Creative Mush

8 Mar

It would seem that I am not the only one in the massive sewing blogosphere who has had a serious drop in sewing mojo recently. This happens to me from time to time, and I can’t help but get angry when I realize I’ve spent the past 3 nights vegging out on my couch instead of working on awesome crafty things. Not even knitting! MEH!

Part of what caused this standstill is my current work on the Pastille dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook. I swear this stupid dress has given me nothing but a headache (and thinning hair from where I pulled the rest of it out in total frustration). For starters, I cut my pattern out in a size 2 and added my normal FBA since the bust size for the 2 is only 34.5″, and my measurements are a couple inches bigger than that. Lo & behind, when I made up my first muslin… the bust was too big. I ended up not needing a FBA at all! WTF? I actually did recheck my measurements, and indeed my bust has not shrank down to a 34.5″ so I’m assuming there is a misprint with the finished measurements. By the way, do you know how hard it is to correct a FBA back to flat when you’ve already hacked & taped the pattern pieces (no, I don’t trace – but maybe I should start! It’s a SIGN)? I mean, assuming you’re one of those weirdos (aka: me) who would rather pull the tape off & try to smush everything back together instead of just putting the scissors to it again.

Anyway, muslin #2 revealed that this pattern gives me a swayback. WTF v2.0? I don’t have a swayback and I feel like I would have noticed this prior – especially considering the Quasimodo-proportions I got in my muslin. Unfgh. Upon lurking the site forum, this is not unusual for this pattern (before anyone gets terrified & swears off sewing the Pastille, let me point out that I’ve seen many of these dresses made up and most people did not seem to experience the weird swayback – I think it’s just the way some women’s bodies are shaped. Boo that it had to be mine!). My adjustment was very simple – I cut horizontal line through the back piece, at the ‘lengthen or shorten here’ line, and overlapped the pieces at an angle so they were 3/4″ at the center back, tapering to nothing at the side seams. I made one more muslin and the problem appears to be fixed. Fingers crossed.

navy/yellow floral cotton/rayon
I am making the dress up in this sweet little printed fabric – it’s a lovely cotton/rayon blend, and the print reminds me of a feedsack. Not entirely my style, but hey, I’m open to branching out! I like the tiny yellow flowers. I’m really into yellow right now, if you can’t tell.

I made a big mess of self-bias tape and initially planned on finishing the sleeves & neckline with that instead of facings. Folks… I don’t think this pattern can be faced with bias tape. There are too many curvy lines for the tape to lay properly flat. Believe me, I tried. But hey, on the bright side – I have lots of pretty bias tape for some other project! Haha!

So now we’re at the point where I haven’t touched the damn thing since Monday. To be frank, I haven’t even walked into my sewing room since Monday. When I get too frustrated, it’s better for me to dump everything in a pile & just ignore it for a few days until the steam lets off. That, or hide it in the UFO box 🙂 I kid, I kid!

On the knitting front, I had a bit of turmoil when I finally started my sweater sleeves. I think this is the part of the pattern that the writer was referring to when she called this an intermediate to advanced knit – that shit is hard! Talk about total concentration! Not only am I knitting in the round (which, despite a few cozies, is still a relatively new skill for me), I have to follow a lace pattern *and* I’m working a bunch of short rows. And then the instructions dropped and just told me to “continue working short rows until you reach the marker,” meaning I have to either count or actually recognize what a short row looks like. Nope, no ma’am!

It’s times like these when I’m glad I have Mika to save my desperate ass every time I reach a confusing point in the pattern & suddenly turn stupid. Poor girl has gotten a lot of frantic emails from me, but she’s been super super helpful & I definitely would not have made it past the swatch stage without her guidance.

Anyway, sewing & knitting frustrations aside, I made an apple cozy over the weekend:
Apple Cozy
It is completely unnecessary & ridiculous, so obviously I love it a lot.

Who else is having a bummer of a week? Alternatively, who is having a GREAT week & would like to rub it in?


