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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Off on a tangent

I don't know if anyone else ever goes through this with their sewing, but out of the blue I have got myself on this underwear sewing thing.

It's like as a sewer you find yourself caught up on sort of a private craze, thinking about it, sewing it, spending way too much time internet shopping, or just internet window shopping about it, and then after a while you feel you have enough and move back to sensible sewing or onto something else.

The thing is you are never sure where these sewing obsession things come from or why they started. 

Maybe someone else's blog post, maybe a morning you decide you have a wardrobe gap, maybe just some more of sewer's optimism - you know that lovely delusional feeling that you have far more time to sew than you actually have.

In my case it might have been golfing in hot weather or not wanting to wear one of my good purchased bras to sweat it out on the stationary bike (something I do use on rainy days providing there is a good series on Netflix - have you seen Offspring from Australia - great show).

I am sure the need to have cotton underwear free of any kind of synthetic might have set me off.

At any rate this mania started with the cotton underpants and moved onto sports bras for some reason.

I have been working on three different sports bra patterns and over the next few days will do some show and tell.

In the meantime tell me, does the idea of an out of the blue sewing craze make sense to you?

What have your own detours and tangents been and what do you think sets this kind of sewing binge off?

I am pretty interested to hear if it is just me who gets these sewing fevers or not.


bbarna said...

I can relate to this. Perhaps it really started when I began quilting, and had to have a proper stash and all the equipment . I had already amassed a decent fabric stash for clothing and all the basics for sewing, but with quilting , I went a little nuts. Two years ago, I pulled back on the quilts and started clothing sewing again- for myself and the grandkids, mainly. Now I am collecting kids patterns, mostly for knits and spending lots of time looking for fabric for them. Of course I have to have lots of elastic, snaps, and doodads for making them unique. Then I couldn't get enough polar fleece for some strange reason...I still have a huge bag in the storage room. There is never enough time to sew it all. Love the tiedye undies.
Barb from Prince George.

Annie said...

I have been obsessed with trying to copy a couple of JJill dresses. I have bought half a dozen patterns but I,can't get it quite right. I suppose it would be faster to just trace it off but I don't have any confidence in my tracing ability.

I have been wanting to try my hand at bra making too, though I have to wear underwire bras myself. Be interesting to see how yours turn out

Katykookaburra said...

In my case , my sewing binges start when I see something I need that cost way more than it should. So golf kit is typical. I refuse to pay £60 on a pair of shorts that I can make for £10.00. I'm having a binge on trousers at the mo. As we're moving into winter I want warm golf trousers with stretch, that fit me rather than some generic body. I'm currently making some black trousers in a two way stretch fabric that I got in a sale for £4!

Alison said...

Hi Barbara - Definitely not just you who gets caught up in a sewing obsession, it happens to me from time to time... one year I got a wild hair that I needed to figure out a tee shirt pattern for myself, maybe because the SWAP that year required it, or something... I don't usually even wear tee shirts because RTW ones look terrible on me!

It took me several months, and about four consecutive muslins as I recall, and I finally ended up with a very non-standard but does fit me well pattern. I then proceeded to make at least a half dozen, with all different kinds of embellishments. Finally realised last year that they basically just sit in my dresser drawer, and never get worn; the pattern however has formed the basis for many a long sleeve knit top, which I do wear all winter long...

I also started to dive into making my own constructed (underwire) bras, but that fizzled out after I gathered a bundle of useful fabrics, and then lost my nerve. Good luck with the sports bra journey - I have made those and once you get a pattern that works for you I find it only takes me about two hours from start to wearable...

wendy said...

You are not alone :) and just as you describe the craze can be all consuming. I went through an underpants period and loved it, will probably get back to it at some stage. My current rabbit hole is making polo shirts for my husband. He wears them a lot and struggles to find great fit, So sourcing pique cotton and the proper collars has been fun and he loves them! I'm ready to move on though, need to fill some gaps in my autumn/winter wardrobe.

