Mads vs. Glazed Linen, Round 2

Good Morning!

Thanks to a planned cut-back in my hours at my second job and a well-timed wife-less outing on the part of my spouse, I was able to venture into my sewing area last night. (Well, let me amend that: I was able to venture into my sewing area to WORK rather than just add new patterns or fabric or someone else’s circa-1950s UFOs to my sewing area and then back away slowly…)

My original plan was to start a muslin of my much-beloved vintage pants pattern, which I have never gotten around to messing with since it came to me many months ago. But then it occurred to me that I had never gone back to the black glazed linen version of vintage Simplicity 1281 that I’d tried to make a while ago, and I felt guilty and blah blah blah. So after about 5 minutes of frantic digging and hunting, I found the rest of the linen and started ironing. (I. FUCKING. HATE. IRONING.)

I was really careful when cutting this time–didn’t want any stupid mistakes like the last time I attempted this project, or the time before that…

After cutting 4 measly pieces of fabric, it is clear to me that I 1) need to lift more weights or 2) need a new blade for my rotary cutter, because I had to basically retrace my cuts for the whole first piece and then make sure I pressed really hard for the last 3. I mean, this linen is beefy, but this seemed unnecessary.

I sometimes (okay, often) wonder what the fuck I was thinking when I made past decisions. I think I ordered 4 yards of this linen, which is about 60″ wide. My original plans for it were a sheath dress (thank hell I decided against that…) or a pencil skirt and jacket, neither of which would have required nearly that much yardage (thanks, acquired sewing knowledge!). So not only have I now cut 2 skirts out of this stuff, here is what is STILL LEFT OVER:

One actual fuck-ton of linen, coming right up...

One actual fuck-ton of linen, coming right up…

Plenty for a jacket, so I guess that part of my original n00b plan will come to fruition. And once that is done, I am probably setting the remaining bits of this fabric on fire because I am just over it and its abundance and its linen-y-ness. OVER. IT.

In interesting (well, to *me*, anyway) sewing developments, that joke above about other people’s vintage UFOs wasn’t a joke at all. A lady brought lots of her mother’s hand-made vintage clothes to the shop a couple weeks ago, and her mother was very excited to learn that we all sew; her daughter returned with piles of sewing patterns and several unfinished projects in tow. Most of the patterns were circa-1970s but I did take a few home. The UFOs were all from the 50’s, and were wool. Very finely made, even in their incomplete states. I was given custody of the UFOs, and they’re hanging out until I feel brave/stupid/worthy enough to attempt to finish them. Apparently my house is now the Mads Home for Wayward Sewing Bits and Bobs…

Anyway, this skirt will be the first item of winter sewing for me this season–have any of you (in the Northern Hemisphere) started winter projects? Or are you just cuddling your winter-weight fabrics for warmth?

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Let’s Go To The (Blog) Hop (Plus Fabric Photos!)

(Is that awful song stuck in your head now? Good.)

Today at the Mads House, we’re serving a blog hop entree with a side of juicy fabric photos for dessert–how’s that sound?

If you read many sewing blogs, you’ve probably seen the blog hop going around right now–it’s focused on why we bloggers write. I was nominated by the enchanting Rosie at sparkleneedles, whose entry will almost certainly be funnier than mine. To see more about why/how I write (and for fabric photos after), read on! (Otherwise, go look at cute cat videos or something…)

Why do I write?

Well, my degree is in History, so writing things was basically my job for 4 years; I enjoy writing (luckily) and it comes easily for me (more luckily). I started this blog to chronicle my progress as a maker of clothing. I’ve blogged before, but it was always more of a general journal exercise. My goal for this blog was to write about sewing, what I learn (if anything), and to be a part of a larger community of people who are also passionate about sewing and related things; I may include non-sewing stuff occasionally (like vintage posts, or maybe life-ish stuff) but mostly, this is a sewing blog. I don’t really have any IRL sewing friends (though one or two pals are getting into it–yay!), so it’s nice to be among others who will get excited about fabric, techniques, etc., and who will understand the kind of effort that goes into making something 3-D from a 2-D piece of fabric. I suppose I could have just started an Instagram with no blog behind it, but I enjoy reading about other people’s makes and wanted to have something similar for myself; I don’t assume that anyone would enjoy reading about my creative travails, but I wanted a more detailed and involved chronicle for myself than just a bunch of pictures with hashtags.

