Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sewing is FUN. IT IS.

Yes, sewing is ALWAYS a big old party of fun awesome magic happiness. And that is why I am completely NOT at all bothered that:

  • The Mad Men Challenge Joan Bow Dress muslin photos I had hoped to share with you for advice are USELESS (see above) because although I did take the trouble to wear them with a pencil skirt and slip, I neglected to pin/baste the front overlap.
  • Which is more evidence that I probably won't make the Mad Men Challenge end-of-month deadline, giving me flashbacks to the time I didn't finish my baby shower dress in time for my baby shower two years ago, despite frantic last-minute hand-sewing on the Amtrak.
  • Two of the four inexpensive bright cheerful vintage bags I just bought on Etsy to try and broaden my handbag wardrobe turned out to be cracked and peeling pleather (the seller was very nice about it and will refund me, but BUMMER):
  • All y'all are sewing like, 10 things a week and I'm still barely averaging 1 garment/month. My goal, as you recall, is 2 per month--one for me, one for Z. If we pretend I will finish my Mad Men dress on time, I've completed three for me and one for Z.
  • I got re-bra-fitted at my local Brooklyn lingerie shop* yesterday and discovered I had dropped TWO cup sizes. I went because things were a bit loosey-goosey (toddler is still nursing, but maybe somewhat less?), but I wasn't expecting that drastic a drop. And although that means I am once again a 32E (hello WAY easier FBAs and better-fitting off-the-rack), much good that does me because in a fit of "my body will never be the same again" angst, I trashed all my expensive well-made pretty brightly colored 32E bra collection while pregnant. So I now own ONE really well-fitting 32E nursing bra, a lacy underwire Anita-brand number:

    ... and a host of giant loose unsupportive 32G, 32H and 32I bras. Plus a big stash of bra fabrics, patterns and notions I've been too busy to tackle. Hmmm...

But I'm not bothered, because:

  • My Mad Men dress, late or not, is going to be awesome. And I think the muslin may even be wearable. I'll rephotograph it properly tonight once I attach one sleeve, but I think it needs very little tweaking--the shoulders are slightly too wide, the horizontal bust darts are too low, and there's some swayback action happening too... but overall, it's pretty close.
  • While at the bra shop* I also got this awesome supportive Panache Claudette tankini with built-in underwire bra (available in D-K cup, FYI). I did want to sew a swimsuit, but I'm gong to be taking little Z for weekend swim classes at the Y that start very soon and there just wasn't time. It DOES show the stretch marks a bit if I raise my arms, but SERIOUSLY, I cannot be bothered to care, and no one should be inspecting my belly that closely:

  • I'm sitting here (next to my sweet napping toddler) in my wide-legged corduroy Trousers of Triumph. I wear these things at least two or three times a week and they are SO comfortable and cute. Which goes to show that slow, careful sewing can really pay off. I can't wait to make another version in linen with sailor-style buttons for summer!
  • After buying four or five fabrics that didn't quite work for the dickey of my Joan dress (too polyester, too stretchy, not quite right color, not-quite-right print)--and after super awesome reader Jen B. (do you have a website? let me know) even mailed me some fabric she found that was really really close but didn't end up working with my blue doubleknit... I finally sucked it up and braved the Project Runway-inspired hordes at Mood. And there, amidst a teetering pile of just-in $14/yard silk print closeouts, was my Perfect Silk Print:

    Abstract blue, green and black silk from Mood

    The cutter accidentally gave me 1 yard (I had asked for 1 1/2 to be safe), and it's got runs/cuts in one end, but I really just need the 1/2 yard. I think I'll underline it with some blue silk charmeuse I have for opacity.

So yes. NOT worried/bothered by anything at all. Sewing is all fun. Whee!

How's your sewing awesome fun party going this weekend? No worries at all, right?

*Iris Lingerie on 366 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn, featuring Iris Clarke, the BEST bra fitter ever. She even converts regular bras to nursing bras and she has a great basket of toys for keeping toddlers occupied.


