Puns N Needles

Dispatches from my adventures: sewing, knitting, and otherwise.

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What’s a girl to do?

It’s the last week in May, and I have no new garments to show. For a lot of us who sew for ourselves and our family, May=MeMadeMay, which I wrote about recently

As it turns out, transitioning to a new job can be exhausting—even when moving from a 40 hour work week to 28-ish hours. Though, let’s call it 43 and 34, to account for commuting time. My work schedule has been irregular because I started at the tail end of the semester in an academic library. I worked one week at my normal schedule (afternoon/evenings), one week with daytime hours (since that week there were no classes), and then went on vacation for a week. Now I’m back, thankfully with a holiday allowing me two shortened weeks. All that to say, I haven’t been able to find time to make any new duds.

But I have a plan. I’m going to make a pair of pants Endeavour pattern cover 

that I started working on months ago, and I’m going to make a simple top. I believe I can do these two garments by the 31st. I think?

So the challenge or roadblock or stumbling area (whatever you’d like to call it) is that I’m smaller than I was when I started making these pants. But I still need pants, so I’m persevering, And I have a feeling the simple top will be in the Ann Carolyn smock pattern, like this one

Ann Carolyn smock, summer 2016

In the sunlight on the studio deck

but that will come after the pants. More next time.


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Me Made May

This is an annual challenge for garment sewers in which they/we pledge to wear a certain amount of self-made or altered garments during the entire month of May. You can read more about it here: http://sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.com/2017/04/me-made-may-17-sign-up-here.html

As Zoe wrote, it’s the 8th year of Me Made May and I have never participated. By the time I learned about it, I was probably wearing me-made nearly every day, so it didn’t seem very fun.


Blouse in progress.

Today, I happen to be starting a new job. One of the greatest things about the new job is that I will be able to wear my own clothes after seven years of wearing a uniform to work. This means that for seven years, I have been dressing like many of my coworkers and unable to express myself through my clothes. I am pretty excited about this change, as a matter of fact.

So I’m doing Me Made May. I’ve made my pledge on So Zo’s blog:

I, Accacia (@AccaciaMax and punsnneedles.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavor to wear handmade clothing each day for the duration of May 2017. In addition, I pledge to use stash fabrics to sew two or more new garments for my work wardrobe.

That last part, the bit about sewing some new garments—well, I’m going to need some new duds, right? I’m also going to have some more time to sew since this new job is part-time.  The part about using stash fabrics—as you may suspect, a part-time job means part-time income, so I’ll be trying to save whenever I can. Thankfully, I have plenty of good fabric saved up. I’ve already made a list and it’s more than two items long.

I will be sharing some of my outfits here and on Instagram @AccaciaMax.

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Fast or slow—What’s better?

When I started sewing lots of clothes, I felt pretty good when I could knock out a dress or a shirt in a day, or maybe a weekend. That meant I was good; I found a good pattern, I enjoyed myself, everything worked right. Excellent.

But then I started learning about fit, and everything took longer because I wanted to spend the time to make it fit well. I took an online class on couture sewing and the project involved a lot of hand sewing and extra layers and well, don’t tell anyone, but I never did fully finish the dress. I ran out of time but was also kind of overwhelmed. Making something like a formal dress with couture methods, jeans, or a suit takes time. And there’s no reason to rush. I’ve been making peace with slow sewing. It’s nice to not have a deadline (self-impose or otherwise) and to relax and enjoy the process.

Also, sometimes I have an entire weekend, or a few weekdays without work, during which to sew with few interruptions. But most of the time, I’m sewing on a weekday afternoon in the middle of a split shift at work, or on a weekend day between other obligations. Without having huge blocks of time, it doesn’t make sense to try to knock out a shirt in a day.

But a recent weekend was different. I was feeling pretty terrible about work and decided that it would make me feel better if I spent ALL of my time sewing. Boy, was I productive. I started out with a leggings pattern that I bought months ago, thinking it would be fun to try. Several hours later, once that was finished, I moved on to a knit shirt, in a pattern I’d made twice before and whipped that up in 90 minutes.

Holy smokes — I finished a pair of leggings, in a new pattern, and a shirt/sweater before we left for the movies on Saturday night. And on Sunday, I was able to take a great walk and have lunch out with the Machinist, so it was kind of well-rounded. When we got home on Sunday afternoon, I started another project, though this one is going to take a while…