How do I write?

I don’t have much of a process, actually. (Actually, that’s probably really obvious if you’ve ever read my blog…) Most frequently, my posts are triggered by me working on or finishing something. Sometimes I post about fabric I got, or inspiration and plans for future projects. I try to include details about projects, since I personally do not care for “I made a thing, here are photos of it, the end” posts as a reader; and since this blog is supposed to be a way for me to chronicle my adventures as I learn and progress, not including details or challenges would kind of be a waste of my time. I try to include photos most of the time–even if it’s not an FO or in-progress post–but sometimes don’t, which is something I’d like to be more conscious of in the future.

I do most of my blogging from the office (sorry not sorry) so I tend to put a post together very quickly. I don’t draft–never cared for it–and am able to just sit down, write a thing, and post the thing. I’m a grammar enthusiast, so I usually end up having to do edits after I hit “publish” in order to correct a silly error that I missed on my first few read-throughs, but what I post is essentially exactly what I sat down and spat out into the post editor tool in WordPress. Usually my heater is running at my feet and there’s a bottle of Coke and some type of sweet nearby for good measure, but those things are not required for me to write. 🙂

How does this blog differ from others of its genre?

Honestly, I don’t think it really does: I’m yet another young, slim, white, cis-gendered, coupled, hetero, middle class woman in the sewing blogosphere. That’s about as typical as it gets in the online sewing community, isn’t it? I suppose that, if I had to pick something that’s a little different about my blog, it’s that I’m not afraid to talk about mistakes I’ve made or projects that I struggle with; I know that’s not something everyone does. But even that is such a small thing! I like that there are so many people blogging about their sewing, though–that was one thing that encouraged me when I first started. This isn’t a dying art: people are out there making things and talking about them and sharing with the world! So while I am pretty willing to admit that I have little or nothing new or novel to offer the sewing world, I am enthusiastic about the craft and want to contribute to the chorus of voices.

What am I working on?

Currently, I have one project cut out, and it’s for Tom: McCall’s 6613, view C. I have big plans for myself as well, but nothing is started yet. I’d like to make another vintage Simplicity 1281 and some shirts, at least! Most likely, my next project will be a pair of pants. I’ve been dying to crack open a particular vintage pattern since I got it, and due to an unfortunate turn of events, I’m a bit short on casual pants–this is my moment, right?!?

I honestly have no idea who to nominate next, so I’m taking a rain-check on that. My blog, my rules. xD

So if you’ve made it this far, here’s a treat: my box from Fabric Mart arrived today, and I’m a happy camper!

Neutral ponte knit; no plans yet really, but we'll get there!

Neutral ponte knit; no plans yet really, but we’ll get there!

The coveted cheetah print silk twill! *swoon*

The coveted cheetah print silk twill! *swoon*

Then there's this crazy shit...

Then there’s this crazy shit…

Marc Jacobs, biotch!

Marc Jacobs, y’all!

"Mads" goes mod...

“Mads” goes mod…

Plaid brushed knit

Plaid brushed knit

Modal/silk jersey in two colors

Modal/silk jersey in two colors

I love/hate you, Fabric Mart

I love/hate you, Fabric Mart

Pretty sweet, right? Can we talk about that silk twill for a second, though?? Because holy hell, it is even silkier, dreamier, and sexier than I imagined. It’s also not opaque, but I’ve got that covered: I got some china silk from Dharma Trading to line it. I’m having a total “Wayne’s World” moment–I am not worthy of this luscious material!!