46 Responses to “Creative Mush”

  1. Roisin Muldoon March 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Oh Lauren, I totally feel this. I made myself go mad trying to get the fit right on the Peony – which is annoying because it’s such a sweet pattern but it made me majorly bummed out about sewing. So I dithered for ages and then just ploughed straight into another pattern and it made me feel tons better. But it did teach me that I should only sew for fun, and not to prove some sort of point to myself like I WILL MAKE THIS WORK, because it just makes me angry and frustrated and unhappy.

    On the other hand, the pattern I ploughed into looks great so I finally have a new handmade dress to wear tomorrow and it’s YELLOW. So, wooo!

    • LLADYBIRD March 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      Oh, god, I totally agree with you – sewing should be FUN! There’s really no point in pushing through a project that just ends in tears & frustration, especially when sewing is one’s hobby (and hobbies are supposed to make you happy, not pissed off haha). As much as I’m always pushing this on other people, I often need to be reminded myself 🙂

      And yay, yellow handmade dress! I can’t wait to see it 😀

  2. Scruffybadger March 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Shame you’re having a Pastille ‘mare. Lushuslicious fabric though – the colours will really suit you. If it’s any consolation my Clovers #2 are WAY OFF. And my 80s high waisted skirt is not quite right either. It’s hard to go back & correct, isn’t it. I just keep making Renrews to satisfy the need to finish something!
    Hope it’s all there now for you

  3. Dana March 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    I’ve hit a roadblock with a project I’m working on right now. I’m trying to order custom fabric from spoonflower and I’m not really happy with any of their fabric choices. They have 8 options but most are better for crafting or home decorating fabrics but I want a fairly drape-y garment fabric. Also, it takes forever for stuff to come in the mail and it’s getting expensive, fast.


  4. christina March 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I was having major fit issues with the violet. I made a muslin of the peony, tried the muslin on once and decided to set it aside, as there’s going to be some MAJOR work for that one to fit me correctly. The violet is nearly complete, and I can’t wait for that.

  5. kaitui_kiwi March 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    After posting about my lack of sewing mojo I noticed a general mojo downer in the blog world too, must be catching! We need a cure quick.

    Well I think your feed-sack fabric is darling and I bet you’ll love it more when it is shaped as clothing rather than it’s current folded in a feed-sack-like-rectangle 😉

  6. Jill March 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    I hear ya. I’ve been stuck on the same project for going on 4 weeks. I was inspired and excited when I started, but a series of stupid mistakes on my part is making me not want to spend a lot of time with it right now! I’m looking forward to the opportunity to start sewing happy, flowery cotton dresses for spring and summer! Just a few more weeks to go…

  7. Mika March 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I’m so happy to be able to help (and really am rather impressed that you haven’t needed help more often.)
    Sewing ruts are terrible. The shirt I’m working on now has turned out the tinest bit smaller than I’d like – still wearable, but I’ve lost all motivation to finish it.

  8. Anthea March 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    I have strained a muscle in my neck, so I haven’t done anything this week 😦

    • LLADYBIRD March 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      Oh no! I hope everything is ok 😦

  9. Miss Crayola Creepy March 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Ahhhh I can’t wait to see your Pastille! And the apple cozy is 100% awesome!

  10. Serenity March 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    I have had this happen to me before. Measure the pattern itself to double check to see if the envelope is accurate. I hate to recut….

  11. Portia March 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Aw, I feel your pain too hun. I’ve barely sewn a stitch in weeks apart from alterations for other people, and I think it’s time for Spring to get it’s ass in gear too. I’m all out of patience with the dreary weather 😉 I need to get out in my summer house and get sewing!
    Nice rant btw,lol!

  12. Susie Homemaker, MD March 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I completely understand the frustration! I have three projects that are so close to being done but each one is at a step that I just need a little help/motivation with completing (fitting buddy, figuring out narrow hem foot, taking the time to rips some seams). I made a Sorbetto the other night to satisfy my need to complete something and that definitely helped. I agree that putting it aside for a few days can help come back to it with a new perspective.