RebeccaHoward said...

Haha. That's so funny. I have just finished a weekend of making a billion (well nine) pairs of undies. My underwear drawer was fine.....fine.....still fine....then all of a sudden ghastly. I had bought Beverly Johnson Sewing Panties Craftsy Class and drafted my own undies after watching this. They fit perfectly!!!! Then my binge. I had to do this straight away in case my bottom changed size. Which it does often.

annie said...

I just had the strangest thing happen. I obsess about making a coat. I've made several though not recently. And I have some lovely navy cashmere that I'm saving for a new winter coat. And I have everything I need except the perfect pattern. While I was reading the above comments, an internet troll took my computer to a 2009 post of yours about - your red gabardine coat. No idea how that happened but it was very interesting. Love reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

I basically go from tangent to tangent, there is probably some geometrical term for this. So a glimmering of an idea for a project happens, there are all kinds of different origin stories, and momentum builds, I gather materials and resources, and sometimes spend happy hours creating something that matches the original glimmer. Sometimes I lose interest during some stage of the process (and the results of that fill a few bags in various closets) and sometimes it doesn't work out and there is a period of disappointment. So for me its not exceptional at all, its a way of being.


Dr. Fun (AKA Sister) said...

I love your tie-dyed underwear! You're safe now that Labor Day is over that they won't end up accidentally under white pants, I guess. I have fevers, too, and after having success with a fleece jacket that looked just like a North Face jacket (and won $100 in a Hancock Fabrics contest), I made them for my sister, mother, husband, teenage son, and middle-school-age son. I also had a fever with swimsuits, but they're like underwear - you can always use another one. PS I love your blog!

Judith Newman said...

For me, it's pants making. Can't buy pants to fit! Size 14 waist, size 8 bum. Not a hope in hell. So my obsession is pants making - been working at refining pants patterns for nearly 20 years! I get a good fit now, but always looking for better.
Then there could be tunic tops to go with the several pairs of leggings I made, or t-Shirts this past month....
And I always have a quilt or textile wall art piece on the go.

Galica said...

I'm currently obsessed with sewing cloth hats and caps (though mainly, cloches). It's to the point where pinterest barely shows me anything but cloches, in fact. You would think that it would be easy but I want to make them look seamless, and so I keep tweaking the pattern. And thinking about it. And tweaking the pattern. And thinking about it.. and rinse, and repeat..

So many rabbit holes. I think bras next.

Jill H said...

Absolutely, except I usually know where mine come from. Right now, I've drafted pajama pants - never having drafted pants nor sewn any that fit, nor having sensible directions. I need work shirts, but pants are on the brain because I need white ones in October. It is extremely unlikely I will have time to sew pants suitable for on stage. At least I talked myself down from trousers with a fly, right?

Leigh said...

Oh heavens! I'm definitely easily led, and off on a binge at the drop of a hat. I started spinning yarn and holy smokes. That is a whole 'nother rabbit hole I can tell you. Suddenly I have all the equipment and rather a herd of fiber. I'm obsessed! Still sewing a bit, but spinning can be done when I'm very tired mentally and physically after work. Seems like that has happened quite a bit over the last few months.

Kathleen V Crawford said...

You have just described my life. I become intensely interested in a topic and research it to death and then drop it and go on to the next thing. The topics sometimes come out of nowhere and I am obsessed. Sometimes it is fabric/clothing related but sometimes it isn't. One time I was interested in the Isle of Man and started investigating the diet, school system, music, etc. and then moved on. Another time it was sustainable fashion. Right now I am upset about my 4 or 5 year old work out clothes are of better quality than anything new I can buy. Yes, I can make some but I want the clothes now!!! I am impatient.
Love your column.
Kathy C.

Janine said...

Yes , I too get these crazed sewing obsessions. I have joined a stash busting group and 'pledged ' that I would reduce my stash by 10% so of course I am obsessed with doing that. I am almost there and will be very glad when it is over. Still my fabric cupboard is looking emptier now.