The crazy-ass blue/zebra combo is sufficiently insane in person, but it is LIGHT. I’ve never messed with an ITY knit before, so maybe it’s my inexperience talking, but I did not imagine this material to be semi-sheer and virtually weightless. Guess I’ll be wearing a slip under whatever that becomes, eh?

The Marc Jacobs bottomweight cotton is destined for my ass…as a pair of pants. =) It’s hard to photograph color-wise, but it’s a weird mix between gray and taupe.

The mod checkerboard knit, purple plaid knit, and almond-y ponte are things I liked a lot and figured I’d use at some point. I have no plans for any of them just yet, though. The modal/silk jerseys are perhaps the most heavenly knits I’ve ever put my grubby mitts on; my t*ts are gonna love them.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I’ll be back in a few days with something new under construction!

Fabric Stashing With Mads

Hello again!

Predictably, I have not started any new projects since finishing the ultimate cat lady outfit. I haven’t made any progress on the one thing I’ve got cut out, either! Again, totally typical of me. The outlook for productivity in my sewing room is bleak for the next week or so: my in-laws (who I actually really do adore–they’re wonderful) are visiting us this weekend, so I am in CLEAN ALL THE THINGS mode…

Like a fuckin' adult

Like a fuckin’ adult

This means that my sewing area will likely be reverting back to its original dining room-like configuration in the event that we cook (LOL) or get pizza one night (probably). Think of it like those rooms in movies/tv shows where a wall spins to reveal something totally awesome, like a mid-century bar, and then spins back into Middle Class Wall mode again as needed. Except, you know, without the automated capabilities and with much more swearing and sadness…

Per my title today, I was very bad. Very, very bad. But I can explain: it’s all Fabric Mart’s fault!!!! They had a 40% off sale for Halloween, and I went a little nuts. I bought 19 yards of fabric. 😦 One of them is an AMAZING silk twill with motherfucking cheetahs on it. Seriously: where was that stuff when I was doing it up Cat Lady style? Oh well, better late than never. Hello, future feline dress!

I also got some modal/silk jersey so that I can use it to line eventual bra cups. My boobs and I are very excited about that prospect, in the event that I ever get around to sewing anything ever again. I also ordered some Marc Jacobs bottom weight cotton for a pair of late 50’s/early 60’s high-waisted skinny pants (duh), and a lot of knits, which is weird for me. Weirder still, most of the knits I got are bold. Like, REALLY bold. I have ideas for all of them, otherwise I would never have pulled the trigger on something like a zebra print knit with bright-ass blue floral border action. (Hey Fabric Mart: let me know if you ever have a job opening for naming fabrics on the website, k? 😉 ) Nothing for Tom (or Gretchen Weiners), but so it goes. I’m sure I’ll post photos instead of links once these beauties arrive at my house, so check back in several days if you’re into that sort of thing!

I re-organized my fabric stash about a month or two ago. I had been very proud that my entire fabric stash fit into one big Rubbermaid bin, and it definitely did…until I took everything out of there and tried to put it all back in again. So now I have two bins where things are folded relatively nicely, and both are pretty full. I may have to start looking for someplace else for this new shipment to hang out, because I doubt those bins have any room! On the one hand, I feel guilty and bad for stashing–it sits there and sits there, and it takes me FOREVER to sew anything. Plus, fabric isn’t free, and it’s not like I have an unlimited budget. And let’s be real: my tastes are kind of expensive, and I can be a total fabric snob; it’s not like I’m stocking up on $2/yard polyester (not that there’s anything wrong with that). On the other hand, I will get around to everything eventually, and almost never buy fabric without an idea of what to do with it, and only buy it at full-price if desperate. I also very rarely shop for new RTW clothes, a recent (unblogged) denim fiasco aside. I buy underpants and some vintage clothing, but not often. I definitely want to curb my stashing, since I have a few years worth of material and limited storage space and sew slower than the speed of smell…

Do any of you stash? Do you ever feel bad about it? If you have any fabric organization tips, feel free to share them!