. I stitched up a grand total of 22 items. 

I lost steam after taking all those photos and decided that the pajama sets and shorts really didn’t need to be modeled. Unless you want to see them on a human form? I’ll take photos with me wearing them if I get comments requesting to do so. I also have to fess up that I didn’t actually sew the dress with the bold graphic print this summer, but sewed the plain, cream-colored one to wear as a lining because the geometric print linen is very sheer. I think I sewed the outer dress three years ago?

Do you remember my sewing plan sketches?

Although I didn’t sew a linen hoodie, hats or more wide-legged pants (YET), I did complete multiples of everything else. Okay, so the dresses don’t have spaghetti straps, but they’re twirly and I’m happy with them. Fist pump!

My de-stashing of fabrics has officially begun, and I gave myself a couple of rules to overcome the usual angst that is part and parcel of cutting into fabric:

  1. No fabric is too precious. I’ve decided to have complete amnesia when it comes to how much I paid for a particular piece of fabric or where it came from. I tend to want to save the fabric for an extra awesome pattern if I consider it special in some way. And then I’m struck by decision paralysis.
  2. It’s more than okay if the garment/sewing project doesn’t turn out the way I want it to. I put a lot of pressure on myself to LOVE everything I make, but the reality is that the Pareto Rule is very applicable: I truly adore only about 20% of what I make. Lately that percentage has been inching upwards, but most of the things I make aren’t outright winners. Case in point: out of the 22 things I sewed, I love love love the jumpsuits, the black dress, and my lilac-y, purple-y skirt. I like the other clothes just fine, but my feelings are cooler towards them.

I also kept my word and drafted everything from my slopers. In a future post I’ll show you how I drafted the clothes based off of my slopers, but for the interim, here are some Sewing Love photos taken by Manuela Insiexiengmay and styled by Rachel Grunig.

Here are my slopers as muslins:

How can I possibly describe the sense of power that fills me when I can create clothes that I’ve designed myself for my own unique physique? I remember all those years of trying on one thing after another in poorly lit fitting rooms with unflattering mirrors. Nothing ever fit quite right. Sure, it might take me a few sewing tweaks to get the optimal fit that I want, but they’re minor quibbles. It’s not like the too tight waist and too baggy bum and too long hem happening all at once whenever I tried on pants. It’s been over 11 years since I stopped buying ready-to-wear clothes, and I may experience a kind of PTSD if I stepped into a fitting room.

I was overwhelmed by all that was going on in the last few years so I’ve been remiss about appreciating the high points. I’m so proud of my book Sewing Love, and I hope it’s giving folks the same sense of mightiness. And did you know that I did a whole slopers series with Creativebug?

Click here for the Lower Body Sloper & Muslin Class.

Click here for the Torso Sloper & Muslin Class.

Click here for the Sleeve Sloper & Muslin Class.

If you’d like to see all the classes I’ve taught to date, click here

It’s been a blast teaching through Creativebug, and I have more classes in the works. I’ll be flying out to California in just under two months to do more filming. Fun, fun, fun!

How was your summer (or winter if you’re in other parts of the world)? Are you ready for September? Stay tuned for even more sewing and other crafty stuff. I’m raring to go!!

4 thoughts on “Summer of Sewing + Destashival in full swing

  1. What a delight to make clothes to fit your unique body rather than feeling like your body doesn’t measure up to an arbitrary standard. However do you sew so many clothes in such a short time frame, as I haven’t made a quarter of your output? Maybe you’ll share some production ideas? Your jumpsuits look very comfortable. My favourite outfit in the lovely layout is the white v neck tank with the ivory(?) skirt because I like tone on tone outfits. Summer zipped by for me.

    1. It’s actually a striped linen skirt (white and the palest blue)! Thanks for your sweet words, Tammy! Let me noodle on whether I have good productivity tips to share — what comes to mind initially is that I’m pretty fast at sewing, and I think it helps that I’ve really kicked my perfectionist tendencies to the curb…I’ll keep thinking!

  2. Hello Sanae!
    A few years ago I saw your book in Russian. The author interested me and I ended up on the blog. I love your story and your approach to life and interest in sewing. Sewing really makes you feel better. Will Sewing Love be published in Russian? However, I would be happy to read it in English. It’s a pity that it’s difficult to buy it now.

    1. Hello Helga! How wonderful that you read Sewing Happiness in Russian — having the book translated into another language was a dream come true. I don’t know if Sewing Love will be available in Russian, but I’m so happy that you’re interested in it! Yes, sewing is life-changing, isn’t it?

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