  13. prttynpnk March 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I’m feeling it too. I have flitted about the sewing room touching this, touching that…no actual work done. I even have things cut out. IS it the planets not alining correctly? Kudos on your new apple garbing venture- you know those would make excellent crash helmets for clumsy kittens….

  14. Kerry March 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Grr, frustrating. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a little time off (it is supposed to be fun and a hobby, remember!). You’ve set yourself a pretty big knitting challenge too, which is great, but it’s going to melt your brain a little, that’s only natural. Maybe you could switch to an easy sewing or knitting project for a day or two to help you build up your confidence again and get some satisfaction – apple cosies all round!

    • LLADYBIRD March 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      Hehe, I did that for a week – then I got tired of making mindless cozies 🙂 Need some challenge in my life! But obviously not in the form of short rows 🙂 Thank god I’m almost done with this, at least on this sleeve…

  15. Casey March 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Tell me about weeks that just go sideways! :p I haven’t gotten any sewing done because solo-puppy parenting 75% of the time is tough and tiring (and I feel bad putting him in his crate too long, since he has to be confined because we’re still working on the “house is not a potty” thing ;), and by the time my back-up gets himself detoxed from his day, I’m too tired to sew. :p Blargh! I have about a dozen things I should be working on right now too… *sigh* Sewing mojo is totally gone at the moment!

    Anyway, love your Pastille dress fabric choice–I think it’s going to be really cute! 🙂 Though it’s good to know about the large bust thing–I usually end up having to do an SBA and now I know I’ll really have to check and actually make a muslin (or just be really lazy and do a tissue fitting… lol. I have gotten bad about that with modern patterns–unless it’s super complicated I just pin the tissue together, assess any large issues that need to be dealt with pre-cutting and then baste/fit the fashion fabric. Problem is, sometimes it doesn’t always go as brilliantly smooth as I envisioned! lol.).

    Oh, and tracing patterns?! What’s that? Another area I’ve gotten really lazy about with modern patterns–I’ll trace my vintage ones, but unless I’m planning on doing a silhouette variation, I usually have been using the original paper pattern straight up. Again, with mixed results. Gosh… my sewing lately just sounds like a mess! haha! Hope you get your mojo back soon! 😉

  16. leahfranqui March 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Dude, I spend this week sewing a skirt that DOESN’T EVEN FIT ME. I’m just giving the damn thing away, I don’t even want to look at it. So I’m feeling despondent and also not attractive, which is, by the way, an insanely winning combination.

    I started my for real for real Pastille (rhymes) last night. And I can’t tell you why, but something about this pattern made me reluctant to make it. I made the muslin, great, adjusted, fine, blah blah, but I cut the project and it’s just been sitting there for two weeks staring at me (and it doesn’t even have eyes, because it’s a fricking pile of fabric, why must I anthropomorphize EVERYTHING?). So I blame the pattern. That’s the sensible thing to do, obviously.

  17. K-Line March 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Oh, I know the pain of the project that just refuses to cooperate! But on the plus side that apple cozy is adorable. Very useless, but totally cute 🙂

  18. Jen March 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Same, i have a jersey knit dress on the table for 2 weeks. i freaked out and assumed it’d come out crappy as my first time working with jersey and then started hoarding notions and fantasizing about circle skirts instead of actually trying to finish it. Then i spent days learning to draft a circle skirt pattern only to freak out when i saw the word “radius.” And now there’s paper all over my desk since i cheated and straight up bought a generated circle pattern from Thunderlily that i didn’t hesitate to start putting together at work. But i totally know what’s going on on Mob Wives so…

  19. Janice March 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Well I didn’t lose my sewing mojo entirely this week, but the Sims 3 expansion did come out on Tues night and I’ve been trying to not play it non-stop since then. It’s been definitely cutting into what little sewing time I have, since on Tues I played from 7pm-3am :/

  20. Joanne March 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Awh bless you Lauren. I feel your pain having had squillions of similar experiences. Last night I tried pintucks on my violet blouse and you know what? They’re not even and they’re not straight. But am I going to do them again? No. Because life is too short to stare at the end of a seam ripper!

