I was in a dip. A sewing dip. It sucked.
It really started, when I began not making time for sewing. Or rather, when I was realizing I didn’t make any time – it’s been a while since the last dress… I got myself a Netflix account, went out a lot, was away on business and had many more reasons not to go back to the sewing machine (which in a way imposes itself as a reason not to sew – it just does its own stuff and I believe its in an identity crisis and believes its a blender for the performance it delivers!). I sew for babies and family – but dreaded going back to my projects as I felt I just COULDN’T stand a set back or failure. Which is odd, since I don’t feel that I “failed“ so far in my sewing by any degree.
Two things might have got me sliding down the dip: 1) The revelation that I actually have to fail to get better (hate failing, love getting better, feels like no compromise is acceptable) and thus 2) need to take much more time with one project than rather hopping on to new stuff. And I was just not willing to do this.
Plus I felt I didn’t have the right equipment, not enough space, not the right taste in fabric and style to actually make me wear my creations (old story, I bore you, I know). Of course, this shit couldn’t go on. I needed to get out of that dip. So here is what I did (spoiler alert: the dip is still in sight)
1) a dedicated space I went out to IKEA and got myself a desk where the sewing machines could sit – together with my projects – over night, over days, staring me out, calling for me to get back. It works. I love this space. Spend a lot of time there
2) shopping around for the right equipment This is not done yet; I’m still shopping. I’m between a Janome DC7100
and a plain Brother Innov-is 10A Yes, I know – we are talking two different worlds here. My heart is actually set on the Brother, to tell you the truth. I believe it can do everything I would want it to do. Plus 10 years ahead (though, sure, you’ll never know). I found this awesome sewing machine shop in the suburbs of Munich. That lady is pure magic. And although she has machines 10x the price of the Brother in there and although I showed willingness to spend more, she recommended the Brother. What do we think, people? Do we think anything here?
3) starting with stuff that that was abundant earlier. Get it done! I started with my cut out muslin for the Grainline Alder Shirtdress. It was a mess. I started cutting and sewing a By Hand London Georgia dress in fabric that obviously was too stretchy for the job. I knew before I started but I though I was more clever than this. It was a disaster.
4) embrace the learning curve and never go to bed unhappy about a project That’s what you’ve got to do now. I got myself a new fabric for the Georgia dress and will start that asap. As to the Grainline Alder Shirtdress: I love that pattern! But with winter just on the doorstep I feel I can wait till spring to start again. Noted down all the necessary changes as you do. Should be good to go when temperatures rise again and days get longer.
5) set sewing times … so… this is still in set up. Should be stable once the Christmas francy is over and done with.
6) not limit yourself … to stuff I won’t wear vs. stuff I’ll wear That’s an odd one – I keep on saying that I don’t wear my stuff as much as I should. Hence, should stop sewing stuff I don’t wear. But… I LOVE SEWING STUFF I DON’T WEAR (Can I sneak a YET in please?!). Dresses with colorful prints are just THE BEST THING TO SEW. I love it! And why would I give up on something I love? I think it’s just a matter of courage really… I mean… don’t they say „Wear your passion“?! We’ll be getting there! Either way.
7) get inspiration Autumn and winter are anagrams for jersey dresses. At least for me. But since I have little clue about how to work with jersey, I though „Why should I work this out all by myself?! Let’s get a handout“. So I ordered the Colette Guide to Sewing Knits. And I love it. Very well explained – particularly love the alteration section. That will come in handy with a dress I’m planning (harhar).
8) do stuff for others I’m actually planning some Christmas activity here to get me sewing for others…. I believe it will make me pay even more attention to the quality of my sewing. Or it may not. I don’t know. But I’m very sure that I’ll learn a lot. Also, it is a bit of a challenge to put myself out there and say: „I’ll sew stuff for you as a gift“ – and challenges it was that I wanted to take.
Well, you can see, the dip might not be totally behind me yet, but I’m fighting back for my sewing freedom. If you ever had the feeling that – somehow – motivation and progress wouldn’t come I’d love to hear what you did about it. And additional idea to bring sewing back into ones life?