February 19, 2013 - wip's

Work in progress has lately been leaning toward planning and learning, with some production thrown in out of habit.






My Plans 

 Here is my shortlist:
1. Exercise my creativity daily! Draw, knit, crochet, create patterns or sew each and every day...
2. Post at least one original pattern a month to the web.
3. Write several times weekly, both through blogging and other outlets.
4. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Exercise with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) regularly. Until I caught a bad head cold two weeks ago, I was working out 3 -5 days a week for about two months now. I am still not 100% but have started back every other day.
5. Fill my wardrobe with quality hand made goods...things I've knit, crocheted or sewn myself, mostly with late 1930's through early 1950's vintage style. I joined a sew-a-long over at Lucky Lucille 's blog today.



6. Continue my journey to financial health (pay off debts, spend less, save more!)

Learning

My heart is set on becoming a skilled seamstress. Not expert, not couture savvy...but skilled. As I have jumped into the knitting realm wholeheartedly, I have discovered wonderful things about garment construction and the different techniques to be employed for quality finished pieces. When shopping for ready-to-wear clothes, I now continually find myself examining seams, construction techniques, fabric drape, quality workmanship and more. Everything, (did I mention everything?) in my budget, has some flaw or other. So...if I am knitting and crocheting for myself, why not learn to sew while I am at it? 

Sure, anyone can throw some pattern tissue down on fabric, cut it out and let it whizz through the sewing machine, but the end result is not pleasing, as I have learned through experience. The same care that goes into selecting fibers, stitches and finishing techniques to a hand knit item should, obviously, go into a hand sewn item. Until this past week, the thought of truly quality sewing was quite intimidating to me. Enter Helen Hall.

Since my preferred styles are vintage looks, I decided to purchase some sewing instruction books from the 1940's. The first one that arrived was Simplified Home Sewing by Helen Hall. Her book has been, thus far, considerably informative. So, armed with her textbook-like writing (end of chapter questions!), I am studying how to sew, for real!

The other aspect of my learning has more to do with re-learning. I had not sketched on a regular basis in, ah...ahem..decades. There, it's on the table...it has been over 20 years since I sketched, drew or painted every day. So I find my brain telling my hand what my eyes see, and how I want to interpret that onto the paper, yet my hand is not paying the least bit attention. So, I have set about to sketch a little bit every day to get my skills back on track. Stay tuned for posts of my sketching.

Production

Since my last update a month ago, I have completed six projects. (Four hats, a pair of fingerless mitts and a neckwarmer). One of the hats has a super soft angora brim, which can be folded under, over or left out, for versatility. It's a new spin on one of my patterns:





In the works right now are a dress (for the Sew for Victory! project), a pullover sweater, a pillbox hat and a pair of socks. There are a few other projects waiting in the wings, like sweaters for my older two sons and vintage gloves to wear for spring. 


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