  21. Rochelle New March 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    I gave up on trying to make the Pastille fit, hence my hacked off sleeves, collar instead of neck facing, and giant sash at the waist to mask the sway back and awkward darts. I still like the way mine turned out, but I don’t think I’ve seen a Pastille on anyone that fits like it does on the book model. Oh well.

  22. Emily March 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    That dang Pastille is the bane of my existence! I (thankfully) traced the pattern, but I decided this week to just throw my customized, thrice-fitted tracings away. Basically me saying to Pastille, “I give up, you won. I am NEVER making you again, two times is definitely enough!” (and I’m even considering ripping apart my second one because the fitting is so terrible I have no desire to wear it.) I also had a tragic issue with sizing with a Butterick pattern this week. (Who the F needs 3″+ inches of ease ANYWHERE?! on a close fitting pattern?! I even checked the finished measurements.) I guess my patience for poor fitting patterns has run out!

    Whenever I lose my ambition I like to either do a quick instant gratification project, or do something completely different, like bake cookies. Sooner or later I get back into it.

    Good luck!

  23. CGCouture March 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I’ve actually had a pretty productive past couple of weeks….(not trying to rub it in though). However, I’ve definitely been in a sewing funk before, and it’s not fun for anyone. What’s even worse is trying to get your schedule back in line once you do finally get your mojo back. Or at least it’s that way for me….?

    I can’t wait to see your finished dress, since you always make such cute stuff. 🙂

  24. Sassy T March 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Hope it all pans out for ya. I lost my sewing mojo a week ago or was it two weeks ago. Who cares lol. Hoping to get it back in time for my sewing class Monday lol.

  25. Heather March 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Same thing happened to me, except it’s been about three weeks now. I had eye surgery three weeks ago, decided to let my eyes rest for about a week, had some crazy days at work, went to New Orleans, and then the hubs went out of town for work – next thing you know, three weeks have passed and i’ve done ZERO sewing. Maybe the mojo will find me this weekend…

  26. ReadyThreadSew March 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Not much sewing going on for me either. I have watched the craftsy couture dress course and made a start on my version, but that’s very slow going. I did manage to trace and muslin a simple jersey top from My Image magazine yesterday but even though the muslin came out great, I can’t be bothered to start cutting into my good fabric.

  27. oonaballoona March 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    i commiserate with you on the pastille. my fix was to hack away the offending parts of the back bodice a la the dress i just put up on my blog, and i did indeed use bias tape instead of facing, at least on the neckline. i hacked away at the armholes too. hackity hack hack.

    LOVE. your apple cozy. are you going to make a banana one too?

    • LLADYBIRD March 9, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      Ohhhh girl, don’t tempt me with more cozy ideas!Haha!

  28. Crystal March 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    I’ve had a bummer week as me and my three little ones have had the flu ALL week! And this coming off having just sewn my littlest THE darlingest birthday dress for her party Sunday. I had a second one cut out that very night and it has been sitting on the ironing board ever since. I’m sure I’ll be back to it soon. Despite the headache, I know your Pastille will turn out fantastic and look forward to seeing it.

  29. Carrie March 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    I’m having a bummer of a month. And now things won’t clear up until mid-May. So it makes me feel a wee bit better that I’m not alone. 🙂

  30. Vicki Kate March 9, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    Ha, bummer week here too! Rubbish weather so I can’t photograph anything, I’ve screwed up putting the facing into meringue twice because I decided I wanted a lapped zipper and it’ll now be unlined because I ran out of the silver lining I wanted to use. Safe to say I’m not attempting the scallops until I’ve got some sort of sanity back… And to top it I’ve got an under the weather toddler 🙂 its a relief it’s not just me!