  1. Ah, I so feel your pain about
    • not having enough time to sew
    • not meeting my reasonable-sounding to me sewing goals
    • totally unstable body shape/size post-prego
    I'm finding the only way to keep it together is to focus on enjoying the process, avoid spending too much time on overly-fitted garments (all those wool skirts I sewed for myself the three months after the baby was born— totally unwearable) and be aware that my body is in flux. it did something awesome so I try to cut it some slack. your dress will look great!

  2. OK, let's just say I'm not making 10 things a week. I hope to get through 2 things in the next 6 weeks. And it's not going super well on the muslin front right now. I'm actually a) part freaking out and b) part imagining I'm a total idiot cuz I can't actually figure out how to get the fucking pattern to go together properly. Till I can get it to work, sewing Goddess willing, I can't tell what degree of FBA I've got to figure out. Oh, I'm in a bitchy mood.

    Congrats on reverting to your previous, easier to fit, bra size. 32E is the best size, IMO, along with 32C. I am neither of those sizes. :-)

  3. I hear you on everyone is getting stuff done (but me). I am so jealous of all the great spring pieces everyone is cranking out. I should pick up now that I can walk. By the way your zombie graph is still cracking me up.

  4. I'm all about converting good bras for nursing. It's so easy to do and I've yet to find a RTW nursing bra that can properly support a 32G chest (though I'm down to 32DD as well, but I suspect I could go down to a 30 band, but there's not too many stores that have 30s...).

    Your Joan dress is really going to be awesome. I think everyone goes through periods of super efficiency and snail's pace working. My silly jacket with the melted collar took me like 3 weeks to finish. The one review on PR of that particular jacket talks about it being "so easy to sew." Yes, perhaps if you've made a ton of jackets and you don't do anything stupid like melt a collar. But it's done and I love it.

    I had seen that Panache makes underwired swimwear--by supportive, what are you talking? As supportive as a strapless bra? More supportive than no bra?

    1. It's got a regular built-in bra, with a band in back with hooks and everything. I tried some that had underwires and no band, but they were useless, since real bra support comes from the band.

    2. That sounds great. I have to see if there's some place here that sells Panache so I can give them a look myself.

  5. All my sewing this week has been PINK. Once I recover from that, I think I'll be ok. And the only reason I'm producing any kind of volume is I'm doing lots of projects that can be stitched up in an hour or two. I'm pretty much terrified of anything more demanding right now.

    What a shame about the bra sitch! I never got along very well with nursing bras at the best of times, but they're a little more optional at my end of the cup spectrum. I will say, I was a bit disappointed to be one of those women who went back to *exactly the same size* as before. /sigh.

  6. I have two Anita nursing bras (34F) and they are ah-mazing. They've lasted me two years of constant nursing (both the little one and the older, tandem nursing FTW)and they're sexy-ish to boot. I've never gotten a plugged duct from the underwire. Seriously, I am temped to buy these bras even when not nursing.

    1. Yeah, they are seriously awesome. I had some Anita bras before, but they were of course G cups and are now useless. I didn't wear any underwire bras when I was first nursing because I DID get plugged ducts very easily, but as soon as things calmed down a bit I was very happy to go underwire again.

  7. Also, thank you all for your sweet comments! I got a real boost from them and made some fixes to the muslin and got real photos... will post tomorrow.

  8. Ooh, nice print! What a shame about the bras. But I guess you can't predict these things.

  9. I am going to check out Iris Lingerie. Finding bras that fit me (38DDD) is a bitch. I usually end up spending a ridiculous amount (like $90) for one that's not so comfortable, and then going to Macy's and trying on 30 bras to find one that feels better, buying three or four of them ($20-$30 each), and wearing them until they wear out. I am at the all worn out stage right now, and am dreading restarting the cycle.

    All of your sewing stuff is amazing. It is almost impossible to find plus-size clothing that fits even remotely well. (I am currently an 18-20.) If I knew how to sew, I'm sure I'd look a lot better dressed than I do.


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