Tag Archives: Sewing Productivity Project

Captain’s Log 4/20/11 and GIVEAWAY WINNER!

First of all, congratulations to my very first giveaway winner, Alice! A helpful internet program randomized the results, and her number came up! So thank you so much everyone for entering and I will be hosting another one soon, I promise. Alice, I’ve already emailed you, but please let me know how I can send you your new package of goodies! I had, mistakenly assumed that it would actually be nice by this point but it’s cold and rainy here and I want to cry. Oh, well, have this charming series of magnolia, cherry and pear blossom photos for your escapist viewing pleasure:

Nice, right? But it’s all a lie. The silly trees bloom in response to changes in light, not changed in temperature. Silly trees…well, a girl can dream. And compulsively check weather.com.

Now, onto more sewing productivity project! Here is a helpful if totally obvious tip that I can now offer after an evening spent hand sewing and then cursing. When you plan a project, BUY ALL THE STUFF YOU WILL NEED AT ONCE. Or, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU START. Because otherwise you will be ALMOST done your project, say, Simplicity 6723 and then realize that you need a zipper before you can go further. So you will go to, say, the adorable if expensive Spool and buy yourself an invisible zipper and hand sew it on because you don’t have a zipper foot only to have the damn thing break because Coats’ invisible zippers are literally the worst things in the world. And no, it wasn’t expensive and yes you can get another zipper but what you really want is that TWO HOURS OF YOUR LIFE BACK. And, also, what the hell with the vilification of zippers? I like zippers. I don’t need them to be invisible, I like seeing them, why must we relegate the poor zipper to invisibility? Why can’t we all acknowledge that we need zippers and garments don’t just magically fasten on their own and stop demanding invisible zippers? They always break! And they are fussy! And expensive! And I hate them! Argh!

Of course, someday I will get a machine with a zipper foot and probably jump on the invisible zipper bandwagon, but until then it’s all just hateration.

And so, confronted with such pain and anguish, I turned to other projects. And that’s another productivity tip, keep small easy to finish projects around for when you hit a road block (or zipper) with a bigger project and just need something quick and satisfying that you can finish in one sitting and restore your faith in sewing/humanity/life. Lately I’ve been making little birds for the Nichole Canuso Dance Company Benefit (you should come!) and when those are done I’m going to do some embroidery for it as well. I use a pattern by Michael Fulkerson available for FREE on the Spool blog and it’s a great way to get rid of scraps of fabric. See?

Sewaholic did a post on scraps that was very interesting and if you read the comments people gave all kinds of great ideas about how to use scraps. You can check it out over here. I like to make the birds, because they are fun and easy and remind me of all my past projects. I think covering buttons would also be fun, but I’d need a kit. Oh, well, one more thing to add to the list.

So that’s my sewing advice for the week. Buy everything at once, and make sure you have fun small back ups so you can feel accomplished rather then frustrated. So don’t feel like this:

When you could be like this:

And for the love of God, explain to me the appeal of invisible zippers. Anyone? Bueller?

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Captain’s Log: April 11th, 2011

You may or may not have noticed a little button haunting the right hand margin of this blog. It’s an adorable little badge that I got from Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons (which is awesome. Seriously, check out her blog, it’s magnificent. She did this amazing photo shoot when she traveled to Washington D.C. and wore Colette Patterns Beignet skirt made three different ways, it’s delightful!). And she proposed this great project measuring your sewing productivity, as a way to log how and why and when you sew and then to compile tips about how be remain productive in the the face of a very busy world. And here is the thing about time management, it’s one of my odder passions. I just adore time efficiency, it’s a fascination of mine.

I have always been someone who does a million things at once. As it turns out, I get bored very quickly, so I seem to need a ton of things to fill my time or I get frustrated and upset and lethargic all at once, it isn’t pretty, I can assure you. As it stands now, I have two jobs and I am on several committees and I work on various theater projects and maintain three blogs and somehow, (dear lord, someHOW) I manage to find time to sew. It’s that tricky sleeping thing I just can’t seem to find time to do….

So I am extremely excited by Tilly’s proposal, which is why I grabbed the badge and dove right into logging my sewing productivity. I sew a lot more on the weekends then during the week, though I do manage to fit some sewing in after dinner and family netflix time. So here are the results of this weekend’s labors/record of the work:

Time spent sewing: Probably about 6 hours, two on Saturday and four on Sunday, man, I got a lot done on Sunday…And then an hour this morning. So 7 hours over the past four days. Not too shabby!

What I worked on: I finished up a little dress I made for the Nichole Canuso Dance Company Benefit (check it out here! And COME, it’s going to be amazing!). I’ve made two little dresses from a FREE PATTERN (Oliver and S) for the silent auction.

Cute! And stash busting, as I used the blue and white Beatrix Potter print mentioned in this post. And I refashioned one of my father’s shirts, that was fun:

I really need a stand for my dress form. And then I made a muslin for this dress:

Which I will be making with the fabric below. I’m very excited about this, I’ve been planning it for a while! I’m doing variation C, the sweetheart neckline with the puffed sleeves.

Tilly also included some very helpful questions:

– What are you spending/wasting the rest of your free time on?

Hmmmm. Well, I write a lot, so that takes up a fair amount of my time, especially when I’m writing a play (which I really need to get back in gear and DO) and my reviews take up a lot of my time. And I cook. And I watch a lot of hulu, which lives in a room that isn’t my sewing room, so I can’t do them together. Though I do get hand sewing and embroidery done sometimes when I’m catching up on 30 Rock or Castle or Body of Proof or Community or…..so many other shows…. And I go see a lot of performances, and I meet up with friends. So I wouldn’t say any of those things is a waste, and I defend my huluing to the death. I do wish there were more hours in the day, though.
– When you do sew, how do you feel before, during and afterwards?

This weekend I felt excited at first and then sort of dreading because I messed a few things up and had to rip stitches and start over and that’s just so annoying. Generally I would say that I have a bad habit of stopping when I’ve made a mistake and starting again the next day, so I stop sewing on a down note, rather then after a victory. That’s probably not the best thing to do, because the first thing you have to do when you start again is curse your past self and fix the problem. Bad Leah.
– What factors are you aware of that impact upon when you make time to sew?

My apartment showing schedule plays a role (I’m a real estate agent, as well as the development associate for a small theater company). And if I see a performance and get home late then I don’t get to sew, really, because drinking and sewing isn’t the best mix (though…I’ve done it, honestly. It was a mess.  Now I just slowly sip some wine or something in between seams, because anything else will only end in tears)
– What are you learning about sewing productivity from this process, if anything? What tips can you share?

So far I’ve learned that just like you shouldn’t go to bed angry, you shouldn’t stop sewing just because you make a big mistake. It feels better to end satisfied rather then just throwing up your hands and walking away. Right, Mr. Malevolent?

He agrees.

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