  31. Jane March 9, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    You go girl, get it off your chest! Hhmm I’ve deliberately avoided the Pastille because the bodice reminds me of the Crepe dress and that was the worst fitting bodice ever for me. Weirdly, I had the quasimodo back thing with my Peony and ended up doing the same adjustment you did. And if it helps, I’m the world’s biggest slattern when it comes to tracing patterns – I butcher them left, right and centre then try and cobble them back together when it all goes wrong. I don’t care either, it makes me feel like a delinquent.
    Your week can ONLY get better now though, having made that apple cosy! xx

  32. beklet March 9, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    I had completely lost my sewing mojo, but last week, a friend and I visited a friend and learned how to make corsets. I now have my mojo back, but my spare/sewing room is a tip and I can’t organise it yet to sew stuff…I bought a new pattern yesterday (local shop have 40% off Vogue patterns this week) and I REALLY want to make something…I want to make the Meringue skirt actually….I did knot some more of my scarf last night (not graduated to complicated stuff yet – I applaud you, I can’t knit on circular needles!), it may be finished before summer 😀

  33. tinygoldenpins March 9, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I look horrible in every thing I’ve sewed lately: the peony (yuk), pastille (fat waist), two violets, and my winner, a red wool crepe oolong, is so incredibly heavy it’s like lugging a backpack.

    the sad thing is. the thing that looks best on my is some stupid simplicity skirt made out of pretty cheap, itchy, scratchy, brown wool. go figure.

    i’ve been knitting and that isn’t working out either. i think it’s winter sewing hangover. plus, i have tendonitis in my sewing pedal foot.

  34. sallie March 9, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Gah! This was so me last week! I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but working on sewing muslins – and every time I finish one I’m like “Yes! This Will Be THE ONE!!” only to put it on and have the whole thing be super fugly!! Lol! I agree with the first commenter, its like, what am I trying to prove by doing this to myself?! Sewing should be fun!

    Sometimes you just need to blerg out in front of the tv. Don’t feel bad. Look on the bright side, your fabric is super cute! And now you’ll never have a cold apple again! I also agree with Oona – you should make one for a banana (could be so pervy!) – you know its looking chilly…

    • LLADYBIRD March 9, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      And now you’ll never have a cold apple again!

      I don’t know why, but this just made me laugh so hard hahha. More cozies! Everyone’s apples need cozies!

  35. symondezyn March 9, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Oh so totally feel you on Pastille woes…. fitting that dress killed my mojo for a week straight!! LOL I finally settled to just have the front fitted properly; the back isn’t too bad, and can wait til next time LOL

    I seriously thought about using bias tape instead of facings, as my facings WOULD NOT behave, no matter how I tried – I’m glad you took one for the team and tried it. I ended up just edge stitching mine.

    Love the little apple cosy btw…. so extraneous and random! XD

  36. Debi March 9, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    I hear you about the sewing mojo!!! Mine’s been in and out since the month started!! I find most of the Colette patterns hard to fit but haven’t tried the Pastille yet…though good to have a link to the forum!

    I agree with Oona…you should make a banana cozy 🙂

  37. Rachel March 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    oh no! I hope things improve quickly. These patterns sound like they are giving loads of people a headache. I’m not sure if that makes it any easier totals though!

  38. gingermakes March 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Ugh, so sorry about the loss of mojo. I know the feeling– I’ve been exhausted lately and can’t seem to come up with the energy to tackle anything serious. Instead, I’ve been knitting a flock of novelty hats for the man and his buds for an upcoming ski trip… it’s sort of nice to work on something low-key and fun.

    And dude… short rows are a bitch! They’re so confusing to keep track of! And I have to say that the weird swayback issue people have been having has kinda put me off the Pastille for the time being, too. I just don’t want to deal. 😦


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